EmForge Portal - Team Development Platform

    It so happened that the last few years I have to take part exclusively in distributed projects. Project management in the USA, business owner in France, development in Russia and Brazil, and testing in China is a normal situation. In such projects, competent organization of communications is very important. Different projects used different systems. No ideal was found, that is why my own "imperfect" was written: EmForge Portal , which I want to introduce today, hoping that it might be useful to someone

    In a distributed project, you cannot quickly discuss something over a cup of tea. You can’t raise your head from the monitor and shout to everyone, “Do not touch the server, I will now redo the new version”, or “This is my bug - I will fix it now.” If there is no competent communication, then the developers will not develop at all what the business owner wants, the management will promise the third, and the testers will not know what to test at all. Mail is good, but try to find in a ton of letters exactly the one that says how to make this or that feature. Therefore, we need special tools and services, such as a repository where (where would you go without it when developing?), Task management, document exchange, and many others.

    Different systems (and services) were used in different projects, but always something was missing, then excellent task management, but there is no wiki (for sharing documentation), either there are wikis and tasks, but there is no version control, or there are both third, and even a code review (as for example in atlassian studio - probably the leader in this field) - but the price is simply sky-high.

    As a result, some time ago our own service was developed and launched: EmForge Portal , where there is still not everything that was planned, but already:

    * Subversion hosting (immediately answering questions that were also asked on SunTechDays - yes, we plan to git - but how just find a person with sufficient experience in git, maybe also mercurial);

    * Task management and time tracking;
    * Wiki - for documentation;
    * Blogs - for publishing project news;
    * Forum - for communication both within teams and with users;
    * Storage of any project files

    In principle, a set of tools allows you to establish interaction not only within the team - but also with users - each project has its own mini-site, and it is possible to hang it on your own domain name, thereby obtaining a "project site".

    A bit about task and time management


    Initially, we made the system sharpened for XP, with user story and epic, with nested tasks, with releases and iterations. But then it turned out that for most users who were not familiar with XP, it was too complicated, and therefore they left just a flat list of tasks and bugs, broken down by release. Perhaps we will make such bells and whistles optional, but now we have tried to make working with tasks as simple as possible, so that maximum actions can be done from the main window (with a list of tasks) in a minimum number of clicks. So right in the list of tasks you can filter them according to different criteria, close, add a comment, add the time spent, change the order with a simple DragNDrop.

    Time tracking allows you to draw a burndown chart and monitor in which direction the project is going.

    The forum is used for bug-tracking - in fact, if the user encounters some kind of problem, he first writes to the forum. And if it turns out that this is a bug (or feature) - you can do the task directly from the forum post (and then, when the task is closed, an automatic message will be sent to the forum).

    EmForge Portal - open source project

    A bit about development. Everything is based on Liferay (the portal for Java - I already wrote about it in Habr ) and, accordingly, in Java. And also the EmForge Portal project - Open Source (hosted on itself: http://www.emforge.net/web/emforge-portal ) - this means that:

    * You can download the source and put it in your local infrastructure - it’s not necessary use an external service;
    * "We are looking for talents" - if you are interested - we will be glad to new participants (who for example will help to fasten and configure git).

    How much does it cost?

    In the meantime, not at all. Starting with the fact that all sources are available, and you can download and install them yourself (though you will need experience not only in java, but also some experience in liferay), EmForge will always be free for Open-Source projects and for students, as well as for small ones "Closed" projects.

    Then with the rest (when we get out of beta status - apparently next year), we will take denyuzhku - in the end, we also have to pay for our hosting somehow, but I hope it’s reasonable.

    We are already actively using EmForge in several of our projects, I hope it will help you too.

    Also popular now: