It looks like there are new project management/project tracking tools available
- Copper Project from Element
- Basecamp from the venerable 37signals
They both look like excellent tools.
Copper Project is a PHP/MySQL application. It will run on any platform that supports Apache, IIS, PHP 4.0, MySQL or Access ODBC. The pricing seems a little strange. The STANDARD edition is US$299, the CORPORATE edition is US$749, however the COPORATE upgrade is US$399, you could save US$50 by purchasing the STANDARD edition and upgrading to the CORPORATE ($299 + $399 = $698 which is less than the $749 for the CORPORATE edition). It is possible that the CORPORATE upgrade is for previous owners. Copper Project is very centered around Clients -> Projects -> Tasks. It should be very familiar for most users and have a very shallow learning curve.
Basecamp is a online service, the pricing starts at US$19.95/month for 10 projects. Basecamp looks like a lot of the 37signals’ projects, it has a clean UI layer that is xhtml and css compliant. Basecamp looks like it is built on top of blogging tools (probably MoveableType, the Everything Basecamp site looks to be built on MT2.61). This is a really interesting way to treat time based projects.
Both of these projects are excellent tools, they look like the fill different niches. I really want a combination of these tools with an issue manager/bug tracker integrated. I love blog simplicity and the ability to use RSS reader to check project status and updates.
Macintouch had a pointer to another project time tracking tool, Projectory, it looks very similar to Copper Project. FreshMeat has a list of other time-tracking/project management tools. Basecamp is just elegant. It is a masterpiece of simplicity!