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OpenProject – the user friendly alternative to Redmine

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OpenProject vs. Redmine: A comparison of OpenProject to Redmine shows how both tools now differ in design and usability even though they have the same roots.

A lot of people are very amazed when I tell them that OpenProject is a fork of Redmine. This reaction makes me quite proud, since this means we made significant progress with our goal to build the most user friendly open source project management software. We wanted to have a tool every project member is happy to use – not only tech-savvy users. So let’s have a look on a few functionalities which had been changed since we forked in 2011:

Single-page application vs. traditional web application

Redmine is a traditional Ruby on Rails technology stack. Most actions require an entire reload of the page (e.g. updating a work package/issue). Using our own software every day it was clear for us that we wanted to build a single-page application. After a detailed feasibility study and numerous prototypes we decided to integrate the popular JavaScript framework AngularJS. This also required the development of the new REST API v.3. Especially in the work packages module you can see a significant difference of these two approaches.

So let’s have a look how this behaves in the two applications with the most important use cases:

  • Create a work package (issue).
  • Edit its description.
  • Leave a comment.
  • Close it.


For creating a new issue, there is a prominent button in the horizontal tab bar. For updating, commenting and changing the status of an existing issue there is the edit icon on top of the issue which then turns the form in the edit mode. Here you can update the issue und submit changes.



In OpenProject a new work package type can be created via the prominent green button on top. You have three different views for for creating and editing work packages and you can easily switch between those views – depending on what you want to do: A list view, a split screen view and a details view:

  1. Full screen create and edit to make detailed changes
  2. Inplace create (coming with Release 5.1.) and edit in list view and split screen view for quick and easy updates



Invite users to a project

So let’s have a look at another example: Inviting new users to collaborate in a project.


  1. Go to Administration -> Users -> New user
  2. Enter user details.
  3. Go back to the project.
  4. Go to Settings -> Member
  5. Type in username in section New member




  1. Within a project, go to Members.
  2. Click on “+Add member”.
  3. Enter email address of new member or add existing member.




There is no responsive layout for small displays yet.


For the main use case of creating and updating a work packages there is a responsive frontend. However, not all screens are responsive yet.


Keyboard shortcuts

In OpenProject there are a set of keyboard shortcuts which make the use of important features even quicker. You can access an overview of all shortcuts by pressing the question mark key (?).


The next usability features on the OpenProject roadmap

Inline Edit

We are currently working on to allow inline editing in the work packages table. So the user does not lose context. We are excited to release this feature as part of OpenProject 5.1.

User onboarding

Both applications Redmine and OpenProject lack a user onboarding procedure. So new users need are left alone when doing their first steps. This is something that will be added soon for OpenProject.

Anything missing?

You miss an important usability feature you saw in Redmine or any other tool? Please let us know and open a feature request for our roadmap.

Need a demo or want to change?

If you want to take a glance at OpenProject or test all features thoroughly, just create a free trial.
If you want to change from Redmine to OpenProject, we can offer professional migration and installation support.