Redmine

Improve Redmine's client management options

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Out of the box Redmine doesn't look like it has a lot of options for managing clients, but you'd be wrong - with a little customizing you can at least fake it. There are two parts to this - set up a new user group and add some custom fields for users.

The first step is to create a new user group called Client:

  • Log into the Administration -> Roles & Permissions page and click on New Role
  • Set the name to "Client" and give them the follow permissions: Issues - add, add a note, change status, new file, new relation; News - add a comment; Documents - add, new file; Files - add. (adjust as you see fit)
  • Save what you've set and assign a user the Client role for a project.
  • Next time you view that project's Overview page it'll list them on the Members block as a Client

Simple but useful.

The second step is to round off the user information options by adding some custom fields.

  • Go to the Administration -> Custom Fields page and click on Users link.
  • Click on New Custom Field, set the name to "Company", leave the format as "text", set the min length to 0, the max length to e.g. 30, leave the regular expression field blank, leave the required option unchecked, and click Save.
  • Repeat for any other fields you want, e.g. Work Phone, Cell Phone, Work Address, etc.

Now any time you add a user you can give them the above information.

Putting these two together, now when you go to the Project Overview page you can see who the client is and by clicking on their name see their contact information.

Tip: Moving RedMine to another server, don't forget the files

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This past week I moved an install of RedMine from one server to another, or rather I just moved the database over and checked out the SVN code again. After getting it going correctly I promptly forgot about the fact it was at a new location and just worked away on my assigned tasks. Well, as it turns out I'd completely forgotten about the uploaded files, which now wouldn't download anymore. The problem was that I forgot to verify where the attached files were stored, and it turned out to be in "files" directory, so now I have to manually copy those few files over and all will be well.

Redmine - excellent RoR-based project management tool

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I've just been converted to a tool called Redmine, a combination of the ubiquitous Trac and something like ActiveCollab. Able to work directly with Subversion code repositories, Redmine gives you support for multiple projects, per-project tasks, content management (blog, news, document management, wiki), both a calendar and GANTT chart to view progress, a very comprehensive user management system that can even authenticate against LDAP (i.e. Active Directory, NetWare, et al), and as always is an open-source application so you can improve/extend the code as you see fit. I'm trying it out at work but it looks like something I'm going to start using for all of my project management. Awesome stuff!

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