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Project management the open source way

Track projects and collaborate efficiently within an easy-to-use open source project management application called Collabtive. Resident collaboration expert, Dmitri Popov, shows you how to get started…

This article originally appeared in issue 90 of Linux User & Developer magazine.

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Whether you are a freelancer or a small business owner, a project management solution is essential for keeping your operation running smoothly. And if you are in the market for a nimble and easy-to-use tool for managing projects and keeping tabs on your tasks, Collabtive might be exactly what you are looking for.

This web-based project management application is easy to deploy and has virtually no learning curve. It sports a slick interface which provides quick access to all the application’s features. While Collabtive lacks advanced functionality like Gantt and PERT charts, it has everything you need to track projects and tasks with consummate ease.

Since Collabtive is a web-based application, you can access and use it from any machine, and the ability to manage multiple users makes Collabtive a perfect tool for small workgroups and teams.

Being a web-based application, Collabtive runs on the Apache/MySQL/PHP stack. This means that you need a server running the required components in order to deploy Collabtive. Alternatively, you can use the XAMPP package from here which provides everything you need in one neat bundle. Although it’s designed mainly for testing, it can be used for deploying Collabtive for personal use or for a small team. For this tutorial, we will use XAMPP.

Installing Collabtive is a doddle. Grab the latest release of Collabtive, unpack the downloaded package, rename the resulting directory to ‘collabtive’ and upload it to your server’s document root (in the case of XAMPP, the htdocs folder). Next, create a MySQL database for use with Collabtive if you don’t already have one.

XAMPP comes with the excellent phpMyAdmin tool which you can use to create the required MySQL database. Once you’ve done that, point your browser to and run the simple two-step installation procedure. Once Collabtive is up and running, log in and you are ready to go.

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