A Look at Sourceforge Enterprise Edition

by Tom Adelstein

Did you know you can download SourceforgeEE for 15 users for free. You'll find it on Sourceforge.net and it comes in a VMWare appliance. That version will accommodate 50 users if you want to pay for more than 15 seats. From an enterprise point of view, the cost is quite reasonable.

In the world of corporate development, SourceforgeEE (SEE) is a delight. It's a Digital Development Environment that you can use for any cooperative project whether for technical writers or development. It's an essential tool to move from an analog environment to a shared digital one.

Everyone involved with a development process can share the same DDE. For example, Subject Matter Specialists can upload their functional specifications, those can turn into technical specs. So, the SME can look at the technical specs and see if they match up to their requirements and high-level submission. Project leads can use the tracker to keep up with tasks they set up originally. You can utilize the task module and QA personnel can do testing as each agile module completes. Developers can review each others code to see if everything fits together. You also have a bug reporting system.

You can use subversion or CVS for the code repository. The admin can assign rights and permissions to various facilities. So, members of the team can have read access or a limited view of various areas in SourceforgeEE.

The platform is not made strictly for Linux though SEE runs in Linux and Linux developers can use all of its functions. Still, many of the facilities fit a Microsoft development environment. Microsoft Office and Project can integrate directly into SEE.

The system comes with a VMWare player but we installed it in an ESX Server instance. You can also download the free VMWare server and run it there. It ran as soon as we expanded the compressed image. It worked right out of the box so to speak.

The features are too numerous to list. If you want a way to move from a linear development environment with all the paper work, consider SME. You can bring all the players in a project together, use the built-in forum to communicate and keep everyone up-to-date. I can see this DDE working to cut time to market in half.

Now, if you want more information, download it and look at the sample project. It will surprise you.

Tom Adelstein currently works as a contract technical writer in the Information Technology Field. In March 2007, his latest O'Reilly Book, Linux System Administration was released. Tom's home web site Open Source Today has tips and techniques for system administrators and Open Source VARs.