September 11, 2019

Released the new ezInvoice 6 yesterday!

Bill Stephenson @oblib

I released the first version of ezInvoice way back in 2002. Today I released the 6th completely new version.

In this version I was able to finally address all the biggest downsides of using "Cloud" based software and I'm pretty excited to be able to do that.

I was well aware of those downsides while working on the 1st version 17 years ago, but also aware of the advantages. Among those advantages were you could use it on any desktop PC, you didn't have to "install" the software, and I could sell it for a lot less than software that had to be put on a floppy disc or CD-ROM and shipped to the user or sold in a store. And if your PC died you didn't lose your software or your data. Those were pretty big advantages back then.

But the downsides were big too. You couldn't use the app or access your data if you didn't pay your subscription fee, or if your internet connection was down, or you didn't pay that bill on time, and you lost access to all your data if you didn't keep paying. Those are still huge downsides for users of most all Cloud based business apps.

ezInvoice 6 addresses all those downsides and more. Now it stores all your data on your PC or mobile device first, and it still works even when your internet connection is down. And you can start using it for free now and purchase the "Cloud" services when it's convenient for you. You can create backups and snapshots of all your data on any desktop PC, and it uses "Live Sync" technology that instantly syncs all your web connected devices whenever you make any changes or add new documents. And I've added a "Products and Services" feature that lets you "Fast Fill" your invoices with the items you bill for most often.

So now, almost all of what you need to create an invoice, your business info, your customer info, and the items you're billing for, can be "Fast Filled" without you needing to type it all in. This makes it incredibly fast and easy to create and deliver an invoice and it helps eliminate typos and pricing errors. And it's fast. There's no more waiting on a remote server to load the app or save your data.

I also added features that let you know your emailed invoice was delivered and that the email was opened. This addresses the old "I never got the invoice" excuse some customers tend to use for not paying an invoice on time, and after 17 years of having users tell me about clients and customers who use that excuse I can assure you that happens.

And, because it runs almost entirely in your web browser we cannot track every click you make. I've never liked the idea of that all being recorded and analyzed, or worse yet, sold to 3rd parties, on any web based app or web site I visit and that's really none of our business anyway. I know developers like to say "we do that to improve our app" but listening to users is a much better approach for both developers and users.

I also worked hard on simplifying the UI. Now it's only 1-3 clicks at most to get to the features you want. And, while I can't make invoicing software fun or exciting, I did make it "beautiful" by adding classic artwork background images that will change from time to time. Right now it has a painting by Van Gogh and unless the "Van Gogh Museum" responds to my email telling them I'm using them by saying I can't do that I'll keep using their images because they're absolutely gorgeous.

Using those background images may seem a bit odd at first thought but they really do make using the software a pleasure and I plan to reach out to contemporary artists and invite them to showcase their works on the app as well, and provide a link for users to find them so they can purchase their art directly from them.

When I first released ezInvoice back in early 2002 it was one of the very first "Web Apps". In fact, it may well have been the first. I wasn't aware of anything like at the time and that was several years before we even used the terms "Cloud Apps" or even "Web Apps" for that matter.

Now there are more "Invoice Apps" than you can shake a stick at, but none of them do everything ezInvoice 6 does, and none do it better or faster.

There are still no limits on how many invoices you can make and deliver and it's still only $29.95 a year.

If you read all of this I truly appreciate your taking the time to learn about what I've been working on and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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