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New Website for Activo: www.activo.com

November 23rd, 2010
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I have good news and bad news to tell you, well it is not really bad news, but just wanted to use that saying…

The bad news is that this website is has just become absolute. Meaning we will no longer publish anything new or introduce any new content on this website. The good news is that we already have a new website and the new website can be found at www.activo.com. Notice that we got the domain name that we always wanted to have for Activo – Yeah!

Activo

For those of you who are interested, the new website was launched in late August of 2010. The domain was purchased back in November of 2009. The site currently already have twice the amount of traffic that this website has. The site also reflects a few changes in Activo:

  1. We moved our offices from Santa Clara to Los Angeles – and we love it down here. In fact LA is a great hub for techies and entrepreneurs, believe it or not.
  2. We now have a virtual team of developers, designers, and project managers. Yes – it was a decision we had to make back in the days before we moved and it turned out to work great. Our customers love it.
  3. We have decided to focus on Magento Development and Magento Extensions. I got to say, what a great decision that was!

So, check out the new website and our new blog. I (Ron Peled) will continue to post regularly about our daily grind and share with you as much as possible from what I am doing at any given time. Drop me a line if you have any suggestions or recommendations.

.NET Framework, AJAX, Content Management Systems, eCommerce, Ektron, Joomla, LAMP: Linux Apache MySQL PHP, Magento, Performance Optimization, PHP/MySQL, Project Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Application Hosting, Web Design, Web Development, Web-based User Interfaces, ZenCart

Why we chose Eventum over any other issue tracking system?

July 29th, 2007

We recently signed a few website maintenance agreements for multiple websites each. To better manage these websites and our development progress we needed an issue tracking system. So, we looked around and found a few systems. Our shortlist consisted of a few open source and obvious ones out there: Bugzila, RT, & Mantis, one fairly unknown open source system: Eventum, and one commercial system: Kayako.

We were looking for a system that its main purpose is issue tracking not bug tracking. It is a very saddle difference but it makes the life of the non-technical user, such as our clients, much easier. We wanted to make sure that the technical jargon used within the project will suite our clients without changing a whole bunch of language files and templates. Another required feature is the ability to create issues and track them via emails. Last, we wanted to use an issue tracking system that we can easily add or remove features by digging into the code and still have a solid and stable foundation.

Since at Activo we specialize in .NET and PHP web development environments we didn’t want to experiment with any other environment like Perl or Python, automatically two systems were removed from our shortlist before even installing them. Personally, I have used RT previously in a different company and I must say that it does meet more than the basic needs. Previously, one of our team members has tried to install and test Bugzilla. Unfortunately, he has installed the previous stable release (2.X.X) and it needed some heavy configuration and didn’t offer a crisp/clean look & feel.

We were left with three PHP based issue tracking systems: Mantis, Eventum, and Kayako. Here is how the different platforms scored:

Issue Tracking System

Issue vs Bug tracking

Issue creation by email

Manageable and solid code

Mantis

The system is oriented for the more technical user and carries the title of ‘bugtracking’ system.

Issue creation via email is only available as a patch. Email notification for issue updates is available right out of the box.

First, the code seem to still be in beta or unstable mode. Second, as we were browsing the public demo online, we found a few php errors and warnings at the very top of the page – which we thought wasn’t acceptable.

Kayako

Issue tracking system. Feature rich and well tested.

Feature is supported out of the box.

As expected the software did require installing Zend Optimizer on our server. Since our development server requires some advanced configuration options this was out of the question. However, it seemed like 99% of their code was open source except the portion that checks for the license which made this candidate as a great option for us.

Eventum

Issue tracking system. Feature is fairly rich but still remains easy to understand and use.

Here is where Eventum excels, from version 2.0 their email management has improved significantly with queuing and granular preferences per user for email routing, updates, and tracking. In fact, one can handle entire issues by using emails only.

The code is maintained by a few members of the MySQL team. It seems like the MySQL software development team is using this system internally which guarantees stability. Other than the template system, the code is well structured.

We had to make a decision between Kayako and Eventum and finally we had a poor experience with Kayako’s technical support team which steered us in Eventum’s direction. After installing, testing, and forgetting about the system for a while we ran into some problems with the email queuing feature. For some reason our cron tabs consistently returned error messages and emails were not being transferred back and forth smoothly. After some digging we found some permission issues and fixed it. Now that it is working well and most importantly serves our needs, we can declare Eventum as a winner.

Thank you MySQL!

Project Management, Web Development