Hi TWIKI community!
I am Marko "NarsuMan" Rintamäki and I am working at Ixonos PLC (http://www.ixonos.com/en) as Senior Test Engineer/Consultant. I have been using TWIKI now 5 years with a good spirit! I would like to share my "internal feelings" about using TWIKI as foundation for Project Platform
Background for TWIKI usage
Last couple years I've been working with "large" ~70-100 person multisite project where TWIKI has been used as knowledge base and document store. We have been also using my favourite tools like Testlink (http://testlink.sourceforge.net/docs/testLink.php) and good old Bugzilla (http://www.bugzilla.org/) for test and defect management in project. All those tools have been installed on one Linux server, which has been working as a central point for project. Because of "good vibrations" about those tools I have been building training environment for software testing course at Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences(http://www.jamk.fi/english).
During customer project phases and training course use I found out that there is lot of good plugins available in TWIKI org! Those plugins could be used to integrate tools like Bugzilla better together with twiki. This was a main reason for start up to some research and development for new version of project platform. Idea of this platform is not containing anything so explosive, but it could be seen as one reference of installation possibilities. Main work has been done in those active open source communitys around the world. Thank for You!
Requirments for platform:
One server can take care of small project team
Team can administrate whole server if needed
Requirement management should be possible in project environment (trying to get rid off excels
Platform is agile and ready for changes which are needed because of nature of different projects
Server should be running as low resources eg. 512MB mem 15GB hardisk
Development result => NEST Project Platform
Now After 1.5 years work I have been able to install/build virtual server image which contains several Open Source tools pre-installed with small work flow. I call server image as "NEST 1.1 Project Platform"
NEST is kind of a Micro Project Platform - MPP which can be used for small project teams and training purposes. Virtual Server image is based on Centos 5.2 and contains several well known tools like TWIKI , Trac, Testlink and bugzilla and many more (look list below). Main issue is that TWIKI is a core tool for whole environment. All tools are selected from my personal or our teams point of view. Do not panic if there is not yours favourite tool on list :)! This is only one man's vision you can build your own world!
There is some low quality videos in you tube about current implementation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-JjitFbPDUhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jHF_cFxZ4Qhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgJMPc5iGlY
You can find also a blog about my project here http://narsus.wordpress.com and shore slide set about testing management using "NEST" http://narsus.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/nest-slides.pdf
Do Not Under Estimate power of Open Source !
Vision and main issues for TWIKI usage
Independent project platform?
My vision has been thatn we have to enable project team to work as agile as possible. There can be limits in huge organization for small teams and small server contexts allows to do changes locally. This need leads to idea of using pure Open Source tools for creating independent project environment. This platform can be used by team alone without external IT-infrastructures (eg. user managment/administration). This is "my vision" I think there is lot of same kind of idea around : ) of creating new kind of organization model where all project teams are using own "NEST's" as working places.
There is no corporate style centralized servers. This kind of model is able to deploy only by using virtual servers. Virtualisation allows copying template project image and create multiple project servers easily. Problem is that "NEST" server image should contain several tool domains. TWIKI is basic element of this vision! Look at picture below...
Benefits of TWIKI
I see TWIKI as a project engine and glue for all kind of environments. You can implement all kind of features for
Structured Wiki - TWIKI can be used easily as knowledge base, but it as also powerful mechanism of creating structure/forms and templates for wiki pages.
Those features can be used for enable process for eg. information capturing and classifying. Normally many projects are using Wiki as wild area, there is no any kind of process or classification. During long time usage information is spreading around wiki base. If there is no classification or any kind of ways to keep control over knowledge there will be problems!
Requirement Management missing part in Open Source?
One of main problems was find out solution for requirement capturing or management. I was searching for open source based requirement management tools, but I was not able to find a good one. This urgent need pushed me to think about using TWIKI as a requirement management tool. I did some research around TWIKI org's requirement model and available plugins. Result was creat quite simple model where "feature" and "requirements" are naturally wiki pages and they can be used as links in other documents. This is not a magic as you know when you are using normally TWIKI but some how it's breaking old ideas of requirement management! I wanted also to add some kind of graphical view for tracing features and requirements, after some evaluation I found out to use DirectedGraphPlugin and DirectedGraphWebMapPlugin as engine for trace drawing...
Here is description current possible traces between project artefacts..
Because of nature of Wiki there is easy to create links between diffrent project artefacts...
TWIKI Master of Integrations
TWIKI community has provided several wonderful plugins! I would like to thank you all who have been implementing those! I hope we can share asap our team's result for you. I noticed that there is already new plugins which are solving same problems which I had with integrations (for example: TracOnTWikiContrib) Look at picture below for example of integrations
TWIKI is able to fetch information form serveral sources like Testlink, Bugzilla, Subversion, Forums etc...
There is lot of plugins but here are most important for my project
DirectedGraphPlugin and DirectedGraphWebMapPlugin
This plugin enables trace between requirements
All Defects are reported by using Bugzilla
We have to implement several new plugins... I hope I could release code for community soon!
You can user TWIKI words now in phpBB3 forum
You can user macro to show trac tickets as a table on wiki page
Requirement metadata should be able to export/import
Testlink cases can be shown on wiki page as table
Team behind development
I would like to thank you my work collegues for helping me with this project!