Forum OpenACS Q&A: SDM vs new-ticket: which is appropriate when?

I have used new-ticket for production ticket tracking and looked at
SDM installations at and

I am a little unclear on the philosophical differences between the two
and when I should choose one over the other.

New-ticket seems like a straightforward ticket tracker with some nice
"team" orientation.  SDM seems target at a more nebulous definition of
"software development" and includes what looks like a weaker ticket
tracker (if nothing else the lack of ticket titles is offputting).
The sdm does have a nice breakdown of projects into modules but I
don't know if that is worth the weaker ticket features.

It looks like most of the recent ticket tracking discussion has been
related to the SDM, but things still feel less sophisticated than
new-ticket.  (The aD version of the SDM looks much nicer).  So if
someone felt like describing the differences in orientation, I would
be most appreciative.  Perhaps I should throw my efforts into
cleaning up the SDM to my tastes....

Posted by Ben Adida on
The SDM was quickly hacked up as a system to manage
software in a more distributed manner than the ticket tracker
allows. It's very clear that I should have worked more to integrate
it into the ticket tracker, but I had this feeling that somehow the
design needs would be very different, and that the SDM would
supercede the ticket tracker.

I think I was wrong. I think the ticket tracker should be more
generalized and usable by multiple other modules (like intranet,
SDM, etc...) in a more modular way.

However, at this point, as Don has mentioned, it would be best
to keep updates to the SDM very well-contained, and focus on a
new design for OpenACS 4.x that builds a more modular ticket
tracker that can more easily be linked into other packages.

One last note: the aD SDM is based off the OpenACS SDM, but
improved by a couple of developers over at aD. Since it was built
on Oracle and we have limited resources, we haven't integrated
their features back into OpenACS. If you want to take that on,
please do! It shouldn't be too hard. Cross-polination to the max.

I have done the majority of the work on the port, bug fixes, and feature enhancements of SDM for aD.  At some point I would like to ramble a bit about my experiences with SDM and what I see as the future for it, but I'm pretty busy at the moment.  In the meantime, I'll try to answer any questions that you have about the aD SDM.
Posted by Jerry Asher on
Hi Dennis,

Would you post your aD SDM somewhere (is it available as a ACS 3.X package?  (I don't see it at aD/acs-repository/older)) and maybe find sometime to discuss the ten biggest bugs you remember fixing?


Posted by Don Baccus on
There's a small mini-project underway discussing SDM enhancements for OpenACS 4, after we get a port finished.  Vinod Kurup, who has become  one of our more proflific porters, will work on finishing integration  into the OpenACS 4 framework (the partial work by aD was very incomplete).  I haven't put this on the status sheet yet because folks  just jumped up to volunteer to help on the SDM a few days ago, and Vinod's wrapping up another piece of work so won't be able to start on  the SDM for about a week.

One task will be to evaluate the functionality of aD 4.x ticket tracker - which is well  integrated into the framework using acs-messaging, acs-workflow, etc - compared with new-ticket.  If functionality's lacking we may choose to enhance it rather than port over new-ticket (since integrating new-ticket with the 4.x framework is a fair amount of work).

I'm going to risk appearing to beat a dead horse, here, but your efforts would be a lot more useful if they were integrated into the project framework.  If you want to enhance the 3.x SDM you should work  with Roberto, if you're interested in our more ambitious plans for the 4.x SDM you should work with me.

This site will be running the 4.x SDM ASAP so if you are interested in  making improvements that folks will see here at, enhancements to the 3.x version may be a waste of time.