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Free Microsoft Project Clone March 3, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Freeware.
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OpenProj is a free and open source version of the most popular (and expensive) project management application, Microsoft Project. Yes, that’s right, free. Not only can it create project files that can be shared with Microsoft Project users but OpenProj can actually open Microsoft Project files as well! It becomes in essense a Project viewer much like Adobe Reader views PDF files, except for one major distinction: OpenProject doesn’t just view Microsoft Project files, it allows you to make changes to them too!
Here’s a screenshot of OpenProj. Click to view larger image.

Download OpenProj here for free. This isn’t some restricted time-limited lame demo trial version either. This is the full monty! Full version, free without any catches. There is a web version that they sell called Project-on-Demand which is still a fraction of what Microsoft Project Web Access costs (not to mention the expense for SharePoint and SQL server which are required)!

Projity is the company behind OpenProj with offices in California, France and India. There are gaining incredible popularity and credibility all over the world. OpenProj is a fantastic way to save $600 to $1000 per Microsoft Project license.

Create Web Apps for free February 17, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Collaboration, Databases, WebDesign.
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Zoho Creator offers a free and extremely easy way to create your own web applications in no time at all. You can keep them private for your own use or share them with others. It is similar to Zoho DB & reports in that you can create databases with tables and queries, but Creator goes much further by providing the ability to add customizable forms as a frontend to your databases.

They also have their own scripting language called Deluge Script for those that want to dive deeper into building their web app. They also offer a Zoho Creator API that can satisfy even the most advanced developers. The good news is that you don’t need to learn any scripting language to create many useful web applications in a matter of minutes. You can even access these web apps via mobile devices which is very slick. They now offer SSL encryption for extra security, which makes creating web apps for the enterprise an extremely attractive option.

Here’s a 3-minute demo:

Sample Web App
Here’s a sample web app I created in five minutes called My Muse. http://creator.zoho.com/paisano/mymuse
It can track all of your writing, including blog posts, ideas, publications, etc. If you like this or any public web app, then click the copy application option to save it to your own account where you can customize it and make it your own.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve tried many online services that claim to offer easy database and web application creation but Zoho Creator and their DB & Reports are the best in my book. The load times and application/database performance have always been very good and the intuitive interface for designing is always excellent. I’ve never had to go to the help section with any of their products which says a lot.