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PLANAT - a modern multi-user project and task management system

Good afternoon, dear Habravchane!

We want to tell you about the new task management system.


As usual, it all started a long time ago ... Usually the symptoms look like this:
Sleep at sleep, sleepless nights, search for a solution, reading reviews, tests and mistakes, a lot of time spent (in especially neglected cases, and even money) - as a result, he wrote a self-deprecating decision - an article in "I’m promoting"

If you are familiar with this scenario, then you:
A. Programmer;
B. Author of an awesome, on the verge of genius, program;
V. Startup (at least in the shower);
Have you guessed it? ;)

We are no exception. Our trouble came when we stopped being placed first in the same room, and later in the same city. The development team (from the city rich in talents N), designed to alleviate our plight, return the families of fathers, and institutions - students, etc., hiding behind the buzzword "outsourcers", put us in front of the problem of choosing a project management tool.

As usual, the problem did not immediately become a PROBLEM. All circles of hell were completed (search for a solution): regular e-mail with a breakdown by folders / mailing lists / Skype / Google groups / signs in Google Docs, etc. There is no need to tell that it soon became clear: to work on several fronts without a normal tool (Yes, and two teams) is impossible.
Intensive search for a solution was not pleased - the systems in question easily scattered into two poles: “monsters” (many things, but difficult to understand and use) and “cripples” (simple but poor in function). Cripples did not pass the candidate minimum test:
- unlimited nesting of tasks;
- access control;
- appointment of responsible;
and 113 more mandatory requirements. And the “monsters” required too much time: to study, install, configure, train, support, etc. It seems that the introduction of such a system should have saved us time? ..

The golden mean, alas, was not. Often, candidate programs were rejected at the stage of reviewing their capabilities, even before reaching trial operation. Yes, and what kind of exploitation can we talk about, if the program, for example, allows you to create projects with only two levels of nesting!? Or if there is no history of changes? Will you use a system that only leads to ONE project ?!

This is how the decision arose to write our own project management system, and this is exactly what _am_ we need. We will try to present the result of our modest works (not without fear, but with a certain pride) to the court.

The Planat system was (modestly) conceived as an “ideal” task management system. This "ideality" consists of four parts.

1) Ready to work "out of the box"

As a tool that you take in hand and it works right away. This is achieved by ease of installation, built-in help system and rich features that are available initially. You do not need to finish the system, the system starts in 10 minutes. We will talk about the possibilities in more detail below.

2) Maximum interface convenience

"Spoiled" MS Office, we wanted "undo" and other "goodies". Despite the fact that Planata works in the browser, its interface provides opportunities comparable to the usual, "desktop", applications. Bookmarks with desktops and "floating" windows. Drag-and-drop. You can drag tasks (for example, to move them between projects), you can drag users (for example, to associate a user with a task). There is a mechanism for canceling actions in the interface. Accidentally closed the bookmark, clicked Undo - brought it back with all the windows. The task window can be “minimized” into a strip, dragged onto another tab. And so on.

And yet - an important detail - the configuration of the desktop is saved from session to session. That is, the next day you launch the browser and see the same windows with the tasks you have been working with today.

3) This is a truly multi-user system.

Planata offers instant data update (push-technology): the user has changed the task and _tut_ it has changed in your window. In Planata, if two users simultaneously edit a task, the system warns and suggests resolving the conflict. In Planata you can see who is currently online (as in ICQ). And so on.

Finally, the most important aspect ...

4) The central element of the system is the task.

Roughly speaking, Planata treats tasks in the same way that a mail program treats emails.

Tasks can be discussed, dragged, blocked, changed their priorities. Share and revoke them. Search for tasks is carried out in a couple of clicks. The task can be made a project. And you can - on the contrary - make the project as a subtask to another task. For each task is its complete history, everything revolves around the task. Etc.

In short, the task is “atom”, “brick”, the basis. And projects are the same tasks (which have no parent). They do not differ from tasks anymore. This approach makes the system complete, it is easier to understand.

This is what our system can do (perhaps some of the features have already been mentioned above):

- you can create projects and invest in them tasks; hierarchy depth is unlimited;
- you can move tasks between projects and tasks;
- you can block some tasks by others; a blocked task will have the status “blocked” until all tasks on which it depends are executed;
- tags can be associated with tasks; search for labels is carried out in two clicks;
- access to each task is set individually (you can give the user access to the nested subtask, not giving access to the project itself, etc.);
- files can be attached to tasks (any, of course: images, documents, etc.);
- the degree of readiness of tasks containing subtasks is calculated automatically as the subtasks are completed;
- the priority system contains 8 levels; in addition there is an opportunity to put the task "on-pause";
- the task manager can both accept the result of the work on the task, and give the performer the opportunity to put down the sign “executed” himself;
- easy to control deadlines and readiness of tasks;
- each task has a “task discussion” attached to it;
- for each task the full history of its changes is automatically maintained; any action on a task (change of priority, new message in the discussion, change of status, etc.) automatically falls into its history;
- Built-in chat allows you to conduct general discussions and private conversations;
- the desktop system allows you to open separate tabs on which you can have windows with tasks (like sheets in MS Excel);
- the desktop configuration is saved in the form in which you left it when you completed the work (close the browser, the next day - open and see all the same windows in the same places);
- the system tracks changes in the tasks with which you are associated and sends notifications;
- each task related to you has a sign “needs attention”, which is automatically put down when any data changes on the task by other users (for example, a new message appeared in the discussion of the task);
- You can copy individual tasks or projects (with all subtasks), using them as templates;
- there is an opportunity to make the user a super-administrator and get full access to all data; other users see only those tasks with which they are associated;
- any task or project can be sent to the archive and returned from the archive; this means that all data is saved, but the project "does not loom" before your eyes, diverting attention;
- performers can specify the cost of the standard hour and calculate the costs of tasks and projects;
- You can set the start time of the task and receive a notification when it is time to start work;
- You can set the deadline (deadline) of the task and get a notification if the task is overdue;
- the system is initially Russian-speaking (not translated) and is notable for attention to the grammatical trifles of the Russian language.

All these features are included in the "core" and are available initially.

A large number of task management systems embed their own (offline) mail.

Is it right?

The appearance of another "mail" will cancel the usual email? Of course no! So is it really easier for a user when he starts to view two inbox boxes instead of one? And if another system appears, will you have to check three boxes? How to send mail between them?

And another interesting question - do the developers of such systems really believe that they will make mail better than the same Google GMail? No seriously? Compete with Google ?!

Oh well…

The Planat system integrates with webmail. You can insert a special type link into the body of an e-mail to open the corresponding task in Planat in a couple of clicks. And all the correspondence with the client can continue to lead in GMail ...

Site Planat system:


To work on the system, you need the latest version of Chrome or Safari.

On the website you can watch a demo video with an example of using the system.

We are currently offering a boxed version of the Planat system (platform: Windows).
The system is installed on a dedicated computer in the local network of your company.
The boxed version of the system can support from 5 to 500 users (of course, it also depends on server performance). A license (system access right) is purchased separately for each user.

The system of on-line service to work through the Network (SaaS) is not yet available and will be ready closer to winter. There is a demo version for "acquaintance" with the interface, which will not withstand a serious load, so we give its coordinates privately.

Now a few words about technology. Still, this is Habr :-)

The development of the system has been underway for more than two years. The beta version was born six months ago. Currently Planata is used by several of our partners for 3-4 months. Positive feedback.

Our team consists of experienced professionals (my personal development experience is over 15 years). Behind us, we had a lot of projects (really). We did web applications, but it seemed to us that their niche does not intersect with "heavy" clients, "native" for operating systems. I had the experience of creating an application with floating windows in IE and online updating of data and this experience suggested dark thoughts ...

Everything began to take shape with the advent of Chrome. The browser was very fast and "full of" technology. In fact, it was already a new _platform_ development. A kind of “bridgehead”, from which Google stepped on users' computers :-) So the idea arose to take this platform as a basis, to do something as powerful as GMail (yes, yes), but more “advanced” in the interface.

We checked the performance of Chrome. Make sure that he "pulls" and floating windows, and much more. We saw that it is being intensively developed by Google for its projects and we have exactly the same technology needs. For example, WebSocket appeared as manna from heaven - this was something that had been missing for so long - an online update and a native push. (It's nice to note that the article about WebSocket on Wikipedia that your humble servant wrote is more complete than the English version: currently there are actually two versions of WebSocket and the client can use the old one. My article describes how to distinguish such a client and how support both versions, only the latest version is described in English). And of course HTML5, CSS3. The reverse side of this enthusiasm was the fact that for a long time Planata worked only in Chrome. After the release of Safari 5.0 and Beta FireFox 4.0, users finally got a choice.

The main problems in development were waiting for us in the use of JavaScript. It is a very powerful language, but its use requires high qualifications. We had to seriously “pull up” our knowledge and at some point simply rewrite the entire client code. Somewhere a year ago, we began to rebuild the client library of component downloads. The second attempt was successful. And of course jQuery. The jQuery library has played a huge role. Without it, perhaps this project would not exist ... Huge respect to its developers.

Well, it's time to round out.

If you are interested in the system, use the email address indicated on the site. Or my personal mail on Habré.

Thanks for attention. We are waiting for questions / suggestions in the comments.

UPD System screenshot can be viewed on the site. Next will be a direct link.

Attention! Children under 18 years of age, pregnant women and designers should not open this link without reading the agreement below!


[ X ] Opening a screenshot of this link, I agree to endure the desires of disgust and a wave of indignation caused by the disgusting look of this picture.

UPD2 If you still got sick (and we warned you!), Open this link and breathe deeply:


Do not leave this link until pressure and pulse return to normal.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/100871/

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