Web Application Tools and Resources

I wanted to summarize a list of useful web applications used in the development of web applications, used throughout the entire software development life cycle. This is mostly a spot for me to record the gems (or at least the apps-that-have-possibilities). I love the idea of web-based apps for several reasons.

  1. They're portable. I can log in from any computer and work. this includes any windows, OSX or Linux machine from work, home or a relatives out of town (if it's really necessary). Many could be used on an iPad or something similar.
  2. They update often. We're moving closer to that glorious day when updates will not be at the whim of evil corporate IT gatekeepers. Were it not for the evil version of these people, IE6 would have died many years ago.
  3. It's easier. If I don't have to deal with the administrivia of running an application in-house, I can spend more time actually getting things done.

Planning

MindMeister Logo
  • MindMeister: A collaborative brainstorming (specifically mind mapping) tool with browser plug-ins and SMS. They've just announced their iPad app too.
  • Mingle Logo
  • Mingle: A versatile (but mostly agile) project management tool. It's interesting that they are integrated with Google Wave. I always react positively when they have video guides.
  • BaseCamp Logo
  • Basecamp: Surely this is the most widely-used web-based project management tool. It's run by the highly-regarded 37Signals and has an almost religious following.

Design

Mockingbird Logo
  • Mockingbird: Currently in beta, this is a free design mocking utility that shows a lot of promise. They're recently added the ability to colour the elements, allowing us to show emphasis and require less "vision" from our clients.
  • Balsamiq Logo
  • Balsamiq: This seems  like the "name-brand" of the bunch. It's got a small one-time cost, but wow... the features are fantastic, and they're updating often.

Implementation

TransloadIt Logo
  • Transloadit: Currently in beta, this service will handle your file uploads, and even re-size images, trans-code video, thumbnail, and send to an Amazon S3 bucket. They've recently open-sourced their jQuery plug-in.
  • FogBugz Logo
  • FogBugz: For issue tracking, and it's got a rich set of features, including version control integration, a visual Studio plug-in, and several ways to report bugs beyond the simple web interface (REST API, Outlook plug-in, they even have a screenshot tool). Also, they give tiny start-ups and students a break (can you feel the love?).

Maintenance

Google Logo
LastPass Logo

...and one more for good measure. The problem with web apps is they all require logging in. The ones at the top of their game incorporate some flavor of OpenID, but many still don't. For all of these, use LastPass. This is a fantastic password manager with clients for all conceivable platforms (incl. your phone, tablet, etc). It's secure, easy to use, and free (they have a premium version for $1/month).

This is just a quick list of apps I use or plan on using (and a list that I plan on updating). I'm sure I'm missing gems out there... If you know of any web-based tools/services that are glaringly absent (and universally relevant), post it in the comments!