2021: a year in review

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

2021 draws to a close and we are very proud of what we have accomplished this year. We would like to recap some of the things we did and share them with you. It was certainly another year full of challenges. The world is constantly changing and so is OpenProject. We are pleased to provide you a software to work and collaborate better together in a team and to carry out projects successfully.

We are especially very happy that the topics of data protection, data sovereignty, open source and open standards are becoming more and more important in the world and are finally also getting into focus from politicians and governments. Some countries have already taken on a pioneering role here and are setting a good example. We are confident that many more will follow. We are doing our very best to offer an efficient and above all secure open source software for project management. This is just a small excerpt from our highlights this year.

Data privacy and security

The importance of data security and privacy have always been a major topic for us and are the main motivations for developing this open source software. We have placed great emphasis on continuing to improve security and privacy also in 2021.

Website migration

We took a big step forward and migrated our WordPress website to a static website. Last year, we already removed all Cookie tracking from the website and application, kicked out Google Analytics and also activated the Do-Not-Track functionality in Matomo this year. We want you to be able to use OpenProject’s website and application undisturbed without having to pay with your personal data. Also, we have now integrated the documentation within the new static website. We think switching between the main website and the documentation should be as easy as possible. Therefore, the docs became part of our website. Read about the migration from our website.

screenshot openproject website

Data privacy policy

Furthermore, we kicked out more and more data processors outside of the EU. Our goal is to provide a simple and easy to understand privacy policy for our customers. We have also spent a lot of time on this topic in 2021. With OpenProject we want to be a lighthouse project for data privacy and security in Europe.

New German data center

Also, we are currently building our new openproject.eu shard. For organizations that want to have their application and data remain in Germany, we can now provide secure hosting also in a certified German data center.

Further readings:

New features in 2021

We are continuously striving to improve OpenProject. This year we have again launched a lot of new features, specified, designed, developed, tested, documented, improved code, fixed bugs, implemented UX and UI improvements.

Some of the highlights this year:

  • OpenProject 11.2 introduced a new concept of placeholder users to add preliminary users without email address to OpenProject, extended filter options, and a more distributed user administration.
  • OpenProject 11.3 came with a new concept of user invite, create button in header navigation, a GitHub integration, and API extensions.
  • An OpenProject and Nextcloud integration connects project management with the content collaboration platform. We are also currently working on an integration from Nextcloud in OpenProject for 2022.
  • We launched an OpenProject and GitHub integration. This integration facilitates the collaboration of developers by connecting the two applications. With this integration a developer or stakeholder is able to see the overall status of the development, from timing and tasks down to pull requests being worked on.
  • OpenProject BIM: Also, we have launched many new features and improvements for the OpenProject version for the building industries, i.e. a Revit Add-in to exchange BCF issues which was coming with OpenProject 11.4.
  • OpenProject 12.0: launched new in-app notifications that keep you informed about changes in your projects. From now on, users can see changes directly in a notification center and do not get an email for each change. Additional email summaries can be configured.

screenshot openproject notification center

Team collaboration resources

This year was again dominated by the pandemic. Organizations were moving to home offices, switched to remote or hybrid ways of working. We are very happy that we can contribute a little bit with OpenProject to make it possible for teams to work together safely and keep connected across different locations.

We have created many resources for you this year to make it as easy as possible for teams to get started with OpenProject. Here are just a few of them:

Find more on our blog.

Our new team members

The best part of growth is the new people who strengthen and professionalize the team. We were able to grow again as a team and have gained many new colleagues. OpenProject’s success can only be attributed to a great team that does extraordinary things together. Welcome to all new team members.

  • Andrej migrated and now develops the static OpenProject website, and everything related to it. Thanks to Andrej we now have full control over our website, and it’s lightning fast.
  • Eric strengthens the OpenProject development for BIM. OpenProject BIM offers features for the construction industry, such as a 3D model viewer, BCF management or a Revit integration.
  • Marc joined the product team as a UX/UI designer. He develops new views and UI and UX improvements in Figma and coordinates them with the development team. Also, he suggests website improvements and harmonization. He is also one of the drivers of our new design system.
  • Parimal joined the product team as a UX/UI designer. He develops new views for features and noticeably improves the UI and UX for OpenProject. Also, one of his strengths is copywriting.
  • Frank is our new account manager for North America. He provides sales and support in the US time zone and make our customers there happy.
  • Adam supports the DevOps team as a second level support engineer. With him, we now have even more power to answer technical support requests quickly or to perform installations and upgrades.
  • Jan provides trainings for OpenProject and supports with customer inquiries. As a Training and Customer Success Manager, his focus is to ensure that customers can use OpenProject as efficiently as possible.
  • Judith is our very first internal HR and Talent Acquisition Manager. She covers all people and organization topics, makes sure we get great new talent and has the remote working topic with her.

What else…?

Of course, much more happened for us this year. Not only did we gain great new users and customers, set the roadmap for next year and make further optimizations to the product and organization, but we also finally all met in person again.

Passion time

This summer we repeated our passion time for the second time. Also this year, as far as possible, everyone had the opportunity to work for two weeks on a topic of their choice. Of course, there were a few rules. Mandy great things came out of it, like the basis for our 12.0 release with in-app notifications, the implementation of the OpenAPI 3 standard which facilitates the work with our API, or even the basis for our new design system.

All-hands meeting

In October, we all met in person for our all-hands meeting in Berlin - the first time since the pandemic began. After more than a year of remote work, we have finally all met again in person. Lots of familiar faces, lots of new faces, lots of personal conversations, lots of inspiring moments, lots of laughter and discovering old and new similarities in the team, and of course also differences. One highlight during our team event was the talk between our CEO Niels Lindenthal with Frank Karlitschek, founder and CEO of Nextcloud GmbH. Frank shared many exciting insights about the collaboration platform Nextcloud with us.

screenshot openproject notification center

Coalition for a level playing field with Microsoft

OpenProject joined a coalition for a level playing field with Microsoft. We think it is time to take a clear position. We must not leave innovation to the big technology companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple. Among many other IT companies and organizations, we were joining forces to support Nextcloud GmbH’s complaint with the EU as well as the German anti-trust authorities about Microsoft’s behavior.

Now, we are looking forward to our (virtual) Christmas party this week and some more quieter days around Christmas coming up soon.

We are all proud of what we have achieved this year. This would never be possible without such an amazing team, a great community, and many active users and customers. Thank you! Much more to come next year.

Here’s to 2021! Keep on collaborating – with open source and open mind.