Drupal executives clearly expressed their interest in learning about company best practices regarding software use at the 1st DrupalCXO meetup in Brussels in 2010. As an action point of the meetup, we launched a survey on ‘Software Used in Drupal Development’ and prepared a preliminary report that contains the summarized version of the aggregate data obtained last year.

The results primarily come from European and North American companies that were founded less than 10 years ago, have no more than 20 employees, and are partially or not virtual. Although 78% of the surveyed companies use agile software development, there are other popular methodologies, too (waterfall, incremental, prototyping and other approaches). The survey participants were asked about the tools they used, for example, for bug tracking, knowledge management, SLA, CRM, project management, resource planning, version control, code review and real time communication. The report sums up the responding Drupal companies’ live experiences with the various software types as well as ideas on how these tools' efficiency could be improved. The results not only show the most favored software types but also describe the tool characteristics that make Drupalers like or dislike them.

To collect more data, make a comparison and foster collaboration, we decided to re-launch the survey in the framework of the #drupalprocess meetup (Amsterdam, 27-29 January, 2012). Please tell your friends to share their experiences on the various tools, too. We will publicly share some highlights from the survey, but the more detailed full report will only be available for contributors.

Below you can find some extracts from last year results. If you want to get the full report from last year and this year, please fill in the SURVEY.

Extracts from the preliminary report on 'Software Used in Drupal Development':

[...]

1. Bug tracking

1. a) Do you use a software for bug tracking?  

The most favored tools (max. 3 votes):

* Redmine (3)

Like:

  • Redmine: features. (Project*: Drupal integration)
  • It's simple and easy for all to understand.
  • Fast, versatile, good overview.

Dislike/missing:

  • Redmine: Drupal integration (Project*: redmine-level features)
  • It’s too simple and do not fit our model for monitoring project progress
  • Fine grained access control to certain fields. Automatic closing of issues after a period of time. Better control of sending notification emails.

* Unfuddle (3)

Like:

  • Ease of use
  • Integration with subversion for commits. [eg. for closing tickets].
  • Hosted service was easy.
  • Online tool

Dislike/missing:

  • Not open source!
  • No agile processes. UI for subtasks is missing. Getting expensive for larger projects.
  • Integration with our development process (Scrum). Too difficult for our less technologically avid customers.

* Trac (3)

Like:

  • fully integrated GTD methodology.

Dislike/missing:

  • Drupal-like input formats.
  • Mobile client.

* Mantis (3)

Like:

  • Mail alerts, workflow.
  • Simple, fast, clean looks.
  • It works.

Dislike/missing:

  • Efficient time tracking?
  • Connection with other tools we use. Little support for agile/scrum approaches like product backlogs/sprint backlogs.
  • Usability

* Open Atrium (2)

Like:

  • extensible and familiar --- it's based on drupal

Dislike/missing:

  • due dates, statistical analysis, time tracking/logging, custom bug categories per project

* Jira (2)

Like:

  • very flexible, does what it is supposed to do
  • I can't say there's any feature I really like about it; it does some things OK

Dislike/missing:

  • nothing

Complete list:

  • Word/Writer/Text Editor
  • Spreadsheet
  • assembla
  • trac
  • Jira
  • Mantis
  • Pivotal Tracker + drupal.org
  • Drupal
  • homebrew system
  • fogbugz
  • Redmine, Drupal Project modules
  • tracks (getontracks.org)
  • Unfuddle
  • Basecamp
  • Open Atrium
  • Rational ClearQuest
  • Open Atrium (modified)

1. b) What is your satisfaction level?

1. c) What do you like most about this software regarding the above mentioned task?

  • Freeform
  • Works fantastic on Google Docs with a small number of users (up to 5)
  • Agile in approach and has lots of integration points with other systems such as git, svn, trac, etc.
  • very flexible, does what it is supposed to do
  • I can't say there's any feature I really like about it; it does some things OK
  • Mail alerts, workflow
  • Pivotal Tracker is integrated with feature management plus has very simple and powerful interface.
  • customizability
  • We can tweak it to our needs
  • Fast, good email support, free
  • Redmine: features.
  • fully integrated GTD methodology.
  • Ease of use
  • Integration with subversion for commits. [eg. for closing tickets] Hosted service was easy.
  • Its simple and easy for all to understand
  • fast, versatile, good overview.
  • Simple, fast, clean looks
  • Great time tracking, great user interface.
  • extensible and familiar --- it's based on drupal
  • Online tool
  • It Works

1. d) What is missing from this software to fit better the above mentioned purpose?

  • Better interface. Integration with git.
  • Integrations to source code with tracking of code sets committed to closet ticket. Trac integrates to SVN nicely for this for instance.
  • It could have better segmentation for clients to review project
  • nothing
  • Drupal-like input formats.
  • Efficient time tracking?
  • love and attention
  • Redmine: Drupal integration (Project*: redmine-level features)
  • Mobile client.
  • Not open source!
  • No agile processes. UI for subtasks is missing. Getting expensive for larger projects.
  • It’s too simple and do not fit our model for monitoring project progress
  • fine grained access control to certain fields. automatic closing of issues after a period of time. better control of sending notification emails.
  • Connection with other tools we use. Little support for agile/scrum approaches like product backlogs/sprint backlogs
  • Too simplistic, no bug severity options.
  • due dates, statistical analysis, time tracking/logging, custom bug categories per project
  • Integration with our development process (Scrum). Too difficult for our less technologically avid customers
  • Usability

[...]

About the author

Márta Maczel

Operational Manager (Hungarian branch)

Marta is responsible for the management of daily operations, including office and project administration, human resources and financial management, at the Hungarian branch of Pronovix.

Before entering the corporate world, she was involved in international research projects and contributed to the advancement of science also via her participation in policy-making. She was active in nonprofit organisations, attended and organised multiple events, and took considerable part in the establishment and management of a world wide organisation.