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Great Docs, Poor PM Options
If you're an avid user of Open Office, you're not alone. Many people use Open Office for their word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation needs. However, you may have found yourself longing for Open Office to create a project manager program. Open Office's website has considered a wish list submitted by project managers. Their is a document explaining how to use Calc to create Gantt charts. Other wishes from project managers include:
- Resource Leveling
- Cross Platform
- Report Creation Flexibility
- Client Server Based
- PERT Chart
Because the website has not been updated in many years, and because there hasn't been a beta release of the software program, it would seem as though at the time of this article, that the Open Office Project Management tool is not in production. However, there are many open source project management alternatives that are compatible with Open Office programs.
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Open Office Users Project Management Software Options
Even without an Open Office project manager, users of Open Office and fans of open source software have many options available to them. Depending upon what you're looking for, here's a rundown of your open source options for project management software:
- Gantt Project - Gantt Project is project management software that centers around, of course, the Gantt Chart. It also allows users to create projects and assign human resources, and collaborate with others on projects through WebDav. While the program has many basic features, it does lack some features project managers find very helpful like resource leveling functions.
- OpenProj - OpenProj is designed as a replacement for Microsoft Project. This program has many of the same capabilities as Microsoft Project, so if this is what you are looking for, it may be a good option for you. OpenProj allows project managers to perform many of the same functions as they would in project: creating Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams, and WBS charts.
- Open Workbench - Open Workbench is another replacement for MS Project, but Open Workbench focuses on effort-based scheduling over Project's duration scheduling. Open Workbench is used for many project managers worldwide.
- ]Project-Open[ - Project-Open (the brackets are part of the name) allows multiple project tracking, financial management, and detailed reporting as well as collaboration. It is a great software option for those who need a comprehensive project suite, and who enjoy open source software programs for their project management needs.
- dotProject - This program is a volunteer effort meant to help project managers with their day to day project management needs. Features include time sheets, Gantt Charts, invoices, and file tracking.
- Feng Office - Feng Office, formerly Open Goo, is another project management solution that features an office platform as well. If you want all of your utilities to be kept in one workspace, you may want to consider Feng Office over Open Office. Unlike Open Office, however, the program is a Software as a Service program that is available for a monthly subscription fee.
While there isn't currently an Open Office project manager, you have many options. The programs listed above as well as many others that are out there offer open source project management software.