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currently, we have a closed source project on hand. However, we would like to have a communication channel together with our end users.

  • We would like to have our end users to know, what features we are currently working on, and what features they are going to get in next release.
  • We would like to know users' thought, on our planned features. They may always provide input/suggestion on our planned features.
  • We do not planned to host on our own server. Hence, a ready-available service is welcomed.
  • But we would like to remain our source code in closed model

Is there any web based service available for this purpose? Free or commercial doesn't matter.

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Is your team developing in-house software for a known customer or are you a software vendor providing services to the public without direct contact with the customer? –  Emmad Kareem Jul 20 '12 at 2:00
    
It is mobile app which will be sold through Android Market and App Store. End users will purchase and download directly. –  Cheok Yan Cheng Jul 20 '12 at 2:03
    
Linden Lab uses JIRA, and it works quite well for them. –  Maxpm Jul 20 '12 at 3:37
    
I'd raise the point this is not necessarily a good idea: providing information on work progress may get you in an uncomfortable position when you cancel a feature, or your estimation of it turns out completely wrong. This is why most projects don't share such information. –  K.Steff Jul 30 '12 at 2:05
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can even try trello . Very easy and intuitive. You can even get help on http://webapps.stackexchange.com about using trello. If you look into the demo the Trello team has implemented exactly your use-case to demonstrate the usage of the features.

I am not affiliated in any way to the mentioned service, apart being a user of the system

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Pretty useful. We already start to use trello, and just loving it. –  Cheok Yan Cheng Jul 30 '12 at 18:30
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We use Jira for this with different projects for developpers and users. Other trackers should be able to do this as well though. Users can make feature requests, report bugs, view release status etc in the user projects only. The issues reported by users are reviewed and corresponding developper issues are created, then linked to the user issues. At first sight this looks like total duplication, but in fact it is not.

Example: user requests 'feature A' and describes it. The corresponding developper then creates an issue (or issues, for example one in the core API prooject and one in the UI project) where he/she documents what piece of code needs to change, updates the user issue's estimated time to finish it and links it to the developper issues. This way the customer doesn't have to bother with code details (which they do not care about anyway), but the developpers have a nice seperated overview of what it takes to complete an issue. This gets combined with the ability to view git commits etc, handy workflows and so on.

Jira takes some time to set up, but it's extremely customizable and after a year of use (together with confluence) we are very happy with it.

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I can think of a couple off the top of my head.

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I like JIRA but if I am not wrong, JIRA needs a locally hosted server, which is not what the asker wants. –  DPD Jul 20 '12 at 11:00
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@DPD confluence.atlassian.com/display/DISC/… –  stijn Jul 20 '12 at 15:37
    
@stijn Thanks for the info. –  DPD Jul 23 '12 at 4:52
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FaultTrack will have this, but it won't be available until September 2013 and only if it gets funded. The bug tracker itself is a desktop application for developers, and the current customer submission feature will be through a web portal however. When its available though, there will also be hosted solutions so you don't have to set anything up.

I currently use this with my clients who I develop software for, they are provided an entire project management portal through my site, which includes a web portal hooked up to FaultTrack. Here's a screenshot.

enter image description here

And to ensure I'm following StackExchange guidelines, I must let you know that I'm the creator of the FaultTrack project.

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