Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Welcome RabbitMQ to the Bitnami Launchpad for Google Cloud Platform!

We are happy to introduce RabbitMQ as part of the Bitnami library for Google Cloud Platform!




RabbitMQ is a messaging broker that gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, as well as a safe place for your messages to live until received. It implements the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) and is written in the Erlang programming language.





Some exciting RabbitMQ features include:

  • Flexible routing
  • Clustering
  • Federation
  • Highly Available Queues
  • Multi-protocol
  • Management UI
  • Tracing
  • Plugin Systems

RabbitMQ's management panel


You can check out all of these features by simply deploying RabbitMQ with one-click on the Bitnami Launchpad for Google Cloud Platform. Click the button below to get started. 


To use the admin console of RabbitMQ you have to download the rabbitmqadmin application from: http://your-server-name:15672/cli/ . Note, you will need Python 2.x, 2.6 or later.

Invoke "rabbitmqadmin --help" for usage instructions:
  • list exchanges, queues, bindings, vhosts, users, permissions, connections and channels
  • show overview information
  • declare and delete exchanges, queues, bindings, vhosts, users and permissions
  • publish and get messages
  • close connections and purge queues
  • import and export configuration
For instance, you can run these commands from your Terminal to publish your first message:


  • This command will declare a new exchange:

rabbitmqadmin -H your_servername -u your_user -p your_password declare exchange name=my-new-exchange type=fanout


  • This one will declare a new queue:

$ rabbitmqadmin -H your_servername -u your_user -p your_password declare queue name=my-new-queue durable=false


  • And finally you can publish your first message:

$ rabbitmqadmin -H your_server_name -u your_user -p your_password publish exchange=amq.default routing_key=my-new-queue payload="hello, world"

If you want to know more about how to use the Bitnami’s RabbitMQ, you can read our wiki page. Still have questions? We would be happy to answer them on our community forum

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Welcome phpList to the Bitnami Library!

We are happy to announce that phpList is now available on the Bitnami library!


phpList is a one-way email announcement delivery system, and is a great tool for managing and sending e-mail messages to a large numbers of subscribers.   

phpList is now ready to install in a few clicks with the Bitnami phpList installers (available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X), Virtual Machine images (VMs), and cloud images for the Amazon EC2Azure and Google cloud platforms.

phpList admin page 

If you want to quickly check out phpList, you can launch a free cloud demo server. By clicking the button below, you will have your own phpList instance running for 1 hour, for free!




Or, learn more about phpList in our interview with Michiel Dethmers, Designer/Developer of phpList, as he explains the history and goals behind the project:

How was the phpList project started? What are the origins of this project?

I started phpList in the days when Majordomo was the leading Open Source mailing list system and CMSes did not exist. I was asked by a large theatre in London if there was anything that allowed them to send a email to their subscribers, but to split them occasionally into a group in London only, the UK or the Rest of the world. For example, it would not make sense to send "return tickets for tonight available" to subscribers who live abroad. 

I looked around and apart from having three lists on Majordomo, I couldn't find anything. So, I decided to write something myself. 

I had already been using Open Source technologies for some time, like Linux, Apache, Perl, Php, MySQL etc. I decided it would be interesting to see what happened if I contributed this system back to the world. Inspired by phpBB, I called it PHPlist, although later on I changed that to phpList. I kept fiddling with it in my spare time, adding bits and pieces, as a little side project. 

What is the main goal for phpList?

Our community recently stated the main goal as "Together, we are creating a powerful, reliable and flexible mass-email marketing tool called phpList. We use open source methods and technology and aim to contribute to the wider Open Source community."

I think as well as the mass mail aspect, phpList can also be a nice personal contact database.

Which projects or organizations are using phpList currently? What kind of projects do they use it for?

A whole range of people and organisations use phpList. In a recent survey we found that  the majority are small businesses, but we have large corporations, community groups, government institutions, schools and individuals. Our new manual will have case studies ranging from a list of 35 to 500k. It provides something for everybody. 

Anyone with a list of contacts can use phpList to reach out to them. phpList will enable them to be efficient in handling subscribers, unsubscribes and bounces, making sure that the mailings are delivered without problems to those who want to receive it. 

What do you expect will be the main benefits of having Bitnami packages available for phpList?

I've made it as easy as possible to install phpList, but with a Bitnami package it will be even easier. That will allow for a very quick evaluation of the way phpList works. Once the hurdle of installing has disappeared, I think more people will move to phpList, because it allows them to be in control of where their contacts' information is kept. And the low cost is attractive as well of course. You can follow the phpList project on Twitter and participate in discussions on phplist.com.  


Would you like your favorite app to be part of Bitnami? Be sure to suggest and vote for it in our monthly contest!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bitnami Open Source Leaders Interview Series: Jan Niggemann from Redmine

If you're tired of sifting through email threads to surface information on project updates, then you'll love the game-changing project management features provided by Redmine. As a continuation of our Open Source Leaders Interview series, we interviewed Redmine Community Relationship Officer, Jan Niggeman, to learn more about the app. The bottom line? Redmine's solution is not only for software development teams, but for any group that needs a way to collaborate for projects both big or small.

In the interview you'll learn:
  • What Redmine is and how it's different from other project management tools
  • Who should use Redmine and suggested use cases
  • Where to find Redmine support 
  • What to expect from Redmine in the future 
Known for bug tracking management, Redmine has become a popular option for managing both issues and tasks for multiple projects. The application gives you one central place to create, maintain, and successfully follow all of your projects. Multiple project support, flexible roles, and based access control are among the many tools that will make your team's collaboration efforts easier.

Learn more about the project from Jan Niggeman and then try it for yourself. Launch Redmine to the cloud or deploy it locally with free installers, virtual machines and cloud templates from Bitnami. Get started in the cloud for free with a $200 credit from Microsoft Azure.



Read the full transcript here: 

Stuart Langridge:       These are the Bitnami Open Source Leaders interviews. I'm Stuart Langridge, and I'm talking to Jan Niggemann of Redmine. Jan is the Community Relations Officer for the Redmine project.

Jan Niggemann:          Hi, Stuart.

Stuart Langridge:       So tell us a little bit about what Redmine is.

Jan Niggemann:          Redmine is a web application that may be used for project management and online collaboration. We have focused on integrating different areas of project management to provide a platform that's easy to use for project managers as well as the project staff, so everybody can get together online.

Stuart Langridge:       Which types of organizations are currently using Redmine?

Jan Niggemann:          There are several well-known companies around the world. For example, Citrix, Seagate, and Qualcomm. Of course, there are minor organization and lots of universities around the world, and virtually countless open source projects using it. The projects range from everything in-between software development, like the Audacious Media Player, to manufacturing.  For example, there's a project called LAOS laser that tried to program free software for laser cutting machines.

Stuart Langridge:       Are there particular types of organizations that you would like to see using Redmine, or is the answer everyone in the whole world?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Railo, now part of the Bitnami Library!



Thanks to Railo fans who voted during the Bitnami Application Contest, the fast, free, easy-to-use open-source CFML app is now available on the Bitnami Library!

We weren't surprised by the excitement for Railo since it is the easiest way to build Java EE based web applications without the complexities of Java. Backed by an active development community, Railo provides the quickest CFML engine available so that you can focus on creating the best experience for end users.

Install Railo in a few clicks with the Bitnami Railo installers (available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X), virtual machine images (VMs), and cloud images for Amazon EC2Azure, and Google cloud platforms.



Or, catch up with Jordan Michaels, Railo's Community Deployments Coordinator, who took time to chat with us about Railo's history and some very cool ongoing projects.

How was the Railo project started? What are the origins of this project?

The Railo project started back in 2002 as a student project, and was continuously developed over the years until it's first launch in late 2005.

In the beginning it was just a project that had to compile CFML into something else. The first version we had, compiled from CFML to PHP. Yes PHP. In those days it was obvious that every server out there would have a PHP processor installed on it, so the choice was logical. However, the reasoning against it was the fact that PHP 5 was in its early beta, and therefore very unstable, inconsistent, and the performance penalty we would suffer was too high. From there, we switched to Java and it proved to be the right choice.

Due to the fact that Railo, albeit in its early stage, was so much faster than other engines we decided to take it to a full product. As for its name, the correct pronunciation of Railo, as well as the scene of the origin of the name "Railo" can be found here

What is the main goal for Railo?

Railo aims to be the fastest CFML processing engine available, while remaining completely free and open-source for anyone to use and develop.

Which projects or organizations are using Railo currently? What kind of projects do they use it for?

Railo is used for all kinds of projects all over the world for sites and companies of various sizes. Probably one of the most popular users of Railo is NASA - who used Railo for their Mars Curiosity website - as well as many of their other projects. You can view more Railo success stories here

What do you expect will be the main benefits of having Bitnami packages available for Railo?

It is our hope that the Bitnami Railo stack will make it simple to deploy Railo within the Bitnami cloud service, as well as other providers around the Internet.




Would you like your favorite app to be part of Bitnami? Be sure to suggest and vote for it in our monthly contest!

OpenProject added to Bitnami Library!

We are happy to announce that OpenProject is now available on the Bitnami library.


OpenProject is a free and open source software for project management with a wide set of features and plugins and an active community. With the multitude of features and plugins, OpenProject offers support for your teams throughout the whole project life cycle.  

OpenProject is now ready to install in a few clicks with the Bitnami OpenProject installers (available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X), Virtual Machine images(VMs), cloud images for the Amazon EC2, Goole Compute Engine or Azure cloud platforms.

If you want to quickly check out OpenProject, you can launch a free cloud demo server. By clicking the button below, you will have your own OpenProject instance running for 1 hour, for free!


We also had the opportunity to interview Birthe Lindenthal, Chairperson of the OpenProject
Foundation's Board of Directors, who was so kind to answer the questions below: 

What is the goal of the OpenProject application?

OpenProject is free and open source software for project management. It provides project teams a
multitude of features and plugins for web-based project collaboration: From the initial set-up of a
project plan, to tracking of requirements and tasks, reporting status or documentation. The mission of OpenProject is to build excellent open source software. And when I say open source, I mean it. We
strive to make OpenProject a place to participate, collaborate, and get involved — with an active,
open-minded, transparent, and innovative community.

OpenProject was ranked among the top 5 open source project management tools of 2014

What are some of the features of OpenProject?

The most important core features of OpenProject are:
  • Work package tracking which allows users to easily monitor all project activities, delegate and manage tasks, requirements, bugs and much more
  • Interactive timeline reports to visualize and track a project's progress, see changes at a glance, and compare it over time
  • Time tracking to monitor spent time on different activities within a project
  • Integrated SVN or Git Repository to manage and share code or other project artifacts
  • Project wiki to create and share project documentation collaboratively
  • Calendar, News and Forum to visualize and share project information among team members
OpenProject Development Timeline Page

A multitude of plugins enhance the core functionality with additional features:
  • Backlogs plugin adds Scrum functionality. It allows for sprint and product backlogs, task boards and burn-down charts as well as the option to export story cards as PDF to print and use them physically (via the PDF export plugin)
  • Meeting plugin allows easy organization of meetings (prepare and share agendas, meeting minutes)
  • Costs and Reporting plugin support budgeting and cost management
  • Documents plugin allows easy upload and exchange of documents
OpenProject Backlogs Page

To use additional languages (apart from English and German), the translations plugin can be
installed which adds more than 30 additional languages provided by users via CrowdIn. 
Furthermore, OpenProject is fully accessible, for example for blind team members using screen readers. Additionally a lot of security features were added to comply with highest security and data privacy requirements (e.g. password management, account protection, privacy settings).

What is the OpenProject Foundation about?

As I mentioned previously, OpenProject aims to establish an active, and global community that
participates in the project and benefits from each other. The OpenProject Foundation (OPF) was
established to ensure that the participation in the project is well governed. The OPF was started by
OpenProject’s developers and users in October 2012.

One of the main goals of the OPF is to ensure that the project exists beyond the participation of a few individuals. There has to be a clear and transparent way of how decisions are made and what will be added to the application core. The OPF provides a framework for technical decisions and the
propagation, acceleration, and perpetuation of development by the community, and by a full-time
development team, funded by the members of the OPF. The members meet on a regular basis to
discuss and align on OpenProject topics.

The OpenProject Foundation objectives are:

  • Establish and promote an active and open community of developers, users, and companies for continuous development of the open source project.
  • Define and develop the project vision, the code of conduct, and principles of the application.
  • Create development policies and ensure their compliance.
  • Define and evolve the development and quality assurance processes.
  • Provide the source code to the public.
  • Provide and operate the OpenProject platform.
The association does not pursue economic goals of its own. 

Which projects or organizations are using OpenProject currently?  What kind of projects do they use it for?

OpenProject is used by a great variety of organizations, ranging from large corporations, small and
medium sized companies to NGOs.

Well-known companies using OpenProject include Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, WDR, Telefonica and
congstar.

Due to the wide range of features and plugins, the use cases differ significantly among different companies: Ranging from issue tracking and incident management to large scale release management and planning across many Business Units. OpenProject provides many helpful features combined with a high degree of customization.

In combination with the Backlogs plugin, OpenProject is also often used by Scrum Teams organizing
their (Agile) development with digital product backlogs and taskboard in addition to an integrated
version control (supporting SVN and Git). 
OpenProject Work Packages Page
What do you expect will be the main benefits of having Bitnami packages available for OpenProject?

In the past the installation of RoR-applications required a reasonable knowledge of the technology
stack. The automated Bitnami installers provide a fast and comfortable way to install OpenProject and therefore make it much easier for users to get started with OpenProject. Also, the OpenProject
Foundation does not support Windows. So it is great that Bitnami now provides a solution for Windows users to use OpenProject.

Thanks a lot to the Bitnami team for this great support.

We hope that more and more users become passionate and are motivated to get involved in the open source project making OpenProject even better, with open source and open mind. 

You can follow the OpenProject on Twitter and participate in discussions on OpenProject.org.  

Would you like your favorite app to be part of Bitnami? Be sure to suggest and vote for it in our monthly contest!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bitnami Odoo is now available on Windows!



The wait is over, Odoo (OpenERP 8) is now available for Windows on Bitnami! Odoo is an enterprise resource platform from which you can manage all your business operations – from supply chain and project management, to accounting and HR.



With Bitnami, you can deploy a ready-to-run Odoo Stack with just one click. Of course, apart from the new Windows installer, you can continue using our Linux Installers, Virtual Machines and Cloud Images for Amazon, Azure or Google cloud.

Some of the major changes in Odoo 8.0 version are:
  • Website Builder & eCommerce 
  • New CRM Kanban view 
  • New Google Calendar synchronisation 
  • New Warehouse Management 
  • Gamification (Goals & Challenges for Users) 
  • New enhancements in Accounting, Project Management & Human Resources 
  • New Business Intelligence Reporting 
  • And much more!

You can try Odoo by launching a free server now.

Launch a free demo server now


Did you already know and use Odoo? Help spread the word about Odoo by writing a review! You can view and submit your own review.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bitnami Open Source Leaders Interview Series: Isidro Baquero from Joomla!

Joomla! is one of the most popular content management systems, and is used all around the world for many types of websites. Behind the success of this application comes the support of a very large and energetic open source community. Whether you are a novice or a pro, you will find that there is no shortage of plugins and support to help you along the way.

As part of our Open Source Leader podcast series, we interviewed Isidro Baquero, member of the Joomla! community leadership team, to see how Joomla! can help you manage your website.


The questions below are answered throughout the interview:
  • How does Joomla! differ from other CMS applications?
  • When should you upgrade, and how? 
  • What does the future hold for Joomla!? 
  • How does one join the Joomla! community, and what skills are needed?
After learning more about the project, you can launch Joomla! to the cloud or deploy it locally with free installers, virtual machines and cloud templates from Bitnami. Get started in the cloud for free with a $200 credit from Microsoft Azure.







Stuart Langridge:       These are the Bitnami Open Source Leaders interviews. I’m Stuart Langridge, and I’m talking to Isidro Baquero, who is from the community leadership team of the Joomla Project.

Isidro Baquero:          Hi Stewart, nice to be here.

Stuart Langridge:       Please tell us a bit about what Joomla is.

Isidro Baquero:          Joomla is an open source project and started out as only a CMS (content management system), but it has grown with time. A couple of years ago, the framework in which the CMS was based got decoupled from the CMA. Now we have two different projects, the CMS and the standalone PHP framework, which can be used to develop any kind of web application. It integrates with Composer, so it can integrate within any other external scripts. 

                                    Like any other modern PHP framework, Joomla is known for the content management system. Although, I always like saying that Joomla is not a CMS, but an open source project. Without its community, Joomla would be nothing because it’s 100 percent community-driven and there is no corporate backing for the project.

Stuart Langridge:       Who is currently using Joomla? Obviously you’ve got a lot of people out there using it, but what types of organizations tend to use Joomla? Are there particular areas where you’d like to see Joomla used more?

Isidro Baquero:          Joomla is suitable for any kind of web application. We’ve seen everything from domestic applications, personal applications, small communities, and even big corporations. For example, Peugeot, the French carmaker has its main site built with Joomla.  We’ve also seen General Electric, for example, having some of their sites built with Joomla.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Welcome Phabricator to the Bitnami Library!

Phabricator is now available in the  Bitnami Application Library!

https://bitnami.com/stack/phabricator
Phabricator is an application platform that helps software companies build better software. It is a great application that can be used by your whole team, regardless of their level of technical knowledge. We use this application internally to coordinate all of our development efforts and are very happy with the way it has helped us to streamline our internal communications and task tracking. And we're in good company - Facebook, Dropbox, Groupon, Cisco, Kahn Academy and many others use Phabricator as well. 

We love Phabricator because it provides cohesive, tightly integrated applications for code review, repository hosting, bug tracking, design review, project management, and organizational communication.

Bitnami offers a simple and fast setup process for Phabricator, which allows you to focus on your testing and evaluation of the application itself. In just a few clicks, you can try Bitnami Phabricator Installers (available for Linux and Mac OS X), Virtual Machine images(VMs), cloud images for Amazon EC2Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Phabricator Main Page
Differential view
If you want to quickly check out Phabricator, you can launch a free cloud demo server. By clicking the button below, you will have your own Phabricator instance running for 1 hour, for free!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bitnami Open Source Leaders Interview Series: Frank Karlitschek from ownCloud





As part of our Open Source Leader podcast series, we interviewed Frank Karlitschek, founder of ownCloud, to learn how ownCloud helps you share your files with friends and co-workers. ownCloud gives you universal access to all your files, contacts, calendars and bookmarks across all of your devices for free!



The questions below are answered throughout the interview:

  • What is ownCloud? 
  • How technical does one have to be to use ownCloud?
  • How does ownCloud manage third-party extensions/plugins?
  • What is next for ownCloud version 8? 

After learning more about the project, you can launch ownCloud to the cloud or deploy it locally with free installers, virtual machines and cloud templates from Bitnami. Get started in the cloud for free with a $200 credit from Microsoft Azure.





Stuart Langridge:       These are the Bitnami Open Source Leaders Series of interviews.  I’m Stuart Langridge and I’m here talking to Frank Karlitschek of the ownCloud project.

Frank Karlitschek:     Hey, Stuart. Thanks for having me.

Stuart Langridge:       I think a lot of people may have heard of ownCloud generally, but can you give us a brief description of what ownCloud is and what it’s for?

Frank Karlitschek:     The mission of ownCloud is to provide functionality similar to Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive from Microsoft. The difference is that ownCloud is completely free software, open-source, and it’s actually designed to run wherever you want.
 
                                    There’s only one ownCloud like there is only one Dropbox, but you can download the ownCloud source code and install it wherever you want. You can run it on your repository at home, an old desktop computer, or on a server on the Internet. It can run at a university, your company, or wherever you want. You can even run it on a shared web space. For example, if you have web space on a university, you can just pick the ownCloud Zip file, put it in there and unzip it, and you have your own server.

Stuart Langridge:       What types of people are using ownCloud at the moment? Is it primarily individuals, organizations, companies, or university students? Of the people who aren’t using it yet, are there particular areas/demographics you’re targeting?

WordPress security release

https://bitnami.com/stack/wordpress
The WordPress project has just released version 4.0.1. This version fixes a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability together with other security issues. The WordPress team strongly encourages their users to update their site to this version. For more details please check the official announcement.

Bitnami Wordpress 4.0.1 installers, virtual machines and cloud images are already available.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gradle added to Bitnami Library + Jenkins Stack integration

We're happy to announce that Gradle is now available on the Bitnami Library, as well as its integration with our Jenkins Stack.


Gradle is a Java-based tool that helps you automate the building, testing, publishing and deployment of software packages and other types of projects, such as generated static websites and generated documentation.

The Bitnami Gradle Stack is the best way to run Gradle. We have packed it as a self-contained, pre-configured distribution that includes everything you need to run Gradle. You can get started by downloading our free, ready-to-run installers for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.


We have also integrated Gradle with the latest version of Jenkins in our Bitnami Jenkins Stack (by enabling and configuring the Gradle Plugin), so you can easily use Gradle for continuous integration of your projects.

If you want to quickly check out our latest Jenkins Stack with Gradle, you can launch a free cloud demo server. By clicking the button below, you will get your own Jenkins instance running, free of cost, for 1 hour!


You can also download our free, ready-to-run Jenkins Stack installersVirtual Machine images and Cloud Images for Amazon, Azure and Google Clouds.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Bitnami Ruby stacks released with Ruby 2.1.5, 2.0.0-p598 and 1.9.3-p551

We recently released new versions of Ruby stacks that fix several security issues. An additional fix for DoS vulnerability CVE-2014-8090 has been released for all Ruby versions.

We have released new versions of Bitnami Ruby Stack native installers for Linux and OS X, virtual machines and cloud images for Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure.

- Ruby Stack 2.1.5: with Ruby 2.1.5 and Rails 4.1.7
- Ruby Stack 2.0.0-23: with Ruby 2.0.0-p598 and Rails 4.1.7
- Ruby Stack 1.9.3-27: with Ruby 1.9.3-p551 and Rails 3.2.20

We continue working on upgrading Ruby versions for Windows that will be released soon.

In case you are not familiar with Ruby Stack, in addition to the base Ruby runtime and libraries, the stack includes the most popular gems for building Rails applications: Passenger, Nokogiri, Rake, RMagick, Thin and more. It also includes the latest stable version of RVM, Rails, Apache, Nginx, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Git, Sphinx, PHP, phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin.


Bitnami Ruby stack components

If you have any question about Bitnami RubyStack you can check our quick start guide or you can create a new post in our community forums.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moodle 2.8.0 released

Moodle, the popular Open Source e-learning platform, released their version 2.8.0 a couple of days ago. We are glad to announce that this version is already available in Bitnami.

You can find the complete list of new features in the official release notes and you can also take a look at the screenshots.

Or... you may want to check the new features yourself.  By clicking the button below you will have your own Moodle instance running for 1 hour, for free!


https://bitnami.com/launch/moodle/azure


Bitnami Moodle is also available as native installers (available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS), virtual machines and cloud images for Amazon EC2, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mahara added to Bitnami Library!

We are happy to announce that Mahara is now available on the Bitnami library.


https://bitnami.com/stack/mahara
Mahara is an open source ePortfolio and social networking web application created by the government of New Zealand. It provides users with tools to create and maintain a digital portfolio of their learning, and social networking features to allow users to interact with each other. 

Mahara is now ready to install in a few clicks with the Bitnami Mahara installers (available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X), Virtual Machine images(VMs), cloud images for the Amazon EC2 and Azure cloud platforms.

Mahara Main Page

Mahara Admin Page
If you want to quickly check out Mahara, you can launch a free cloud demo server. By clicking the button below, you will have your own Mahara instance running for 1 hour, for free!


We also had the opportunity to interview Aaron Wells (Technical Lead) and Kristina Hoeppner (Community Facilitator) who were kind enough to answer some of our questions:

What is the goal of the Mahara application?

Mahara is an ePortfolio designed for use in education. It gives users an easy way to set up individual or group portfolios, allowing them to showcase and reflect on their learning and achievements. It can also be used to support assessment processes.

Functionally, Mahara is a lot like a multi-user content management system. It allows users to create mini web pages for their portfolios, and it includes some social network functionality to make it easier for users to share content with each other and the rest of the world.

Mahara is open source and has a lively user and developer community who contribute to improving Mahara continuously.


What are some of the features of Mahara?

Mahara can be used by one individual, but it unfolds its true power when used with others as it allows for collaboration and engagement of other users.
 
With Mahara you can for example:


  • Set up media-rich portfolios by uploading different files, embedding social media content from other websites, creating journals (blogs).
  • Create multiple portfolios for different purposes, e.g. one for your personal development, one for finding a job, one for course assessment.
  • Personalize your portfolio with built-in themes or create your own skins. You can also share your skins with other users on the site.
  • Have others leave comments on your portfolios and support you in your learning.
  • Export your portfolios as stand-alone HTML sites or for import into an ePortfolio system that supports the Leap2A standard. For example, you can start your portfolio on your school's Mahara site, import it into the university's Mahara site when you start your university career, refine it and change it there, and then move it to a different site after graduating university so you can continue your lifelong learning journey. As your portfolios are always portable and accessible to you, you will be able to make changes along the way, remove things, update others and add new content keeping your portfolios fresh.
  • Submit your portfolio for assessment directly within Mahara or to the popular learning management system Moodle for integration into coursework.
  • Collaborate with groups of users in forum discussions and create portfolios or group projects together.
  • Extend Mahara with a range of community-contributed plugins.

Which projects or organizations are using Mahara currently?  What kind of projects do they use it for?

Mahara is used around the world by schools, higher education institutions, associations and organizations with accreditation/certification requirements, and also by individuals who want to harness the power of keeping a portfolio for professional purposes.
 
Common use cases include:


  • Presenting project work
  • Showcasing a year's work on a particular subject matter
  • Outlining a learning journey with its ups and downs
  • Reflecting on professional development
  • Supporting a job application with actual evidence of previous work experiences
  • Submitting a professional development portfolio to an association for re-accreditation
  • Setting up an online community of practice
  • Submitting a project assignment for a class

For example, Pace University in New York uses Mahara with existing and incoming students to get started on their learning journey. The University of the Arts, London, uses Mahara with its design students to present their work and also submit assignments. Southampton Solent University in the UK uses Mahara for employ ability purposes where students can create an online job application. The university also uses Mahara with its sea-faring students to document their learning while at sea on their mobile devices, and then upload the content to their Mahara site when they are back on land. The University of Canberra employs Mahara in its teaching program for students to work on assignments. New Zealand nurses use Mahara to speed up their re-certification process by having taken it online. Schools in New Zealand and around the world use Mahara with their students for assignments, lifelong learning and also teacher portfolios.

What do you expect will be the main benefits of having Bitnami packages available for Mahara?

As an automated installer, Bitnami can be especially helpful for users and institutions who only have limited tech support available. Bitnami can help them get up and running with a standard Mahara install and stay up to date with the latest version of Mahara. For more advanced users, running Mahara in a virtual machine can also be helpful as a quick way to set up a "sandbox" site to test new updates, configuration options, and plugins.

You can follow the Mahara project on Twitter and participate in discussions on Mahara.org.  

Would you like your favorite app to be part of Bitnami? Be sure to suggest and vote for it in our monthly contest!