Top 3 Open Source Groupware Review

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

groupwareAfter our reviews of the two widely used open source groupware Open Xchange and eGroupware, we were out to explore the some of the top open source groupware. As we came across These free software are feature-rich and have become alternatives for expensive collaborative applications. When dealing with groupware its important to discuss that these are extensive collection of different types of software running on different platform. So the type of groupware you or your organization needs to use will depend on the task and functions you want the groupware to perform. Let’s take a look at the top 3 open source groupware.

1. PHProjekt


This is an free open source groupware suite. This modular application is used to achieve coordination for group based activities and sharing information and documents.  PHProjekt includes  project management, group calendar, time card system, file management, contact manager, mail client and many other modules.

This groupware offers the Zend framework a the backend and for complete integration it uses the dojo toolkit on the frontend. It features a MVC and active record patterns support framework. This has enabled effective and rapid development for new modules and features. It allows the user to create new modules just with a few mouse clicks.

  • It allows you to develop your own code with the PHProjekt 6(new version)
  • It follows php5 coding standards (actually zf coding style)
  • There is a good code coverage with unit tests
  • It is completely documented in phpdoc
  • It is completely OOP, well structured

By following ‘convention over configuration’, many modules and services show an expected default behaviour. The API and protocol (JSON) between frontend and backend allows a change of single components of the application.

Those without much coding skills can accomplish application management with WYSIWYG module designer. Using the Module Designer the admin can add / modify / delete system modules. In the new version Phprojekt6 the admin can create and modify the forms with a drag and drop system.

Administration Module

There are number of tools with the software

  • Create new modules. Including the default modules (projects, todo, notes, etc) it could be possible to add new
  • Create and edit tabs to be used on each module, like budget tab
  • Create and edit the roles of user to set users permissions based on roles

Further, the administration module also includes the Module Designer. The user can change the settings or preferences -timezone, default language, etc. With the new server you can expect the CMS and some applications like the phpMyFAQ run much faster.


2. dotProject


This is a web based project management application has been developed, maintained and supported by volunteer group and users. It’s original theme was aimed at providing an open source alternative for the Microsoft products and other such expensive, commercial applications. dotProject includes modules for companies, projects, tasks (with Gantt charts), forums, files, a calendar, contacts, tickets/helpdesk, multi-language support, user/module permissions, and themes.

The functionality of dotProject includes

  • Email based trouble Ticket System  (Integrated’s ticketsmith)
  • Client/Company Management
  • Project listings
  • Hierarchical Task List
  • File Repository
  • Contact List
  • Calendar
  • Discussion Forum
  • Resource Based Permission
  • User Management


  • With a simple and intuitive interface, dotProject is easy to handle.  The interface highlights the module listing, new item box, user tools and more in a simple format.
  • It provides a complete project management environment with wide ranging collaboration tools
  • It offers a modular design. This allows the users to add extra modules (such as time sheets and inventory).
  • Extensive support and FAQ Forums for users

Still dotProject is not a full groupware suite as it lacks features like webmail.


3. Citadel/UX


This is an open source collaboration solution - messaging and groupware. Citadel/UX includes a number of upscale functionality such as shared calender, scheduling, address books, bulletin boards, mailing list server and instant messaging. It offers multiple domain support. Citadel has been widely popular as a bulletin board system platform.

The users have an easy to use and versatile interface to work on. This free groupware offers several alternative front end for the users like  text-based interface and AJAX-style web interface. It has several PIM clients using SMTP/POP/IMAP and these can be used simultaneously. The Citadel server can be used by a large number of concurrent user. The users can also build a distributed network of Citadel nodes that share rooms and their content. For additional security all protocols offer OpenSSL encryption.

Key Features

  • This open source groupware systems offers a well knit server package with email, calendaring, address books, bulletin boards and instant messaging.
  • It offers access to web browser, telnet/SSH and local client software
  • Integrated server-side mail sorting and filtering. Users can choose between an easy-to-use web based rules editor, or the power of writing complex scripts using the industry standard Sieve language.
  • Citadel offers group calendaring and scheduling, it is GroupDAV and Kolab-1 compatible
  • It’s equipped with built-in perimiter email filtering technologies such as SpamAssassin, Realtime Blackhole Lists (RBL’s) and ClamAV antivirus.
  • It also provides support for push e-mail and mobile devices
  • It enables server-to-server replication. that implies user user in any number of domain can spread to any number of Citadel servers
  • It provides strong support for public folders and message forums.
  • Server-to-server replication. Users in any number of domains can be spread out across any number of Citadel servers, allowing you to put data where you need it, and enabling infinite horizontal scalability.
  • Web-based access to email, calendars, and everything else through a powerful AJAX-style front end


February 3, 2010: 1:22 am

Let’s think about, what students do if have the research papers writing work. Commonly, they order the custom sociology essays at the best writing services to figure out their writing problems.

January 1, 2010: 12:21 pm

We’re currently using Assembla, which supports remote svn/git repositories including github integration, integrated ticket tracking, collaborative wikis and more. We’ve been very happy with it so far, and best of all it’s free for open source projects! One of the best parts is that they offer RSS feeds for almost everything.

November 12, 2009: 6:50 am

Thanks for the review.

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