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What is Redmine Hosting?
Redmine is a flexible and Open Source project management application written on top of the Ruby on Rails framework. It works on multiple platforms and with multiple databases. If you’re a tech-savvy webmaster looking for an inexpensive yet powerful project management solution, you should take a look at Redmine.
Project Management software is the organizational heart and soul of any business committed to getting things done on time and under budget. A number of excellent subscription services are available, but if you go that route you will be committed to paying for the software forever. It can also be difficult to export your data if you decide to move to another platform in the future.
Moreover, the commercial offerings may not have the features you are looking for. Often, with premium project management software, the less expensive SaaS apps lack critical reporting functionality or other Enterprise-level features. Similarly, in the proprietary project management software market, the Enterprise-level features come with heavy-duty, Enterprise-level price tags.
Redmine Project Management Software
Redmine provides serious project management features with a flexible set of customization options, in an Open Source software package that you can use for free and modify as needed.
Key Redmine Features
The key organizing principle in Redmine is projects. Major endeavors are created as individual projects, which then become a “container” for the tasks, resources, information, and communication needed to complete that project.
You can also divide large projects up into sub-projects. A sub-project has all the features of a project, but is associated to a larger project. The details of the sub-projects (scheduling, budgeting, etc.), filter up to the main project so that comprehensive reporting and planning can take place.
Users and Permissioning
Users can be allowed to create and contribute to any project, or their access can be restricted to specific projects. Detailed permission restrictions (view but not edit, add but not delete, etc.) can be assigned to any user, or setup as a user type.
Issue Tracking System
Tasks associated with a project or sub-project are called issues, and each project has its own customizable issue-tracking system. You can create any number of custom statuses, and define who can edit those statuses. You can also set up triggers that are run when a project enters a new status.
Projects can have multiple Issue Types, which each have their own set of status steps and user permissions.
Redmine supports Gannt charts and calendar views of schedules.
Worked hours can be reported at the Issue level or at the Project level, for general work not associated with a specific issue.
Hours logged can be reported on and viewed in several formats, based on users, categories, departments, projects, or issue types.
You can define your own custom data fields for Users, Projects, Issues, and Time reports. Custom fields can use any of several data field types such as text, boolean, radio buttons, checkboxes, numbers, dates, and select lists. Custom logic can be written to respond to the data entered in these fields.
Project based news and documents
Each project can hold many files organized into an ad-hoc file structure, with descriptive details. Users can share files, post messages, and chat about the project. This is a good place for project announcements as well.
Project based wiki and forums
Each project can have its own set of wiki pages, so that users can maintain a knowledge base and documentation related to the project.
Projects also have forums, where users can discuss project details and larger objectives that don’t fit into the comments of an issue ticket.
Repo Viewer and Diffs
Redmine integrates with several version control applications (subversion, git, cvs, and others), and can display the contents of a repository in context to the project. Diff views and diff commenting are also available.
User activity such as project or issue creation, user registration, status updates, forum messages, and document uploads can all trigger notifications via email or RSS feed.
User registration and authentication
Users can be authenticated against multiple LDAP, which allows on-the-fly account creation. Alternatively, users can be allowed to self-register without authentication, with manual authentication by an admin, or through an email invite process.
Internationalization and localization
Redmine is currently available in over thirty languages, and string-replacement files are easily available for creating a new translation.
Redmine’s theme engine makes it easy to customize the look and feel of your project management interface. There over 20 themes available currently, and you could develop your own theme if you want to match the software’s GUI to match your organization’s branding.
Multiple Database Support
Redmine can be run on MySQL, PostgreSQL or SQLite.
Fully Extensible through Plugins
In addition to the features mentioned above, Redmine has a powerful plugin architecture that allows developes to add features. There are over 600 plugins currently available for Redmine, providing a wide array of functionality.
You can also develop your own new plugins, and (if you like) contribute them back to the community.
Redmine Web Hosting
Redmine will run on most web hosting plans as long as they support Ruby. A few hosting providers make available a one click installer script for Redmine, which is probably the easiest way to be sure that the software is fully supported.
Redmine Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What are Gannt charts?
Gannt charts are a popular tool for displaying and tracking times for a project. In a Gannt chart, each task is listed on the left of the screen, and on the right side is a time bar representing the estimated start and end dates for that task. They provide a quick, visual assessment of what activities need to be completed, how long each should take, where each task fits within the timeframe of the overall project, where activities overlap, and when dependent activities can begin.
What type of forums are available?
Redmine includes a very simple forum environment which lists each forum available, the number of topics and includes a link to the latest message. Each project can have one or more discussion forums, and each forum can be customized by name and description.
What are Diff views?
Diffs are webpages that show the difference between two versions of a wiki page. Similar to using the Compare feature in Microsoft Word, Redmine allows you to compare two versions of a document side by side and make comments on the revisions.
Can I migrate my project data from another project management platform?
Redmine offers two migration tools to migrate your current Trac and Mantis projects. These will assist with migrating current users, components, milestones, tickets, wiki pages, projects, bug notes, and more from your existing project management platform. In addition, there are a number of third-party migration tools available for Jira, Bugzilla, Scarab, and phpBugTracker.
How difficult is it to upgrade from an older version?
Upgrades from previous versions (1.x) to a current version (2.x) is a fairly simple process. After ensuring your server meets the technical requirements, you need to backup your files and database(s). Once your files are backed up, download and install the latest stable release. Then all you have to do is update your database information. A detailed guide of the upgrade process is available on the Redmine wiki site.
Is it possible to test Redmine before committing to it?
Redmine offers a shared online demo, which allows users to create and manage their own projects and test out all of the project administration features. The demo is available on the Redmine website. Because this is a shared demo, so administrative features are limited. An organization that would prefer their own private demo environment can also register for an exclusive demo that features full administrative privileges.
Can I organize my wiki pages in a hierarchal structure?
Yes. Wiki pages can be set up with parent / child relationships, meaning each lower level page is a child to the page above it. This allows you to organize your pages in a top-down fashion, wherein each page can branch off into as many child pages as necessary. On the top of each child page, you will see a breadcrumb display, telling you where you are within the overall page tree.
What type of markup is supported by the wiki?
The Redmine wiki supports Textile markup language. This lightweight markup language allows for most common text styles, including bold, italics, strikethrough, and color text. It also supports a variety of list formats, headers, tables, links, and many other common features you would find in a majority of word processing programs.
Can I request new features?
Yes, Redmine welcomes your suggestions, but they do ask that before you submit a recommendation you review the current list of requested features available on their website. This helps to limit redundancy and speed up the review process. In addition, because Redmine is open source, if there’s a feature your organization needs that is not currently available, you can develop your own plugin, and contribute it back to the community.
What type of support is available?
As an open source project, support for Redmine is provided by their community, through extensive online documentation, user forums, and an IRC channel.
Are there tools available for creating my own plugins?
The Redmine wiki contains a complete tutorial to guide you through the processes of creating your own plugin and attaching it to your Redmine installation. Of course, the actual programming of the plugin is up to you, and the guide assumes you are familiar with the Ruby on Rails framework.
How can I contribute to Redmine?
Redmine welcomes community contributions. Developers can contribute through patch checking, documenting code, developing patches, or contributing code. Redmine also welcomes contribution through the user support system, creating translations, or bug reporting. Or if you prefer to contribute financially, they accept donations on their website.
Will Redmine run on any operating system?
Redmine should run on any Unix, Linux, Mac, or Windows system, provided Ruby is available on that platform. The Redmine Wiki includes detailed installation guides for a number of operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, and several Linux distributions.