Billings 2 beta is out!

Scaling / November 9, 2006 / Alykhan Jetha

Whew – it’s been a crazy few weeks.

A while back we had a vision – to make an application that made it real easy to generate good looking – professional invoices. I mean invoices that don’t look like some compromise made in HTML or RTF. Although some HTML invoices can look pretty good – they still don’t do the right thing. PDF was the way to go with proper page breaks, repeating table headers, footers, totals at the bottom of the page and proper behavior when going to multiple pages. PDF was the way and we released Billings 1.

Unfortunately because of the report engine we had chosen – the vision was only a partial success – it was nowhere near what we (or users) wanted. We where limited by fonts, image formats and the ability to easily compose new ones.

We’ve tried many many report engines over the years, from real expensive ones to real cheap open source ones. Nothing did what we wanted to do.

And once we had Billings 1 out, we asked people to send us example of their invoices. Most of them where made in tools like InDesign and Illustrator and they looked really really good.

So – ambitious as we are – we decided the best thing to do is to write our own report engine. This report engine would use all the cool stuff in OS -X – fonts – graphic formats etc… and this report engine would also help us with Daylite (using HTML and RTF at the time).

Well … there is a reason that there are no good report engines out there – it’s damn hard to do!

The hard part is not just the layout and the page break rules – it’s also getting the right data out all the while being end user friendly.

We started writing the new engine in Billings 1 and ironically it came out in Daylite 3 first. Even at point it was not perfect. So we kept working away at it and I think, with this new beta, we are very very close.

I think with this release – we produce the best invoices for the money and time on any platform.

Not only did we work on the output, we also improved the app in many other ways.

So check it out at:
Let us know what you think.

Quick Plug: It’s cheaper in the month of November. Price goes up in December.


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