Ah, the Web-based tool. It does wonders. It lets you work from any location that can access the centralized server, makes challenging tasks a snap, and can even save you money. But not all Web-based tools are created equal. Some are easier to use, some have more features, and some are more cost effective.
Let's take a look at five of these cost-effective web-based tools so you can draw your own conclusion: Would they save you money in the end?
If you have to manage a MySQL server, and you don't want to have to secure shell in and run commands every time you create or manage a database, you need phpMyAdmin. This tool will save you loads of time and effort (thereby saving you money). Its simple-to-use interface makes database management a breeze. Not only can you browse and manage schema, you can also drop into them and manage tables and table entries. And you don't need to have a console connected to the MySQL server because phpMyAdmin has a built-in command-line tool.
If you're looking for an HRIS (human resource information system) platform, look no further than OrangeHRM. OrangeHRM is an open source HRM solution that offers nearly every feature you need in an easy-to-install, easy-to-use package. This tool includes modules for personnel information management, employee self service, leave, time & attendance, benefits, and recruitment. On top of all this HRIS goodness, the OrangeHRM open source edition is incredibly easy to install (with a full-on Web-based installer that will even create the necessary database for you).
I've been a fan of LemonPOS for some time now. With point of sale, there are few solutions available for the small shops -- and those solutions are generally quite costly. LemonPOS is a Linux-based solution that offers a centralized database that can be connected to networked clients. This particular POS system is cost-effective since it's quite easy to use and reliable. And you'll be using a POS on a Linux system, so you won't to worry about employees infecting those POS register machines with various viruses and malware.
4: CUPS Admin
For anyone that runs a CUPS-based print server, there is simply no reason to have to be at that box for any printer, group, or print queue management. Instead, fire up a Web browser and go to http://ADDRESS_OF_SERVER:631.
CUPS Admin can take care of all aspects of your print server needs and it will be installed by default -- no need to do any extra installation or download any extra software. With this tool, you can add printers and edit printers, manage print queues, create print groups, and much more.
Zentyal is actually more an entire server operating system that can server many, many purposes. The entire server can be configured from the Web-based dashboard. But it doesn't stop with a single server. Multiple Zentyal servers can be managed from a single Web interface. Zentyal should be thought of as a small business server with a single point of entry management console. It's powerful and useable.
There are, of course, thousands of Web-based apps out there. In fact, I would venture to say there is a Web-based app for just about anything you need, be it remote administration, user management, resources, or anything (and everything) in between.
Have you found a Web-based app that has made your life easier -- and saved your IT budget from going bankrupt? If so, share those apps with your fellow TechRepublic members.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.