activeCollab Feather – are you ready for it?
If you noticed, activeCollab recently changed their website – and the whole product!!
If you are a long time user of activeCollab, the new activeCollab (code named “Feather”) looks extremely slick. It’s got flat and clean design. It feels “new age”.
“Feather” is quite snappy too. Pages load fast. Everything feels nice.
You’d want to upgrade to it immediately.
But wait… Is Feather ready for prime time? Are you ready for it?
activeCollab Feather is a project and task management solution built afresh. A lot of core concepts are same (just like any other project management system).. But a lot has changed – both under the hood and in the app.
So if you depend on activeCollab for your day to day work, and have many people using it, I suggest you take a step back before upgrading. Especially if you are hosting activeCollab on your own servers.
Here are somethings self hosted activeCollab customers must grasp fully before considering Feather.
Some features have changed (or don’t exist anymore)…
- To make things simpler, activeCollab team dropped many features from Feather. And they are not coming back. So if you relied on these features from previous versions, you’d face difficulties.
- For example: There is no way to manage user roles or create new roles and access control. There are only three roles – Owner, Member, Customer.
- There are small terminology changes too – Milestones are now called Task Lists. But that shouldn’t be too difficult to get used to.
- Still, all the core features are intact – and polished further. So for basic “getting things done” you shouldn’t have a problem.
- But one must test and evaluate their own needs before switching…
Third Party modules won’t work
- Third Party Modules don’t work with Feather. There is no way to install additional modules within activeCollab anymore.. Even if you use Self Hosted version of Feather.
- The only “integration” and “extension” possibility is via HTTP REST API. Which means extensions have to be “external” apps. Much like any other SaaS web site. They can not integrate with activeCollab UI.
- So if you rely on any functionality provided by a third party module (or if you have developed your own customizations) – you will have to let go of that before you can move to Feather. OR you stay with activeCollab 4 (or 3 or 2 – whatever you may be using).
- Even the API has changed. So if you use any apps that integrate with activeCollab via API, they’d need to update as well.
You’re sharing a lot more data with activeCollab now…
Everything related to emails (incoming and outgoing) and search is now handled via a service called “Heartbeat”. This is a service activeCollab hosts themselves. So even if you use the self hosted version your data is going to activeCollab servers.
Yes, there is an “enterprise” option – where you can host the “Heartbeat” service on your own servers. But it’s still “coming soon”…
Try it first
- Overall, activeCollab Feather is still a work in progress. A lot of things work, but try it first before upgrading.
- We recommend you try out the online 30 days demo first. Familiarize yourself with the changes. Then evaluate if you want to upgrade.
- If you want to upgrade, setup a staging environment, migrate your data, and fully test everything beforehand.
- Your data is critical. So make sure you have backups. And that you get everything you need.
Also, make sure you read and understand activeCollab’s own “Upgrading to new activeCollab” guide…
What will happen to Apps Magnet activeCollab modules?
We understand a lot of you rely on our activeCollab modules for your businesses. And while we want to bring all the features we added to activeCollab with our extensions, it’s simply not going to be possible because of the new architecture.
We are considering building web based services that talk to activeCollab via its API and add features.
But we need to know what you’d like us to do! So leave a comment and tell us if:
- Would you like us to help you migrate to Feather?
- Would you like us to continue supporting activeCollab 3 and 4 installations?
- What modules / features would you like us to build for activeCollab Feather?
Awaiting your feedback!