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General FAQ

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General ]project-open[ Topics ­

Technical Assistance for ]project-open[

What is ]project-open[?

]project-open[ is an open source  web based business application.  It is enterprise resource planning (ERP) software designed for service companies with 2-2,000 employees who run their business or a major part of it, on a project oriented bassis.  ]project-open[ is free and open-source software, built and maintained by a community of developers.  Core services that ]project-open[ provides to businesses are Finance Management, Tracking, and Reporting

What is ]p­roject-open[ not?

  • ]project-open[ is not a project scheduling software.  ]po[ does not not replace Microsoft Project or other scheduling software such as OpenProj, GanttProject etc. Instead, ]po[ integrates with this type of software, allowing project plans to be made available and published for all stakeholders inside and outside the company.

What is Open-Source software?

Free software refers to liberty, not price (although the majority of free software is available free of charge), and the user's freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

- The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

- The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

[Source: http://www.gnu.org [10]]

Is ]project-open[ available in my language?

Most likely the answer is yes.  ]project-open[ is produced and developed with English as the default language.  Other languages that are directly supported are Spanish, German, and Italian.  Adding any other language just requires a day's work of translating all the localization strings to the target language.  For example we have just received translations in French, and Brazilian Portuguese from clients that will be incorporated into the next versions of ]project-open[.  Please see the Localization for mor details.

How is ]project-open[ different from commercial systems?

There are quite a few (at least 300) commercial project management systems on the market. ]project-open[ offers quite similar characteristics, but is open-source based, with all the known advantages such as lower TCO, longer life-cycle , and a provider ecosystem (>1000 developers for you to choose from) etc.

How is ]project-open[ different from other Open-Source systems?

]project-open[ is the only open-source based Project-ERP with professional characteristics such as financial controlling, accounting and interfaces.

What is the difference between ]project-open[ for consulting, translation or IT organizations?

]project-open[ is a very modular system. This modularity allows us to develop special modules for each of the vertical sectors above.

The main difference is between translation and the other verticals is the type of "project tasks" supported:

  • "Timesheet Tasks" contain information about project estimations such as "estimated", "billable" and "reported" hours. Also, you can cover the sales of licenses and basic physical goods with ]po­[. ­
  • "Translation Tasks" contain information about Translation Memory repetitions and the associated workflow.

Apart from that they are the same product. You can actually have "Timesheet Tasks" and "Translation Tasks" mixed in the same system, for example as subprojects of a common parent project.

Does ]po[ cover project management standards such as PMBOK, PRINCE2, etc.?

There are several ways adjusting and configuring ]po[ to standards such as PMBOK, PRINCE2 etc.

  • You can easily re-name all labels throughout the entire application to adjust them to the language the standard chosen is using ­
  • You can make use of project templates with a pre-defined project structure and have users creating new projects exclusively based on a project template

­I really like ]po[ I've got a few friends who might be interested in it, what can I do?

We rely mostly on word of mouth to promote ]project-open[. So please tell your friends and demo them the application.

Put them in contact with us:
There is a contact form for questions and comments.

Help them to get started:
Maybe you can copy your working ]po[ installation to their computer? Or you can help them to get the basic stuff working, such as setting the "internal" company, a price list etc.

Become a "Partner":
Please have a look at our Partner pages. We'd like to encourage you to spread the word and participate in the benefits. We'll provide you with extensive support, particularly with your first customer(s), but you should have some tech skills and a lot of change-management skills in-house.
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I need help quickly!

Response times using our free community support through our Open Discussion  forum at Sourceforge.net might vary and depend merely on current workload of the ]po[ core team and other community members. If you need support quickly, please consider professional support. We can provide you with remote professional support for your installation or your production system. Find more information on our commercial website and contact us for details.
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I have a request for a feature. What can I do in order to have ]po['s functionality ex­tended?

There are two basic ways you can inquire for additional features.

a) Request your feature at sourceforge.net: We use http://www.sourceforge.net to manage feature requests­ from ]po[ users. When updating our development road map we evaluate those suggestions and try to consider as much as possible. Such requirements are subject to the condition that the feature serves a broader amount  of users.

b) Sponsored Development: In case you don't have the time to wait for approval and implementation as described above, you can always have us developing particular features based on your specific needs.­
In case the requested changes fit into our product strategy the necessary resources are available to deliver the functionality in the required time frame, we usually sponsor such type of development.

"A picture is worth a ­thousand words"

Depending on the complexity of the implementation and the need for further specifications to be defined, these projects might be in some cases not in line with the budgets of smaller companies or single users. In order to shorten the analysis phase and keep total costs to a minimum you could commit you "Request for extension" accompanying graphics that show how you wish to see a new feature implemented into ]po[. You can either use applications such as Gimp or Photoshop or create HTML mock-ups by saving the corresponding ]po[ screen to your local machine and use a HTML-Editor to make the necessary adjustments. You can see samples here. Find our contact emails on http://www.project-open.com or use our contact form to get in touch with us.­

c) I need a new Report:

]project-open[ comes already with various free reports. In case your report needs are not covered by them, please check the commercial OS packages for ]po[ and see if they contain the reports you need.
In case you'd like to create individual reports yourself please follow instructions as given here

If you do not dispose of the necessary resources, we are happy to provide you with development services. In order to get a quote for development please send us additional information about the structure of the report you require. In the past we made good experiences with report definitions using EXCEL or other spreadsheet application. Build your own report based on this EXCEL sample and send it to support@project-open.com. We'll provide you with a binding fixed price quote usually within 24 hours. 


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