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IT, New Media & Software

Monday, 01 June 2009 15:05

Open Bill 1.2, the Open Source Advanced Billing and Contract Management Application Released

 
{pp}The latest version of the open source, advanced invoicing and contract management application, Open Bill, was released today on Java.net by Jumping Bean, the company sponsoring the development. Open Bill allows service orientated businesses such as Internet Service and Telecoms Providers to easily manage and track customer sales orders, contracts, service usage and interactions.

Although the primary focus of this release was bug fixes and user interface enhancements, new features include:

  • Ability to add variable selling price line items to contracts,
  • Ability to send customers credit notes via email,
  • Enhanced contract management interface, making it easier for users to access vital contract information when dealing with customer queries

 

Open Bill has its roots as a billing and contract tracking application developed in-house for Cyber Connect, a leading mobile broadband service provider in South Africa. “We started out as a relatively small Internet Service Provider”, explained Joseph Neusu, Cyber Connect's divisional manager, “but our marketing and compelling offerings lead to a huge increase in sales for which we were a little unprepared. We looked at the other open source offering available at the time but none suited our 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.”

Jumping Bean, as an leading provider of open source based solutions in Johannesburg, South Africa, made the decision in June 2008 to release the software as open source, under the GNU Public License, “ as a way of giving back to the community” said Mark Clarke lead developer of Open Bill. The project is now hosted on Java.net and can be found at http://openbill.dev.java.net.

“Beside the great feeling of being able to contribute back, we also got some extra business in the process,” said Mr Clarke. “We now have several customers who we provide on-going support and customisation services to for the application.” he continued.

The application is written in Java and make use of a slew of open source libraries and frameworks to provide an enterprise level billing and contract management application solution. Technologies used include:

  • The Spring framework for dependency injection and aspect orientated programming,
  • Java Persistence API (JPA) for the data access and domain model layer,
  • Apache Velocity templates for invoice and email templating,
  • as well as a host of Apache related libraries such as Log4J,

“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”, said Mr Clarke.

Contact information:
Jumping Bean - Java Development
Unit 3 Appian Place,
373 Kent Avenue,
Ferndale,
2091,
South Africa
+27-11-781 8014

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