Project Open 4.0 can now round trip to MS Project
The developers of Project Open, an open source enterprise project management package, have announced they are releasing version 4.0 of the software application after extensive testing of the release candidate. Among the new interoperability features of the package is the ability for projects to be imported into Project Open from Microsoft Project, edited in Project Open and then exported back to Microsoft Project. The software now has a configuration wizard to simplify integrating Active Directory and SharePoint, which will allow projects to store their documents on a SharePoint server.
The Linux version of Project Open includes experimental Funambol integration as well; this will allow Project Open to synchronise calendar data with Outlook and mobile devices such as the iPhone and Android-based smartphones. One optional package can also import CVS commits into Project Open and associate the commits with projects, while another can track incoming and outgoing mail between users and projects as part of a CRM workflow.
Within the project planning scope, the release of 4.0 sees the ability to put placeholder "Skill Profiles" against tasks and people, allowing the staffing of a project to be performed more rapidly. The developers note, though, that the GUI will need improvement for the staffing process, something that they hope to deliver in 4.1. SCRUM and Agile Project management methodologies are now supported by the system and can be mixed with classical project management processes in a single project. To engage employees, a new Idea Management portal allows them to suggest ideas, comment on ideas, and vote those ideas up or down.
Other features include use of Ajax date pickers being available in most of the web front end, save for reports. Expense management allows adding notes to forms, and more reports are available. HTTPS support has also been enhanced so that selected pages can only be accessed through customer support. A new system configurator allows a system's configuration to be captured in CSV format and used to recreate the configuration on a new system.
Other changes and enhancements are listed on the roadmap page. Project Open is built on top of OpenACS, XoWiki, AOLServer and PostgreSQL. The packages are licensed under a mix of GPLv2 and later, free (as in beer), and commercial licensing, which is detailed on the project's licensing page. There are a number of options for installing the software from native installers for Linux and Windows to VMware appliances. Source code can be found on the project's SourceForge pages.