Handling Development in a Medical Device World (Part 6)

So what’s so great about Redmine?

  1. The power of the wiki: Your documents have all of your project management details, work instructions, use cases, requirements and so on. Again, I think this information can be placed into the wiki, but that may be a step that not everyone is comfortable taking.
  2. That said, all developer setup, lessons learned and other informal notes can be placed in the wiki. One time I spent nearly 4 days tracking down a very strange defect. By the time I finally figured it all out I had learned a lot about a very strange issue that others were surely to encounter. I created a wiki page explaining the issue.
  3. Another power feature of the wiki is the fact that with Redmine (and Trac) we can link not only to other wiki pages, but to tickets (issues), projects, sub-projects and Subversion changesets. Again, more tracing. Nice.
  4. Subversion Integration: With Subversion and Redmine integrated I can link back and forth between the two. Those work instructions explaining to the team how we will make use of our procedures should explain that no ticket can be closed without a link to a Subversion changeset (unless, of course, the ticket is rejected). Redmine can be configured to search for keywords in your Subversion changeset commit. For example, if I am checking in several files that address issue #501, I might put a comment like this: “Corrected such and such. This fixes #501.” We can configure Redmine to look for that word “fixes” and use it. Redmine may use that word as a flag to close the ticket and link to the changeset that was created when I did that commit. Likewise, when we view your Subversion history, we will see “#501” attached to the changeset as a link to the ticket. The tracing works both ways… Beautiful!
  5. Multiple project handling (and integration with different Subversion repositories): This is a major reason why I (and others) switched to Redmine. Trac was great, but it only handled a single project. Redmine, with its handling of multiple projects, and be used corporate-wide for all development, and each project can be tied to a different Subversion repository. Additionally, a single project can have multiple sub-projects. This gives us the flexibility to use sub-projects for sprints, specific branched versions and so on.
  6. Hudson Integration: With Hudson integrated I don’t have to leave the wiki to see how my CI builds look. Not only that, I can link to a specific CI build from any page within the wiki or ticketing system.
  7. Full configurability: Everything can be configured in Redmine. Yes, EVERYTHING. We can even configure the flow of tickets.