Welcome to activeCollab User's Guide. This User's Guide is designed to lead you through activeCollab from the moment you log in for the first time to the phase when your project is complete. Learn how to get the most from your activeCollab by harnessing its full potential.
Even if you need a web browser to use activeCollab, no one who does not have an account in your activeCollab system will be able to see or access any of the data you store there. This rule is also applied to search engines, so there's no need to worry that your data will be exposed in public or pop-up on Google someday. That's why the first thing you need to do when you have finished installing activeCollab is to log in to the system. To log in insert your email address and password into the login form:
In case you forgot your password, please use the Forgot Password link on the login form. The System will email you a link with a secret code that you can use to set the new password without having to remember the old one:
All people involved with your activeCollab System have a User Profile where they can set up a full name, contact information, choose an avatar, and more. Each person can access their profile page and set up all their personal info. To access your profile, click on the Profile link in the top right corner. After the page is opened, your current profile will be displayed:
Here you can change any of the information you wish. Use tabs on the right side of the screen to: 1. Update Profile - opens a page where you can set your name, title in the company, and contact info. 2. Change Settings - lets you configure your time zone, preferred format for dates and time, theme, etc. 3. Change Password - simple password reset form 4. API Settings - enable applications that support activeCollab API to log on your account by using the data available here, such as API URL and API Key. Every user has a default avatar when their account is created. To change it, click on the user icon and upload the one you wish in the form that will pop up.
After you successfully log in, the main activeCollab interface will appear:
The main Interface has the following sections: 1. User Control - lists your profile-related tools (Name, Profile access, Logout link). If you are the system administrator, the link to Administration will also be available here. 2. Company Logo - By default, the activeCollab logo is displayed as a placeholder, but it can be replaced with your company logo. It will be used to brand your installation. Additionally, it is a link that will return you to the Dashboard from any of the pages. 3. Toolbar - gives you access to the most important sections and tools in the application (such as Projects, Invoice, Documents, Assignments). 4. Page Information - displays page title, author and the time when page was created (if applicable) and other useful tools available on that page. 5. Workspace - is the place where most of the action takes place. System will present project information in this block, tools for handling Discussions, Files, Tickets and more. There is one important interface element that will be displayed when you visit specific projects Project Tabs. These tabs enable you to access the specific project sections.
The first page that you'll see after you log in to your activeCollab is the Dashboard. It is designed to give a brief overview on what's going on with your projects, allow quick access to the latest Tickets, Files, Discussions, etc., and point out events that require your immediate attention.
Here are the tools that are available on your Dashboard tabs: 1. Recent Activities - shows 30 most recent activities logged by the system, ordered by date with the latest on top. You can subscribe to this list and have the latest information in your RSS reader. 2. Active Projects - displays a list of active projects you are working on. 3. New and Updated - displays all events of interest that have occurred since your last visit. 4. Late and Today - lists all the Milestones from projects you're involved with that are late or due today. 5. Important Block - displays all important news that require your immediate attention. 6. Favorite Projects - a list of active projects you have marked as "favorite". To add projects to this list, drag and drop a project into this box from the list of Active Projects. 7. Who is Online - points out users who were active in the last 15 minutes. Some of these tools won't be displayed if there is no data to show you. For example, if there's no new or updated objects since your last visit, the New and Updated tab will not be displayed.
Welcome Message If this is the first time you're logging in, instead of the regular Dashboard, you始ll see the Welcome Message. Since you haven't used it before, activeCollab will offer you a couple of points and advices on what needs to be done, to make your fresh start with the system easier. Here you'll find: tips on
how to configure the system properly, how to add clients and people you'll be working with, how to define projects, and much more.
To hide welcome message and display the real Dashboard, click on the Hide Welcome Message button in the top right corner of the workspace.
activeCollab is a project management and collaboration tool and you will realize its full potential only if you get all the people you're working with involved in the system. To do that, click on the People button in the Toolbar:
Users will be organized into Companies, where each company can have an unlimited number of members. You can create as many companies as you wish, and if you are not working with the companies, you can use this feature to organize people into departments, groups, teams, or any other association that is established in your organization. However, one company will be different: the company who created the installation. This company is called the Owner Company.
Creating Companies To create a new company in the People section, click on the New Company button; input company details and submit the form:
After the company is created, you will automatically be redirected to the Company Details page. The system will notify you that there are no users in that company at the moment. Now you can add new users to the company. When you have finished adding people to a newly-created company, the Company Details page should look like this:
Creating User Accounts To create a new user account, click on New User button on the Company page, or click the link in the message that says there are no users in the company. When you are creating a new user, only two fields are required: user始s email address, and the role that user will have in the system. Optionally, you can: 1. Enter profile details, like first and last name, company title, etc. 2. Set a user password. (If a password is not provided by the person who created the account, the system will generate a random password.) 3. Send a personalized welcome message with login details to the user. This message can be sent when the account is created, or at any point in the future, right from the user始s profile page. 4. Set that user to be automatically added to all new projects when they are created. This saves you a lot of repetitive work when you know that this user will be involved in all future projects.
When a new user account is created, the system will display the user's profile page. There, you can upload a user avatar, re-send a welcome message, add the user to existing projects, and more.
Adding People to More than One Project at Once activeCollab lets you add user to more than one project at once. This is useful when you hire a new employee or promote a person to a new position. To add user to multiple projects, go to the user's profile page and from Options drop-down select Add to Projects option, as outlined on the screenshot:
On the newly opened page, select projects that you want to add this user to, and Project Role or custom permissions that user should have on these projects. After you have set everything up, click Submit button, and that person will be assigned to all of the new projects.
Roles and Permissions
When you're working on a project, you donâ€™t want everyone to be able to see everything. That's why activeCollab requires users to have an account in the system and a defined System Role that determines what the user can see and access inside the system. If managed properly, roles and permissions will release you from the worries that your project data will be disclosed to anyone you haven't allowed to be involved. activeCollab has two groups of permissions that control who can have access to certain parts of the system: 1. System Permissions lets you configure what a user can do in the system (access administration, manage people or projects, create and access assignment filters, etc.) 2. Project Permissions enables you to give or restrict access to specific sections and features inside the project. One great thing about project permissions is that they work on a per-project basis. For example, you may want a user to be able to start new Discussion in one project, but you donâ€™t want to give them access to Discussions in another project. Important Note Permissions are controlled with the Roles option, where System Roles define system-level permissions and Project Roles define project-level permissions. To manage roles, go to the Administration panel, and select the Roles tool in System section. Each user can have one and only one system role that controls what he or she can do on a system level. This role is set when the user account is created and can be changed at any time on the Company and Role page. Unlike system roles where user can have only one role, each user can have as many different project roles as projects they are working on. A user can have one Project Role per project. The Project role is set when the user is added to the project, via the People tab.
When you are working on multiple projects at the same time, being able to see all your assignments in one place is important. activeCollab offers a tool that does just that Assignment tool. It is available when you click the Assignment button in the toolbar.
When you open this page, you始ll find a list of all your assignments. If you wish to see a more specific list of your duties, you can use predefined filters (All, Late, Today) by choosing the one that you wish from the drop-down menu.
If none of these filters suits your needs, you can create a custom assignment filter by clicking on the New Filter button. A new page will open allowing you to filter assignments based on the following criteria: 1. Who is assigned to work on the assignment. 2. When the assignments is due. 3. Project that assignment belongs to. 4. Current status of the assignment. Different combinations of the offered options enable you to create different filters to get the information you need. Who can manage Assignment Filters? Only person with manage_assignment_filters permission in their System Role will be able to create, change or delete existing filters.
The number of assignments displayed on the page and how they are ordered can also be configured per filter. Mark the filter as private if you wish to be the only person who can see and use it.
In activeCollab, all the work is done within Projects. To start a new Project, or join an existing one, click the Projects button in the toolbar.
Projects can be organized in two ways - in Group, or by Client, and it's completely up to you to choose whether you'll be using one or both of the criteria. By default, Projects are organized by project Group, but you can switch to client grouping by clicking on the Clients option above the project list. Each company you define in the People section can be a client. If the client is not specified when you define a Project, that Project will be considered an internal project and the system will behave as if Owner Company is the client. If you prefer Group preview, click on the Group button, and you'll be able to see currently defined groups as tabs on the right side of your workspace. By clicking on the Group tab, the system will display only Projects that belong to that group. To manage project groups, click on Manage Groups tab at the bottom of the list. It will open a simple dialog where you can create new or rename and delete existing groups:
Everything that you have done in this dialog will automatically be applied to the Group Tabs on the page.
Groups and Clients When displaying projects, activeCollab can arrange them by project group or by client. By default, projects are organized by project Group, but you can switch to client grouping by clicking on Clients option above the project list.
Each company you define in People section can be a client. If the client is not specified when you define a project, that project will be considered as internal project and system will behave like Owner Company is the client. Project Group Visibility Not all project groups are visible to all user. When determining which groups to display, activeCollab uses following rules: 1. User with system role that has admin_access or project_management permissions set to Yes will be able to see all project groups. 2. Other users will see only that group in which they have projects to work on. The rest of the groups are invisible and inaccessible to them. Project Groups are ignoring Project Status. That's why people can see a group even if there are no active projects in it, but only the ones that are completed, canceled or paused.
Quickly Accessing Projects Besides from visiting Projects section, you can also use following tools for easy access to all of the projects you are working on: 1. Active Projects tab on the Dashboard lists all active projects you're involved with. 2. Favorite Projects box on the Dashboard lists all projects you marked as favorite. 3. Jump to Project dialog will pop-up when you click a little drop-down icon next to Projects button in the toolbar.
Creating a New Project To create a new project, click on the New Project button. Each project needs to have a name and a project leader. Project leader is the person responsible for all actions in the project, will receive notifications about each and every new event in the project, and has all the permissions in that project:
If you work on a lot of similar projects, project templates can come in handy. Any project can be used as a template for the new one. Simply select it from Project Template drop-down list when creating the new project, and activeCollab will copy all the milestones, tickets and tasks from the template to the new project. System will even alter due dates of the tasks to reflect the differences between start dates of the template and new project if these dates are set.
When you click Submit button the new project will be created, and you始ll be redirected to the People tab of your project where you'll be able to add people who will work with you on that project.
Project Statuses There are two types of projects, in general: 1. Active projects are projects that people are working on. These projects will appear in Jump to Project dialog, will be listed in active projects tab of your Dashboard, Dashboard activity logs are extracted from these projects, etc. 2. Archived projects are projects that activeCollab has moved out from the people. They do exist in the system, all data are still here, but it will not be displayed on the Dashboard, in Jump to Project dialog, etc. Only way to access these projects is through Archive link available at the bottom of Projects page (click on Projects tool in the toolbar to access this page). activeCollab supports four project statuses: 1. Active - we have already explained them above 2. Paused - This status is used for projects that are on hold. Although paused, projects are not marked as completed, but they are archived anyway (to avoid the distraction) 3. Completed - Projects that are finished will be in this section. All completed projects will be available in your Archive, marked as completed and archived 4. Canceled - These are Projects that have been created and then, for any reason, given up. They will be marked as completed and archived. Project status can be changed at any time by selecting Change Status from Options drop-down that is available on Project Overview page:
Working on a Project
We are going to talk about project objects now, or project tabs, as they are displayed in activeCollab. Each tab is a specific tool that enables you to organize your project in a way you wish. It's completely up to you to choose what set of tabs are you going to use.
Overview The first project tab is the Project Overview page. It will always have a project name as its title and will keep you informed about the project you're working on. Project overview page displays: 1. Project Details such as project name, summary, status, client, etc. From this block you can easily access some of the commonly used tools, like an RSS feed of the project activities, project calendar, or list of your assignments related to that project. 2. Recent Project Activities lists latest activities recorded for this project. You can subscribe to the RSS feed and have fresh news on project activities in your RSS feed reader all the time. 3. Project Progress box displays the project progress bar based on the number of completed and open tasks, tickets and milestones in the project. 4. Late and Today Milestone displays Milestones that are due and overdue. This box gives a brief overview of the things that are urgent in the project. 5. People in This Project displays every person who is working on that project. System will also display the last time that person was logged into activeCollab.
Checklists Checklists are simple task lists. Each task must be resolved for a Checklist to be completed. To see all the Checklists in the project, click on Checklists tab. Checklists are ordered by their time of creation, but you can change their order by dragging and dropping the Checklist to the desired position.
To see the list of tasks in the Checklist on the Checklists page, click on the little arrow icon and the list will expand. Another way to do that is to click on the Checklist's name and access the Checklist details page where all specific information, including tasks, will be displayed. You cannot assign a Checklist to a team member; you can, however assign individual tasks within
that Checklist. This allows you to have more than one person working on a single Checklist. When you are on the Checklists tab and you have two or more checklists expanded, you can drag and drop tasks from one checklist to another. Checklists are considered completed only if all tasks are completed. By adding a new task to a completed checklist it will be reopened automatically. Completed checklists are listed in the archive. Click on the Archive link at the bottom of the Checklists page to access it.
Calendar activeCollab is able to gather all Milestones, Tickets and Tasks from the project and to display all of them in a calendar, based on their due date. Just click on the Calendar tab:
System is aware of the person using the calendar and will display only the data (e.g., milestones, tickets, or tasks) that person has access to. To "zoom in" on one of the days and see more details about that day's activities, just click on that date's field in the Calendar. To "zoom out" and return to the previous view, click on that same day field again. The Calendar module supports data exported in iCalendar format so that you can have the data from activeCollab exported and synchronized with your favorite calendar application (Windows Calendar, Apple iCal, Google Calendar, etc).
Milestones Milestones mark important deadlines or phases of your projects. For example, if you're developing a website, a Milestone can be an important meeting or a review, the initial design process, presentation to the client, launch date, etc. A Milestone can be a single date (deadline) or a period of
time during which a certain phase of the project is developed. Project milestones are listed on the Milestones tab:
Milestones are sorted by the time they are due. You can use the iCalendar feed to import basic Milestone data into your favorite calendar application. Click on the specific milestone from the Milestones list to open a Milestone details page. This page shows all Milestone-related info and all project objects that can be linked to a specific Milestone. Project items that can be filed under a Milestone are Checklists, Discussions, Files, Pages and Tickets. In this way, people will be aware to which project phase their assignments belong to.
1. Creating a Milestone To create a new milestone, click on the New Milestone button:
You始ll need to fill in the Milestone name, start and due date, in the New Milestone form. Optionally, you can add some notes to describe what the Milestone is about, select the milestone's priority, and add some tags. If the Milestone is a single-day event, set both start and due date to be the same date. Unlike most of the other elements in the project, Milestones can't be marked as private. Instead, all Milestones are public and visible to everyone involved with the project who has access to the Milestones section.
2. Rescheduling Milestones Rescheduling milestones is a very important operation. When a milestone is rescheduled, all successive milestones, related items, and tasks will be scheduled relative to the new time range as well. To reschedule a milestone, select Reschedule link from Options drop-down menu on the Milestone details page:
The Reschedule form gives you an opportunity to set the start and due dates of all successive Milestones. By default, System will not change the start and due dates of successive Milestones and related project items, but you may change this behavior by making appropriate modifications in the Reschedule form. If you decide to do so, System can automatically reschedule all related Tasks, successive Milestones and Tasks related to these Milestones.
Files The Files section is designed to enable people to share project files, discuss them, work on them together, post new versions, and much more. To access this section, click on project tab Files.
Files are ordered by the time they were uploaded, with the latest on top. activeCollab displays an icon next to each file based on filetype and makes it easy to spot different types of files. If file is an
image file (e.g., JPG, GIF or PNG), activeCollab will create a thumbnail that will be displayed instead of the icon. Clicking on the thumbnail of an image file, will allow you to view (and download) the file. Click on the file name to visit the File page with all the file details, including older versions and comments.
1. Uploading Files To upload new file, click on Upload Files button:
This form enables you to upload any number of files at the same time, set their description, subscribe people, place these files under a specific milestone, categorize and tag them, and choose whether they will have public or private visibility. You can select people who will receive notifications about newly-uploaded files. System sends notifications to subscribers whenever a new comment or new file version is posted. Important Note The file upload limit is not set by activeCollab; it is set by your own web hosting environment. If you wish to increase the maximal upload size of your files, you can read this article for more information.
2. File Versions If you wish to upload a new version of a file, use New Version link on the Files page. A form will appear where you can select the desired file and upload it. After the new version of a file is uploaded, the old one will not be removed; instead it will be kept in the system for the future reference. You can access old versions of the file and all related details after you visit the detail page for that file.
3. Categories Files can be organized in categories. All available categories are listed on the right tabs of the files list. Click on the category to see all the files under that category.
To manage categories, click on the Manage Categories tab at the bottom of the tabs list. A tool that gives you the option to create new, rename or delete existing categories, will pop-up:
Discussions Each project in activeCollab has a place where people can go to discuss various topics. To access that area, click on the Discussions tab:
This section is similar to online forum: topics with the most recent comments are listed on top. You can mark (pin) some discussions as Important and have them listed first.
1. Starting a Discussion To start a new discussion, simply click on New Discussion button. A form where you can enter topic summary, write message, attach files, and more, will be displayed:
At the bottom of the form you can select who will be notified that new discussion has been started. People you select will receive a notification each time someone posts a new comment. They can unsubscribe from the notification if they don始t want to receive it any more.
2. Categories TTopics are organized in categories. All available categories are listed in the right side tabs. Click on the category tab to display only discussions that belong to that category. To manage categories, click on Manage Categories tab at the bottom of the list. A tool that enables you to create new, rename, and delete existing categories will pop-up:
Tickets Tickets are created to make it easier for you to handle even the most complex jobs. Tickets can stand alone or be related directly to a Milestone; can have an unlimited number of attachments and comments; and can be broken into smaller tasks. When you click on the Tickets project tab, you始ll see the list of active tickets grouped by Milestone. If you have some Tickets that are not related to any Milestone, they will be listed after the Milestones group, under Unknown Milestone:
Tickets are sorted by their creation time, but you can reorder them by using the drag-and-drop technique. You can even drag (move) a ticket to another Milestone.
1. Creating a Ticket To create a Ticket, click on the New Ticket button:
The only required field on the New Ticket form is a ticket summary. Additionally, you can provide a full description, select Milestone and Category, attach files, set priority, add tags, pick a due date and define a visibility level for that Ticket. Tickets can have any number of people assigned to them, but one person from the group needs to be marked as responsible. All assignees will automatically be subscribed to the ticket.
2. Categories Tickets are organized in categories. All available categories are listed on the right side tabs of the tickets list. Click on the category tab for displaying only tickets that belong to that category. To manage categories, click on Manage Categories tab at the bottom of the list. A tool that enables you to create a new ticket category, or rename and delete existing, will
Time activeCollab is shipped with a tool that enables people to log how much time they have spent working on a project or a task. They can record how much time they have spent doing what and when. This information can be displayed in one of the time reports later and be used to bill your clients or pay your employees. To see all the time logs in some particular project, click on Time project tab. It will list all time entries ordered by the moment when the work was done, with the recent entries on top:
1. Tracking Time Time can be tracked on three levels: 1. On a Project level. 2. On a Ticket level. 3. On a Task level. Tasks can be attached to Tickets, Pages or Checklists. To track time on the project directly, visit the Time tab, and use the form that is available at the top of the time entry list:
If you wish to track time on a ticket or task level, click on the little clock icon available in the Ticket or Task detail section, and insert time information in the dialog that will pop up. This dialog also displays the number of hours already tracked for that particular Ticket or Task:
2. Reports The Time feature enables you to create reports that will filter out time records based on the specified rules. For example, you can create a report that will list all time that a selected team member has logged in for the past week:
A person must have proper permissions (use_time_reports and manage_time_reports permissions) to be able to use and create time reports. When they have these permissions, System will display Time button in the toolbar and Reports button on Time tab of specific project:
These tools behave the same, with one difference - the Time button in the toolbar runs reports against all projects, while Reports button in the project runs reports only for that specific project.
Additionally, time reports can be exported in CSV format, which can then easily be
imported in any spreadsheet tool, such is Excel or Google Docs, for additional processing. You can even create a New Invoice out of these reports by clicking the link in the bottom of the report page. This Week and Last Week Filters This Week and Last Week filters use First Week Day settings from the profile page of the user who is executing the report, but they support weeks to start only on Sundays or Mondays. If any other day is set in user's profile, then Monday will be used automatically.
Pages Pages are part of activeCollab where the team can work together on text documents. Simply put, this is a collaborative writing tool. Pages can be used to work on simple write downs, such as blog posts, or on complex texts, like books or product specifications. To access this section, click on the Pages project tab.
1. Create a New Page Click on the New Page button to create a new page. The New Page form lets you specify page title and text, set up parent page and Milestone (if any), attach files, add tags, define whether that page will have normal or private visibility, and select the people who will be notified that the new page has been created:
If you file a Page directly under a category, it will be treated like a new chapter inside of that category. On the other hand, you can file a Page under any other Page in the given category and System will treat it like sub-page of the initial page.
2. Organization of Pages First thing you'll see when you visit the Pages tab is a list of recently-updated pages, grouped by date when the changes were made. This list shows recently added or updated
The main organizational level of Pages is Categories. To see all Pages from a category, and the way they are originally ordered, click on the category tab on the right side of the screen:
Set up Categories General is the only default category that is included in activeCollab. You can create new ones in the Master Category setup (this Categories will be available across all the projects you have in the System), or on the Manage Categories tab (that category will be available for that project only).
When browsing a category, activeCollab will display all of the Pages placed in that category, organized in a tree structure. Top-level pages can have sub-pages, sub-pages can also have sub-sub-pages, etc. This allows you to work on complex documents (such as software documentation, a book, etc.) and to organize the content in the way you want.
3. Reordering Pages For quick and easy Page reorganization, click on the Reorder Pages button on the top right corner. This tool is available only when you're inside one of the Page categories. A form will appear that will enable you to drag and drop pages to the position you want within your document structure:
When you are satisfied with the new order of your Pages, click the Submit button to save the changes.
4. Versioning One of the useful attributes of the Pages tool is versioning - the ability to keep the old versions of the content when the Page is updated. In this way you can always see what exactly has been changed and have each round of changes available for future reference. In a preview of the changes between two versions of the Page, activeCollab will outline everything that has been modified. Just click the Compare Versions button and all differences between two latest versions of that Page will be displayed. You can even make a comparison between any two versions of the Page by selecting the version number from
the drop down manu on top:
Combined with comments, versions can make Pages one of your favorite tools for collaborative writing and content creation.
Source Source Module brings a code repository directly to your projects. It allows code browsing, version comparisons and checking of the repository history. Additional functionalities, such as links between Tickets and Commits, Commit commands and more, are also available. At the moment, Source module can access only Subversion repositories.
1. Creating a Repository When you start working with activeCollab's Source Module, the first thing you'll need to do is tell activeCollab where your repository is and how to connect to it. The number of repositories per project is unlimited, so you can have as many repositories as you want. When adding a new repository you need to: 1. Set the repository's name 2. Enter the root path to the repository (repository URL or direction) 3. Type in your SVN password and username 4. Set up how frequently do you want activeCollab to check for new revisions. To check if your parameters are correct and ensure that activeCollab can reach the defined repository, use the Test Connection button.
After you complete all of these tasks, click on Submit button at the bottom of the page and your repository connection will be added to the project. On the Source page, a list of all repositories will be displayed together with a graphical preview of activities:
When entering a repository page you will get a preview of all commit messages grouped by date. By default, activeCollab only displays commit messages and number of modified files, but you can also display paths of all added, modified and deleted files and folders for that commit with a single click by clicking the Show all paths button.
2. Browse Code and Commit History When repository is created and configured, you will be able to browse through and see all folders and files within:
By clicking on a file, you can see all revisions where this file was changed. You will be able to see all previous versions of that file and compare them. The Revision comparison tool will color new lines of code in green and deleted lines in red.
All files can be downloaded in their original format.
3. Commit Messages activeCollab can parse commit message and: 1. Link Commit with Tickets, Tasks and Milestones. Recognized formats are: Ticket #ID, Task #ID and Milestone #ID where ID is actual ID of that object. 2. Close Ticket, Tasks and Milestones. Following formats are recognized: Complete Ticket #ID, Completes Ticket #ID or Completed Ticket #ID. These commands are also available for Tasks and Milestones. 3. Display commits in the Ticket they are related to. Commit tab will allow you to see and access all files that are linked to that Ticket.
People Each project in activeCollab can have as many people involved as required. People working on the project are displayed on the People project tab:
Regular users will see only the list of people who are working on the same project with them. People who are managing the project will be able to see additional controls that allows them to add or remove people from the project, and to change their project permissions.
1. Adding People To add people to the project, click on the Add People button. A new page will be opened where you can select who should be added to the project and what project permissions you want the new team member to have:
People can have project permissions set in four levels: 1. No access, 2. Can access, but can始t create new objects, 3. Can access and can create new objects, 4. Can access, can create and manage all objects. These permissions can be set per each project object (Tickets, Discussions, Pages, etc.)
separately. This gives you a wide range of freedom in defining each user's access to the project. For example, you can give all permissions to the user when she is working with discussions, while she can始t even see tickets. You can learn more details in the Roles and Permissions article. Permission Override System will override user permissions you set on Add People page if user is administrator, project manager or leader of the given project. Those users will have all permissions in a project automatically.
Email Notifications activeCollab sends email notifications to all people involved with a specific Task, Ticket, Discussion, File, etc. Unlike some tools that email everyone who has something to do with a project, activeCollab is designed to avoid overwhelming people with too many email messages. If users repeatedly receive messages on issues that are not relevant to them, it's likely that they will start to ignore all notifications send by the system. Because of that, we have designed the system to email only people who are subscribed to receive notifications about a specific object, instead of sending messages to everyone about every change.
1. Subscriptions When a new File, Ticket, Discussion, or any other object is created, the person who creates it can define an initial group of subscribers. The System automatically subscribes people who are assigned to Tasks, Tickets and Milestones when they are created. For other objects, the creator picks the group of subscribers:
The project leader and any person who creates an object are always automatically subscribed. After an object has been created, other project members can subscribe themselves to receive email notifications if that object is of their interest. Existing subscribers can also unsubscribe themselves if they feel that specific object is not relevant to them. Project leaders and people who can update specific object have the permissions to change the list of subscribers at any time:
There is one more automated action - activeCollab will automatically subscribe anyone who makes a new comment if that person wasn't already subscribed to that object.
2. When are Notifications Sent? Important activeCollab is aware of who does an action (creates a new object, posts a comment, uploads a file...) and that person will never receive an email notification about the action they just did. activeCollab sends out email notifications to users when: 1. New object is created. Email notification is sent to assignees of Tasks, Tickets and Milestones, or an initial group of subscribers if object does not have assignees (Discussions, Pages, Files etc). Project leader is also subscribed and notified. 2. Ticket, task or milestone are completed or reopened. All subscribers except the person who completed or reopened the assignment will be notified. 3. People assigned to ticket, tasks or milestone are changed. Both old and new groups of assignees are notified. 4. New version of File or Page is posted. All subscribers except the person who posted the new version are notified. 5. New comment is posted. All subscribers except the person who made the comment are notified. Comment author is automatically subscribed for future notifications if he or she was not subscribed before posting the comment.
3. Incoming Mail With activeCollab's Incoming Mail feature you will not only receive email Notifications from your system, but will also be able to post a quick answer right from your email client. This feature is handy for a newcomer or people who don't wish to be logged in to the System at the time. All you need to do is Reply above this line of the email you receive and activeCollab will do the rest. activeCollab can create: 1. New Comment - if your message is recognized as a reply to a notification about new Ticket, Comment, Discussion, etc. 2. New Ticket or Discussion - if email is not a reply to a notification, System will execute the action that you have defined as default in the initial set up of Incoming Mail Module and will create one of these items. 3. Attachment - from your email, whether it is a reply to a notification or a message that should create a new object, is posted as an attachment to a newly-created Comment, Ticket or Discussion.
Important Note Be careful! Once imported, the message from your POP3 or IMAP server will be deleted. That is why we recommend that you create a separate email address for incoming mail, and not to use your customary personal or business email.
Exporting a Project activeCollab Corporate includes an optional module that enables you to export project information as a mini, static HTML website. Projects exported in that format do not require a web server to run (they can be opened with a web browser alone) which makes it perfect for archiving projects. Instal Project Exporter module To install the Project Exporter module, go to Administration > Modules page, and install it from the list of Available Modules:
When the Project Exporter is installed, Export Project option will be available in Options drop-down menu on Overview page of every project:
activeCollab lets you pick which project data you would like to have exported:
Notes and Tips 1. System may ask you to create /work/export folder on your server and set permissions so PHP can write to it before letting you export the data 2. Option that tells Project Exporter not to export private objects is available. This feature is great for making archived project copies that you can burn to a CD and send to your clients 3. Exported data is saved in /work/export folder
Private and Normal Visibility Project objects such as Files, Tickets, Pages, Discussions and Checklists can be marked as private:
When object is marked as private, it is visible only to people who have can_see_private_objects permission set to Yes in their System Role. Other people will not be able to see or access it. For example, you have a user with Member role who has set the can_see_private_objects to Yes. You also have one user with Client Company Manager, or Client Company Member, role where can_see_private_objects permission is set to No. Both users have access to the Tickets section in a given project. When you create a private ticket in that project, only the user with a Member role will
be able to see it because they have sufficient permissions, while the other users (those with Clients role) will not be able to see that ticket. By default, only system roles that are used for members of the Owner Company (Administrator, Project Manager and Member) have can_see_private_objects permission set to Yes. This default setup is useful if you want to have a private discussion, or some private Tickets, about some issue within a project, without your clients ever knowing about it. Default Visibility Default visibility for new objects is configurable on a project-by-project basis. If you set Default Visibility on the new project form to Private, all forms for a new object creation will have Private visibility selected by default when you open them:
Status Module Installation As one of the activeCollab's Available Modules Status is not enabled by default; it must be enabled after activeCollab is installed. After that, you can set up the Role which can use it. Only those users with can_use_status_updates permission can see the Status icon and use the Status Module. Status is a simple communication channel among you, your team members and your clients (if you decide to allow them to use this feature). You can post messages about your current actions, site-wide notices, or use it as a quick chat tool. When you click on the Status icon, a pop up will appear, where you can post your Status updates:
Since activeCollab 2.3.1 you can reply to all individual messages and have your conversations structured. When someone posts a new Status update, you will see a number of unread messages and will always be notified about new events:
With the activeCollab Invoicing Module you can prepare and issue invoices directly from your project management software, with no need to use any additional service or application. An unlimited amount of storage space and the fact that everything is available in one place will make managing your company's financials much easier. You'll have all your documents, reports and records saved and available for future reference, right at your fingertips. Configuring Invoicing Module Articles in this section are related to everyday use of the Invoicing module. To learn how to configure tax rates, currencies, templates and more, please read the Invoicing section of the activeCollab Administrator's Guide.
Creating an Invoice Permissions To create an Invoice, you need to have appropriate permission. Only users with can_manage_invoices permission can create a new invoice. By default, only administrators have this permission. There are three ways to create an Invoice:
1. Manually Invoices can be created manually, by compiling and submitting the New Invoice form. Just follow directions and fill in the blanks. You can choose your Currency and Language if you wish. When you select a Company from the drop-down list, activeCollab will automatically load the company's address that you have set in the People section. Additionally, you can select the Project you are creating the invoice for. The next group of fields allows you to list products and/or services that you are billing customer for. Fill in the Unit Cost, Quantity, and choose the predefined Tax Rate. You can add several items to one Invoice. The system will calculate the Total, Subtotal and Total Due after you finish adding all your invoice items. Invoice Notes can be included with your Invoice. You can use a template, or enter a
custom note. Notes will be visible on your PDF-issued Invoices as well. Additionally, you can provide an Invoice comment that is visible only to you, but not to the client. This field can be used for any additional information that you wish to track internally.
2. Based on the Time Report When logging time, you can tick off your hours as billable:
Using time reports you can run reports and see billable hours that match specific criteria. These reports can also be used to create an invoice, where all billable hours will be calculated together and multiplied with a default hourly rate that you have set for a given currency. To create a new Invoice based on a time report, just click on the New Invoice link at the bottom of the report:
3. Based on the Ticket Invoices can also be created from billable hours you track for a Ticket. A simple form will allow you to log in time, create a short summary, and mark those hours as billable:
To create an Invoice from a ticket, visit the Ticket Details page and click on the Create Invoice link available in the list of options on the right:
Issuing an Invoice After you have created your Invoice, it will be saved as Draft. To issue the invoice, click on Issue tab
on the right when you are on invoice details page. That link will lead you to a page where you can set up the Issue and Due date and notify your client via email:
Email notification will be sent to your client only if a persone from the Client Company has a Client Company Manager Role (or at least manage_company_details permission set to Yes). Printable PDF version of the invoice will be attached to the message. You will also receive a copy of this email for the reference and to have an insight on what your client got. Besides receiving email notification, people with Client Company Manager Role, will see Important box on their activeCollab Dashboard with note that there is one, or more, outstanding invoices. Also, they will be able to see Invoice icon on the toolbar, step into the Invoice page, and see only the invoices issued to their companies.
Auto-Numbering If you set auto-generate invoice number when you create it, activeCollab will automatically generate invoice number based on pattern you provided when the invoice has been issued.
Tracking payments When the invoice is issued, you can track payments for it and make payment records. Just fallow the New Payment link and type in the amount that has been paid. activeCollab will track it all down and note how much of the total sum is paid, and how much is left.
When the total amount is paid, the Invoice will automatically be marked as billed and saved.
Duplicating an Invoice Any invoice can be duplicated. Use this simple feature to clone frequently used Invoice and save time. To duplicate an invoice, click on Duplicate link while on invoice details page:
Setup of Documents Module Documents Module is one of the activeCollab Available Modules found in the in the Admin > Modules section. It can be installed easily and quickly by clicking the Install button on the right side of the screen. After installation, the Role that can use Documents must be defined. Remember that only users with can_use_documents permissions will have access to this feature. The Documents Module allows you to create a repository for different types of documents and files. Documents are available globally, on the system level. Everyone with proper permission will be able to use and create them. Documents are very similar to Files. Both have the same functionality, preview and file management; but unlike Files, Documents are available on a higher level, outside and independent of any project. This feature can be used to store company-related files (memoranda, privacy policies, contracts, company logos, etc.) or some other documents of interest across the entire system. A New Document can be created in two ways: 1. as New Text Document. Just type your document text in a Pages -like form, press Submit and it will be saved as simple text document. 2. by Uploading File. The system upload page will allow you to choose the file from your computer's hard drive and upload it to be available on the Documents section.
Documents are ordered alphabetically. activeCollab displays the document type icon next to a document name (or a thumbnail if you upload an image). Different categories that you can create allow you to sort and manage your documents any way you wish. You can edit, delete and download files, or "pin" them to be at the top of the Documents list.
Please remember that only users who have created a document and the Administrator can manage documents and change document details. Everyone else can only see and download the document. Documents marked as Private will be visible only to the user(s) authorized to see Private objects. This may be a handy feature if you wish to hide some documents from certain groups of users.
activeCollab can export assignment data in a standard format that other calendar applications (Microsoft Windows Calendar, Apple iCal, Google Calendar, etc.) can read. This format is the iCalendar format. Data is exported in following way: 1. Milestones are exported as VEVENT elements. They are displayed in the calendar as an all day event, or as an event that spans a period of days. 2. Tickets and Tasks are exported as VTODO elements. Calendar applications will display this data as some sort of to do list. Read Only Feeds iCalendar feeds that activeCollab exports are read only. This means that your favorite calendar application will be able to read and import the data, but you will not be able to change the data and have it automatically update in activeCollab. To update the data, log into your activeCollab and change the data there. The Calendar application will automatically import the changes you made on the next refresh.
Subscribing to iCalendar Feeds Link to iCalendar feed is available on the Global Calendar page, the Project Calendar page, and on the Overview page of the Active Projects list. These links are usually on the bottom of the page and you can spot them easily, because they are marked with a small calendar icon:
When you click on the link, the subscribe page will open:
activeCollab offers two types of iCalendar export:
1. File download. This file will let you import the data into your calendar application, but the data will not be automatically updated when data in your activeCollab is changed. 2. iCalendar feed. When you subscribe to the iCalendar feed, the data from activeCollab is imported in your calendar application. Additionally, your calendar application will periodically check the feed for updates and update the data. VTODO Support Even though iCalendar is an open and popular format that works quite well with most of the calendar applications straight out of the box, there are several things that users should know about import of VTODO elements: 1. Some calendar applications do not support VTODO elements, so they will completely ignore that data and you will not be able to see Tickets and Tasks in your calendar application. 2. Apple iCal removes VTODO elements by default. To avoid that, you will need to uncheck Remote To Do Items option. 3. In some versions of Apple iCal, VTODO elements will not be displayed after you subscribe. Manually refresh the feed a couple of times until iCal imports the data.