Niku Unveils First Open Source Alternative for Microsoft Project

Project Workbench - Desktop Scheduler now available free of charge

Redwood City, Calif. — July 12, 2004 — Niku Corporation, a leader in IT Management and Governance (IT-MG) solutions, today announced the launch of Open Workbench, the open source release of Project Workbench™, its popular project scheduling tool. In releasing Open Workbench, Niku is offering the first compelling and free alternative to Microsoft® Project. Open Workbench is available today for download free of charge at Additionally, the source code will be available next month through SourceForge (, the world’s largest open source software development web site.

“BBH has been very well served for more than ten years exclusively using Niku tools for scheduling our IT team. Quite simply, it does the job better than anything else,” said Rick Berk, CIO at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., an award-winning provider of global custody, FX, securities lending and brokerage services for many of the world’s most sophisticated mutual funds, investment managers, banks and insurance companies. “We applaud Niku’s move to align Workbench with the open source community, as we believe that having direct access to the software code can give us a new level of service and self-support, coupled with a new set of resources committed to evolving this already-excellent product.”

Workbench, also known as Project Workbench and ABT Workbench, is the trusted tool for more than 100,000 project management professionals around the world, in part because of its unique ability to generate schedules based on resource constraints. Now those users will be able to deploy Open Workbench free of charge throughout their enterprises. Additionally, open source developers will find a new community of business users interested in their enhancements and extensions.

“Desktop project scheduling tools, though nearly a billion-dollar market, are commodity products today,” said Matt Light, Gartner Group research director and chair of Gartner's Project Portfolio Management Research Community. “Open source project schedulers will allow vendors to focus on meeting the demand for the more complex applications of portfolio management as well as IT planning, governance and control.”

“Open source has revolutionized how operating systems, databases and developer tools are created and distributed,” said Joshua Pickus, Niku’s CEO. “Now, Niku is igniting the next major phase in the open source movement by delivering a Windows-based business application to the open source world. We expect this release to provide tremendous benefits to project managers around the globe.”

About Open Workbench

Open Workbench is a stand-alone desktop application that provides robust project scheduling functionality. It will also be usable in a fully integrated fashion with Clarity™, the enterprise-class IT-MG system from Niku. This seamless connection between day-to-day project management activities and strategic portfolio planning and execution will enable organizations to execute flawlessly on the right initiatives.

One of the enhancements that Niku will soon make to Open Workbench is a feature allowing the import of Microsoft Project files, making it even easier for project managers to migrate from high-cost products to this free scheduling tool.

About the Open Workbench Community

Niku is contributing its Workbench source code to the new Open Workbench community so users can receive the benefits from community-based development and support including: higher quality, faster innovation and lower costs. Developers and service providers who add value to Open Workbench will be able to contribute their enhancements to the community at large through SourceForge under the Mozilla license, or alternately may sell their enhancements under any license they choose.

The first independent developer for Open Workbench is Magic Software of Delhi, India ( Magic Software is available to Open Workbench customers for development and quality assurance services.

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Niku and the Niku logo are registered trademarks, Clarity and Project Workbench are trademarks of Niku Corporation in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks, trade names, and/or product names are used solely for the purpose of identification and are the property of their respective owners.