INSPIRE tracker software evaluation

This is a page dedicated to the ongoing work of evaluating and choosing a project management software (i.e. issue tracker) for INSPIRE. This tracker should be considered in addition to the existing issue tracking systems we are using such as RT and Invenio Trac.

The main goal of adopting this kind of tool is to:

  • Get a centralized, up-to-date overview of who is doing what and when within our project.

  • No more e-mails (kidding!), but at least reduce them to a point where issues are communicated by creating a ticket instead of sending e-mails (that get lost in full inboxes) *

  • Improve communication overall allowing us to become more effective (avoiding double/repeated work)

In the end, to make this a successful venture people should not be forced or be told to create a ticket, but do it as a first impulse - even before sending an e-mail about it. To do that, I think you need an appealing look and feel as well as being easy-to-use.


The most important requirements are suggested to be:

  • 1.1: Be able to get a straight-forward overview of peoples tasks and their status as well as providing interactions (comments, priority etc.)
  • 1.2: Fast and intuitive interface - it has to be faster/easier than sending an e-mail (or else people will do that instead!)
  • 1.3: Task/ticket history

With less important (but still noteworthy) requirements being:

  • 2.1: Reporting capabilities

  • 2.2: Integration with existing trackers (RT,Trac)

  • 2.3: Export/Import

  • 2.4: Good searching & filtering options

  • 2.5: Good performance. Be able to scale well! (connected to 1.2)

  • 2.6: Email support. Both notifications and interactions with tickets.

Alternatives so far

Note: Ask Jan Åge Lavik <> for permissions to some of the demo's and/or google around for video/pictures.

Evaluations (ONGOING)

We are going to have a meeting to discuss which of the softwares to evaluate in detail on Friday 18th of January 2013 at 4.30 PM (CET)



  • Extremely easy and comfortable to use
  • Offers good communication channels
  • E-mail support to create/answer tickets
  • Growing user community and devs listen to user requests (only a bit over a year old)
  • Already being used by certain members in the team
  • Free up to 30 persons
  • Keyboard friendly
  • nice mobile app


  • No exportation possible (yet)



  • Well established by Invenio Trac
  • Wiki-based (for good or bad)
  • Email support (but somehow limited)
  • Active community. Many plug-ins


  • Seems a bit slower than the other alternatives (as least on, but maybe an upgrade will fix that)



  • Hosted @ CERN
  • Widely used and acclaimed tracker with many advanced features
  • With custom form-filter setup it is fairly fast to create new issue


  • Limited customization on a shared project host



  • Good overview over the entire project: e.g. the hierarchy of projects, epics, stories, tasks, the story shelves: current, backlog, icebox, the distinction of tasks: features, bugs, chores
  • Prioritization via order (easy)
  • Email support: adding comments via email
  • csv export option
  • project history, archiving
  • Nice fluid interface.
  • It is fast to create a new issue
  • no fee for non-profit organisations
  • Very much designed for running agile projects (fixed timeboxes) which may not be the style in which we normally work
  • Concepts such as points and velocity etc. may be confusing to people - at least in early adoption.



  • Powerful search and filter
  • Appears to be efficient at doing bulk updates
  • It is fast to create a new issue
  • Free for Open source projects
  • Professional company in business for 10 years+

Con *



  • Good customization options (layout, lanes etc.)


  • Occasional slow-downs and errors needing refresh of page
  • Not so keyboard friendly



  • Board/Agile like overview over tasks/cards
  • Export available
  • Used by the ORCID project and by our guys for the Holding Pen 2.0 project


  • New product - stability unknown.
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Topic revision: r6 - 2013-01-17 - JanLavik
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