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I recently promoted to the Technical Project Manager role for the small software company I work for. We produce one main product that is supported by numerous smaller products. At any given time we have a decent size client base; with each client having some custom modules/products. Each client is on a dedicated server (virtual or real), so each client has tasks for sys admin, db admin, configuration management, data integration, etc; on top of support and general client operations.

To make a long story short, the tools we use internally have not changed in years, and were never given priority for improvements. We use SVN for version/source control, and Gemini (version 2.x) for issue tracking and tasks management. That old version of Gemini has no support for any agile planning or anything much beyond collecting tickets and hooking with SVN. We have no automatic build agents and up until now our methodology could be described as "agile in name only, really chaotic". So any new release is a complicated and expensive process given the customization per client.

I have the go ahead and some dollars to upgrade our internal tools and process. I have downloaded and been evaluating TFS to handle version control (with git), proper dev management using the scrum template, and of course builds/distributions. So far I think it might meet our needs for development and tracking. I'm stuck on how to handle the other side of our needs.

I need a system that will work as an issue tracker, capturing issues/bugs from our clients and support staff, managing and keeping a history of communications and with said clients, managing tasks that are not development related, and maybe acting as a knowledge base of information about each instance/client (internal use). Requirements are this system will be used by non-developers and preferably I would like it to "link-up" with TFS and our software development workflow, so we can track issues that spawn/relate to development tasks.

Or is a system that can handle both needs I have all in one? I am not married to TFS, we're still evaluating it as an alternative.

Note: All users would be using Windows 7+. Our software is only distributed to Windows as well.

  • 1
    TFS is a monster. You can customize it to capture issues, CRs and bugs. TFS integrates with Sharepoint where you can have a document management system and Wikis for documentation. But still, it's a monster. You either like it or hate it... I hate it. – Thomas Weller Jan 27 '16 at 20:16
  • What's wrong with SVN? Or are you just looking to change for change's sake? – Mawg Apr 7 '17 at 9:40
5

I would consider evaluating the Atlassian stack, which is for me the most valuable out there:

JIRA + Fisheye + Confluence will be a perfect match. Fisheye can connect to either SVN or Git repositories

Links:

Disclaimer: I don't work for Atlassian. I use all these tools actively, daily, and develop plugins for JIRA since 4 years, and I still think the Atlassian guys are really good. The product works easily, is fully configurable and really well-thought.

  • the atlassian offerings are compelling, you can also use bitbucket for Git hosting and Jira Service desk for clients reporting issues. – James Reed Jan 21 '16 at 12:47
  • I'll check it out. It looks like they have a continuous integration / build manager as well. That was the main driving for behind evaluating TFS first, was the ease of going from development to build/release. – Pippen Jan 21 '16 at 18:25
  • Indeed, there is Bamboo, but that particular product is not that much above open source solutions (at least last time I used it, 2 years ago) - Jenkins does the same job with no cost. The real value here is JIRA and Confluence, which are by far better than any other (known) free solution – spi Jan 22 '16 at 10:16
  • Confirmed, the Atlassian products and Jenkins get the job done. To convince you even more, have a look at the Popularity table on Wikipedia. Sort by users. – Michael S. Mar 30 '17 at 16:28

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