Our Little Wizard Just Turned 12
It all began on November 9, 2004 with a tool for internal project planning. New features in project management software, which competitors often liked to incorporate in their own products, were introduced right from the first version. Just ask other vendors how they came up with the idea of linking a mind map with project management software ;-)
We developed Merlin 1 for Mac OS X Panther (10.3), and constantly enhanced our wizard across many subsequent operating system versions. November 28, 2006 saw the release of Merlin 2 – arguably the longest-lasting project management application of all time. This version provided reliable service to project managers for over 10 years – with development never stopping throughout this time.
Since version 2.5 was released in January 2008, users have been able to jointly work on projects across a network. With version 2.6, the option came to work on projects in a web browser. Following that, April 2009 marked the launch of the Merlin iPhone app and iPhone Sharing. This was followed directly by Merlin Server 2, which offered an easy-to-use interface for Merlin’s three server services in the form of a system setting. Since then it’s been possible to publish Merlin 2 projects for other users (via File Sharing), web browsers (via Web Sharing), and iOS devices (via iPhone Sharing) so projects are available anytime, anywhere.
But the development didn’t stop there. Many challenges needed to be mastered for the coming generation. First the name issue had to be resolved. While there’s no doubting that “Merlin” is a great wizard, it’s not a particularly Google-friendly name. The solution: “Merlin Project”. A name that retained the success of the past but yet encapsulated the purpose of the application. We now ask ourselves how come we didn’t choose that name back in 2004. The other issue we had was the underlying software, which had grown a bit long in the tooth. Everyone knows that Apple likes to ditch ways of doing things, whether old or new. What no longer fitted the strategy, was radically removed. This included many programming interfaces that had been around since the release of Merlin 2 in 2006. Unfortunately, one thing became clear to us: We had to leave the past behind and rewrite Merlin Project from the ground up.
The time had come in January 2015. The release of Merlin Project marked the 3rd version of our application. By the way, 8.5 years had now passed since the first chargeable upgrade for Merlin users. July 2016 – just 1.5 years later – saw the release of Merlin Project 4 and with it the long-awaited standalone iPhone version Merlin Project Go as well as Merlin Server 4.
The fourth generation of our successful project management application, Merlin Project, is all about teamwork:
- Subscribe to a project on Merlin Server and work on the local copy. Changes are permanently synchronized with the original.
- Sync with cloud services such as iCloud Drive, Box.com, Dropbox, and more.
- Share project files with other users via email or USB stick.
Merlin Project Go, the mobile version of Merlin Project, offers all the key functions of the Mac version:
- Subscribe to projects on Merlin Server and synchronize these automatically in the background.
- Work online and offline.
- Create new projects, including ones based on supplied templates.
Merlin Server 4 is the central nervous system of your project data:
- Make your projects available for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
- Automatically publish project content via FTP, SMTP, or WebDAV.
- Provide your customers with a URL so they can view projects in their web browser.
We’re not done with the developments, not by a long shot, and we look forward to bringing you many more enhancements to our now not-so-little wizard. You’re going to be blown away!
Many happy returns Merlin Project!