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)

Márta is an Operational Manager at Pronovix.

She ensures the smooth daily operations of the Hungarian branch and its office in Szeged. She’s responsible for financial planning and managing budgets, makes sure that all Pronovix members have the equipment required to do their daily job, get their salary in time and have all the necessary paperwork done properly. She develops, implements and reviews administrative systems, organisational policies and procedures to improve quality and efficiency. She also takes part in the development and organization of training activities, such as the Pronovix ITrainee Program and the Pronovix Academy.

In her free time, she enjoys travelling and discovering remote cultures and memories of their past. Besides, she likes spending quality time with family and friends.