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New Billing Software: OpenBill

New Billing Software: OpenBill

jhadleyjhadley Member
edited October 2012 in General

So I've been working on an alternative to Harvest, which is what I currently use to invoice my sysadmin clients. It's great but there are a few drawbacks: - Since it's hosted in the US, it loads a little slower for me - I don't get to see the source code, so can't make any changes - It's hosted software, so I'm not in control of the database - I can't use it on my own domain

The product is now nearly finished, and should be finished by the end of the week, incorporating most of the core features of Harvest/Freshbooks/Ballpark etc. I deliberately haven't bothered with the features I don't use.

The backend interface is Bootstrap with a lot of custom javascript, so it's clean and easy to use and does calculations on the fly without having to leave the page etc. The frontend interface has been designed by a designer so it looks pretty. It currently has full editable client profiles, full editable invoice profiles and full payment profiles. Still on the list to do before release are recurring invoices, a nice admin home page with Google Charts and hopefully something to make accounting easier for those who (like me) use Sage Instant Accounts for their accounting. Whilst this could potentially be used for hosting, there are no plans to add cPanel modules etc.

I started out making this primarily for myself, but during the development, it became apparent others could use it too, so I'm looking at licensing options. I want to make it affordable to anyone who is getting enough freelance income to actually need a billing system to handle it.

So, if you're in the market for this sort of software, could you let me know roughly what you'd be willing to pay for a: Monthly/owned licence With source code/ionCube encrypted

I'd also be willing to add new features quickly if there is demand for them.

Update: The initial release of the software is now available at www.openbill.co.uk

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Comments

  • Ideally for me - Opensource, not using google stuff in any way, and with paid support. Now if you only make it paid. Owned license, still without any google stuff integration, and without any code obfuscation.

  • @liam said: ionCube and encrypted just don't go with each other.

    It's also useless Hiding your code. Just makes people want to decrypt it. and it can be done in less than 1 minute with special software.

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  • Also is "OpenBill" a good name if it's not opensource? That's the first thing i thought when i read the title... "Oh interesting an opensource billing system"

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  • @corehosting said: Owned license [...] without any codee obfuscation

    How much would you pay for that? This is what I would like to do, but obviously as I'd love to keep it 'open' so people can add their own features, but at the same time, I don't want one person to buy a copy and for that to be it!

    @DanielM said: It's also useless Hiding your code

    It can be decrypted, but the encryption does provide a disincentive, especially if it's easier and cheaper to buy than to decrypt.

    @corehosting said: without any google stuff integration

    What's wrong with Google Charts? :P

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  • jhadleyjhadley Member
    edited September 2012

    @corehosting said: "OpenBill" a good name if it's not opensource

    If I can, I'll keep it paid but open source. Still doing my "market research" LOL

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  • @jhadley said: What's wrong with Google Charts? :P

    Actually if no informations is share with google, i'd say nothing... If there's some informations going to google servers then it's a no for me.

  • @jhadley said: How much would you pay for that?

    I guess a couple of hundreds

  • @corehosting I thought Google Charts was just javascript... so no data is sent to google afaik.

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  • jhadleyjhadley Member
    edited September 2012

    @corehosting said: If there's some informations going to google servers then it's a no for me

    @SimpleNode said: I thought Google Charts was just javascript... so no data is sent to google afaik.

    Google's policy: "some might send chart data from the browser to another location for preprocessing"

    The software wouldn't send anything identifiable, but would that still rule it out for you?

    @corehosting said: I guess a couple of hundreds

    Thank you! I was actually thinking £99 with full source code.

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  • inverseinverse Member
    edited September 2012

    Sounds interesting :)

    Is it built using any framework?

  • @inverse said: Is it built using any framework?

    The PHP is from scratch.

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  • corehostingcorehosting Member
    edited September 2012

    @jhadley said: would that still rule it out for you

    Well if there isn't more than that, and that no other embedded project can achieve the same thing... Then why not :)

    @jhadley said: I was actually thinking £99 with full source code

    Sounds fair, but only paid clients can send patches then? A bit not enough opened imo But I'm actually more a donation or "pay support" guy than pay a product one ;) (Box billing is actually the first app i bought for 10years :O)

  • @corehosting said: Sounds fair, but only paid clients can send patches then? A bit not enough opened imo

    Sorry, not sure what you meant by this bit.

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  • I mean that if only paid customers can access the source code, it's not really under the definition of opensource

  • @jhadley - maybe you can consider pricing model similar to CurdBee - basic functionality is free and you pay just for extra features. Do you provide any kind of API?

  • @corehosting said: I mean that if only paid customers can access the source code, it's not really under the definition of opensource

    Open source doesn't necessarily mean free.

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  • jhadleyjhadley Member
    edited September 2012

    @gbshouse said: maybe you can consider pricing model similar to CurdBee

    Probably not - I think it will just complicate things.

    @gbshouse said: Do you provide any kind of API?

    There will be, but unfortunately not by the end of this week!

    I've bought openbill.co.uk and will set up a Bugzilla or similar on there shortly so people can request features and vote for them etc., as well as know what I plan to prioritise with the development. I'll try and be as helpful as possible :)

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  • I would love to see this go the open source route. I actually just started looking around for a cheap (hopefully free) but quality billing system with an api.

  • @jhadley said: Open source doesn't necessarily mean free.

    I know, but i still prefer seeing a limited version of the code available for free that none at all.

    Anyway that's just thoughts as i'm interested in your app and that i need something like that very soon, i'll just end buy you one :)

  • @NickBudi said: I would love to see this go the open source route. I actually just started looking around for a cheap (hopefully free) but quality billing system with an api.

    Would you pay £99 for something like this, or are you specifically looking for something free?

    @corehosting said: I know, but i still prefer seeing a limited version of the code available for free that none at all.

    No plans to do that at the moment

    @corehosting said: Anyway that's just thoughts as i'm interested in your app and that i need something like that very soon, i'll just end buy you one :)

    Yay, thanks!

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  • joepie91joepie91 Member
    edited September 2012

    Alternatives for Google Charts can be found here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/119969/javascript-chart-library :)

    EDIT: Added bonus, by self-hosting your charting stuff it's probably faster.

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  • @jhadley said: Yay, thanks!

    Now entertain us with some screenshots :)

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  • @joepie91 said: Alternatives for Google Charts can be found here:

    Thanks, I'll check that out.

    @joepie91 said: EDIT: Added bonus, by self-hosting your charting stuff it's probably faster.

    I think Google uses a CDN actually, so the CDN is probably faster.

    @corehosting said: Now entertain us with some screenshots :)

    Here's a reduced size teaser screenshot of what the client sees when they click onto an invoice (with your own logo obviously):

    invoice

    I'll add a video screencast of the admin area (or rather what's done so far) shortly demonstrating its features and ease of use :)

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  • Looks good so far. Really wanna see what you did on admin part and time tracking.

  • jhadleyjhadley Member
    edited September 2012

    Here is a video showing some of the features of OpenBill at the moment. There will of course be plenty more to come before this weekend :)

    http://www.youtube.com/v/iqC-4ksGv7U

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  • were is the video james?

  • @Randy said: were is the video james?

    I edited the post just just after, sorry. You should be able to see it now.

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  • nothing still//

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  • thats weird. lol thanks for the link :)

  • looks great! any support system? :)

  • jhadleyjhadley Member
    edited September 2012

    @Randy said: looks great! any support system? :)

    Not at the moment. I'm guessing that most freelancers will probably just use e-mail, but if there's enough demand for a ticket system, then I'll build one to go with it.

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  • what are the planned features for this weekend?

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  • the invoices send on daily basis via cronjobs?

  • jhadleyjhadley Member
    edited September 2012

    @corehosting said: what are the planned features for this weekend?

    In addition to what's on the video (and a payments page I forgot to show working):

    • Recurring invoices via cron jobs
    • Admin home page with graphs showing a summary of everything within OpenBill
    • Client side - invoice page with Paypal IPN etc.

    Let me know if there's anything else you'd like me to prioritise for the initial release.

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  • @Randy said: the invoices send on daily basis via cronjobs?

    The recurring ones work with a cron. The ordinary ones go straight out.

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  • @liam said: Looks great james.

    Thanks

    @liam said: Can you add tax?

    Yes, will add it for this weekend

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  • This is awesome! However I can't justify $159 dollars :( Maybe do a free version? :D

  • @David_P said: This is awesome!

    Thanks, that makes me feel great!

    @David_P said: However I can't justify $159 dollars :( Maybe do a free version? :D

    There won't be a free version as I did spend a lot of time on this and expect to make something from its licensing. What is it worth to you?

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  • @jhadley said: What is it worth to you?

    It's worth thousands. Maybe it's just because I'm poor :P. Good luck though! I'm sure other people will pay that price.

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  • TazTaz Disabled

    Really nice work James! Like it and looking forward to it.

    Time is good and also bad. Life is short and that is sad. Dont worry be happy thats my style. No matter what happens i won't lose my smile!

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  • @jhadley

    Any chance of an online demo possibly?

  • @titanicsaled said: Any chance of an online demo possibly?

    Possibly this weekend, still working on it now!

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  • @jhadley

    Awesome, looks nice from the video!

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  • can't wait, to see a demo.

    I would like to see pricing like
    Monthly - $9.95 Yearly - $99.95 Lifetime - $159.99

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  • @24khost said: I would like to see pricing like Monthly - $9.95 Yearly - $99.95 Lifetime - $159.99

    Those figures seem about right however if I'm going to be giving out the source code, I won't be able to enforce monthly/yearly invoices, so it'd have to be encrypted.

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  • @24khost said: Monthly - $9.95 Yearly - $99.95 Lifetime - $159.99

    These prices, I am happy not having direct access to the source code but maybe a modular design with hooks so that we can add things in when necessary?

    Really nice work @jhadley

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  • Even if encrypted, people who want to steal it will steal it. So think of some other ways to collect your payments. Maybe a public page where everyone can check if a certain domain is authorized to use the software, etc.

  • @rds100 said: Maybe a public page where everyone can check if a certain domain is authorized to use the software

    Good idea - will add that to the to-do list.

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