· 3 min read

Tools for Managing Software Development Projects

As an architect and developer I have many open source (and commercial) tools at my disposal for creating software but I’ve had a hard time finding quality open source (or even commercial) projects for managing my projects. I just started a large-scale service oriented medical informatics project and have had to cobble together solutions for the following goals: project comprehension, team communication, and artifacts management. Here’s what I’ve done so far…

  • We need to create an ultra-modern and great looking marketing website. We’ve outsourced this off-shore as an experiment and have chosen Basecamp to manage the project. Basecamp has been nice but it’s designed for general project management (and Basecamp was written by a design firm) so it’s not great for software development. I took a look at Rally as well but they made it very hard to try out the product and it’s very expensive for what I think it does. The Rally guys just raised millions in venture capital so they need to make sure they charge high prices to return money to their investors. I took a look at Trac, too, and found it quite nice but they only support SubVersion while I’m still using CVS. Of course, i made the requisite stop at at Atlassian who make Jira and Confluence but those are not integrated enough for me to pay the money.
  • We need an ultra-modern and highly usable graphic design in the user interface of the application itself. We’re still looking for a design firm to help us here but I don’t think there’s any specific software that’s going to help here. Once the design is done we’ll be using our own inhouse Sparx framework to write the code.
  • We need to create an online demo that shows every feature of our product — one in an interactive manner and another in movie format for easier viewing. We’re managing the project in Basecamp but the actual tool we’re currently using is undecided.
  • We need a continuous integration tool to make sure all the various software components we’re creating remain stable and tested throughout the project. We have chosen and installed LuntBuild 1.2 beta and are very happy with it. It’s easy to use, flexible, and quite powerful at the same time. Of course, the builds have JUnit integrated.
  • We needed code coverage instrumentation to ensure that our unit testing provides enough coverage. We’re using Emma, which I referred to in a blog a few months back. We’ve integrated it into LuntBuild and it’s working like a charm — not quite as glossy as Clover but Emma is plenty powerful and it’s free.
  • For defect tracking I’m sticking with Bugzilla for now.
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