Merlin from ProjectWizards

Posted: April 5th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: Project Management, Reviews, Software | Tags: | Comments Off on Merlin from ProjectWizards

Merlin is an attractive project management solution for OSX.

It was created by a German company, ProjectWizards. It seems that several German companies are creating great OSX Software these days.

I like how it uses a persistent saving model and allows you to keep projects in what is more or less a single document.

It allows you to import and export MS Project files, and hasn’t had any problems with the ones that I have put into (and out of) Merlin.

There are are some things that I have issues with and a few of them have been addressed in the latest release.

Here is a list of comments that I had, and the responses from the developer (in blue):

th {
vertical-align: bottom;


td,th {
/* Cheating here so we can get a default font and size. If it’s set in the outline then it’ll get redeclared below
and overwritten (hopefully).
font-family: Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size: 12px;

empty-cells: show;

td.subcell {
border: none;
padding: 0px;

table.subtable {

div.row {

.header {
text-decoration: underline;font-weight: 900;

.expanded {
display: inline;
.collapsed {
display: none;

.note {
color:rgb(84,84,84) ; font-style: italic;font-size: 11px;

/* Total table width is 665
Adjusted table width is 764 */

table.row {
width: 764px;


.col_width1 {
width: 764px; /* Actual width is 665 */

.col1 {


.ns-Highlight {
background-color:rgb(255,255,102) ; }

.ns-Citation {
text-decoration: underline;}

.ns-Emphasis {
font-style: italic;}

Merlin Comments
Feb 16 2005
Our answers and comments comes in blue and bold.
Saving a website opens in Safari and not the system specified browser (in my case OmniWeb)
Yes, we record this a a bug.
Bild 1
One should be able to create resources that are not in the address book, if nothing else as placeholders. When a project is imported from MS Project the resources listed aren’t in addressbook.
We have the complete rewrite of the resources functionality of Merlin on our roadmap for version 2.0. This version should come shortly after Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4). Then it should be possible to use resources form some other applications (e.g. MS Entourage) and of course from direct input (both, as names or global resources).
Why can’t i export a calendar to my own webdav server? Only .mac appears to be supported.
The calendar itself will be published only to iCal. Within iCal you can define any WebDAV server as the destination. In on of the next versions (planned for 1.2/1.3) the direct export as a .ics file will be offered.
One should be able to specify a default phone number and email to appear in the web pages for a resource. If one has multiple numbers it might pick the wrong ones.
This is a bug of the Apple address book, but we’ve fixed it. Please see this page:
Free Tools – ProjectWizards
How come the Text info for an Element can’t be displayed on the site? This would make the publishing of a project plan much more useful as a status reporting tool.
Yes, this have to come very fast. We’ve planned this for Merlin 1.2/1.3
It would be good to have a checkbox to turn individual Text info on/off for web reports.
As you can see in the preferences most information blocks are switchable, I think this will be a switch, too.
It would be useful to be able to display a Gantt chart as part of a web presentation.
This is planned for version 1.3
It would be useful to be able to display specific detail of a project as part of a web presentation.
Our plan for 1.3 is to put on the website a link behind every tile (of an activity or element) and to show a popup window with many more information form the dedicated object.
Search doesn’t always find what one expects. For example, I might have a number of activities that start with the term “QA” but if I type QA into the search field, they don’t appear in the results.
I would also expect that if “All” is selected for search, that it would allow me to search by resource name.
I just tested it again and it works as expected and as you need it. Can you describe the way you search a bit more detailed?
The top level project name appears with a disclosure triangle for a project, yet there is no way to add another top level item. I have 70+ projects, and would like to be able to have a “Project” that appears in the projects pull down menu that contains “subprojects” if you will. This would allow me to allocate resources for that group of people more effectively and would show me their conflicts. This could be accomplished by allowing me to create an activity at the top level (currently it doesn not).
A first solution for this problem is currently under development and should be published with version 1.2. We start with a kind of multi-project view which shows optionally all included projects. But this is only a first start. In version 2 we offer a complete new concept for the handling of projects.
When I add a document element to the project, there is no way to click on the document to open it from inside Merlin.


Posted: April 8th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Project Management | Tags: | Comments Off on iTaskX

iTaskX is another Project Management program from Germany. This one looks great. It can open and save MS Project files without having to import / export them. And it has every feature I would want. I’m going to be using this for the next few weeks and see how it does with my projects.