Need a PM tool, demoing both Lighthouse and Basecamp, opinions?

kym (at's Avatar

kym (at

04 Aug, 2009 04:00 AM

Hi there
i run a small web dev agency in Australia.
Upt il now we have been managing our projects via Outlook.
ITs becoming unwieldy to do this and looking for a better solution.
We also use Kayakp support, but can see advantages of moving to Lighthouse and Tender to replace our current way of doing things via Outlook and Kayako.
Looking for opinions on why Lighthouse is better than Basecamp and what are each's strengths..
thanks for your time

  1. 1 Posted by kym (at nextwav... on 04 Aug, 2009 04:19 AM

    kym (at's Avatar

    also am looking at basecamp and how it handles clients / projects
    appear you can assign muliple projects to one client
    does lighthouse have this functionality?
    I can seem to find it
    also is there a files area similar to basecamp?

    IOm leaning toward lighthouse as it seems to work brilliantly for customer support via tender but need to get my head around how best to handle a client in lighthouse...

    project = client
    and new projects are tracked milestones?

    Or setup a new project for each new project from the same client?
    thoughts anyone?

    thanks for your time :)

  2. 2 Posted by kym (at nextwav... on 04 Aug, 2009 04:26 AM

    kym (at's Avatar

    next i want to utulise this for both my main company support area and also my comapnys main software product support area

    so will require 2 seperate installaitons of tender

    but only one installaiton of lighthouse

    quesiton, can i assign tickets from either of the tender acounts to my one lighthouse account?

    just jotting down these questions as i go through the software...

    Thanks again!


  3. 3 Posted by Will Duncan on 04 Aug, 2009 07:23 AM

    Will Duncan's Avatar

    A lot of people use both Basecamp and Lighthouse actually.

    Basecamp is more task/person/people driven, like a to-do list, while Lighthouse is geared specifically for developmental and ticket/bug tracking. I'd say it's safe to say that both are great tools and while they do overlap, they have different workflow/focus.

    But the differences are really a matter of experience or preference. Users on our system who use both, use Basecamp to manage company tasks, and Lighthouse specifically for project development.

    In Lighthouse, you would create projects, and then assign/invite members to that project. It's not categorized by client, but when they log in, they only see projects they are a member of.

    Lighthouse does not currently have an assets manager for handling ALL files. Because each file is within a ticket, there hasnt been a high demand for a manager over the last two years. We're working on it now though because some projects have grown large enough to where they need to manage their specific account quotas.

    You could use one Tender and have categories inside that for your product and company, or do two separate installs, which several users have preferred to do. That is up to you. Tender can't currently sync to multiple Lighthouse projects, but we are working on that functionality. Right now, each Tender install can only sync to one Lighthouse project, but down the road we hope to be able to let you set that up on a per category basis inside Tender.

    If you go with two separate Tender installs, you can sync those up with specifically Lighthouse projects within the same account, which at this point is probably the best solution.

    Also, Tender users do get a discount, based on their Lighthouse plan. Whichever level of Lighthouse you are, you get 10% of that applied to your Tender setup. If you purchase two Tender setups, I would be glad to manually hook up an extra discount though.

    We built Tender to act as a support front for Lighthouse ticket tracking. So far, it's been a really wonderful experience and feedback from users has been awesome.

    If you have any other questions, or would like me to be more specific on something, please let me know. Both have a free 30 day trial, so if you haven't signed up and played around much, I suggest do that next and come back with specifics if you have them.

  4. 4 Posted by kym (at nextwav... on 04 Aug, 2009 07:39 AM

    kym (at's Avatar

    Hi Will thanks for the detailed response, food for thought
    tryiong to avoid having multiple apps, seems to me Lighthouse is very close to doing everything basecamp does. Im trying to avoid a convoluted process as im sure you understand - hence why you developed your software to talk to one another in the first place...brilliant...the fact tender tickets can be broiught across to liughthouse is a big thing for me...huge

    when you say the following

    "If you go with two separate Tender installs, you can sync those up with specifically Lighthouse projects within the same account, which at this point is probably the best solution."

    Does this mean we cant assign a ticket from one of our tender apps to a particular client project in lighthouse?

    are you saying wed have to create a general category for each install

    1. main company support issues
    2. our software support issues

    Just that we are trying to seperate out the tasks to be displayed only within the relevant clients project...
    not all of them thrown in unordered in one main general category

    hmm still getitng my head around this...

    Its a big deal as you can imagine for us to get it right first time..

    understand its always changing but time has come for us to come to an agereement on a setup for PM and support and just go with it...

    wed have to setup

  5. 5 Posted by kym (at nextwav... on 04 Aug, 2009 07:45 AM

    kym (at's Avatar

    sorry trying to get my head around it
    our services include web delveopment, email marketing etc and we hjave a range of clients
    and we also have storefront software that we actively promote, that has a seperate range of clients )altho we may offer servies to them once the intial storefront is online)

    so we have two tender installs
    1. main company support issues (dev projects, email markeitng campaigns etc)
    2. software support issues (online storefront system)

    what we want is to support tickets come in from either support install and assign to a particular project in the one install of lighthouse

    is this possible?

    if not what is the workaround with the one lighthoiuse

    or are we looking at ojne tender linked with one lioghthouse for main services

    and a seocnd tender/lighthouse install combo for the storefront software>?

    Thanks again for your time...

  6. 6 Posted by Will Duncan on 04 Aug, 2009 08:30 AM

    Will Duncan's Avatar

    There would only 1 Lighthouse install, all of this depends on your Tender setup.

    On a side note, I don't know of any PM + Support tools that sync with one another in such a manner. So when we do have the feature for multiple LH projects, based on Tender categories, we'll be the only ones that I know of. Of course I may be wrong, but our strongest competitors as far as UI and features go do not even have an API yet, while he have API's for both Tender and Lighthouse now. I rarely run into users who are asking about Lighthouse and Basecamp as their options though. Usually it's FogBugs or Unfuddle.

    Right now, a Tender install can only sync to one Lighthouse project.

    So syncing would be as follows

    Product Support Site 01 --> Lighthouse Project 01
    Product Support Site 02 --> Lighthouse Project 02
    Product Support Site 03 --> Lighthouse Project 03

    All of those Lighthouse projects are on one account.

    We're working on making it so that you can have a single Product Support site, such as small company site, with a category for each product, and each discussion category can sync to a separate Lighthouse Project.

    Main Company Support --> Lighthouse "Company Support" Project 01
    Product 01 Support --> Lighthouse "Product 01" Project 02
    Product 02 Support --> Lighthouse "Product 02" Project 03

    Basically, you would have a tender install for each Lighthouse project.

    Tender is pretty cool though, between the email, web ui, and API, it's pretty versatile. The best part about it is that the client/end-user never has to leave their email inbox or your product.

  7. 7 Posted by kym (at nextwav... on 04 Aug, 2009 09:09 AM

    kym (at's Avatar

    okay its getting clearer now
    syncing PM + Support tools in such a manner would seem to me to be much valued feature...

    keeping all client/project correspondence and tickets in the one place ready to be assigned...

    thanks again, will have a think further...

  8. 8 Posted by Will Duncan on 04 Aug, 2009 07:46 PM

    Will Duncan's Avatar

    The syncing was entirely the reason we built Tender really. Actually, I have a blog post this month on how/why we created Tender. I just need to polish it off.

    But a year ago, Lighthouse handled a lot of support ground for users, and it's not a support tool. It doesn't mean it can't be used for support, but if you let the avg user in, the workflow gets FLOODED and bogged down, making it incredibly time consuming. With Tender, you can set multiple discussions to single Lighthouse ticket, keeping your developers workflow clean and your Customers in the loop. It's a pretty awesome win in our opinion. No other tools out there offered that, so we buckled down and built Tender for us, then turned it into a service.

    Also, if you havent seen it's pretty cool.

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