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web2project

Submitted by Peter on Thu, 2010-04-29 11:01

Project management software is helpful when you find the right application and the right way to access the application. web2project is Web based so you can access it anywhere you can find an Internet connection. All the software is free, open source, and works on almost every useful operating system, giving you the freedom to install it anywhere including your own computer. Plus web2project started with a copy of the excellent dotProject, giving web2project an excellent range of features on day 1.

Download web2project from web2project.net. This article is based on version 1.3, a 3 megabyte download that expands out to 15 MB on disk.

Documentation

There is a companion user manual available for download although the manual is based on version 1.0. The manual is 26 pages in the form of a 2.2 MB PDF.

Add-on modules

There are lots of add-on modules for dotProject and none for web2project. If you use dotProject with add-on modules, web2project is not a replacement. If you suspect you will want more than what is in web2project, web2project might limit your options for a long time.

Invoices is a module mentioned for web2project back in 2008 but has not appeared. The invoice module for dotProject is mentioned in several forum posts and there appear to be many versions but none work without repairing the code plus there is no upgrade path between all the versions. The dotProject invoice module is a disaster. The web2project people want to start from scratch and build something new but do not have the time.

Installation

I assume you access your Web server with Filezilla and manage the server with cPanel. If you use any other access, such as a version control system, you will have to wrap the Filezilla FTP access step into whatever form your system requires. There are several equivalents to cPanel and they have the same basic features we use here.

We will step through the setup of one of my sites using the name example.com instead of the real name.

Start with a local directory on your computer. It could be accessible through a local Web server. I often set up software in my local computer then replicate to a VPS (virtual private server) for testing by other people. Download web2project then expand the file using 7-zip or any other file expander.

I am testing on a VPS with the directory structure /home/example/public_html/. I set up the same structure on my local computer then expanded the downloaded file into the local public_html and ended up with /home/example/public_html/web2project-1.3/. I then renamed the new directory from web2project-1.3 to web2project.

The next step is to copy the web2project up to the VPS using Filezilla or equivalent. Filezilla has a nice display including options to show differences between directories. The upload will take a while on regular broadband because uploads are a log way slower than downloads. Read the documentation while you are uploading.

There is a nice file manager in cPanel to handle expanding files but then you will not have an identical local file Web site for practice.

Read wiki.web2project.net/index.php?title=1.3_Release_Notes. There is not much information on the page but there is a line about upgrades and one about converting from dotProject, something I will do because I have a dotProject full of useful information.

dotProject conversion

web2project can convert an existing dotProject using the database and configuration files. I created a new database for web2project using cPanel then exported the dotProject database as SQL using the phpMyAdmin supplied with cPanel then used phpMyAdmin to import the SQL file into the new database. Now I can test web2project without damaging the dotProject version.

The web2project documentation asked you to copy the files directory from dotProject to web2project. You only need that step if you have uploaded files.

Now you copy the includes/config.php file from dotProject to web2project and edit the file. Because I am using a new database, I have to change $dPconfig['dbname'], $dPconfig['dbuser'], and $dPconfig['dbpass'].

Install

You start the web2project install process by simply visiting your Web site. I copied the software into example/public_html/web2project so I visit http://example.com/web2project. Web2project finds the dotProject configuration file and starts the conversion with the following message. You will also get a similar message when you upgrade.

Welcome to the web2Project Update Manager!
This is where the conversion script kicks in. It's a two step process. First we'll confirm that all the requirements are met, then we'll convert your existing data. You shouldn't have to do anything manually except log in at the end.
When you're ready to being, simply (Start conversion »»)

Web2project displays a list of minimum requirements including a PHP Version of 5.0 or higher, GD Support for producing GANTT Charts, and File Upload plus checks for some option features.

Web2project then tried to create a configuration file and failed so it displayed the contents it wanted to write to the file. I manually edited the file with the new contents. A better approach would be to switch on all the write permissions for the configuration file before running the update.

Conclusion

Web2project is better than dotProject for the range of things performed by web2project and is a good choice for businesses working on a small number of large projects. Web2project runs out at important stage, the ability to use your time recording for invoices without tedious manual cut and paste, making web2project less useful for companies billing for a lot of little projects or a lot of support tasks or for frequent progress payments on large projects.