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Monday.com open source alternative
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The best open source alternative to Monday.com

For sure, Monday.com is currently on everyone's lips. If you look for a project management software and compare different solutions, you will eventually have a look at Monday.com. We took a closer look at the software and compared it with the free open source software OpenProject.

Monday was founded in February 2012 as daPulse. After various previous big funding rounds, the company raised another $150 million in Series D round, becoming Israel's New Top Unicorn. Monday claims to provide services for process management, project management, productivity software as well as team management [1]. Monday's feature set is colorful and diverse and is continuously being enhanced and improved. But what about data sovereignty?!

OpenProject on the other hand was started with a fork of the open source project management software Redmine as an open source project. Having a much stronger focus on topics like data security and privacy, in 2011 a team of core developers decided to build a different product, named OpenProject. OpenProject is free and open source software licensed under GNU GPL V3 which grants you software freedom. The software code is published on GitHub. OpenProject is continuously developed and maintained by an active, international community. The company OpenProject GmbH offers services for OpenProject.

We will take a look at the set up and features of Monday and OpenProject.

Let's talk about data sovereignty

Monday.com is a web-based solution available in the Cloud, only as Software-as-a-Service. As a company based mostly in the United States of America, it's not transparent what happens to your data. As a proprietary software, you depend on the decisions of Monday, having the classical vendor lock problem if you would like to switch or enhance the product. Your private data and project information is stored and maintained by Monday. Here is just a short extract from Monday's terms of services regarding YOUR CUSTOMER DATA: [...]"Subject to these Terms, Customer grants us a worldwide, royalty-free, limited license to access, use, process, copy, distribute, perform, export, and display the Customer Data, and solely to the extent that reformatting Customer Data for display in the Service constitutes a modification or derivative work, the foregoing license also includes the right to make modifications and derivative works. [...]" [2] I have no idea what this means after all. What happens to my data?!
And regarding Data Location: "Your Personal Data may be maintained, processed and stored by us and our authorized Service Providers (defined below) in multiple locations, including in the United States of America, ..."
And regarding Data Sharing: "In exceptional circumstances, we may disclose or allow government and law enforcement officials access to your Personal Data, ..." [3] What are exceptional circumstances? I have no idea. Do you?!

OpenProject as open source project management software can be installed on-premises, having full control of your data. As an open source software the software code is published on GitHub, being openly monitored by the Community. With a free software you can  basically do whatever you like, use it and change it. The Cloud version is hosted by OpenProject on servers in the European Union, compliant with GDPR and German data privacy and security regulations. Nevertheless, if you want to have complete data sovereignty just use the on-premises version, installing OpenProject in your own infrastructure and have full control of your data.

Feature comparison

Both applications offer a wide range of powerful collaboration features.

OpenProject Monday.com
Features
Issue Tracking / Task Management
Timelines / Gantt chart
Boards
Time and Cost tracking only with third party integration
Product Roadmap
Meeting management via paid template
Wiki
Repository
Forums
Mobile-friendly layout
Modern design
Single-page application
Open source

 

To wrap it up, Monday is a powerful web-based project management software. Especially regarding usability and design it’s ahead of OpenProject. Coming to data security and data sovereignty, OpenProject as a free and open source software with a great feature set is the choice you make!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monday.com
[2] https://monday.com/terms/tos
[3] https://monday.com/terms/privacy

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