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Are you a member of a development team?

June 27, 2008

If you are, like me, a member of a development team (of any size), you might want to keep reading this post.  Recently, my company decided to look for collaborative development software.

Many of us had used GForge open source in the past, either at our universities or other companies. So we looked at GForge AS from GForge Group ( http://gforgegroup.com ). We created a free account on gforge.com and opened a test project, to see what it had to offer. We spent time playing around with the numerous features, until we decided to download the VM they offer (it's a free limited license for 15 users, they also offer the full version, GForge AS). So what's under the hood? A php5 based - software backed with a Postgre database with enough horsepower to serve teams as big as Joomla's development team (with over 80,000 programmers).

But what is this software exactly?

GForge AS (stands for "GForge Advanced Server"), is a collaborative development environment, designed by the guys that created SourceForge. So, there are years of experience put together along with true programming expertise to bring a completely user and productivity oriented piece of software. These are some of its features that we liked the most:

    * Full-blown Tracker/Code Integration
    * Advanced workflow
    * Eclipse and VS plugin
    * Permission Management

One very cool feature is its powerful tracker with Subversion/CVS integration. With that you can define rules that apply to commits, and define re-assignments or changes when commits are made.  With the workflow, you can have tracker re-assignments cascade to other worflows and so on.  It provides a very intuitive interface where you define these workflows. And if you don't want to leave your development environment at any time, it offers an Eclipse and VS plugin that lets you do most of the usual stuff (uses soap to communicate with the server).

Certainly, there are many options out there, but this one is worth considering if you are serious about team collaboration.
You can see for yourself at gforgegroup.com

In future posts I'll elaborate on each feature. Until then!

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