Finding an open source Agile PM application

It's true, there are dozens of open source project management options. However, I have yet to find an open PM application that scratches my itch for dynamic Agile planning. Many projects have too many features or an odd workflow.


Recently, I stumbled upon OpenProject and it looked promising. OpenProject has support for Agile features such as a backlog, timeline, etc. So, I decided to give it a whirl locally. In addition,


I'm aways kicking the tires of different error reporting solutions. Rollbar is yet another hosted offering in this space. Rollbar's interface appeared to be clean and and the documentation complete. It seemed worth the time to evaluate both OpenProject and Rollbar in one go.

Setting up OpenProject

I opted to fire up the development version of OpenProject, running on their dev branch. They also offer other production options such as a packages, a docker image and hosted solution. If you are not interested in tinkering, you may want with Docker instead of the development version.

The quick start guide follows a step-by-step process to get OpenProject running locally. I went through the manual 'Fast install'. At the time of this writing, the quick start guide did not mention what default user should be used to login. After a bit of digging, I found it in the full setup guide. The application can be accessed with the username 'admin' that has a password of 'admin'. I submitted a PR to include this into the quick start guide.

In my case, I also needed to install MySQL, having just rebuilt my development environment. That was remedied with a quick brew update; brew install mysql. I would recommend using Postgres for production, but MySQL is fine for playing with things locally.

Integrating Rollbar

Rollbar offers a 2 week free trial to kick the tires. After a quick signup and email confirmation, I was able to login and get my Access Token. The Rails installation instructions are pretty straight forward.

For security reasons and ease of deployment, I used an environment variable for integrating my Access Token (described in the setup guide). However, they do provide a generator that will create an initializer for you.

After the very brief setup process, I tested the installation with a simple rake rollbar:test. The notification appeared in the Rollbar dashboard with in a few seconds.

Initial Impressions

Overall, a very smooth setup process for both applications. I am looking forward to playing with OpenProject and putting Rollbar through its paces.