Redmine Drive plugin reviewed

Redmine Drive plugin is the new creation by Redmine UP. It is a new, more productive and intuitive way of managing your documents in Redmine.

Here we will talk about the Redmine UP's Drive plugin and compare it with Redmine's default documents module.

There is currently a very interesting launch offer:

Redmine's Document Module

As you know, Redmine's got a documents module. This is a screenshot of the Documents list:

In the Documents module you've got a plain per-project list of documents that have been uploaded to the project, but there are too many shortcomings to consider this module as really useful.

Drawbacks of the Redmine Document Module

  • No folders: if a user is used to a concept when dealing with document management, this is “folders”. But Redmine's document module doesn't use folders. The closest to folders here would be “Categories”, but of course this concept isn't as visual and user-friendly as seeing a tree of folders. Average users use system folders, Dropbox and Google Drive on a daily basis, so why not simulating this interface to make it easier to Redmine users?
  • Linking to documents: if you want to directly link to a document from a Redmine task or wiki page, you've got to know the right “macro”. Again this isn't anything an average Redmine user will know. And you can't ask the users to read the whole macro cheat sheet…
  • Uploading files: uploading files to the document module is more like creating a task rather than attaching a file. There is no drag&drop feature to the module.
Let's face it: Redmine's document module is too simple for our current days, where the average user's documentation needs are overwhelming.

Here's when Redmine UP saw a void to be filled by developing the new Drive plugin.

What is Redmine Drive Plugin

The Drive plugin is a new way of storing and managing documents and folders in Redmine, with a design that recreates well-known interfaces like Dropbox and is adapted to mobile devices.

Benefits of Redmine Drive Plugin

There are many advantages of using Drive plugin over using Redmine's standard document module.

  • Per-project and global drive. With Drive plugin you can view or manage folders and documents on a global or on a per-project basis.
  • Folders tree organisation. Finally folders and folders' tree are here. Your users will access their documents are they are used to with their system folders or with services like Google Drive or Dropbox.
    Redmine Drive folders tree
  • Drag & Drop upload. To upload a document to the Drive is as easy as drag&dropping it to the Drive area. After that, just move it to the desired folder.
  • Tagging. Tags are a well-known concept when dealing with content. Thus you will also be able to tag folders and documents in Redmine Drive.
  • Sharing documents. This is one of Drive's main features. Users will be able to share a document just like in Dropbox, by creating a link and sending it to another user. They even will be able to give the link and expiration date. After this date the link will not be valid anymore and the document can't be accessed through it.
  • Sharing folders. Whole folders can be shared in the same way as documents are. Pretty easy to share knowledge among your users.
  • Copying and moving documents. Documents can be moved from one folder to another. They can also be copied from one folder to another. The file will be physically duplicated as well.
  • Linking to a document from an issue. Your users will now be able to link documents and issues. They don't need to physically send the document but they will point to it by linking the document to the issue.
  • Filters and sorting . On top of the documents table we've got the typicall Redmine filters. You will be able to filter the table by several parameters, but also to manage table columns and to sort the table by certain columns.
  • Permissions. As with other entities, each role can be given different permissions (View, Add or Edit) to manage documents and folders.
The Drive plugin was something Redmine really needed. When tasks are generated, documentation is always generated as well, and Redmine did not have efficient document management. Drive fills that gap in a completely satisfactory way.
There is currently a very interesting launch offer:

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