Niku's open-source tool a work in progress

Niku Corp., one of the major manufacturers of industrial-strength portfolio and project management software, announced in July that it was making its Workbench project scheduling tool available for free through the open-source development community.

The company promised to soon make the code available at the open-source development site, SourceForge.net, which in theory should enrich and maintain the software.

I briefly tried the resulting product, Open Workbench, available at www.openworkbench.org.
Niku also says Open Workbench will become the only version of Workbench. All this adds up to a calculated effort to break the Microsoft monopoly and give Niku customers'but few others'an alternative for their basic project scheduling.

I found version 1.0 barely usable, and not much like Microsoft Project, though I can see strong similarities in basic data-entry and charting.






For now, Open Workbench is an interesting novelty that won't begin to be useful until the fall upgrade, and until developers get their hands on it.

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