Marco Cevoli, Sergio Alasia, Carles Fernández, Founders of Qabiria

]project-open[ - Our experience: do it yourself

Key facts about Qabiria

Qabiria was recently founded by three professional translators, sharing similar and complementary fields of specialization, who decided to put their more than 20 years of overall experience to good use and offer translation companies what they need most: reliability and technical expertise.
Thanks to their fund of knowledge and to years of experience, they help companies in the translation sector to increase their productivity through customized development plans and services outsourcing.
Among its consulting services Qabiria also promotes the use of ]project-open[ as the most cost-effective solution for translation and consulting companies and offers support for software installation and rollout plan.
Besides, Qabiria specializes in technical consulting, training and Italian translations.

The choice

Since the beginning Qabiria did not plan to have a physical location, so we needed a powerful ERP software accessible at any time through the Internet and capable of storing and classifying all the information about staff, projects, customers, providers, finance, etc.
We have chosen to make ]project-open[ our office for basically two reasons. Firstly, because it is free and open source, which means a huge saving when starting off a new business, in which the purchase of software licenses is one of the first and highest expenses.
Secondly, our choice was driven by the fact that two of us had taken part in the implementation of ]project-open[ in another company. It was not new to us. We well knew its features and had been trained to use it efficiently.
Even for those who did not have this opportunity, the programme is still relatively easy to install and use, also offering the possibility to simulate production use with a full-featured online demo in the Internet.
Finally, its module-based structure allows adapting it to smaller companies like ours, and to large scale ones, sharing always the same "core".

First steps and decision

When planning to start using or switch to a different project management software, the best way to approach ]project-open[ is to enter its online demo (, and to spend some time reading the documentation available on-line, in order to better understand how the program works.

At this stage, ]project-open[ can be downloaded from the Internet and installed it on a machine, for which some computer skills are needed. The version available is complete and does not have any time restrictions to its use. There are several possibilities, but we chose to download the version installed on a Linux virtual machine, which can run either on a Windows or Linux system using free VMware software. It could sound complicated, but this solution really simplifies the whole process. Installation instructions can be found on ]project-open[ and VMware websites.

We have successfully installed ]project-open[ virtual machine on a Linux openSuSE operating system, and it is running almost uninterruptedly since then without problems.

Starting to use ]project-open[

Installation is completed after a first customization through the configuration wizard, where you can choose to install a “clean” system or a “demo company” with a number of users and projects available for training. Finally, when the users feel confident enough all demo contents can be erased and the “production” use will start by filling in the contact information for users, companies, new and existing projects, etc.

For those companies which are already running another project management system, there is a rollout plan available to easily migrate to ]project-open[ , in which both systems are running together for a while.


In our experience ]project-open[ fulfilled our needs completely since the first day. Based on OpenACS and PostgreSQL, it integrates a powerful search engine which avoids you to scroll lists that in time can become very long, finding instantly anything, as practically every data base field is indexed.
Among the numerous features of this software, I’d like to highlight the Timesheet module, through which project managers can calculate exactly how many hours each employee is spending in a project or a task, and the sophisticated Finance module, which manages and stores not only financial documents all through a project's lifetime, like quotes, invoices, bills, purchase orders and delivery notes, but also providers’ rates, allowing to set different rates for each task (translation or editing), language pair and subject, per source or target word, per page, per hour, etc.
By crossing the results of each module, you can easily determine how a project or a customer is profitable.
Another advantage, directly deriving from the open-source nature of the software, is the free support forum at, where project-open’s programmers answer users’ questions. So should a problem arise, it is very likely that someone else encountered and solved it already, and a brief search in the forum’s archive will provide the answer, otherwise a message can be posted and will be answered by project-open’s staff in a reasonably short time.

Next steps

Qabiria is now looking for a programmer in order to contribute to the project by improving the existing code, adding some new feature and customizing others.
Beside that we are considering the purchase of extra modules, such as the Freelance module, which allows tracking the recruiting of external providers, or the financial reporting module.


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