dotProject is a web-based project management application, designed to provide project layout and control functions.
To understand dotProject, you need to understand what project management is all about.
Project Management is about the structuring of a series of tasks and the schedule associated with those tasks, to achieve an outcome. The nature of those tasks and the schedules and any associated functions (such as project planning, contract negotiation, risk management, cost management and so on) will depend greatly on the nature of the projects that you can management.
dotProject aims to provide the project manager with a tool to manage tasks, schedules, communication and sharing. But beware, dotProject will not be all things to all project managers - you may find that other FOSS tools are more appropriate to your particular requirements. You will need to do some investigation and testing to find the product that best suits your requirements.
dotProject assumes that you understand the basic concepts of project management and what it is that you are trying to achieve in looking for a project management tool.
The core modules that make up dotProject are the bare minimum that you need to manage a project and your dotProject installation. They all interrelate to varying degrees to build up a project repository. The following list is in alphabetical order for no particular reason other than an order is good.
New module as of 2.0 to create an XML backup of your dotProject database (NOT the program files / uploaded files etc).
The Calendar module provides appointment functionality as well as by date views of tasks.
Companies are the entities that group projects, tasks and users together. You must have companies in order to be able to create other dotProject elements. See User Manual - Companies, Departments and Contacts for details.
The contact module allows you to record names and addresses or contact records for associates. Contacts can be assigned to a project as a non-participant, who can be selectively sent task log updates. Contacts cannot login to dotProject. See User Manual - Companies, Departments and Contacts for details.
Departments are subsets of Companies, allowing you to group elements such as users at that level. At the moment there are few filters throughout dotProject at the Departmental level but some are being worked on. See User Manual - Companies, Departments and Contacts for details.
Basic files module which allows you to store files against a project / within dotProject for access by project workers. There is some basic file versioning built into the Files Module.
Very basic discussion forums module provides facilities for creating forums against specific projects for recording discussions / notes / information.
Gantt Charts are incorporated into dotProject courtesy of the great project jpGraph. Charts are available at the individual project and all project levels.
The history module provides an audit trail or log of changes within your dotProject data.
The links module allows you to record important or frequently used links for all users to follow.
Projects are the overriding elements within which tasks are performed. For example, you might say that you are using dotProject to manage the process of Building Your House, so you could have a project called "Our House". Within that project there are then specific tasks that you assign to various contractors / family members etc. See User Manual - Projects for details.
We're currently in the process of moving reports from within the projects module (and therefore many are hard coded to the "current" project) into a module of their own. Will not be available until dotProject Version 3.x
The resource module allows you to incorporate non-human resources into a project (eg rooms / equipment etc.)
System wide search module - within individual "modules" there are search features, smartsearch works across all modules.
System Administration includes all of the setup options, including establishing User Roles and Permissions.
tasks are the actual work components or jobs assigned within a project. tasks are the components against which work is done, hours are recorded, updates (in the form of task logs are saved) and progress is updated.
Module for management of dotProject users, able to login to your dotProject installation and work within the permissions scheme that you provide for them. What distinguishes a user from a contact is the application of a permissions role and therefore the ability to login.
Add On Modules
The following add on modules have been developed by community participants to add specific fragments of functionality.
There is a first draft of module for integrating Eventum and dotProject. There are some limitations in that logins cannot be automatically shared between the two packages, but the module does provide viewing of Eventum issues from within associated dotProject projects. Please make sure that you carefully read the installation instructions as if you are using dP2.0.1 you'll need to update some files from the stable_2 CVS to make the integration work. See Eventum for details.
There is an add on help desk module which has recently resurged into active support courtesy of one of the core development team who has offered to take on the task. The module was originally conceived as a replacement for Ticketsmith and has had a rather rocky history in terms of updates. It appears to now be powering ahead. See Help Desk for details.
There is an invoicing module that allows you to generate invoices from dotProject Task Logs See Invoicing for details.
There is a module that allows users to import their Microsoft Project files directly into dotProject keeping the dates, user assignments, and percent allocations. It is known to work with Microsoft Project versions '98 - '03 and dotProject 2.0.4. See Project Importer for details.
Ticketsmith is a third party legacy package that was incorporated in the initial releases of dotProject for handling incoming support tickets. As of release 3.0 Ticketsmith will become an add on module, deprecated from the core package and no ongoing bug fixes will be provided from release 2.x onwards. See Ticketsmith for details.
There is one active timesheet recording program on the dotMods project (plus some inactive ones so check before you grab just anything). See Timesheet for details.