Redmine: Free Project Management
PC Magazine|January 2022
Free, open-source project management for developers
JILL DUFFY

Redmine

Free

Redmine is a unique, free, open-source application in the project-management space—and to be frank, it’s not for everyone. While many of the best project management apps are online and cloud-based, which makes them easy for any business owner or project lead to set up and use, Redmine isn’t so simple. This app requires that you install and maintain it, so you need someone on staff who can do that. You can set it up any way you want, provided someone on your team knows how to work with an application that uses the Ruby on Rails framework. Additionally, its feature set makes it more appropriate for tracking issues and bugs than managing projects of all stripes. Redmine is an excellent platform for that use, especially because you can customize it to your needs.

If your team is not so technically minded, you’d be better off investing in a project management app that works out of the box. Our top pick for beginners is GanttPro. For small teams on a budget and growing teams, we recommend Zoho Projects. For small- to mid-size teams handling client work, we recommend Teamwork. All three are Editors’ Choice winners.

REDMINE IS FREE

Redmine is open-source and totally free. A community of volunteers maintains the project, which launched in the mid-2000s. There are plug-ins for Redmine that you can use to add specific features and services, but no paid options for it. If the plug-ins aren’t enough, you can purchase entire third-party apps that add on to Redmine’s capabilities and improve its interface: For example, an app called Easy Redmine makes Redmine slicker looking and includes its own plug-ins that you can buy, including tools for resource management, finance management, and agile workflows.

While you’ll never pay to use Redmine, you’ll have to expend resources to install, customize, update, and otherwise maintain the app. And because you aren’t paying a company for a service, there’s no dedicated line of support to help you if something goes wrong. With other project-management apps, the highest tiers of service usually come with a dedicated point of contact in the company’s support team or other support benefits, such as training. You don’t get any of that with Redmine. A community of Redmine users discusses the software online freely and openly, but that’s a far cry from being able to send a specific support question to a group of people who are being paid to help you.

Redmine

PROS Free. Open source. Customizable. Includes time estimates, dependencies, Gantt charts, project wikis.

CONS Requires self-installation and maintenance. No included support (beyond the online community). Not suitable for all teams and projects; favors software developers.

BOTTOM LINE Redmine is the go-to project management app when you want a free and open-source option. It’s focused on issue- and bug-tracking and is particularly targeted at development teams who can also install and maintain it.

You can get a feel for the app by going to the online demo version of Redmine. There, you can create an account and set up demo projects to play with and see which features come included. The demo version is what we used to test the service.

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