ProjectForum 5.4 – Wiki for Professional Workgroups

ProjectForum ($79) “is a commercially supported, high quality wiki software product that can be run inside the firewall. It features full version control, group project support, multiple authentication options, image and file management, page templates, SSL, full branding support, multiple forums, and much more. Unlike other wiki tools, ProjectForum is affordable, easy to set up, easy to learn, and easy to use, for any workgroup.”

I have used and loved Wiki’s for a long time now. I have always found them great for productivity as they allow a number of participants to share information via the web, but as a generalisation I have found their set up and administration somewhat laboured and unintuitive. In particular following a thread, or updating the ‘home’ page to show recent activities are particular gripes of mine.

Running this application on your Mac is really easy – open it, ensure the port is enabled to allow it ‘out’ and then run it in your browser.

Setting up your project in ProjectForum is straightforward and supported by a great startup guide.

For those of you that like lists here are a couple for you:

Features

* store images and file attachments
* host multiple wiki’s on the same server
* group project areas inside the main wiki (sub-wikis)
* comment posting as well as full page editing
* full administration interface
* page templates
* site appearance can be easily customized for branding
* RSS feeds for every forum, plus display other RSS feeds
* can be easily integrated with other web servers (or run standalone)
* cross-platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris

Want someone else’s word on how good it is?

* much, much simpler and quicker to install
* no dependencies on other software
* choice of running in-house or as a fully managed hosted service
* much less maintenance, worries about upgrading, moving to other machines etc.
* availability on different platforms, different system configurations
* more full-featured, especially particular ‘useful’ features
* more intuitive and easier to learn, more user friendly, less hacker-centric
* confidence in a dedicated evolving commercial product
* easier to customize for particular needs (without hacking scripts..)
* option of getting custom development work done for particular needs
* all back end data can be extracted using open source tools (so no lock-in)
* better documentation
* reasonable pricing
* much, much better level of support

So there you are? On-line ‘project/task management’ applications exist pretty much everywhere you look these days. In theory many are tailorable to your specific needs, but in practice that isn’t always the case. I have used ProjectForum for some time now, and for low t medium level activities i.e. co-ordinating articles and reviews, developing a Business Planning report for a client it has been absolutely fine.

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