I am looking for either an MS tool like project or an open source equivalent. Yes I could google it, but I am looking for some insight from some people who work with the end of the software I would as a programmer.

The tool has to run using IIS as the webserver or it's own custom webserver that can run on Windows Server.

It would be nice if the end user interface is very easy to use by non technical people.

This software will be used by 15 people in house and possibly clients.

What are some of the best features of your suggestion?

+5  A: 


Pablo Santa Cruz
Pricy. (I hope my SO account isn't deleted ;-) )
Frank V
Yes, that does look nice and 25$ a user a month isn't too bad. But I am looking for something that is hosted in house and that we have full control over.
James Campbell
@Vecdid: you can buy the product and host it wherever you want. It will cost you USD 200/user (one time fee) though...
Pablo Santa Cruz
The beauty of FogBugz is it's simplicity. It never bogs you down. It's quick and easy to setup. I'm simply amazed how many people HERE are recommending Excel.
+6  A: 


  • multiplatform
  • a single executable
  • runs as commandline and as cgi
  • integrated version control, wiki and ticket system
  • totally distributed
  • same authors as SQLite
  • fast, lean
  • simple & ugly web UI
looks interesting as a bug tracker, help desk system, but I am looking for more of a project management solution with these types of features but more robust then what I see with fossil.
James Campbell
+4  A: 

If you're in a large corporate / enterprise environment you might consider MS Project Server. It runs on top of Microsoft's SharePoint platform and integrates directly with MS Project on the desktop as a client application. However, this definitely falls into the "enterprise software" class of application (in both cost and complexity) and your needs might not warrant it. If your project managers are all using MS Project and you need to be able to track a shared pool of resources, do project portfolio reporting, track time on project line items, etc. it's great.

If you're looking for a purely web-based, "lightweight" project site you could always opt for something hosted, e.g. Basecamp, a hosted SharePoint site, etc.

+3  A: 

For a good Agile project management system, that runs on IIS, I would recommend Target Process. This is highly customizable, handles bugs and test cases, and runs strong.

looks nice, but it isn't open nor does it look easy to extend. The yearly price of 1490 for 5 users a year usn't too bad or the 25$ a year person.
James Campbell
+1  A: 

try Genius Project

+11  A: 

Team Foundation Server (you can evaluate TFS 2010 as it is currently in Release Candidate) combined with Microsoft Project is a pretty enticing combination IMHO. TFS has support for some project management aspects separately, but I think combined with MS Project gives you the widest possible range of functionality and planning.

TFS provides the metrics (via work items), reports and the day-to-day framework for development and QA, Project ((i.e. MS Project Server) and TFS come with a Web accessible interface (TFS Web, or if you prefer, the SharePoint portals).

Downvote.. why?
@RobS never mind. Probably some anti-microsoft sentiment.
Yeah! 1 Up from my side also. TFS can be very robust solution. But it costs :(. So for some it may not be a good choice.
More downvotes with no comment.. Sorry, but that really reduces my interest in contributing on this site.
I won't downvote, but for IMHO TFS utterly sucks for project management. It is a database that stores all your work items and can give you reports, but that's where it ends: it has a poor and clunky user interface that is incredibly slow and frustrating to use. The best way to use TFS is to export the data to Excel to edit it (MS Project is simply too labour intensive for keeping track of tasks unless you have a huge team). After that it's counter-productive to import the data back from Excel - it can store the same info and generate the same reports but has a decent, fast user interface.
Jason Williams
I don't agree with that - it also directly links work item metrics *directly* to code commits, and ties issues (bugs), requirements, tasks and scenarios to automated builds/deployments. Can't argue about the UI (I find it irritating), but if it doesn't do what you want, you can easily write something for yourself - everything's published via TFS Web Services.
We went with Team Foundation Server 2010, WOW is all I can say, ity scales from one user to thousands, fast and great very impressed.
James Campbell
+14  A: 


Getting Redmine to work on IIS is a fun experience, if you consider pain and hate fun. I ended up just running Apache on port 3000 with mod_proxy.
There's an excellent package to get redmine started on Windows (Apache based though) on - 15 painless minutes and it's working. And Redmine (while far from being comparable with MS Project) is a great tool.
+1 for BitNami - also look into Jumpbox if you want a supported option for running Redmine. +1 for Redmine, we've been using it for 18 months+ now for a small (<12) development team, with our clients (60+) accessing it for managing both projects and ongoing maintenance/bugs.
+1 Redmine is one of the few systems of software I have found almost no down side, is easy to use, and yet highly flexible.
+1  A: 

Axosoft OnTime

Quality bit of software. Very flexible/customisable, ticks all your boxes, free for a single user so you can evaluate it without pressure.

+22  A: 

Unless you have a project with more than about 20 people and a budget exceeding 2 million USD or GBP or EUR and a duration in excess of 9 months you should steer well clear of MS Project and all its ilk. Stick to Word (or another word-processor), and Excel (if you must, use another spreadsheet).

Unless your project is big enough to support a full-time person looking after 'THE PLAN' don't touch project-management software. If you do, you'll spend far more time being the servant of the software than you should be if you are also supposed to be managing the project. You'll soon find that the plan is driving you not you the plan. And everyone else on the project will hate it, and pretty soon hate you too.

One serious question: what proportion of your time on the project (or projects) is allocated to implementing a new PM software and setting it all up ? And how much time do you plan to spend each week on keeping the tool fed ?

Well, that's my opinion based on my experiences.

High Performance Mark
That's a pretty fair viewpoint I reckon, as long as you can establish transparency and traceability
I agree with HP Mark, I was becoming a slave of MS-Project for managing projects (and later Project Server), and eventually came to realize I waste too much time on that. Bi-weekly Excel sheets were more than enough. I was still using MS Project just for the planning phase though.
Etamar L.
The main point is to understand the desired PM process enough to be able to perform every step by hand. So I agree with HP Mark that it is better to use well-known tools instead of relying on some PM software "magic". Here we use a process which is based on paper cards on a pin board where one team member keeps the cards in sync with the projects bug tracker. It works very well for small teams, and every body knows pen and paper :).
MS Project = continuous micro-management to keep the gannt chart meaningful and tidy. For small to medium teams, espeically if you're agile, all you usually need is a prioritised list of tasks with some basic calculations (like estimated dates based on estimated timescales) - you really can't beat Excel for doing that sort of task efficiently.
Jason Williams
I don't agree with this answer, in my situation I need project management software to bridge the gap between IT and management. TFS with or without project is the way I am going to try, although I am going to evaluate every answer here, thanks all for your answer. I did not accept this answer, but while I while sleeping and due to me offering rep, it auto accepted the most voted up answer.
James Campbell
I disagree with with this answer. Some project management software can be like that, but I find some of the lighter ones are phenomenal efficiency gains for organization and workflow, as for "keeping the tool fed", this should be relatively automatic if your developers find the system friendly.
I fully agree with this answer. *"Microsoft Project is more appropriate for managing the design of airplanes and buildings, rather than software."* --Chris Peters, formerly Microsoft’s Vice President in charge of Office.
Pascal Thivent
+1  A: 

ActiveCollab is quite nice:

ActiveCollab sucks. Tickets don't even have a simple workflow, they are either closed or open. There is no option to sort comments and tickets descending by date for example. It just isn't flexible enough, especially for a product you pay a lot for. Redmine or OpenArtium are both far better solutions and cheaper too.
+3  A: 

Web-based project management, The Trac Project from would be a nice suggestion.

+2  A: 


Not Free, Not Open Source

I've used this one and for simple to learn project management it works great. It is easy to setup and has a low learning curve for non-technical people or people with limited project management backgrounds. In addition, it can scale well for those do have this experience. It provides for quite a bit of customization, good request control and management, decent billing information, and good time and resource management features and extensive security and permission control. It would end up costing a little over $2000 out of the box for the hosted version for all 15 users and can be hosted in IIS since the entire app is browser based.

Project Engine

I haven't used this one but I did take a look at it. Runs both as a desktop app and is accessible from a browser. The project manager can control what people need to do and they can review it from a browser. It has a simple interface and should be easy for everyone to pickup.

Free, Open Source

This one is entirely web based and open source. The layout is clean and simple. This one is built using PHP and MySQL but you can download and host it yourself.


Free, Open Source

Documentation is sparse although there is support through the forums. It includes some interesting features such as the ability to track time spent in meetings. I have not used this in production but did evaluate it. Seemed Ok, but my biggest beef was the lack of documentation.

Project Engine is not free from what I can see on thier site other than a trial one user license.
James Campbell
+3  A: 

Depending on the process you use etc, I would recommend taking a look at It is simple to get into, looks great, and there is immense satisfaction in moving tasks to the right on the board. :)

Rune Jacobsen
+1 AgileZen is great
Dan Finch
+2  A: 

I'm a big fan of MS Project, but to echo much of the sentiment in other responses, it can quickly become overkill, especially on smaller projects.

One PM tool used these days that has gained tons of popularity (especially amongst small teams and management whose eye glaze over at the site of Gantt or WBS) is the One Page Project Manager (or commonly called "OPPM"). It uses one sheet only in Excel in a fairly predefined format, is easy enough to both track major milestones as well as report out. You can certainly host it on IIS for the shared XSL/XSLX (note the word "shared" - this feature allows for tracking, merging, etc. in Excel).

+1  A: 

I use toodledo for task management. I find it really helpful. Tasks can be stored with context, tags, actions, proptities. you can implement collaboration by linking multiple accounts. It includes a calendar, automatic task creation via email, and has a pretty decent iPhone app too!

I've also looked at using google sites for project management. It has some very powerful project management tools! Here is a link to the example project management one.

Hope this helps -- Jonesy

+2  A: 

If you decide to take a more "agile development" approach, and want to use user stories, etc. you can consider using Pivotal Tracker. It removes a lot of the busy work associated with sprints, letting you focus on the stories, and prioritizing them, etc.

@Pete This is neat, the only I think I don't see is time mangement, will look into it deeper.
James Campbell
+7  A: 

You could try the Atlassian tools: there are trial versions in the download areas of their site I think.


It is not like MS Project; in my limited experience, MS Project fits top-down management (focus on the schedule) whereas JIRA is more bottom-up (focus on the tasks). JIRA is used by many open-source projects, although usually more as an issue tracker than as a project management tool. For some small projects there is little difference ... work items are created, scheduled and then completed.

Does not use IIS but can run standalone.


I haven't used GreenHopper yet, but it looks interesting and could be used standalone or with JIRA depending on your needs. More of an "Agile" focus ... if that matters to you.

Zac Thompson
+1 as I've used JIRA and Greenhopper now for newarly 2 years. In an agile-esque type environment, I've found it to be brilliant.
+1  A: 

What do you want to do, i.e. your requirements, is it mainly about managing tasks of the project, or should there be bug handling, discussion forums, requirement management etc?

Well, anyhow we got to discussion of this at some point and there popped these web-based tools that haven't been yet mentioned:

+2  A: 

With a 7 people team + customers we made really good expriences with Target-Process.

It supports IIS and is written with ASP.NET and MSSQL. We are very happy with the hosted Version.

Plus points

  • Acitve Development with a steady stream of improvements
  • It wont go away, since its reasonable big and has a steady revenue stream
  • Users are heavily involved
  • Supports Iteration/Release Based and Kanban Based Planing

Minus points

  • with 25$ per user and month, it is not the cheapest solution.

In reply to the accepted answer:

Project management is essential. Even in small projects project management should be supported by an software solution, which supports at least feature specification and release scheduling.



Since you are working on windows server, I would suggest you to go for Microsoft's project 2007. It's the best option to handle many project simultaneously. It has features like calendar management, Gantt chart, tracking, planning and resource management tools for efficient project management.

+1  A: 

There is one more worth mentioning here, because it's free and online:

interesting, thanks for the link
James Campbell

How about this de-centralized serverless solution that leverages your email?

+1  A: 

I have worked with quite a few Project Management Systems. In my opinion I believe VisionProject is a very good system. There are so many systems and it all depends for what you wish to use them. VisionProject includes a Helpdesk, Document Management System, Knowledgebase/Discussion Forum and Time Management. The thing about VisionProject you can actually use it for a very low amount of money. Since the price is counted per user, you could have a support division of 2 employees for a cost of around $60/month supporting an unlimited number of clients.


In case you haven't found a solution yet.. Why not try Xpert-Timer?

You could use the free MS-SQLExpress 2008 server to run Xpert-Timer for your team. It's worth a look!


[Urban Turtle][1] with Visual Studio Team System 2010. You will have all the great functionality of TFS for Agile development and a Real Scrum planning board and task board with the Turtle



VisionProject is definitely to recommend in your case. It is the best system I have found having a size of your department. We are around 100 people using it and it works brilliant for us.


If you really want to know which software solves your problem then I suggest ProofHub. It is a web based software and it can handle your projects fully and side by side control your team also like you want some kind of privacy. You can easily manage with the help of this software. Go through just once and I am sure you would love it just click here.


Project management is must in a company and it’s the toughest part to do. I have to control each and every team member work. It’s very hectic and time consuming. I am searching a tool for my problems and thanks to Proofhub for solving my problem. Now I can do online things and from where I want to continue I can. I really thankful to have this software.

+1  A: 

You can also try Assembla's issue management tools. It's really easy to use, so you won't spend hours trying to figure out what it is. It has great email integration and is also used by many open source projects like Scala IDE. Their issue tracking - bug tracking tool is called ticketing

For Open Source projects they have free offers of all these tools + free hosting

Hope it helps!