If you’re a project management fan, you would have probably heard of 37signals’ Basecamp, the most addictive project collaboration tool online (see all the buzz). While you can drool over the screenshots and sign up for a free account, you can’t take full advantage of the system unless you folk out $12 or higher a month for a basic hosted account.
As blogger Elifoner succinctly puts it, activeCollab is an open-source alternative to Basecamp. ActiveCollab author, Ilija Studen, wrote the first version around May 2005 for personal use. As the story goes, Studen loved Basecamp, but he couldn’t afford the subscription fee, so he wrote one for himself. To date, he’s continuously adding features to bring it on par with Basecamp, as well as a few interesting additions to spice things up.
Note the difference
With Basecamp, you won’t need to know anything about server installation or administration. Just pay to use it, while 37signals maintains it.
With activeCollab, you’ll need your own web server with PHP5 (and a MySQL DB) to run it, so some technical knowledge would be useful. You’re also on your own with maintaining data and fixing bugs.
How to learn more
Thanks to activeCollab fan Elifoner, you can learn more about activeCollab through his straightforward review, as well as his highly informative screencast which compares both web tools. He even has a working demo of activeCollab at http://collab.betafid.com for you to try (Username: dem0 / Password: p@ss).
Finally, Ilija Studen has done a great job developing activeCollab, so don’t forget to stay tuned by subscribing to the activeCollab blog and by donating some of your hard-earned dollars to to keep this worthy project alive.