Archive for the ‘developer’ Category

Ofuz is Open Source; what does that mean?

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Ofuz in an Open Source project.

For developers it’s clear what that means but for most of us it doesn’t. There is a lot of confusion on what the benefits are of an Open Source application.

So I will try to describe the four benefits that matter most for a freelancer of small business.

Long term stability

When you need to select an application for your business, you want to know that you’ll be able to use it for the long run … like forever.

All the software companies — at one point or another — phase out their applications, force you  to upgrade, or even go out of business entirely.

By selecting Open Source software like Ofuz you have the long term stability guarantee. Even if the current developer gets purchased or goes out of business entirely, you will be able to take all your data and the application itself to run it on your own.

This is unique, and the great advantage of Open Source applications over all the Software as a Service you can find online today.

Openness

By definition we are open; more than any other proprietary company, our development process is open and accessible to all, our source code is readable, and our documentation is open to all.

The open source model will guarantee we stay true and honest.





Security

Our source code is open to thousands of eyes to review and give feedback. Overtime Ofuz will have a more secure design than our non-open source competitors.

This is critical as security problems and confidentiality issues of online software has just started.

Personalization and customization

I put it last because this is the most important of all.

Every business is different and we all have our secret sauce that make us serve our customer better than anybody else. By creating our base application with the core features that work for most businesses and then adding a simple but elegant feature to customize and extend it:  the plug-in API.

We invite other businesses all over the world to customize our base and make a Plug-In that will sculpt Ofuz to fit their specific needs.
Those businesses will get a custom application to perfectly fit their business model.

Customizing Ofuz by creating a Plug-In costs a fraction of what is involved in building a custom application from scratch.

The result will be — over time — thousands of extensions and Plug-Ins available to enhance Ofuz and make it fit perfectly into any business model and give you maximum productivity.

This model is not new; it has already been proven by other types of software. Take for example WordPress.
Look at all the plug-ins available: over 11,283 plug-ins available today.

Each of those plug-ins is a specific feature that will make your WordPress blog unique and fits your specific needs. Now look at the non-open source blogging alternatives and let me know how much you can customize them?

That what it means being Open Source. It means you will get an application with long term stability, security, openness and that’s customizable.

Ofuz 0.6 available online and for download

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

It’s been two years since we started the first mock-ups and prototypes for Ofuz. We have now implemented all of the base features that we wanted. Each of our 3 components has the most important and used features that a business needs to operate.

We understand that no one business is the same and for that we created a REST API and a Plug-In API so, just like WordPress, you will be able to customize your Ofuz experience with Plug-Ins that match your business model and processes.

From now on we will improve usability and stability in the core features of Ofuz, and all additional features will come from plug-ins.

Today I feel like Ofuz is on track to fulfill the promise of improving freelancers’ and small businesses’ productivity.

If you are curious and a bit technical, all our development is public. You can see the details of all the tasks we completed at: http://ofuz.net/PublicProject/166 and the current tasks we are working on are at: http://www.ofuz.net/PublicProject/361

Version 0.6 is our biggest release ever, because we are reaching our goals on stability and with the core features we wanted.

The hard part is that most of you will not see the changes. They are structural changes like the multi-language support and the Plug-In APIs for the open source release.

What you can see is the documentation we have written last month for the PHP developers.
You will also enjoy some of the performance improvement we did as well as a nice new feature: the task multi-select. Like, for the contact you can select one or more contacts or tasks and apply an action to them. Like, select 5 differents tasks in a project and close them all as done, or select 3 contacts and send them a message.

Some of the important tasks in this release:

General

Invoices

  • Taxes on total invoices
  • Taxes per items
  • Apply one payments on multiple invoices
  • Invoice REST API
  • All-year list of invoices
  • Client access to invoices due
  • Multiple Monetary format
  • Auto-create contacts

Project

  • Project multi-select

Contact

  • Improved contact multi-select
  • Tag added to the shared contact
  • Email Auto Responders

Developers and other tech savvy users can download Ofuz. If you want to get started right away use Ofuz online.

Fast, fast and faster contact management

Monday, November 16th, 2009

With the hundreds of beta users and thousands of contacts added during beta1, things were getting slow when managing contacts.

The search and tag selection were especially below the acceptable threshold.

So first we built a full Javascript user interface using Google Gears that’s as fast as a desktop application. It also allows you to view your contacts when offline; this will be the base for the future Ofuz Desktop.

To enable Google Gears to manage your Ofuz contacts, go into Settings, choose the Google Gears tab, and then turn it on.

But Gears is not yet available for everyone — like on my Linux 64b desktop.

Then, last week we rewrote the standard web-based version of the contact management section. This added infinite scrolling, so it’s a great performance feature. It initially loads just the first 50 contacts and as you scroll down it loads more contacts until it reaches the end.

Lastly, we moved Ofuz to new hardware servers in a new cloud environment based on Open Source technologies. The result is a 10x performance improvement in Ofuz contact management. Now, even with thousands of contacts the user interface is extremely responsive.

Give us your feedback and let us know how fast it runs for you.