Buzz: Deziner Folio

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OnStage was recently mentioned on the Deziner Folio Blog - Online Project Management Tools

OnStage is an online workspace, collaboration, and project management tool. It is a simple tool for complex ends.

OnStage Announces Two New Features!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reply to Messages Directly from Outlook, your Blackberry, iPhone, or any Email Client Program

This additional feature will radically simplify the way many users will interact with OnStage. No longer does a user need to go to the OnStage website to reply to a message stream. Once you receive a message, simply click Reply as you would if replying to any ordinary email. Your reply will be posted onto the OnStage stream and all users subscribed to that stream will receive a copy of your message.

Can I attach files too? You bet! Any files you attach to the reply will be uploaded to OnStage and stored there for future access.

Who will receive the reply? As with all OnStage message streams, all users subscribed to the message will receive an email of your reply. For you convenience, all OnStage email messages will include a list of subscribers at the bottom of the message, so you’ll know exactly who will be receiving your reply. Also, besides users subscribed to the message, additional users may have access to that project as well as that message stream—so this information will be noted at the bottom of the email message. If a message was marked "private," this will also be indicated in the email message.

Can I modify who receives the reply? Replying directly by email is automatically a "reply to all." You should go to the OnStage website to access features such as selecting or deselecting message recipients, marking replies as "private" or "urgent," and using the online text formatting.

Watch a screencast of this new feature:

Upload Files Easier—Select Multiple Files at Once

The file upload function OnStage is now more efficient - and still just as easy and intuitive as before. Just like before, to upload a file click the Attachments link. However, when browsing to choose your files, you can Shift-Click or Control-Click to select multiple files. After choosing one or more files, you can still decide to add more by clicking Add another file or you can decide to not upload some of the files by clicking Remove.

Watch the following screencast for a demonstration of this great new feature:

If you have any questions or comments

...please email us! We are always interested in hearing from our customers and making OnStage best fit your needs!

Buzz: OnStage Featured in Business Today Egypt

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OnStage was recently featured in Business Today Egypt:

Projects Management
Internet services catered to project management — when more than one employee is involved in carrying out a specific task — allow for online collaboration between colleagues. The services help those involved in the project organize their work and track how the project is advancing. Most of the project management tools allow the project’s head to define and distribute tasks, as well as set time frames for their completion. Expense tracking devices are also available, allowing project members to monitor the project’s budget and expenditures.

OnStage Featured on eHub

Friday, September 26, 2008

OnStage was recently featured on Emily Chang’s eHub!

OnStage
A web-based collaboration / project management service. There's a free version as well as multiple language versions. Scribd's iPaper is integrated so you can view files in the browser. The company has been around since 1999 and offers phone customer service.

OnStage On the List of 270 Tools for Running a Business

Monday, September 22, 2008

OnStage was recently included on the list of "270+ Tools for Running a Business Online" under the Task Lists, Planning & Project Management category.

OnStage a Must-Have Project Management Tool for Telecommuters

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OnStage was listed as one of the top project management tools on the Daily Netizen’s 100 Must-have Web Tools for Telecommuters- Best of the Best!

OnStage Project Portal: Use this simple tool as an online work space, collaboration tool, and project management platform.

OnStage Application Shortcuts in Google Chrome

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One of the new features of Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, is application shortcuts. This cool feature allows you to create an icon on your start menu, desktop, or quicklaunch bar that will open directly to OnStage. To do this, first click the document icon to the right of the address bar Google Chrome Icon. Second, select Create application shortcuts... from the menu.

Google Chrome menu

Select the areas you’d like your shortcut to appear and click Ok.

OnStage and Google Chrome

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google recently made an exciting announcement, the release of their own web browser, Google Chrome. Since this browser is based on the WebKit platform (the same platform that Safari uses), OnStage Project Portal works flawlessly in Google’s new browser. If you do experience any problems using OnStage with Chrome, please let us know!

OnStage is an online workspace, collaboration, and project management tool. Sign up now for a free OnStage account.

Preview Your Documents with iPaper

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Last weekend we launched a new OnStage feature that enables our users to preview their documents with iPaper, a document format built for the web by a Silicon Valley startup called Scribd. Need to take a quick peek at that file your client just posted? There is no longer a need to download the file to your desktop, just click the Preview link and OnStage will open your document in iPaper. Fore more information about iPaper, visit Scribd.com.  To check out this great new feature, sign up now for a free OnStage account.

Integrate the OnStage Login Box into Your Website

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Many users have asked if it is possible to integrate the OnStage login into their websites. The answer is: yes! The following HTML code is the basic structure needed to accomplish this. Of course, it can be further arranged and styled to fit the look and feel of your website.

<form action="https://sitename.onstageportal.com/LoginDispatch.aspx"
      method="post" name="form1">
  Email: <input type="textbox" name="username" id="username" /><br />
  Password: <input type="password" name="password" id="password" /><br />
  <input type="submit" value="Login" />
</form> 

Note: In the code above, you must replace sitename with the URL to your OnStage site.

View a fully styled example of this code.

OnStage Featured in the TechnoLawyer Blog

Monday, May 12, 2008

The TechnoLawyer NewsWire, "a weekly newsletter that briefly discusses and provides links to three hot new technology products and services of interest to legal professionals," has posted a short review of OnStage:

ONSTAGE: IT'S THE CALENDAR, STUPID

Chmura believes that project management requires a shared calendar. As a result, its OnStage online project management offering features a calendar at its heart. On the main calendar, you can create and view events, milestones, and tasks for all projects. When you enter a project, you see only the items related to that project.

In addition to the calendar, OnStage offers two other ways to view information — dashboards and reports. And within a project, you can share files, exchange messages, and create and manage contacts and tasks. File sharing includes versioning. You can assign tasks and create email alerts when the status changes. You receive messages via email, but they also remain in OnStage grouped in threads and fully searchable.

OnStage works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. The five different plans range in price from $10 to $135 per month. All of them provide SSL encryption so they differ only with regard to the number of projects and storage. A free ad-supported plan provides as many projects (20) and storage (750 MB) as the $20/month plan. Learn more about OnStage.

Sign up now for a free OnStage account at www.OnStagePortal.com

New Feature: Customized URL's

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Feature: Customized URL's
The new OnStage login screenWe are pleased to announce that OnStage now offers customized site URLs. You and your users can access your OnStage site by browsing directly to a URL such as your existing organization home address! A custom URL will allow you to specify a subdomain for your site, for example http://YourCompany.onstageportal.com. You can continue to login using the older URL (http://onstageportal.com/login).

New Login Screen
In conjunction with the site URL, we have released a new login screen. When browsing to your site, the login screen will now display the name of your site in the login box. Customers subscribing to the Basic level and higher get even more! Your logo will be displayed on the login screen as well.

Referral Program
Many customers have not yet heard about the OnStage referral program. By registering for this program, you will get an account credit for paying users that you refer to OnStage. When a new customer signs up using your referral link and upgrades to a paid subscription, we will credit your account for 60% of their first month's subscription fee! Even free accounts are eligible to participate—see the referral program page for more details (to access this page, browse to the Admin tab, Site Admin, Referral Program).

Sign up now for a free OnStage account and reserve your URL www.OnStagePortal.com

OnStage Referral Program and Date Globalization

Thursday, October 18, 2007
OnStage

The latest release of OnStage has added two exciting new features. Date globalization and the OnStage referral program.

Date globalization is an important feature when you have an international user-base like OnStage. In the United States, a date is commonly written in the following format: mm/dd/yyyy (e.g. 10/15/2007 for October 15, 2007). However, this format varies by country. In Australia, for example, the date is commonly written in dd/mm/yyyy format. OnStage now automatically detects and uses the correct date format (at least according to your operating system).

The other new feature is the OnStage referral program. This feature (available through the Site Admin section, allows our users to earn account credits for users they refer to OnStage. For more information, log in to your OnStage site using an administrator account and click the Referral Program link under Site Admin.

Sign up for a free OnStage account now at www.OnStagePortal.com

OnStage File Vaults (for dummies)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
OnStage

Many of our projects involve writing reports that are either published or delivered to the customer. We have a very thorough editing process in place at Chmura that covers everything from spelling and grammar, to style, to making sure the correct number of spaces occur after each period. As each person in the project process write or edit drafts or make revisions, copies of the Word document get passed around through email. As the number of revisions increases, the most recent document inevitably gets lost, or at the very best, employees have to spend more time than necessary searching for the correct copy. One slip-up and it is no longer as easy as working off the last modified document.

Certainly there are many complex and expensive document management systems available that will allow us to implement a workflow around this process. However, OnStage file vaults, a simple form of version control, can deliver the same quality control without all the complexity.[postbreak]

As a programmer, version control comes very naturally to me since I use it every day in the form of our source control system. To a common word processor user, it can be an unfamiliar and confusing process. For the benefit of this audience, I will provide a brief overview of the proper use of version control in the form of OnStage File Vaults.

What is the purpose of version control? The purpose in this example is two-fold. The first goal isto make sure that no other users modify the document while you are making changes, and secondly, to ensure that you are working with the most recent copy. As a value-add, file vaults will store previous version of our documents, should we ever need to reference an old copy.

An example of an incorrect use of version control: With that being said, here is the incorrect way to use version control:

  • Step 1. John downloads the latest copy of report.doc and begins to make changes.
  • Step 2. Having completed his changes, John checks out the file vault and immediately checks it back in with the new copy of this document.

This process works just fine with one person, but you will soon see that it has the potential for disaster when there are two or people working on the same document. Let’s consider another scenario:

  • Step 1. John downloads the latest copy of report.doc and begins his revisions.
  • Step 2. Mary downloads the latest copy of report.doc and begins her revisions. (Let's assume neither John nor Mary is located in the same office and Mary is not aware that John is working on the same document.)
  • Step 3. Mary completes her changes, checks out the file vault, and immediately checks it back in with her new copy.
  • Step 4. John completes his changes, checks out the file vault, and immediately checks it back in with his new copy.

Uh-oh, John's version does not include Mary's changes and Mary may not even know her changes have been lost! Now we have a highly inefficient bottleneck in merging the two documents together.

An example of a correct use of version control In the examples above, it is simply the reversal in order of two seemingly insignificant steps that have entangled the process; specifically that is editing the document before checking it out of the vault. Using this order of events, the second user (Mary) is not aware that John is already working on the latest version of the document. When we reverse these two steps however, Mary is presented with a conspicuous message stating that John is already working on the document before she begins her work. To review, the correct order of events in this situation should be:

  • Step 1. John checks out the file vault.
  • Step 2. John downloads the latest copy of report.doc and begins to make changes.
  • Step 3. Mary tries to check out the file vault but is unable and sees a message that John is currently working on it. Mary works on something else.
  • Step 4. John completes his changes and checks his new copy back into the file vault.
  • Step 5. Mary, having been notified that John has checked in his copy can now check the file vault out and continue the process.

Conclusion The examples above may be over-simplified, but with OnStage file vaults it really is that simple. Yes, there are version control and document management systems available that allow multiple users to work on a document and merge their changes but it is my opinion that the types of teams that use OnStage just want something that is simple and works. Try it for yourself. Sign up for a free OnStage account.

OnStage – Team Collaboration and Project Portal System

Monday, May 7, 2007
OnStage

OnStage has finally been released to the public! OnStage is a web based system that was designed to allow our team to easily collaborate on projects and communicate with clients. Since 2005, when OnStage was launched internally, we have run almost 100 projects through OnStage, posted over 6,000 messages and over 2,000 files.

If you have ever searched the web for software such as OnStage, you already know that there are many competing products available. In fact, we have used some of those products in the past. Why then did we choose to create yet another team collaboration software? The answer is simply that none of the products available completely met our needs. While our entire staff is fairly computer literate, many of these systems are overly complicated. Furthermore, it is easy for an employee to walk down the hall and ask IT how to use a particular piece of software. It is not so easy when it comes to our clients, and frankly, they shouldn’t have to bother. And so OnStage was born... We needed software that was easy enough to use that our clients would not be burdened by using it. Something that facilitated team communication, not prohibited it. Something that gave us just the right amount of project management features without over complicating the process. Simplicity is the key. We have worked very hard to design features that are powerful but maintain the simplicity of the overall user experience.

I am very excited that OnStage is now available to the public. We already have some useful new features planned and I will post more details about these to my blog in the future. If you are struggling with team collaboration or are not satisfied with your current team portal, I highly recommend that you sign up for a free OnStage account. I think you will find our features robust and our pricing very reasonable.

For more information on OnStage, please visit our website or call me at 804-263-5771: http://www.OnStagePortal.com

OnStage is a product of Chmura. Copyright © 2005-2008.
The OnStage name and logo is a trademark of Chmura.