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Summary:

Often a project team needs to be up and running without much lead time, and you don’t have the time or the inclination to come up with a customized, tailored solution for collaboration and file sharing. There might be a lot of collaboration portal web applications […]

onehubOften a project team needs to be up and running without much lead time, and you don’t have the time or the inclination to come up with a customized, tailored solution for collaboration and file sharing.

There might be a lot of collaboration portal web applications out there, but few work as well or offer as simple a setup as Onehub. I’m not sure how long it took me to get everything ready, but I’m fairly sure that the same song was playing on iTunes when I finished as when I started. And no, my 40GB music library had not completely cycled.

picture-55Sign-up is a snap; just provide an email and a password and you’re good to go. Once logged in, you’ll be prompted to create a “Hub,” Onehub’s name for your intranet/extranet/project space. If you’re really in a hurry, and just need to get file sharing up and running without delay because you have a client waiting impatiently to see your work, just select the “Quick Hub” option and you’ll bypass the usual set-up procedure.

Even if you are in a hurry, building out a standard Hub won’t take you very much more time. You pick a title, a description, and a custom, unique URL (Onehub will generate one automatically from your Hub’s title if you’re not fussy). Then you can choose from a selection of preset Hub templates, which automatically includes certain widgets depending on the package you choose, so that your Hub will be ready to use as soon as it’s deployed. If you’d rather build your Hub from scratch, you can choose a blank template and add widgets yourself from the dashboard.

picture-81There are plenty of widgets available, including things like News & Events, Tasks, Files, Contacts, etc. You can add, delete, rearrange and customize the widgets depending on your needs.  Beyond changing which widgets you’re using, you can also customize the look and layout of your hub, choose a different theme, and upload your own custom logo. With a storage limit of up to 1024MB, you could even make your Hub a public-facing web site should you so desire.

picture-9Onehub offers you a lot of settings as administrator. You can control who has access by inviting specific people, set up custom login settings that allow anyone to request access, and enable FTP access and advanced security options. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that it’s the easiest app to customize of its kind that I’ve come across.

Onehub is the perfect solution for those looking for collaboration software that can be set up quickly and easily, but that can also grow and change as needed as the project progresses. It doesn’t hurt that it’s free for one Hub with up to 1GB of storage, either. For more Hubs and more storage, Onehub has a range of paid plans.

Have you used Onehub? What did you think?

  1. I’ve been playing around with OneHub for a few days and although I find it blisteringly quick to set up, I can’t quite get my head around if its any good for business/client collaboration.

    My ideal use for the tool would be some sort of feedback/mock-up area where I can create sites for clients so they can really get involved and quit using email. Hopefully with a little more experimentation I can build something like this.

    On a positive note the widgets they have are really impressive, so impressive in fact I can’t yet find any technical fault with the service.

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  2. The fault with the service is simply this. When you invite someone to a hub, their account includes a link to their own dashboard, where they are encouraged to “create a hub”. It’s a horrible attempt at virally spreading their application at the expense of its users. I can never use this product to create for instance a Dealer Extranet, if all of my dealers are going to be confused with options to “create their own hubs” or to “upgrade their accounts”.

    For the admin, it’s fine, but they need a different model for endusers, otherwise, it’s too confusing.

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  3. theresaneil Thursday, May 7, 2009

    I would love to try this out- but if the invitation to users doesn’t come across as simple, quick and intuitive, it won’t work for my clients to sign in and use (they are paying me to design simple, quick and intuitive software- the tool I use to share and collaborate should meet that bar).

    Have you looked at ConceptShare, Colaab, and this article with a bunch of others? http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/02/14-applications-for-project-management-and-collaboration/

    Publishing from from Pages to iWork.com shows a lot of potential- but it needs to mature (like versions and workspaces with multiple documents).

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