Jumping Bean releases updated version of OpenBill
OpenBill 1.2, a Java-based invoicing and contract management application, has been released by South African developer Jumping Bean. The new release includes both a number of bugfixes as well as a few key feature additions.
Three of the new features in OpenBill 1.2 include the ability to add variable selling price line items to contracts, ability to send customers credit notes via email and an enhanced contract management interface.
Open Bill has its roots as a billing and contract tracking application developed in-house for Cyber Connect, a mobile broadband service provider in South Africa. Joseph Neusu, Cyber Connect’s divisional manager, says that when the company first experienced significant growth in sales, it looked at the other open source offering available at the time but none suited their needs for handling a large number of relatively low value contracts with recurring billing. “So we asked Jumping Bean, an internal partner, to develop a custom application for us,” says Neusu.
having developed the software, Jumping Bean decided in June 2008 to release the software as open source software under a GNU Public Licence “as a way of giving back to the community,” says Mark Clarke, lead developer of Open Bill. OpenBill is hosted on Java.net.
“Beside the great feeling of being able to contribute back, we also got some extra business in the process,” says Clarke. “We now have several customers who we provide on-going support and customisation services to for the application.”
OpenBill is written in Java and makes use of a number of open source libraries and frameworks to provide enterprise level billing services, says Clarke. Some of the technologies used in OpenBill include the Spring framework for dependency injection and aspect orientated programming, Java Persistence API (JPA) for the data access and domain model layer and Apache Velocity templates for invoice and email templating.
“Now that the release is out-the-door we will be upgrading all our customers to the new version and encourage any other users of the application to do so as well”, says Clarke.