For those of you who haven't read this blog entry, do so and then come right back. There is some appeal to building a behemoth application that will replace Exchange/Outlook/Evolution and rule the world… muhahah… Realistically, unless we rule the world, that doesn't really do much for CaseySoftware, our developers, or our the bank account.
We believe firmly that a unifying layer of glue between a set of robust Open Source applications is the best way to go. Having a monolithic application is great in a completely homogenous environment where all users fall into the same set of roles and usecases, but the world doesn't work out that smoothly.
This is why we are taking a core set of existing applications – if you don't know, here they are: SugarCRM, Mantis Bug Tracker, and phpBB – to fit them around the core of our favorite application: dotProject. [As a side note, dotProject has just announced: “Target date for 2.0 rc1 is no later than 31 March 2005.” – KC] We believe wholeheartedly that dotProject is not only a great tool, but it can serve as a great platform.
Therefore, you Project Manger(s) and developers can use dotProject for all of their work. Your QA people only need to use Mantis for their work. Your support forums – both internal and external – can be in phpBB. And you business development people can use SugarCRM and make sure that projects are progressing as planned. And at any time, the Project Management can look at dotProject and see the status of everything. Each person can do their job and doesn't need to be worried about all of that “other stuff”.
But the most important part is what it all boils down to from the original blog entry. NO ONE would be excited about developing an application like this from the ground up… but lots of people are excited about SugarCRM, Mantis, phpBB, and dotProject and the people writing the glue layers are all paid.
Hopefully, we can reap the benefits of both worlds.
Now, let's see if Hula fits into the equation…