What is this?
This is GNU GPL open-source project management (group management) system. The package contains: control of contacts, tasks, issues, projects; e-mail notifications; history tracking; workflow control for tasks and much more.
We have spent a lot of time in search of a group management system. It is worth noting that our group is not too large and wealthy. However, from the very beginning we understood that without high-quality group management system we won't be able to work effectively.
We rejected expensive commercial systems right away. Firstly, they are expensive. Secondly, it is unknown how well they meet our conditions. Thus, we concentrated on open-source systems (freeware). Unfortunately, most of them were not suitable for us in the main: they were rather intended for coordination of equivalent participants, but not for group management. You should agree that such systems are not suitable for an organized commercial group, for which time and productivity are of great importance.
The only systems that we managed to find were projects http://www.tutos.org and http://www.php-collab.com. Both of them were very close to what we were looking for. However, each of the projects had some problems, which made us give up their usage. For TUTOS the problems were: uncomfortable awkward interface, low speed, poor notifications, problems with non-English languages and impossibility to setup access rights properly. From the first sight, phpcollab looked more simple and thought-out. But in a month and a half it became clear that phpcollab is also difficult in use. It had the same problems with non-English languages and, which is more important, its interface was not intended for work with a large quantity of slave objects (for example, tasks within an object).
More than that, in our search we came across many non-commercial, but, after some examination, rather poor projects. After thinking for a while we made up our mind to implement our own system.
What do we want to get?
- Main destination
Probably, this is the most important. We are not trying to develop a universal system, we indicate precisely its mission. This is Small Enterprise Management Application - SEMA. By "small enterprise" we mean any business, intellectual most often, with 5-10 workers.
- Implementation language: PHP
The system should be implemented in PHP as in the language most simple in deployment.
- Not to invent a bicycle
In our basic specialization (custom software), we gained through suffering the axiom that one shouldn't invent a thing that can be borrowed from others. On the whole, this allows one not to waste time and concentrate on basic tasks of the project. For example, we know that many CRM/Calendar systems comprise their own database abstraction level. However, there exists pear.php.net project comprising not only database abstraction level, but even the model of intermediate database objects which simplifies programming.
- UTF-8 support
The system should operate with Unicode strings (UTF-8).
- Multi-tier implementation
The system should be rigidly divided into server and client parts. In case of PHP-implementation, the client and the server parts are located in the same place, but the client part works only through the specified API. Thereby we provide possibility of real extension of the system by other (non-web) clients or by automation with other applications (CVS, for example).
- Rights sharing
The capability of rights sharing should be provided. On one hand, it shouldn't be too complicated, and on the other hand, it should be sufficient.
Notification and history tracking service should be an integral part of the core, since without this functionality the system is senseless.
- Speed of work
The system should work at reasonable speed on hardware identical to P2-200 (which corresponds to capabilities of inexpensive hosting).
- Convenient translation
In our opinion, the most convenient translation system is GNU gettext. It enables easy maintaining of translations along with source code changes.
- Skins and layouts
This is not a primary purpose of the system, but it should be also provided from the beginning.
Thus, we have spent our time and now offer you our system on free of charge basis. In the current state it is functioning and useable. At least it satisfies our needs. Surely, along with development of the system we shall modify it and release updates.
However, we realize that we won't be able to make the system really smart only by ourselves, so we encourage everybody to take part in its development and discussion. If you are interested in the project, subscribe to SEMA news and take part in voting.
Where to view?
Demo version is located at http://sema.pushok.com/demo. There are 4 logins: root/root, manager/manager, developer/developer, client/client. We earnestly request you to behave decently and not to change logins.
Where to download from?
Download the archive and follow instructions in the file install.txt.