HOWTO: Contribute to Milestones PM (Code Not Required) (#opensource)

I released a new version of Milestones PM this morning.  It’s not a huge release, in fact it’s just a bug fix.

Why did I release it?  Because I could.  Because that one bug was important to a user.  There might be other bugs, but this is the one that got reported in sufficient detail for me to go in and fix quickly and easily.

Thank you, Neal Hobert, for creating the issue.

But this process got me wondering: do people know how to participate in a Labs Open Source project like Milestones PM?  I’m guessing no.  So here’s a quick guide.

I thought I’d create the onramp shown above to illustrate the different ways people can help the project.  Note that helping the project does not require you to code.  In fact, where we could use the most help, identifying and verifying bugs, is a non-code issue.  So is adding ideas.

And all you really need to jump in here is an account on Github which is both surprisingly easy and free to acquire.  Github is easy to use.  And if you want to sign up for an account, and get to know it a little bit, the Github crew will be joining us at Dreamforce in the Open Source Lab Sponsored by Github.

Adding a new issue is simple: just go to the issues section.

And what’s also exciting is this: this same basic pattern holds true for other great Labs apps.  Maybe you have something to say about Survey Force, Action Plans, Find Nearby, or Lead Scoring.  Note that these are NOT the only #opensource apps on deck — almost all Labs apps are released under a BSD License so you can use them however you like.  If you have one you’d like to work with that isn’t on Github yet, just let me know.

Edit: Now, if code is your thing, we might have some paperwork for you to process,  but it’s super easy and is really only necessary if you are adding features.  Bug fixes or minor tweaks do not require this.  It’s a simple Contributor License Agreement — as simple an agreement as I’ve read lo these many years. (Note: I added this as an edit because I wanted to make sure the CLA was available but it didn’t think it warranted a new post.)

Questions? Comments? Add here, on or on @ReidCarlberg.

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  • James Doman

    When will Milestones PM be updated for the latest version of SF?

  • Do you mean API (22.0)? Everything works as is today. Probably won’t update API settings until the IDE catches up.

  • James Doman

    When I go to add Milestones to my production SF it says the app is not compatible with my edition of SF.

  • Ah! It’s compatible with Enterprise, Unlimited and Developer. If you’re not on one of those, you’ll see that message. The compatibility issues are around Apex Code usage.

  • James Doman

    Ah… great. So is there any way to get it installed for Professional?

  • PE would require a managed app. We don’t generally do this for Labs apps, although we’re working on an exception here. I don’t have a timeframe for you, but watch the blogs, etc., for more info.

  • Aforsdick

    i don’t know if this is the right place to ask questions about Milestone’s functionality, but i have a few to understand if it can do what i need it to do. i have a repetitive customer “launch” process for which I would like to create a “template” Project with several Milestones and then several Tasks within each Milestone. Then i could clone the “template” Project & rename it for each new customer on boarding process. Can i set the Milestone and Task due dates using formulas?

    • Should be able to but might require a little custom code.

  • Yes, that should work just fine.

  • Sgoldt

    is it possible to re-organize the ganntt chart view by milestone date and parent/child milestones?

    • That sounds like a nice tweak. Can you add it as an issue?

      • Sgoldt

        How/where do I add it as an issue?

  • Sgoldt

    Is there any way to remove the constraint where a parent milestones can’t also be child milestones?

  • Andye

    Hi. Is there any way to print the entire gannt chart in one go? If it goes beyond the window width, it doesn’t seem possible.

  • MariaB

    Is there a way around the Chatter requirement? (Missing Organization Feature: Chatter)

    • There’s code in github for this (thanks @capeterson!) and we’re working on merging it as I type this. Stay tuned.

  • Shawn Jensen

    Is there a way to use the native task management, so that project related tasks would show up on the home page under My Tasks? I think that you could really have a more robust product if you used the native task functionality.

    • Right now you’d have to create some synching code. I’ve heard rumors of it in the wild but haven’t actually seen it. Using a custom task comes with costs and benefits. One of the benefits is the ability to fit in the Master Detail relationship hierarchy between Milestones and task level details such as a Hours and Costs.

  • Uga_5

    Can Milestones be used for portal users?

    • Yes! It’s 100% custom objects, so you should be able to configure the permissions for access to either Customer Portal or Partner Portal as you see fit.

  • Naveen Gabrani

    Are the Gantt charts editable? Can I make changes to the Gantt Chart, save them and the changes get reflected in the objects.

    • You can drag them on the Project Detail page to update milestone dates. Same on the Milestone page. It’s not super obvious that it’s happening, but it is.

  • Lisa Byer

    how do we keep predecessor milestones intact in a template?
    thanks kIndly

    • Version 1.61 should support this on export and import (not yet on clone).

  • Anonymous

    thankyou… muchly.. for the on-ramp!
    (for a clicker like me)
    i got where to log the issues
    but sorry – simple me – where do I find what you like me to do in these projects?

  • Bathauer

    How is this app managed? if we customize objects/fields/apex code and there is an upgrade that can potentially impact this are we able to “opt out” of upgrade features and are we notified of those releases?

  • Anne

    Hi Reid. I saw your message:

    “PE would require a managed app. We don’t generally do this for Labs
    apps, although we’re working on an exception here. I don’t have a
    timeframe for you, but watch the blogs, etc., for more info”

    Any more information on when this app will work with PE?

    • Milestones PM from Labs will not work with PE. You can use Milestones PM+ from Passage Technology or other Project Management apps.

  • Not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but I have a question about templates. I am writing a trigger to create a new project on opportunity close. I have a number of templates based on opportunity type. I want to be able to use a template (with preconfigured tasks, etc) with my trigger so that when I close an opportunity type of “services” it will kick off a new “services” project using my “services” template.

    Is this possible?

    Thanks in advvance!