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M2: Analysis of Comparable Project Planning/Management Offerings

M2 Section Summary: Concurrency

Copyright (c) 2000 Jim Salmons and Frank Castellucci
All Rights Reserved

Associated project: Specification Writing for Web-based Project Planning Software

Project URL: http://sohodojo.com/techsig/project-planning-project.html

sXc Project detail: http://sourcexchange.com/ProjectDetail?projectID=24 (SourceXchange is out of business.)

Project coordination: Sohodojo

Sponsors: Position open

Sponsors (M1-3): Opendesk.com and Collab.Net

Core Team: Jim Salmons and Frank Castellucci

1 Introduction

This document aggregates the feature and underlying model analyses of comparable products and services in the domain of the project specification requirements. During the comparables analysis phase, nine product and service offerings were examined.

1.1 Format and Key to Abbreviations

Each of fourteen sections of the Comparables Analysis Data Capture Outline has a Section Summary file such as this one. Section 1 of each data collection form is an Introduction statement explaining the project and the assessment. Section 16 is a reviewer profile. Since all data was produced by the core project team members, section 16 does not have a summary section.

In a Section Summary file, we aggregate the analysis data within each subsection of the raw data collection forms. Each data point from the raw assessment outlines is presented in the following alphabetical order and prefixed with the following identifying abbreviations:

Note: The HTML versions of the deliverable use bullet lists with more readable prefix identifiers than the two-character source identifier used in the text versions.

The aggregated section data in each Section Summary file is the last section of the file. In addition to the aggregated data, each summary file has an optional section for the capture of summary insights or comments.

1.2 Section Summary Insights and/or Comments


Concurrency is defined by the implementations locking and transaction model. As such, the granularity of the locking will determine the liveliness of the system. The finer the granularity of locking, the more lively the interactions may be. Another aspect of concurrency is in regards to work-flow and the transaction model, does the system support "conversational or long-term transactions" for example.

6.1 Single or multi-user

  • Enact Enterprise System [ Full data ]

    Web-based, multi-user. (There is a slick Palm device interface.)

  • eProject Express [ Full data ]

    Multi-user, real-time, server-based.

  • FastTrack Schedule [ Full data ]

    The design-point is ease-of-use for FTS. AEC has done an excellent job of making its network versions 'transparent' upgrades to its basic single user 'local application' base product.

    A built-in license registry manages user licenses and log-ins, etc. Password-based permission setting allow the project manager to set 'none/read/read-write' access levels for users.

    FTS supports TCP/IP-based file access which lets it be used in both local intranets as well as on the Internet.

  • ManagePro [ Full data ]

    The Solo Edition is single-user. The Teamware Edition is multi-user.

  • Microsoft Project 2000 and Project Central [ Full data ]


  • Opendesk.com [ Full data ]

    OpenDesk supports multiple users in a company intranet. A user may belong to multiple company intranets.

  • SourceForge [ Full data ]

    SourceForge support multiple users that can participate in zero or more projects concurrently with other logged on users.

  • WebProject [ Full data ]

    WebProject puts a tremendous emphasis on multi-user, highly collaborative project management.

  • X-Community [ Full data ]


6.2 What is the implementation technology supporting concurrency?

  • Enact Enterprise System [ Full data ]

    Java-enabled client browser and/or optional Java-based desktop application. A built-in or external LDAP server handles directory services.

  • eProject Express [ Full data ]

    Based on the URLs during interaction, '.ASP' filename extensions and mile-long gobbledy-goop session management parameterizations, it appears that the eProject.com servers are Microsoft IIS type. This is a crude guess.

  • FastTrack Schedule [ Full data ]

    FTS manages its own 'file/record'-locking. When used interactively, FTS uses a 'pen' UI metaphor to pass 'change access' among a collaborating group of project planners.

  • ManagePro [ Full data ]

    ManagePro's database engine is built-in and proprietary. This makes it for relatively transparent and intuitive use by users to use and sysAdmin folks to install and maintain.

    The lack of support for Internet communication protocols limits its distributed applications in today's Web World, however the Multi-link features allow highly distributed WAN-based network configurations.

    The 'extract/resynch' features for mobile computing were extremely innovative at their introduction. They still remain relatively advanced for an affordable project management offering.

  • Microsoft Project 2000 and Project Central [ Full data ]

    Centralized database on networked servers. Thin client user interface enabling server side logic modules.

  • Opendesk.com [ Full data ]

    Two tiered implementation, server side scripts commiting data to the database.

  • SourceForge [ Full data ]

    World Wide Web provides the concurrent access to the system, MySQL provides concurrency support on object tuples, CVS provides concurrency for project files (source, web pages, etc.).

  • WebProject [ Full data ]

    Web server, Java Server Pages, and two-phase commit.

  • X-Community [ Full data ]

    Not sure, but suspect that X-Collaboration's tight partnership with Microsoft would suggest that the server-side back end is MS-based.

6.3 Revision Management

  • Enact Enterprise System [ Full data ]

    The System Administrator has a global Backup service to capture the data state of the Workspace of the Enact Collaboration Server.

    The Task Notes attribute supports a simple 'Insert link' function that can be either a URL, a file attachment, or link to another Enact Project. These links are not versioned.

  • eProject Express [ Full data ]

    Very limited. There are numerous change notification features, but these are mostly 'after the event' notices. The Documents store feature does not do versioning. eProject.com has recently offered a 'pay-per' and subscription-based CD-ROM project back up service which give a level of 'version accumulation', but it is not true version management.

  • FastTrack Schedule [ Full data ]


  • ManagePro [ Full data ]

    ManagePro has a configurable archive facility for its databases. These archive features provide back-up and restore functionality at the overall database level.

    In support of mobile computing and Multi-link distributed configurations, there is a conflict identification and resolution subsystem to help maintain integrity of ManagePro databases.

    While ManagePro provides a rich set of Document attachment features, there is no built-in version control features within this attachment mechanism. People/Users have two choices for Attachment version control; 'roll your own' by adopting a 'file naming and multiple-attachment' procedure to maintain revision history, or simply attach documents whose applications provide their own version management features, such as is common among word processing applications today.

  • Microsoft Project 2000 and Project Central [ Full data ]

    Functionality not defined.

  • Opendesk.com [ Full data ]

    Functionality not supported.

  • SourceForge [ Full data ]

    SourceForge uses CVS for project files as subjectively identified. The system is backed up nightly, in addition to the projects CVS tree being tarred for download on the same schedule.

  • WebProject [ Full data ]

    This is a manual effort facilitated by project archiving and download.

  • X-Community [ Full data ]

    X-Communities Notecards have a strong, unobtrusive version control system that is server-based. A Notecard is an 'access wrapper' for just about any 'separately storable work product' which can be anything from direct-entry text, an uploaded binary file, a web URL, etc. Once wrapped by a Notecard, the system maintains a version history of changes to the Notecard. Creator and creation date are maintained as well as who and when the item was last modified.

    A History Panel provides an easy interface into the version history. A Rollback feature makes changing the Active Version quick and easy.

6.4 Reviewer Comments


Version 0.9 - Draft
Version 1.0 - Final

### end of sxc24-m2-02sect-comparables.txt (Version 1.0) ###

© 1998-2010 Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky for Sohodojo except as noted for project deliverable and working documents. Our Privacy Statement
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