Online project management tool
June 14, 2007 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend an online collaborative project-management tool (one that is not Basecamp?)

We are looking for a web-based project management tool that can allow us to create/manage multiple projects and tasks, map and link tasks to a time line/calendar, assign roles/resources, and allow clients with private, read-only access to our project plans.

This tool would ideally be cross-platform (Mac and PC), and it would be a bonus if we could extend this to serve as a client extranet site, with project file storage. And ultimately this tool should work great for small and large teams, onsite and remote.

I realize Basecamp is a very popular choice for many, and I've test-driven it and think it's fantastic at what it does. We may in fact may go for it. But it lacks one of the critical features we're hoping for (no task-mapping). Suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
posted by diastematic to Work & Money (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You stole my question!

I'll be watching this thread with interest, but I wanted to post that maybe you should send the taskmapping thing in a feature request to the Basecamp people.
posted by softlord at 6:24 PM on June 14, 2007

I recommend dotproject.

You can find it at .

Does approximately everything, including vendors and there's an add-on for invoices if you needs it.

It'll even gantt chart for you.

We use it often. :)
posted by TomMelee at 6:42 PM on June 14, 2007

We use Documentum eRoom this way. It might not be the solution you are looking for but it does have a timeline (a Gantt chart similar to what you'd see in MS Project), calendar, roles, polls, chat, vendor logins, file check-in check-out, and a host of other features.
posted by mattbucher at 6:43 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations, I'll check them out.

Softlord: yes, I mentioned this to 37s. They told me they have no plans to add task dependencies or Gantts. (I can see why -- they introduce a level of complexity that may run contrary to the simple-is-beautiful nature of their app. Oh well.)

TomM: have you seen any hosted/supported versions of dotproject? We don't really have the expertise to tweak or support our own open-source apps right now (wish that weren't the case).

Mattb: thank you! We'll see...

Overall it seems like there's a big opportunity this relatively simple need. Maybe I'll head over to and have someone whip up something for us...
posted by diastematic at 7:52 PM on June 14, 2007

I'll let you poke around in my empty install---but be advised that it's a unix install on my WAMP server, so some functionality is crippled---like Gantt charting.

Here's their official demo page:
demo instructions
demo login

login/pass: admin/

It's pretty hawt bananas. It's VERY easy to install, like, VERY. Make a sql account, upload the files, and...done.

On preview: I misunderstood the question...and no I don't. It's easy to use and hard to break though, and you can't beat the price.
posted by TomMelee at 7:59 PM on June 14, 2007

There's an open-source BaseCamp alternative called ActiveCollab. I had a fiddle with it a while back, looked pretty good.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:48 AM on June 15, 2007

Great question. I'll second ActiveCollab as a recommendation (pretty easy to install etc.), and raise you two others you can evaluate: Ace Project and Central Desktop. dotProject seems to be good as well - thanks Tom for the chance to test it out. Very generous of you!

There are also a lot of project management related groups online - perhaps they can find you something Gantt-chart specific too. Perhaps we're stuck with having Project be a separate app...
posted by rmm at 11:45 AM on June 15, 2007

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