Have you seen this?

rcross's picture

Hey Guys,

have you seen ProjectPier? Its a pretty well developed project management program similar to Basecamp. I'd be interested to hear everyone's comments. Also, whether you think this could be better implemented in Drupal or things you think are missing, etc?



benovic's picture

its a fork from the (now 100% commercial) project Activecollab (http://activecollab.com/).

it will be interesting to see if developers from projectpier will continue improving this piece of software. right now its pretty much the same as activecollab 0.7.1.

i use it in 2 projects


I know

rcross's picture

I know its a fork of activeCollab - I'm actually the lead developer for the project. I'm in the process of providing several improvements (I'm actually close to releasing a security update) and am also looking at implementing a plugin architecture. I was more interested to hear comments about its approach in comparison to what people in this group are looking for. Also, whether anyone thinks reimplementing this as a drupal distribution might be the way to move forward.



Veggieryan's picture

this needs to be a drupal distro... preferably just a module if it can be done.
people need a basecamp killer built in drupal. with the project and casetracker modules you could have a one stop shop.... kind of like www.unfuddle.com



rcross's picture


Thanks for pointing out unfuddle.com I have never seen that before and it looks nice. If you're just looking for projects and issue trackers, then the drupal modules are already there for much of that. However, there isn't really any good SVN integration and I find a lot of the other features lacking completeness in drupal. The basics are there via forums for messaging, cck/dates for milestone tasks, etc. but the more advanced features and interfacing (which is probably the most important part) is really not there.



netbible's picture

You are absolutely right that a SVN is needed in the toolset and also in DRUPAL . have your seen http://www.redmine.org/ as it has some good features

Director of www.bible.org . The home of the NET Bible and thousands of trustworthy Bible study materials all available as a free download to the world
see http://netbible.org a free web based Bible Study Environment
see http://labs.bibl

Redmine is AWESOME

mikey_p's picture

I don't want to turn this into a discussion of other software, or get too off focus of Drupal, but I have to be honest. All my plans of building a better project management tool are on hold, because of Redmine. It's just that good.

Anyone wanting to do project management work in Drupal owes it to themselves to take a look at Redmine and see what they are doing, and why it works so well.

Issue tracking

HansBKK's picture


I don't want to turn this into a discussion of other software

Too late! :) Can you speak to the issue tracking features compared to say Bugzilla and Trac?

I'm assuming that Drupal-based issue tracking would need a lot of work to come up any of these three. . .

There are quite a few pros

dgeilhufe@yahoo.com's picture

There are quite a few pros and cons between keeping on your current trajectory and re-implementing as a Drupal distro. I'd definitely encourage a distro.

For module vs. distro, you definitely want to go the distro route so you can leverage all the great stuff in Drupal (OG, ACL module, CCK, views, etc.).
On the pro side you'll have fantastic tools to duplicate and exceed the Active colab functionality, on the con side you will have to learn how all those tools work to do it the Drupal way. Building a distro is also an inherently fragile process. Drupal 7 + Views + CCK + OG... what happens when one changes and introduces a small but critical bug to your distro?

The other big pro is you get to focus on the point of the project-- project management, rather than building yet another plug in architecture. A Drupal distro would already give you the plug in architecture for "free".

Another pro of the distro approach are the adjacent solutions. Implement project management on top of organic groups and you already have integration with CRM via CiviCRM (CiviCRM 1.9 has a module that syncs OG and CiviCRM's groups/acls). You can also tie up with project/casetracker or the NASA-funded conference organizing distro.

Good luck!

Professional solutions ready to use

drupalcat's picture

In my modest opinion, is that each time we (cooperative/collaborative work-groups) need more net-tools and effective features to implement a good, operative, efficient and sustainable CWE.
We – eCentres.net - are using, with a lot of problem of daily configuration and setting, rather than 60 modules and three subdomains.
The collaborative community – working in European research projects - now has a basecamp of 3000 users – biannual newsletters - and 300 collaborative participants, who needs mainly: a join calendar of events; the work-groups and all the rest of traditional modules associated.
In addition, the basic forum and messaging and all the modules - it is needed more - of users, communities and profiles, usermap, userlist, search users, directory, etc
On the other hand the modules of sharing files and documents - not absolutely solved - maybe with the drupal-ftp module...
And finally and a lot important the media sections, podcasts, image gallery and video section - not well solved.
The next steps is to integrate the donations, fees and commercial solutions and multichannel communication as SMS, and skype and IRC solutions and webminars.
Any other simple or partially CWE in my honest opinion are not really sustainable.

We think than now we have to focus on the integration of efficient, powerful and tested solutions, and not distraction on young simple and non professional solutions. This sound hard but it is the pure reality in our daily business, that feel fera when in our situation listen something about Drupal 7, if there are modules and features lost from D4 to D5. The natural attraction of the innovation has to equilibrate the basic final product, now D5.3. Please focus on Professional solutions ready to be used for all and in our case, groupware, is a good, reliable and effective CWE.

en Ferran Cabrer i Vilagut - Skype: Ferran.Cabrer
CONSEN.org - Euro-Cluster Pro-Information Society
MUFICATA s.l. - Natural Information Environments
T1:+34 934238267 T2: +34 93 423 9164 M:+34 600649364 F:+34 934233430
Jaume Fabra 12 08004 Barcelona


rcross's picture

Hey Ferran,

I'm sorry, but I didn't really understand your post. I think what you are trying to say is that currently Drupal isn't good enough for what your group needs and that instead people should rely on commercial products since they already work the way you want. Is this correct?

If you have a large group already using Basecamp, I do welcome you to try out ProjectPier - there are still improvement to be made (as always) but it is in production use. For example, I know of 2 American universities using the software and one of them is managing over 400 projects with the software (i'm not sure of user count).

I think the other issue is that there seems to be a odd bit of overlap and difference between project management, "groupware", and "community sites".... While there is a LOT of similarity in basic functionality for most of them, there is also very big differences in what these different groups want for more solid features. For example all of those users need some sort of file management.... but groupware generally wants much more advanced features like collaborative writing environments, approval processes, access control, etc.... project management usually need minor access control and versioning support.... and community sites generally want features specific to the kind of file like pictures and videos and much less on access control or versioning at all..

I think that Drupal probably has the basic functionality for most things - but I agree its definitely missing a lot of things as well. Solid file management is an example.

I am hoping people in this group will be able to illuminate those issues better (I'm not a newbie to drupal). I have been looking at drupal as a platform like this for awhile, but it just doesn't seem to be there with the contributed modules. I think re-developing ProjectPier as a drupal distribution would require developing specific modules and probably would not be able to rely too heavily on other contributed modules (cck/views excepted probably). ProjectPier is already a fairly stable/mature set of code so it would not be a trivial exercise to redevelop it as a drupal site - not to mention I really am not sure I could see how it would be done without a lot of custom coding. Permissions alone is a big issue to deal with. Also - I'm glad to see sites like http://projectmanagersite.com that attempt to configure Drupal for this type of purpose, but (no offense) its not really anything like the solution any other webbased project management site offers - basecamp, projectpier, dotproject, unfuddle, etc.



Veggieryan's picture

there is much work to be done.
for example, there is a new ajax checklist module for drupal, but each item is not a node.
better to use the editable fields module with views so that you can change the workflow state on many nodes at once....
this is more powerful than a basecamp checklist as each item can have comments, states, attachments, etc...
I still think this could be done as a series of helper modules rather than a profile.
With AHAH, jquery interface, views 2, etc... Drupal can be much more powerful than any of the other managers.. the trick is to get it into modules 100% so it works out of the box without too much hacking, setup, configuration and themeing.

Ryan, I agree with you in some affirmations but...

drupalcat's picture

First at all, thank you for sharing with us all your experience.
I think that the problem in CWE is not really the web/net tools that you are using. I agree that fileshare is a point to be investigated, explored, documented, tested abd evaluated. There are different solutions from wfm, ftp, file node, attachment etc that can be ideal for some cases but not excellent for other or convenient for all. The problem in this case is how to integrate, orchest all the files tools, e.g. how to search a simple pdf document? Like this functionality we can find different, such us users, events or media files.
I think that the Drupal ground is ideal to build CWE, the problem is how to generate, encourage, motivate, animate the interaction of the people, in some groups that there are not money, there are no salaries, there are not benefits only.... a great join interest raised.

Your contribution could be the plug to boost this group and convert us in a real collaborative working group. I will do my best,
Pushed by you I start to write a wiki to redact the Strategic Development Agenda of the Groupware as CWE distro and offer a server to research in practice, develop and test the CWE.

Co-Working we will see the different problems (not only as project management) and solutions that we can provide.

Finally, I hope to discuss with you soon. Hand on!!,

en Ferran Cabrer i Vilagut - Skype: Ferran.Cabrer
CONSEN.org - Euro-Cluster Pro-Information Society
MUFICATA s.l. - Natural Information Environments
T1:+34 934238267 T2: +34 93 423 9164 M:+34 600649364 F:+34 934233430
Jaume Fabra 12 08004 Barcelona

Something New

rcross's picture


I came across this page today about a site that was demo'd in Barcelona - http://drupal.org/node/178076



SamRose's picture

I think http://projectmanagersite.com/ comes close, although I think it would be interesting to take a look right now at what existing modules in Drupal could be put together to come close to what ProjectPier is doing. I use activeCollab 0.7 to manage my projects. I think it's great and easy to use.

It seems like Drupal could be configured with certain modules to create a ProjectPier clone in Drupal.

Sam Rose
Social Synergy

I like ProjectPier

lauramba-gdo's picture

Ryan - am eager to try ProjectPier. I created ProjectManagerSite.com and am a huge fan of web based project managers and plan to try your site. I am currently doing research on the future of project management and will share that the horizon for PM tools should include some statistical analysis including measures for risk/return. I am definitely interested in working on the development of such tools with another developer. Thanks Ryan - lauramba

"Life is a fast strange trip, good thing we all have seats" (author unknown)


benovic's picture

hi there,

its very vague right now, but i may be able to form a small group of developers (techies and non-techies) for a 7 Day summercamp somewhere in Germany for developing a site that offers PM functionality like ProjectPier on a drupal basis. I am pretty sure that if we do it, we'll go with OG and access control modules. We even might write additional modules. We will also stick to the standards and contribute the output to the drupal community.

we will develop a site for a special purpose, but the basic functionality might be pretty much the same:

  • There are Projects
    Within Projects there are:
  • Milestones
  • Messages (with comments)(may be attached to milestones)
  • Task lists (may be attached to milestones)
  • Files (may be attached to milestones)
  • Tagging and categories (not sure how to do that exactly yet)
  • Blog posts and other public content (podcasts, polls..)

the usable output of the project might be a complete distro, or maybe just some modules, code and a theme. maybe it will just be a howto, if theres no need for custom developement.

if you are interested in getting updated about the progress of the project, send me a quick note and your email adress. I will send out an email when I know IF, WHEN and WHERE the camp happens and especially WHAT we want to do. If you live in or around germany please note that we might get some funds raised to pay train tickets, food and some beer for all helpers :)

maybe we can help

christefano's picture

One of the features I'd most like to see in a PM suite for Drupal is something that has tasks as nodes but is able to nest them like Omni Outliner or Sproutliner. Tasklist comes close but it doesn't work in the paradigm of OG and private projects, etc.

To manage our projects at Exaltation of Larks we've built an extranet site with Drupal that makes heavy use of OG, Views and custom content types and CCK fields such as Node Reference and NodeReferrer. The workflow is different from ProjectPier and others we've seen including projectmanagersite.com and Victor Kane's project flow/tracker, but while it's working very well for us it's not where we'd like it to be before contributing a project management install profile. (For example, I'm looking forward to using Signup together with date CCK fields.)

Let me know if you want to take a look.

Second the outliner

webslinger23's picture

The ability to outline and infinitely nest todo items is critical to our workflow and the deal breaker in just about any online or desktop PM suite we've found. Working around Drupal's terrific combination of tools is suboptimal and I'd prefer to have everything on the web. Especially during the early stages of a project, having an infinitely nestable todo list that is drag and drop makes setting up and tracking a project so much easier.


MeadeRubenstein's picture

I think prior to getting into development, there needs to be a decision on which project management approach to take: PMBOK, Prince2, Agile (one of the variations), etc....(http://www.agilekiwi.com/methodology_map.htm) I'm always one for an agile approach. Here's a simple look at the differences in terminology of phases: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=puDAkq4iYr84-En9Et_ypFg

The data schema/functionality should be driven from the pm approach - such as 'stories' from agile where a story represents a simple/contained requirement, index cards are often used for this (metaphor).


MeadeRubenstein's picture

Just reviewed this PM tool: http://www.liquidplanner.com/ - lots of nice features including delivery range.......something to emulate

I'm quite interested with

andyhu@drupal.org-gdo's picture

I'm quite interested with this post, actually I planed to write a such system in Drupal before, but never got enough time :)

Would love to have in Drupal

hendrakieran's picture

I'd love this to be integrated in Drupal and adopt the chosen drupal theme as well.

+1 Unfuddle

Froggacuda's picture

Been using Unfuddle for Agile project management for over a year now with large scale Drupal projects at both Achieve Internet and WorkHabit. Although the list views in Unfuddle can be a pain to track Stories and their related Tasks against, the real power would come through leveraging the Unfuddle API to provide back-and-forth communication. LiquidPlanner is a good product as well; however, I would like to see an API from them. What would be really awesome would be to figure out a feature set and stack-rank the business value of these features, then map them back against Drupal modules and existing products with APIs to try to avoid reinventing the wheel. I would love to see a Drupal-based PM system that included features like an integrated SVN repository (with some of those cool tricks like resolving tickets with commit messages), well-formatted parent-child relationships (as a CSM I want to roll up all of my child Tasks into my parent Stories), and dependency relationships a la MS Project. Just my $0.02.


HansBKK's picture

It would be fantastic if it were a module that integrated with other mainstream modules rather than a standalone distribution, so it could be added to existing sites.

Even if not ALL the functionality were possible.

But if that's too hard, then by all means do a distro, just keep up with the updates, would need to be at least monthly IMO.


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