ACollab 1.1+ Installation

ACollab-PWD Installation instructions are also available.

The installation process is made up of six steps each. Each step must be completed successfully without any errors to be able to advance to the next. You will not be able to use ACollab if the last step is not reached successfully. Note that the usage of the terms directory on Unix and folder on Windows are interchangeable.

Before You Begin

Please review the requirements section before attempting to install ACollab.

Installing on a Unix machine requires knowledge and the ability to change file and directory permissions.

  • Changing Unix file permissions from shell prompt: chmod a+rwx filename or chmod a+rwx directoryname.
  • Changing Unix file permissions from an FTP client: Many FTP clients allow you to change a file's permissions. The option may be labled as "Unix Permissions", "CHMOD", or simply as "Properties" or "Attributes" and will display a window with Read, Write, and Execute checkboxes for Owner, Group, and World; checking the appropriate boxes will change that file's permissions.
  • Changing Windows file permissions: Right click on a file or folder, select Properties, then check or uncheck the Read-only box.

Fresh Installation

Download the latest version of ACollab and extract it into a web-enabled directory. On Windows you may use WinZip or WinRar, while on Unix you will have to use the command tar -zxvf ACollab-version_number.tar.gz. Once extracted, an ACollab directory will be created. Open a web browser and enter the address to your installation, http://your_server.com/path_to_acollab/ACollab/, then follow the step-by-step instructions.

The following six steps describe the installation process as they are presented:

  1. Terms of Use
    The usage of ACollab is restricted by the GNU General Public License (GPL). Your agreement with the GPL is required if you wish to use ACollab. See the Licensing section for more details including how to use ACollab without the GPL.
  2. Database
    ACollab requires a MySQL database to function. Enter the required details needed to connect to your database. The Table Prefix option allows ACollab to share an existing database with other applications and tables. Important: If you wish to integrate ACollab with ATutor, they must share the same database.
  3. Administrator Account & System Preferences
    The Administrator account is used for managing ACollab groups and user accounts. The System preferences affect hosted groups and the general operation of ACollab. You will be asked to specify an upload directory, which is used for storing uploaded member files. You will need to create a special directory with read and write access privileges for this purpose.
  4. Personal Account & Defaults
    The personal account can be used to join groups. It does not have any special privileges.
  5. Directories
    ACollab requires certain permissions on some files and directories to be set correctly. On a Unix machine, you will have to manually change the permissions on the listed files and directories. Use one of the methods described above for changing file and directory permissions. No action will be required at this step on a Windows machine.
  6. Done!
    ACollab installation has been successfull and you may now login with your administrator account, created in Step 3, to start creating groups.

Upgrading an Existing Installation

Please note that Release Candidates (RC) and ACollab 1.0 upgrades are not supported using this method and that depending on the size of groups, some steps of the upgrade may require considerable time to complete.

Also be sure that Language Packs you have installed on your old version of ACollab are available for the new version. The old language will be removed during upgrade. If they are not available, you might volunteer to help finish any remaining language that needs to be translated for these languages. See the ACollab Translation site for more details.

It is strongly recommended that you backup your old ACollab database, if possible. Although it is unlikely anything will go wrong, there is always a chance.

Before starting the upgrade, rename or move your old ACollab directory. This creates a backup of the current ACollab installation, which you can revert to if something goes wrong during the upgrade. Download the latest version of ACollab and extract the new version into the same directory that the old one was in. Example: If the old ACollab installation was in /htdocs/ACollab and moved to /htdocs/ACollab_old, then the new ACollab installation should be in /htdocs/ACollab, such that both the old and new installations are at the same directory level. On Windows you may use WinZip or WinRar, while on Unix use the command tar -zxvf ACollab-version_number.tar.gz. Once extracted, an ACollab directory will be created alongside your old ACollab directory. Open a web browser and enter the address to your installation, http://your_server.com/path_to_acollab/ACollab/, then follow the step-by-step instructions.

The following five steps describe the upgrade process as they are presented by the ACollab installer:

  1. Locate Old Version
    Specify the directory name of the old ACollab installation you wish to upgrade (e.g. ACollab_old). The new and old ACollab directories must be at the same directory level.
  2. Database
    The upgrade will use the old version's settings to connect to the database and then update the old database tables with any changes to bring them up to date with the new version.
  3. Administrator Account & Preferences
    In some cases, the newer version will introduce new configuration options and preferences that have to be set or confirmed. Review the Preferences and modify them if necessary.
  4. Directories
    Locate the uploads directory Copy the path to the directory into the text box provided. Ensure there are no shortcuts (Windows), or symbolic links (Unix) contained in the path.
  5. Done!
    ACollab upgrade has been successful and you may now log-in with your existing personal account or your administrator account.

ATutor Addon Upgrade: To upgrade your ATutor addon of ACollab, follow the Upgrade steps above, the reestablish the link to ATutor in the config.inc.php file as described below. An example can be found in the config.inc.php file.

The new lines for the ACollab configuration file after upgrading will appear something like the following:
define('AT_PATH', 'http ://www.atutor.ca/atutor/demo/');
define('AT_TABLE_PREFIX', 'AT_');

ATutor Addon Module

To use ACollab as an ATutor addon, it must be installed in the same database as ATutor. During installation enter the name of the ATutor database as the installation database for ACollab, and choose a table prefix (default is AC_) so the ACollab tables do not conflict with other tables that may exist in the ATutor database. Your ACollab installation must also be located next to the ATutor installation it is being added to, so the ATutor and ACollab directories are side-by-side,

Install ACollab as described above. It should function properly as a standalone version before attemping to install the ATutor module. After ACollab has been successfully installed, you must add two lines to your ACollab configuration file (ACollab/include/config.inc.php) so that ACollab can find ATutor, and the database tables it is using. Similarly, add two additional lines to ATutor/mods/acollab/module.php file ( or the ATutor include/config.inc.php file in 1.5.1 and earlier) .

(To generate the following lines, login to ACollab as the Admistrator created during installation, and select ATutor Integration. Enter the Web address (URL) of ATutor, then press the submit button to generate the new lines. Manually copy and paste the generated entries into the configuration files. Or just copy the lines below, and adjust the values accordingly.)

The new lines for the ATutor/mods/acollab/modules.php file will appear something like the following (trailing slash required):

define('AC_PATH', 'http ://www.atutor.ca/ACollab/');

define('AC_TABLE_PREFIX', 'AC_');

The new lines for the ACollab/include/config.inc.php file will appear something like the following:(trailing slash required)

define('AT_PATH', 'http ://www.atutor.ca/ATutor/');

define('AT_TABLE_PREFIX', 'AT_');

Once both configuration files have been updated, run the ATutor Module Installer. Login to ATutor as an administrator, open the Modules tab, then choose Install Modules. The ACollab module should be listed. Select it then press Install, read through the details, then choose Yes to confirm the installation of the module.

(For 1.5.1 and earlier: Once both configuration files have been updated, each course listed on ATutor's My Courses page will have a short-cut link to its ACollab groups. When logged into a course, an ACollab icon will appear in the course navigation bar, linking directly to the group area.)