Pivotal Tracker: Free No More

Popular Web-based agile project manager Pivot Tracker will start charging on July 19, 2011 – about six months from now. Pricing will start at $7 per month for teams with up to three collaborators. More information can be found in the company’s announcement and on its pricing page.

Pivotal Tracker will remain free for some users: individuals, public projects (those with logs that are exposed to the public), non-profit users and educational users.

Response from the community has been generally positive. This tweet sums it up:

However, there are some legitimate concerns about the new pricing model. Since it charges per user, adding additional users to a project – such as clients -ratchets up the price considerably. Commenter dasil003 posts at Hacker News:

I don’t have trouble paying for full-time dev collaborators, but the head count could become a pain point once you roll in various tangential roles such as management, support and sales, etc. I’m not sure the best way to handle this without opening loopholes, but I’m hoping they reach out to some of their users who aren’t quite so developer heavy as pivotal labs to discuss options.

Surely a compromise can be reached.

Technical writer Ryan Bigg provides a bit of Pivotal Tracker’s history:

5 years (or around 1,826 days) is immensely long time for a Rails project to have been around. 5 years ago, Rails was at 0.9.4, very nearly at 0.9.5. This project was before Rails was mainstream. The Pivotal Labs crew have done a tremendous job on it, constantly upgrading its features and most recently overhauling the UI to something very, very hot. For 5 years, it’s been free to use for anyone and everyone, but now they would like to start charging for it and I think this is a great idea. With the Pivotal Labs team now electing to transform Tracker to a paid service, they’ll be able to dedicate more people to work on it and maintain it, leading to a better experience overall.

This is a long time coming – hopefully it will work out well for everyone.

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