Page 1 of 2
Do you want a bug tracker or a software project manager? How about a web-based tool that can do both?
As with all tools the programmer's first instinct is to build it from scratch and the first law of tools is "don't build it from scratch". So, after I had successfully resisted the temptation to implement our own bug tracker, the next problem was which off-the-shelf tool to use?
Given that we only have a small team but are growing fast, the idea of trying out Countersoft's Gemini - which has a free three-person unlimited licence that you can download - seemed a reasonable idea. (There is also an unlimited free 30-day trial, with hosted and download options.) This and the fact that Gemini doesn't seem to be able to make its mind up whether it is a bug tracker or a project manager offered just the sort of flexibility I was looking for.
It was clear that we didn't need a full project manager with the complexities of resource leveling and so on but with feedback on how long things take and the relationships between tasks seemed a reasonable extra requirement. What was surprising was that Gemini seemed to promise all of this out of the box.
The only way to find out was to give it a trial.
Installing on Windows 7
In most cases it is sensible either to use a hosted service or run Gemini on a full server - Windows Server 2008, say - but for the trial 3-user system it is clearly useful to be able to try things out on a lesser machine. In fact the resources that are required to run Gemini are reasonable enough to be able to set up a test site using a virtual machine - which is what I did using the VMware player. However, due to the strange way that Microsoft has configured the defaults for IIS under Windows 7, this isn't quite a simple as it might seem. A similar set of steps are required to run under Vista and even XP.
Let's look at the details.
First set up a new virtual machine running Windows 7. You can run an ASP .NET website, and hence Gemini, using any Windows 7 edition apart from Home Basic or Starter. The problem is that, even in cases where you can run an ASP .NET site, IIS and ASP .NET support isn't turned on automatically.
To use IIS you have to go to the Control Panel, select Programs and then "Turn Windows features on and off". When the dialog box appears, select Internet Information Services but also expand that part of the tree, World Wide Web Services and Application Development Features and make sure that ASP .NET is ticked and anything else you need to support. Notice that Windows 7 doesn't enable these by default.
After you have IIS with ASP .NET support you need to install SQL Server - but SQLServer Express is all you really need. If you do use SQL Server Express you can simply install it with all of the defaults. Notice that it gives you an instance called localhost\sqlexpress using Windows authentication.
Next you can install Gemini using the online installer or the zip file. You can again accept the defaults but when you reach the database section make sure you enter the instance name
and opt for Windows authentication. If the setup fails with almost any SQL error, the most likely cause of the problem is that you have used the wrong instance name or you are not using Windows authentication.
When the installation is complete you will discover that it doesn't work and it will fail with an error message that says
Cannot open database "<Database Name>"
requested by the login.
The login failed.
Login failed for user
The reason for this is the default way that IIS is setup in Windows 7. All you have to do to fix it is run IIS manager by going to the Start menu item and typing
Next click on Application Pools and select DefaultAppPool and Advanced Settings. Finally scroll down to Process Model and select LocalSystem for the Identity property. Try again and it should all work.