The Government wants to encourage collaborative development between Government departments / agencies and private organizations, citizens and developers to promote reuse, sharing and innovation. OpenForge provides many features for software development teams to collaborate. OpenForge provides tools for managing projects, tasks, changes, defects, documents as well as version control, continuous integration and social collaboration. Thus, it provides tools for almost every role in the software team.
OpenForge helps you:
- Avoid the pain and cost of creating your own project source code repository and collaboration infrastructure
- Avoid paying a premium price for commercial version control, defect tracking and task management tools
- Setup a project environment that you can share with your colleagues, your partners, your contractors or your customers where ever they are while keeping your information safe and under control.
- Make your software team more productive and efficient by possibly letting others re-use your software and build on it
With OpenForge, you will be able to plan and monitor projects, manage software development lifecycle, track requirements, tasks, incidents. It will help project documents management and releases. Most importantly it supports collaboration between project members across geographies.
Let’s look at some of its features in brief.
OpenForge allows two types of projects: private and public. Private projects are limited to Government departments and are not listed publicly. The purpose of these projects is to allow a private code repository and collaboration environment to the project team with an objective to provide a central code archival and maintenance facility. On the other hand, any user can register a public project as long as the project is related to e-Governance. The project and its repository will be visible to everyone. Apart from adding and removing users from projects, the project administrators can control the permissions such as access to patches, documents, files, bug trackers and code repository for every user. It allows user group administration feature to make these tasks easier. It allows exporting of tracker and survey data into CSV file formats for various reporting purposes.
The OpenForge Tracker is one of the most powerful and versatile services offered to OpenForge hosted projects. It allows for the tracking of various artifacts like bugs, tasks, requirements, etc. When a new project is created on OpenForge, a bug tracker, a task tracker and a support request tracker are automatically created for the project. Of course, you are free to define new fields or customize existing ones in each of the trackers. The standard trackers provided for each new OpenForge project are: Bugs, Patch, Support Requests, Tasks, Scrum Backlog. Each of those templates have predefined fields that correspond to the specific work processes around bugs, patches etc.
Version Control with Git
Git support has been designed to support multiple repositories for a given project as well as “Personal repositories” for each developer. This is consistent with the Distributed Version Control System philosophy which allows to delegate project features to be developed in separated repositories. You can access your Git repository either from OpenForge or your favourite Git tool.
Documentation is also an important deliverable in a software project. OpenForge provides features to manage your project documents. Although the OpenForge Document Manager cannot be compared with dedicated document management systems, it is however very handy to publish documents that are critical to your community of users. Examples are: Installation, Administration or User Guide, API documentation, Frequently Asked Questions, etc…
The Important Document Manager features are as follows:
- The OpenForge Document Manager can handle any type of document.
- Documents are stored in folders. You can have subfolders in a folder.
- Documents can be edited on line (if in text or HTML format).
- Access control rules can be defined for each document or folder.
- Documents have properties and searchable metadata.
One of the OpenForge objectives is to provide developers with efficient software development and project management tools. In addition, the OpenForge site should quickly become the favorite communication channel of all users as it is pivotal for the project teams and their community of users to communicate efficiently. OpenForge offers a series of communication services that can be customized by the project team. These include mailing lists, the News service, the Web Forums.