The never ending Twproject “war” with Microsoft Project

Through our customers and contacts we frequently get reminded about Microsoft Project© enduring existence.

Twproject was in fact first born as the limitation of Microsoft Project (it was 1999 🙂 ) were unsolvable by using the Microsoft Project API available at the time. And the two project management solutions are born to differ in their core philosophy – and they do. Web applications became possible at the time and Twproject development started, around 2002, and Twproject got developed as wed based and around the idea of making information gathering as easy as possible.

Why care about Microsoft Project then? The team that develops Twproject and the set of its customers are often large, even enterprise companies, and we have the experience and sensitivity to typical corporate problems of software and IT integration. In these contexts we are still frequently asked how Twproject and Microsoft Project compare as solutions for corporate customers, e.g.

I actually downloaded it and I am trying it on my localhost. I would love to hear though what advantages Twproject has over Microsoft Project Server. We are in the process of trying to decide. If you have a comparison white sheet I would be grateful.
Some information follows.

Twproject is web based (since 2001)

Twproject around 2002

Being web based then and today meant ubiquity, adaptiveness, flexibility, inclusiveness. This in our opinion is what Microsoft Project always lacked.

Microsoft almost made it (in 2014!) making a web version of Microsoft Project the reference one. Still if you check their user interface it tries to emulate desktop software, using an iconic language alien to the web.

Twproject is cost effective

Let’s consider costs:
is available for $58 per user, per month

Microsoft marketing in the referenced videos stress the simplicity of the price model, probably as an effort to distract from prices. Well Microsoft’s model is actually quite complex, price ranges from $33 to $58 (per user / month!) – and if you want to use the desktop client, prepare to pay $1556 for each client!

That is way more expensive than Twproject, which gives you a full user for less than $5 per month!

twproject-prices

Twproject is not Gantt centered 🙂

gantt-new

jQuery GanttIt is a bit funny to write this, because we released a free, open source amazingly popular JavaScript web based Gantt component :D, which is also part now of Twproject.

Twproject has a Gantt-like editor where we tried to get the advantages of the Gantt user interface model without adopting the unrealistic

(planned time = project effort)

equation which constitutes the core of the Gantt model.

Twproject focuses on real work done

While in the current version planning is fully supported, still the core of Twproject is collecting information about real work done.
So it collects multiple projects, allows temporary dis-alignment of dates and statuses, collects issues, to-dos, worklogs, does all it can to encourage users to insert information in the simplest, fastest possible way. Planning is supported, but Twproject works with and without planned work.

Twproject integrates with different IT structures

it-integration

Microsoft Project depends for everything on Share Point©, so including its collaborative aspects. it is strongly integrated with Microsoft Exchange©.

So you have to get the whole Microsoft package, like it or not, to adopt Microsoft Project. Meh.

Twproject instead is functionally and technologically widely compatible with different solutions and is built to be non-intrusive.
This is true for both the installed and the online version of Twproject.

For example, the installed version runs stand alone in Tomcat (a Java web server), and can run anywhere, supporting easy integration with say LDAP, single-sign on and directory services.

The on-line version comes as a dedicated server instance that comes with its own mail server for a dedicated notification email.

Twproject works fine without Microsoft Exchange©, simple connection with an SMTP and POP3 service gives you full e-mail integration.

Twproject has an “open” approach (even if is not open source, sources are available for our customers). It runs on every operating system and can use any database. It is available both on cloud on or customer premises. It is web based and you can use it with every “modern” browser. Twproject is a wise choice from the IT manager perspective because of its open data and infrastructure features, as IT infrastructure changes over time.

Twproject developers are people, easily reachable on-line

Twproject is built by a small, solid and very efficient company. Its developers are ready to give support on the solution; moreover complete sources are available for free for all customers. Twproject is structured to support customization, custom extensions, reports, wizards, complete custom forms, and export and import with other data sources.

We deployed and maintain many customized parts for our over 3000 customers, all compatible with Twproject main release and hence compatible with updates.

Conclusion

After 15 years, the divergence of the two products is still considerable. In the meantime, the road of the web as a platform for applications has become the main path for collaborative software. And the diversity and richness of IT environments has increased. So we believe there are ever more good reasons to pick a safe, compatible solution as Twproject instead of the closed Microsoft Project universe.

References

http://windowsitpro.com/office-365/microsoft-announces-project-lite-cloud-based-productivity-team-members

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/technet/en-us/office/media/video/video.html?cid=pstc&from=sharepermalink&VideoID=ebe00785-db66-44d6-8ed3-86eafa63c7e4

Twproject is not affiliated in any form with Microsoft. Microsoft Project, Microsoft Exchange Share Point may be Registered Trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

 

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