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TWIKI as foundation for the "NEST" Project Platform

2008-10-02 - 09:48:05 by MarkoRintamaki in General

TWIKI as foundation for NEST 1.1 Project Platform

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 smile

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 smile
  • 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 smile , 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 frown videos in you tube about current implementation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-JjitFbPDU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jHF_cFxZ4Q http://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 ! smile



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 smile 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... smile


  • 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

Plugin Comment
DirectedGraphPlugin and DirectedGraphWebMapPlugin This plugin enables trace between requirements
BugzillaQueryPlugin All Defects are reported by using Bugzilla

We have to implement several new plugins... I hope I could release code for community soon!

BBvsTopicPlugin You can user TWIKI words now in phpBB3 forum
TracQueryPlugin You can user macro to show trac tickets as a table on wiki page
CSVExporterPlugin Requirement metadata should be able to export/import
TestlinkQueryPlugin 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!

  • Jan Lapinkataja - Ixonos PLC
  • Heikki Paajanen - Ixonos PLC
  • Kai Perälä - Landis&Gyr
  • Kimmo Varis - Ixonos Plc
  • Pasi Mäkinen Ixonos PLC
  • Harri Valkeinen - Aksulit Oy
  • JarmoRossi - Landis&Gyr

Software Developement Tools which are included in NEST 1.1 Platform

Tool Home Page Comment
Testlink http://www.teamst.org/ Test Management
Subversion http://subversion.tigris.org/ Version Control
TRAC http://trac.edgewall.org/ Work Flow
Agilo 42 http://www.agile42.com/ Promising Scrum Modification
ViewVC http://www.viewvc.org/ Source code analyze tool
SVN Statistics http://www.statsvn.org/ Subversion statistics
Moodle http://moodle.org E-Training environment
TWIKI http://twiki.org Master of Universe
Bugzilla http://bugzilla.org Defect Management
Requzilla   Modified Bugzilla for Requirement Management process
dotProject http://www.dotproject.net/ Project Management
WordPress http://wordpress.com Blog
AJAX Chat https://blueimp.net/ajax/ Chat
PHPBB3 http://www.phpbb.com/development/ Forum
phpESP http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpesp Survey tool
GLPI http://glpi-project.org/ Service Desk
CACTI http://www.cacti.net/ Server load statistic
Webmin http://www.webmin.com/ Server administrator's right hand
phpLDAPadmin http://phpldapadmin.sourceforge.net User account management
BuildBot http://buildbot.net/repos/release/docs/buildbot.html#Introduction Build server


Hi, It's very interesting, could you please provide me a download link or demo access? Thanks,

-- Hieu Le Trung - 25 Dec 2008

I hope I could but, I am still searching a way to share image.. You should look at https://narsus.wordpress.com for latest news....

-- Marko Rintamäki - 05 Jan 2009

If you can, please provide the setup instruction and tutorials, many thanks

-- Hieu Le Trung - 01 Mar 2009


Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Unknown file formatJPG ExampleOfWikiIntegrations.JPG r1 manage 40.7 K 2008-10-02 - 08:11 MarkoRintamaki  
PNGpng NEST-Logo1-small.png r1 manage 2.6 K 2008-10-02 - 08:11 MarkoRintamaki  
Unknown file formatJPG NEST_tool_domains.JPG r1 manage 42.6 K 2008-10-02 - 08:10 MarkoRintamaki  
PNGpng NestConseptInWorking.png r1 manage 21.7 K 2008-10-03 - 09:01 MarkoRintamaki  
PNGpng NestRequiremenModel.png r1 manage 8.1 K 2008-10-02 - 08:19 MarkoRintamaki  
JPEGjpg NestToolArchitecture.jpg r1 manage 48.2 K 2008-10-03 - 07:53 MarkoRintamaki  
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Topic revision: r5 - 2008-10-03 - MarkoRintamaki

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