Friday, October 23, 2009

Gantt project and Bugzilla "Integration"

I spend some of my time keeping whatever project management tool I happen to be using in sync with all the other project tools used throughout the development process. I have used MS-Project, Open Project, and Gantt Project (couple others in there as well but mostly these). With all of them I am stuck have to manually sync up Bugzilla and various excel spreadsheets and my project plan. This annoys me.

There are a number of integrated project management/bug tracking tools out there...but I like Bugzilla and people like their excel sheets for their own tracking, so why should any of this have to change? All these tools should work better together and not force you into their methodology of project planning, bug tracking, etc.

So today I happened to find an interesting work around to the whole problem. Gantt Project has a remarkably simple and elegant xml file format that is just asking to be monkeyed with. First thing I was able to get the excel tracking list for the next release into the proper xml format with assignments start times etc, now the really cool part...I wrote a quick groovy script (I am a little enamored of groovy at the moment) and was able to pull in bug status information, duration and find bugs that I had missed and update my Gantt project. Every morning I can pull down the status information and update my project plan in seconds and not have to worry about missing anything that was entered in Bugzilla which didn't make the plan. I now get a synced project plan with updated bugzilla status info every morning. I am sure I will find more things to tinker with too!

I still have to put up with the issues of Gantt Project (it's not a bad little tool, but it is lacking a find command and is pretty simple in its feature set). None the less I am much less annoyed now.