37signals: Basecamp and Highrise Single Sign-on with Open Bar

16 07 2007

37signals Single Sign-on

37signals has just announced that Basecamp and Highrise accounts can now be accessed via single sign-on. I don’t know about you, but I find this to be one of their best improvements yet. Why? It is just a waste of time flipping through accounts on different windows / tabs. Why bother eating up all your system RAM with a bunch of inactive Firefox tabs?


Open Bar

Open Bar has only been out for a few weeks now, but has dramatically improved the way users can use the 37signals products. If you’re like me, you’ve got a Basecamp account for your business projects. Maybe another one for hobby home based projects. Then, you’ve got another set of accounts for Highrise – different businesses, charity lists, and so forth. Evne if you use the same username and password for all of them (note: don’t do this!), it is still a pain to switch between tabs and have all those different bookmarks cluttering your bookmarks toolbar.



What’s the big deal with OpenID? Simple. You can use it as a single login for multiple applications. Sort of like the way Microsoft Passport (now Windows Live ID) should have been. Since it is an Open Source community, there is extensive support, and a lot of opinions 🙂

The 37signals Open Bar relies on you to have an OpenID, so this is a must.


37signals: Basecamp / Highrise Review

27 06 2007


I’m a huge fan of 37signals. For those of you that are not familiar with them – in their own words:

“We’re a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based software products possible with the least number of features necessary. Our products do less than the competition — intentionally. We’ve been in business since 1999 and love what we do.”

They make incredible web based software and have a fresh approach to application design. Instead of making bloated software that has every bell and whistle a user will never even bother with, they attempt to have as few features as possible. It’s a great methodology that works well with rapid application development. Jason Fried, the company’s founder, expands on this topic in their book, Getting Real (you can read it free here).


Highrise - Simple CRM

Highrise, their newest product, is touted as Simple CRM. While I wouldn’t call it a full fledged CRM replacement to some of the larger competition, this product is top notch. The only real criticisms that I have on this product:


1 – method of organization. You have the ability to use tags and also can set up cases, but I would love to see better categorization (maybe through hierarchical tags?)

2 –task system. The ability to assign tasks to yourself and others is great, but there is a current limitation in that you cannot see other people’s task lists. This could be an issue if you assign a task to yourself and 2 other people. Let’s say that the task is to follow up on a prospective client, and 2 people complete the task! Now you’ve got to do a bit of damage control. I’d love to see a revamp on this section – tasks emailed to you needs a bit of help too.

Still, what’s great about Highrise and 37signals overall is their customer service. They really listen to you. Seriously. They don’t just route you to some guy on the phone in India that’s thousands of miles away. Try emailing them – you’ll hear back directly from the development staff – what a concept!

Latest Highrise News

Highrise just underwent a wonderful improvement last night. The Highrise dashboard now has listview, a more concise way of looking at tasks, emails, notes, etc – the same great way that Basecamp already does.

Read on for more Highrise update information.


Basecamp is where 37signals all began back in 2004. It’s an amazingly well thought out Web Project Management program. You have the ability to track and manage projects in this slick web based tool. This it very useful when you have remote teams working on things. I’ve been a big fan of this product, and encourage my clients to use it as well. You can even add people at your client’s location to the individual project – so no more “what’s the status of the project” droning on contact calls! The client can just login and see up to the minute progress!


If you’re interested in signing up for Basecamp, try the walkthrough, and when you’re ready – try signing up through my affiliate link below:

Basecamp project management and collaboration