Two years of Dradis Pro

Dradis Pro turned two, but we had our heads down working and we didn’t even notice. A little over two years ago we announced our flagship product: Dradis Professional Edition. Just looking at that URL – /2011/07/ – makes me realise how much work and how many hours have been poured into the project. About 1,000 new commits with new features, bug fixes and improvements. This of course doesn’t take into account the work that goes into the Support site for writing our step-by-step guides and producing the screencasts; or in making sure the website is up to date and still relevant; or in keeping our user base informed through our blog, tending the Twitter feeds or the mailing list (which has grown from 0 to 170 conversations and 700 messages).

The Dradis Pro logo which is based on the icons in the Dradis screen of the Battlestar Galactica tv series

When we started the main goal of Dradis Pro was to provide a convenient way to use the Dradis Framework bundled in a ready to use VM. Since then, and with the feedback from dozens of organisations around the world using Dradis on a day-to-day basis we’ve evolved the tool around four basic pillars:

  • 1-click reporting: time is money and every hour you don’t spend writing a report you can spend doing something else (e.g. finding bugs, researching, updating internal methodologies, etc.).
  • Integrating tool output: with 15 plugins and counting (including Burp, Qualys, Nessus, and Nexpose), Dradis is the easiest way to merge and integrate the output of different tools.
  • Consistent results: your team’s reputation is built on your ability to provide consistent results. Dradis puts the right tools at your finger tips, create custom project templates and testing methodologies (or download the ones we’ve created for you).
  • Collaboration: all changes are automatically pushed to every person working on the project to ensure everyone is on the same page.

At the moment I think we have a good portion of the basics covered, there are still a couple of modules that we will be adding in the near future, but for the most part the functional surface is already there. Now it is the right time to reflect on what we have, what we’ve built and where we want to go from here. I’ve already outlined some of the driving forces that will inspire the future development of Dradis. Identifying and focusing on the core tasks that really make a difference to our users; raising the quality and smoothness of the experience throughout all areas; or making the interface more convenient to use are some of the key improvements we’ve already identified.

Later this year we’ll have the longest stretch ever of Dradis development since we started two years ago (actually since the open-source project started in 2007): the Autumn of Code’13. Starting in September 1st, and all the way through to November 30th, we will have 3 months of Dradis-only focussed work. The list of goals, improvements and enhancements planed for the Autumn of Code is not closed yet as I also want to give a chance to our users to have an input in the process. But there is a lot that can fit in three months of development.

Once the start date gets closer I’ll post an update with more details. But this is definitely an sensational time for the project. I hope that these three months will make a significant change in the shape and quality of the product. Needless to say I’m very excited about the prospect of devoting my full attention to Dradis Pro for such a long stretch of time.

All in all, this year has been a pretty good year: we released v1.5, v1.6 and v1.7; we sponsored BSides London; we went to Las Vegas for the summer conferences where we met with lots of users and partners and now we will wrap up the year with the Autumn of Code.

These two years have been full of hard work and challenges, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wonder what the next two will be like, and the two after that. Who knows, maybe we’ll have to change our name (you knew where the Dradis name came from, right?) and maybe we’ll finally get around designing a proper company logo 🙂

In any case, I am really looking forward to what the future holds. When every now and then one of our users says that we are making a real difference for them or that they just cut their reporting time by 70% we know we’re on the right track: helping people to do more of what they want to do and less of what they don’t.

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