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OpenProject: The open source alternative to Jira

Jira is an established player for agile project management. For many, Jira is the household name for issue tracking software.
However, Jira is not open source. OpenProject is – and offers quite similar features. Let’s compare Jira and OpenProject.

Issue & task tracking

Both Jira and OpenProject offer sophisticated issue tracking with custom fields and workflow customization.

Jira

In Jira users can create new issues in a popup window.
The displayed fields can be configured and the view can be customized to users’ needs.
It is possible to specify workflows for different issue types.

IssueTracking-Jira1

 

OpenProject

In OpenProject you can create new issues from the work package list.
Similar to Jira, the displayed attributes can be configured for each issue type. On top of this, you can display help texts to assist users in setting the correct attribute values.
You can adjust the workflow for each issue type, as well as for the author and assignee of a work package.

Work Package Create

Project planning with Gantt charts

Managing a project plan is a critical component for successful project management.

Jira

The core version of Jira does not include a Gantt chart. However, there are several Gantt chart add-ons available in the Atlassian Marketplace. These are priced separately from the Jira core version.

OpenProject

OpenProject enables creating and managing a project plan using Gantt charts, both for single projects as well as multi-hierarchy projects.
The dynamic and interactive Gantt chart in OpenProject can be displayed on the work package list. This allows a seamless transition from the list view to the Gantt chart view.
Start and due dates can be easily updated by either setting the dates in the list view or using drag & drop in the Gantt chart. You can also create and visualize dependencies in the Gantt chart.
Project managers can thereby create and visualize the progress even for complex Gantt charts which span multiple projects and even display planning changes.

Gantt chart

Time and cost tracking

An essential feature for any larger project is the ability to track the time as well as the costs spent on a project.

Jira

Jira supports time tracking, including the detailed specification of working times and hours. It does not support cost tracking in the basic version. However, it is possible to download add-ins in the Atlassian marketplace for cost tracking.

OpenProject

You can enable time tracking for each project separately within OpenProject.
Additionally, OpenProject allows users to track costs – both personnel costs as well as unit costs.
Furthermore, you can create budgets within projects to compare planned and realized costs.
You can create and save detailed time and costs reports filtered and grouped based on your needs.
A sophisticated permission model allows users to restrict the data that users can see. This includes for example whether a user can only see and edit own tracked time.

OpenProject vs Trello: LogTime

Additional criteria

Data security is an important aspect when choosing a project management tool. Therefore, both OpenProject and Jira offer regular data backups.

Large companies often have strong data privacy and data security guidelines which prohibit the use of purely web-based solutions.
Both Jira and OpenProject not only offer a web-solution but are also available as on-premise installations.

The OpenProject enterprise edition enables companies to install OpenProject on their own servers and offers additional functionality especially relevant for larger companies, such as 2-factor authentication, custom logos and corporate design.

Open source software provides maximum flexibility and independence: Users can make their own adjustments.
Thus, OpenProject is open source. Jira on the other hand is proprietary.

Conclusion OpenProject vs Jira

In conclusion: Jira is a very powerful application with more than 2,000 add-ons and a large following. It is highly customizable.
However, this flexibility comes at a price: Many add-ons come with a significant price tag which adds up.

OpenProject offers very similar features directly included (without additional expense) and positions itself as an open source Jira alternative.

You need a demo or want to switch?

If you want to take a glance at OpenProject or test all features thoroughly, just create a free OpenProject trial.

16 responses to “OpenProject: The open source alternative to Jira

  1. Alagu says:

    NIce comparision..I like this.

  2. Aden says:

    Hmmm.. correctly pointed as JIRA has the installation based of more than a decade but Still, OpenProject offers most of the similar functionality in a more intuitive and efficient way.

  3. Birthe Lindenthal says:

    Thanks for just updating this comparison, Robin. It’s as relevant as ever.

  4. G. Craig Johnson says:

    What is the annual cost of this product?

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      Hello G. Craig,
      the price differs depending on wheather you are using the Cloud-based or on-premise version.
      You can find pricing information on https://www.openproject.org/pricing/

  5. Pete says:

    How does it handle agile and scrum?

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      Hello Pete,
      take a look at this video to get a better impression of the Scrum capability in OpenProject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwWtuDcqj18

  6. Anirudha says:

    What is the migration strategy moving from Jira to OpenProject.Does OpenProject has import engine to support the migration?

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      Hello Anirudha,

      OpenProject offers an API (http://docs.openproject.org/apiv3-doc/) which could be used as the starting point to move data from Jira to OpenProject. There is no direct import option for Jira data in OpenProject yet.

  7. Ricardo says:

    A great PM platform It’s just a matter of how you configure the installation. At this aspect, OpenProject is being great so far.

  8. Morgan says:

    Can Open Project work with Tableau?

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      Hi Morgan,

      there is currently no plugin for an integration with Tableau.
      However, OpenProject provides an API [1] which you could use as the basis for an integration.

      What is the use case you would like to cover? Do you want to import data from Tableau to OpenProject? Or the other way around?
      As far as I’m aware Tableau offers an Excel import and export (at least CSV). OpenProject offers an Excel synchronisation template [2] that may be helpful (e.g. exporting from Tableau to Excel, then from Excel to OpenProject).

      [1]
      http://docs.openproject.org/apiv3-doc/

      [2]
      https://www.openproject.org/synchronize-excel-openproject/

  9. Tove says:

    Can you edit multiple tasks duration? Jira seems to be missing this feature. I mean, to easily ctrl select tasks in the Gantt view and making them 2 days longer, while the dependencies auto updates the rest of the tasks in the timeline. Teamgantt has this function.

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      You can select multiple work packages (by Ctrl-clicking or holding Shift while making a selection) and then right-click to edit multiple work packages at once.
      This allows you to update the start and finish date of multiple tasks at once. You can set a fixed date for multiple tasks. It is currently not yet possible to delay all tasks (e.g. by 2 days) from this view.
      However, if the tasks have a follows-precedes relationship, following tasks will be updated automatically when you update a preceding task.

  10. Victor Romero Cano says:

    I am a bit confused. You claim OpenProject is open source but apparently, we have to pay a subscription. Am I missing something?

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      Hi Victor,

      OpenProject is indeed open source. You can find the source code on GitHub (https://github.com/opf/openproject).
      The self-hosted OpenProject Community Edition is available for free. You find installation instructions on https://www.openproject.org/download-and-installation/.

      The OpenProject Cloud Edition provides hosting, updates, premium (Enterprise) features as well as support. The Enterprise Edition allows you to use those premium features and have support for an on-premise OpenProject version. Due to these additional services, there is a charge for those products. (We use this revenue to maintain and further develop OpenProject as an open source project management solution.)
      To get an overview of the differences between these versions, take a look at https://www.openproject.org/pricing/#features.

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