Thursday, July 11, 2013
V3, our brand-new version, has been delayed for a very long time now and we would like to take the time to apologize for the delayed release and to explain the reasons behind it.
We have certainly failed in our communication with our customers regarding the new version. We have stated numerous times that the new version will be released "within a month", only to then leave you waiting yet another month. While leaving users thinking they are waiting in vain has never been our intention, it is unacceptable and may even hurt our creditability as a company. We are sorry for the inconvenience our unfulfilled release dates has caused you as a user. We promise to be clearer in our communications from now on.
Despite the fact that we are a small bootstrapped company, there are two main reasons for the long wait:
In early 2013, we decided to scrap and redesign a large part of V3 since it did not meet our expectations in experience and performance. We also felt that the technology we used was not a long-term solution and it would take a longer time to add new features in the future. While we could have released it as it was, and make the changes gradually, we could see that it would cause further headaches down the road. Once the app has been released it is very time-demanding and, in some cases, next to impossible to make major changes without breaking something. We really do not want to go down the whole route again and rebuild it from scratch anytime soon. We therefore came to the conclusion that the time we spent on redesigning it now would make more sense in the long-term, even though it would mean a further delay of the release date. We have big visions for The Invoice Machine and want to make it easy and quick to gradually add requested functionality in future updates.
With V3, we're switching from PHP to Ruby, and Ruby On Rails, as well as a new hosting platform. Now this, of-course, has meant a complete rewrite, and has also required a great deal of testing to make sure data remains intact. Thousands of companies are dependent on our service and are using it on a daily basis. Keeping data intact is something that is very time-demanding and something that we cannot compromise at any level because one simple error could be devastating.
While we unfortunately still cannot give you a release date today, we want to let you know that we are approaching it. V3 is 90% done. You have our word that we are doing everything that we possibly can each day to bring it closer to its release. From now on, we shall be sure to adhere to all release dates we set.
Waiting for something always sucks, but we believe it does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. We never rush things for a quick profit and want to give you, as a user, an app and an experience that is far above the usual and will blow your mind. A quote from Jay Wilson, Game Director at the excellent game development company Blizzard sums it up almost perfectly, (just replace game with app): "No one will remember if the game is late, only if it is great." V3 is our biggest effort to date and we are pretty confident that you will be amazed by the outcome.
We want to thank all our users for their continued support and faith in us despite the delays. We really appreciate it and will make sure your patience will be rewarded.
Monday, December 3, 2012
As you probably already heard by now, we have a brand-new version of the machine on its way. There have been a long time coming, lined with a few delays but we're finally hitting the final phase! The new version will bring tons of new features and improvements and will indeed take your invoicing to a whole new level. There will however be a few major changes that we would like to point out before the launch.
A Modern Browser Is Required
V3 will require a modern browser such as Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 9 or above. Older versions of Internet Explorer will only be supported with Google Chrome Frame. The permalink pages, where your clients can access their invoices and estimates will still work and look the same in all browsers and versions.
Changes To When Credits Are Refilled
Starting from V3, the invoice and estimate credits will be refilled the first day of every new month rather than the day of the month you signed up or upgraded. We feel this makes more sense and will make it easier for you to keep track of the credits. To be sure nobody lose credits, we'll refill all accounts credits upon launch.
Upcoming Price Changes
With the launch of V3 we'll also do a 99 cent increase of the prices of our paying plans. The new prices per month will be as follows:
- Medium: $12.99 USD
- Large: $24.99 USD
- Extra Large: $48.99 USD
For existing subscribers, the new prices won't be in effect until February 2013. Subscribers who have pre-paid for 6 months via PayPal won't be affected until their pre-paid period ends. The Small (free) plan will of-course remain free.
The main reason for the price changes is that we're switching to a better (and more expansive) infrastructure that's not only much faster but more stable and reliable for you as a user. We're also confident that all the new features added with V3 gives the service much more value. We thank you for your understanding.
The beta will launch any day now, and if you're on the list, you'll receive an email with the instructions as soon as it goes live. Please however note that the beta account will be totally separated from your ordinary account and all stuff you create under it will be removed upon the final release. It should be considered a playground and is not aimed for real-life usage. Changes made under your beta account will not affect your ordinary account.
When Will The Final Version Be Released?
It will depend on how the beta goes but we're targeting it for a release now in December. In other words, it's very likely that christmas will come early this year!
That's it for now. If you've got any questions regarding the update please don't hesitate to contact us by email or tweet us on Twitter.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Unfortunately we've to let you know that the release of V3 has been pushed back for a second time. We need just a little more time to put the final pieces together. It's real close now so the pushback won't be for too long.
We've decided not to set a new release date this time, but simply release it when it's ready or within a few days notice so be sure to be on the lookout!
Once again, we are confident that it will be well worth the wait. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Monday, April 30, 2012
We've decided to push back the release date of V3 one month until May 30. The reason for this is that we simply need more time to ensure that the switch from v2 is as smooth as possible.
Delays always sucks, and we know many of you have already been waiting patiently for a long time now. We hope we have your understanding as we want to make v3 as robust and stable as possible. We are confident that it will be well worth the wait.
The new release date also means a longer period of beta testing. We've extended the number of beta slots, so if you're interested in trying out v3 before May 30, please send us an email including your machine id (sub-domain) for your account and we'll add you right away.
We thank you for your patience and understanding. We are looking forward to letting you experience the brand new machine that will take invoicing to a whole new level!
Thursday, March 15, 2012
April 30, 2012
We thought that we could release it all now in March, but to be honest, we're not quite there yet. We still need a little more time to polish - in order to meet your and our own high expectations. The private beta will start a few weeks before the release. We still have a few spots left for beta-testers, so if you're interested, please contact us and include your machine-id (sub-domain) and we'll sign you up. Once the beta goes live you will receive an email with instructions from us.
So now that you have a release date to look forward to, we would like to share a little more in depth on what's new in V3 to keep you hyped.
A new front-end
Search and sort
It is now possible to search and sort your data. The search field has an autocomplete menu that gives you keyword suggestions as you type. The search, sort and filtering is stored in the URL so you can browse back and forth in the filtered result.
Total, paid and outstanding summaries of your invoices
Now you will have a full overview on your total, paid and outstanding balances. The summary is updated when you search and filter your invoices - so that you can see the balance for a specific period or client. Multiple currencies are also supported.
Templates with behaviors
"Recurring Templates" is now just "Templates" - with an optional "behavior" assigned to it. A behavior is simply a way in which you want the template to act under certain circumstances. For example; the recurring behavior - that generates and (optionally) sends an invoice on a specific schedule. You can choose not to assign a behavior and the template can be used just as a blueprint for new invoices.
Custom invoice and estimate layouts
It is now possible to take complete control over the design on your own invoices and estimates through CSS and HTML. This also includes the PDF version! The use of Liquid template variables and statements makes this feature perfect for advanced modifications such as adding calculations, removing something or making the addresses match a specific enveloped letter. Since we're using a Webkit PDF rendering engine, CSS3 features such as border-radius and gradients works like a charm. Please note that this feature require one of our payed subscription plans.
Detailed history and analytics
Each invoice, estimate, template, project, item and client now has a history section where you can view all of its events. You can see when it was created and by who - when it was updated and to whom it was sent. You can even see if and when any of your clients contacts opened the invoice email, clicked any links, or if the email was bounced or accidentally marked as spam.
Advanced variables and statements in email messages
Just as in the custom invoice and estimate layouts - we're also adding support for Liquid template variables and statements in email messages. This gives you endless possibilities to customize the emails you're sending to your clients. For example; you can translate the email message based on the language that is selected, you can personalize it for specific clients or you can add your own calculations. Since almost all your account's information is available as variables - this feature is extremely powerful.
Comments and attachments
You can now add comments and attachments to your invoices and estimates. Your clients contacts can also add comments (if you allow it) on the permalink page. This is a great way to keep the discussions centered around (and stored with) the invoice itself. You can also attach associated files such as bills or agreements. You can choose whether the client have access to the attachments, and/or only if the invoice has been fully paid. This is a great way to deliver your digital products or source files of the paid job.
New payment gateway integrations
In addition to the already available integrations with PayPal Website Payments Standard and Authorize.Net there are now also seamless integrations with:
- 2 Checkout
- PayPal Website Payments Pro
And There's Even More!
- A new restful JSON and XML based API.
- SSL (https) throughout the whole app.
- Inventory tracking.
- Control over permalink pages (turn it off, require authorization, allow commenting etc.).
- Html tags and Liquid template variables and statements can be used in most text areas.
- The Items tab and it's section is back.
- Invoices/estimates can be manually marked or unmarked as sent.
- Estimates can be declined.
- Invoices can be converted to templates and vice versa.
- Client-level specified currency and language.
- Payments now have optional fields for transaction id, method and notes.
- Templates, projects, items and clients now have individual "show"- or "view"-pages with further details and actions.
- A new Help Center with frequently asked questions, how-to's and discussions.
We're super excited about putting v3 in your hands - and we're confident it will simplify and make your invoicing an even better experience. As always, we're deeply thankful for your continued support by using The Invoice Machine. If you've got any questions or feedback please don't hesitate to leave a comment, contact us by email or tweet us on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Today, we would like to share some pretty big news! The blog has been silent for a couple months and that may lead some to believe we have been idle, but on the contrary, we have been working hard designing and developing the next generation invoicing app!
As you may know, we released version 2.0 in December 2010 and we've continued to push out regular updates with new features and improvements ever since. We have not, however, released the new API. The reason for this is because we have been preparing it for inclusion in version 3.0.
For a while now there has been an alternative way of developing web apps. More and more apps are moving over to the client-side. This is where the web browser itself takes care of the hard-work and gives the app the snappy feel you expect from a native desktop app. This also reduces content duplication and means less pressure on the server and it provides better control of the app's state. We truly believe this is the future of web apps and with today's modern browsers there's really no reason to wait any longer. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that the next major version of The Invoice Machine will be a single page application built with Backbone.js and CoffeeScript!
We're switching to Ruby on Rails!
With version 3.0 we are also leaving PHP and moving over to Ruby and Rails. While you probably won't notice (or care) about this change it has speed up our development flow dramatically and, most important of all, it has brought back the fun in coding! One other reason we're switching to Ruby on Rails is because it's so extremely suited for an application like The Invoice Machine. Many of the functions we previously had to write on our own are already a part of the framework which means less time required for testing and debugging.
While some think it's crazy to rewrite an app in a new language when that time could be spent adding new features, we are confident we've made the right decision. We are in it for the long run and want a platform that's stable, organized, scalable and easy for a new developer to pick-up on. It will make it a lot easier and faster for us to push out new features and improvements in the future. Ruby On Rails also gives you an API with almost no additional coding. Version 3.0's API will be fully RESTFUL and JSON-based.
An improved user-experience!
While the current version of The Invoice Machine has probably one of the cleanest and easiest to use user experiences, it is actually 3 years old it and starting to feel quite rusty. We did a minor refreshment of the user-interface with version 2.0 but focused mostly on the back-end and it's new features. Version 3.0 will however come with a brand-new user-experience! We won't take away what's good with the current interface and workflow, but we will improve upon it and make it even better and snappier. You can also except some sweet new eye-candy!
Once you login you'll able to navigate and access all your data without a single browser refresh. It depends heavily on hash based segments similar to how Twitter and Flow do it. All data is received in JSON format and rendered by the client. If you're using a modern web browser, the experience will have an incredible increase in speed and usability. We've also taking full advantage of CSS3 and HTML5. While you'll get the most out of it with a modern web browser (such as Safari, Chrome or Firefox) it will still be functional in older browsers.
What to expect from version 3.0 feature-wise?
Version 3.0 not only comes with a new front-end, it comes with a lot of new features and improvements. These include:
- You and your clients will be able to comment and attach files to your invoices and estimates.
- A new Activity Feed where you can track all events for your account.
- The Items section is back in a new form called "Packages" which are ordered group of items.
- The Recurring feature has been improved and you'll be able to chose when on the day the recurring invoices should be delivered.
- New search functionality which will enable you to search, filter and sort your data.
- A new status called "Viewed" will indicate if the client has viewed the online version of the invoice or estimate.
- Plus a lot more!
What if I like the current version as it is?
Don't worry, there wont be a dramatic change in the way you manage and create your invoices and all your data will remain intact. We will also keep version 2.0 online and actively updated for a while after version 3.0 is released. In other words, you won't be forced to upgrade to version 3.0 when it is released, you can make the switch when you are ready.
When will it be released?
We have set an internal dead-line but it's still a little early to announce it. While the specific release date is subject to change you can except it be sometime in the coming months. As always, we take as much time as possible to make sure it's robust and polished.
That's it for now. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest news and upcoming teasers! We're super thrilled to show you what we're working on. Thanks for your continued support in making The Invoice Machine one of the most popular invoicing apps!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
We've just updated the application which includes some minor changes and bug fixes and adds a seamless integration with Authorize.Net!
It's now possible to integrate the payment gateway Authorize.Net with The Invoice Machine. Just enter your login and transaction key, select Authorize.Net as payment option when you create a new invoice, and your clients will be able to pay you with their credit card directly on the invoice permalink page!
Additionally you can choose if you want to use CCV (Credit Card Verification) and AVS (Address Verification Service). The invoice ID and client details such as address will be forwarded to Authorize.Net when a payment is made which will make it easier for you to track and manage your invoice payments in the Authorize.Net administration.
The page your clients will submit payments on is secured by SSL encryption which is the same kind of security online banks are using. Just as with the PayPal integration the payment will be automatically added to into the application and you can optionally set if you want us to send you a notification by email when a payment is received.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Today we're extremely pleased to announce the release of The Invoice Machine version 2! This is the biggest update since the first release in January 2009.
It's A New App!
Version 2 is actually a brand-new application. Even though we've only refined the appearance it has been completely rewritten from scratch. The main reason we decided to rebuild the entire application was to increase the performance and speed but also to make it easier for us to handle incremental updates in the future. The backend code is now as clean and beautiful as the interface itself!
A Bunch Of New Features And Improvements
Version 2 includes a lot of new features and improvements. We really encourage you to experience the new application yourself, but here are a few of the highlights:
You're now able to create and send estimates. Just as when you create and send an invoice the estimate has a permalink page for your client. Your clients are able to accept the estimate directly on the permalink page and we'll send you a notification about the outcome. If your client has accepted the estimate and the work is done you can convert it into an invoice.
Copy Your Stuff
The Invoice Machine is all about to automate and simplify your invoicing in a beautiful manner. One of the features it's missed until today was the ability to duplicate things, this is all fixed with the new Copy feature. Let's say you want to copy an invoice: simply grab it's drag handler and drag and drop it onto the Copy icon. You'll never need to reenter the same details again!
Organize Your Stuff
The Invoice Machine now lets you organize your data in tabs by simply dragging and dropping. By default it comes with two tabs named Active and Archived but you can customize the names as needed and add up to four tabs for each section.
You can now assign multiple contacts to the same client. This is great if you need to send the invoice or estimate to more than one person. Additionally, we've finally added the long missed phone field!
Assign Tasks to Projects!
The Projects section has received a huge update! You can now assign a client and multiple tasks to a project. When it's time to get paid you can chose to insert all tasks or specific tasks under the Insert Project Dialog. When all tasks for a project are invoiced the status of the Project will be changed to Billed.
What Happened To Items?
We didn't quite feel it deserved an own section since they work more like a tool when you create invoices and estimates. All your items still exist under the Insert Item dialog but you can now add and delete them on the fly.
Some Good Stuff Still To Come
Not all the features that were planned made it into this first release simply because we had to get it out in time. Don't worry though, we already have an update scheduled for the first week of 2011 and the new API will be released very soon. We also have a brand-new website coming soon including the updated API and Help documentation as well as a new cool tour video!
Now we need some well deserved rest during the holidays, of course we'll still be available via email support and Twitter. If we do not have an opportunity to talk to you soon we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The long wait is almost over! Today we are pleased to finally announce the release date for the new version of The Invoice Machine! If you have followed us on Twitter you have already got a sneak peak of some cool stuff to come.
On 22nd December 09:30 AM (GMT +1:00 hour) we will start the upgrade process which will take a few hours. During this time we will temporarily shut down the machine and the application, neither the API nor the website will be accessible during this period.
Some Important Changes
As soon the new version goes live there will be some changes to the system. All invoice permalink URLs will change and all old URLs will be forwarded the first two months. Some settings and all API tokens will be reset. All recurring templates will be temporarily deactivated, you will need to login to your account after the new version is released in order to get them activated again. Other than that all your data will remain intact.
Information About The API
Since we have rewritten the application from scratch we also have a cool new API! However, the new public API will not be available the first week after the release of the new version. We will be using this time to test it and put together the new documentation. Please note that the old API will go offline as soon the new version is released. We are sorry for the inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience during the upgrade process.
Pricing Will Be The Same
The free plan will remain free and the prices for the paid subscription plans will remain the same. This simply means you will get more kick for the same money!
We are extremely thrilled to show you and let you experience what we have worked on for such a long time! We cannot thank you enough for your continued usage and support of The Invoice Machine! Now it is time for us to repay that loyalty!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Finally after more than one year of development version 2 is almost complete. Yes, this time it's for sure! Your favorite machine is about to get a huge upgrade before the end of this month!
A week ago we started to post frequent teasers of the new version on our Twitter. While we still won't show you all of the new goodies we're about to introduce we will keep your curiosity more than satisfied. So be sure to head over to our Twitter and follow us and we'll follow you back!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It has just occurred to us that it has been over a year since our last blog post! We wanted to take a moment to post an update and let everybody know we are, indeed, still alive.
Since July 2009, we have been working very hard on the newest version of The Invoice Machine. Our goal was to release this next version in Fall 2009, but as always when it comes to development it is very easy to underestimate the time it takes to actually build something so robust. We are excited to say that we are now in the final stages of the development and will spend the next 1-2 months (at least) polishing and debugging.
This new version of The Invoice Machine is not just an update, but is truly a NEW application rewritten from scratch. It comes with a brand new user interface as well as tons of new and improved features. Some of the new features include the ability to create estimates, an improved projects section with the ability to assign tasks to projects, assign multiple contacts under a single client, interface with more payment gateways and new invoice and estimate layouts.
Usability has been greatly improved with the ability to sort and organize items into folders, use drag and drop control, create copies and much more. We have also included an improved API enabling you to do so much more. This new version will also be available as both a web application and a native desktop application for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
While it will still be at least 1-2 more months before we can release this new version, we think it will be well worth the wait. We will let you know a release date as soon as we know. Stay tuned!
Monday, March 2, 2009
We're happy to announce the release of the Invoice Machine Timer widget for Mac OS X Dashboard.
With the Invoice Machine Timer widget you can now track time for your projects directly in Mac OS X Dashboard. All you have to do is enter your Machine ID and API Token (you find your API Token under the Account Overview in the Account section or under your Profile if you're not an account administrator).
With the release of the Invoice Machine Timer widget we've now also opened up the doors to a new section called Extras, where we'll list cool and useful add-ons for The Invoice Machine developed by us and third parties. A sidebar gadget for Windows Vista coming real soon!
Monday, February 23, 2009
We've just released a new update where many bugs have been issued as well as some new useful features such as double taxes and customizable tax names.
Double taxes and customizable tax names
We've added the possibility to use double taxes for invoices. You can now also change the names of the taxes and the Tax ID, so for example, if you are in Canada you can rename tax 1 to GST and tax 2 to PST. The taxes can be set individually for each invoice or you can set your defaults in Settings. You change the Tax ID name under your account.
New invoice template languages
Thanks to helpful Invoice Machine users, Czech, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch invoice template translations are now available. Thank you Jan, Carlos, Bent, Jimmy and Sven!
Upgrade and pay with PayPal
We now accept PayPal as an alternative payment option when you upgrade your account. Because PayPal's limitations of month-to-month payments, we only accept payments for 6-month subscriptions. When you subscription is about to end, we'll send you a notification and you have to manually renew it. Not as conformable as the pay-as-you-go alternative, but it works for those who prefer PayPal.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
We're pleased to announce that you now can access your Basecamp projects, time entries, companies and people directly in The Invoice Machine.
If you're using Basecamp, the popular project management tool by 37signals you may find this new feature extremely useful. With just a few clicks you can easily access and generate invoices from your Basecamp data. If the Basecamp integration is enabled, a "Insert From Basecamp" option will be available when you create or edit an invoice or a recurring template. You can also import your companies and people when you create or edit a client.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
There were a few features that didn't make it into last week's release of the new Invoice Machine. These features needed a little more polish before we could release them. Over the last week, we managed to smooth out the rough edges, and are releasing the new features today!
The Invoice Machine now supports recurring invoices. Just set up a recurring template and an invoice will automatically be added to your Invoices section and sent on the scheduled date. Just like sending regular invoices, you can choose to attach the invoice as a PDF file and customize the email message. You can setup the schedule so the invoice is sent yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily or even specify your own interval. All recurring invoices are processed at midnight (PST time). We've also put in some cool iPhone inspired slider switches to switch the recurring template on or off. We're sure that many users will find the new recurring feature useful.
The Invoice Machine now also supports multiple users. This is great if you want to give account access to your employees or business partners. You can chose each user's access level and specify what they can edit and see. Users with limited access will get their own Profile section where they can edit their own user settings. Creating and managing more than one user requires a paying subscription plan.
Monday, January 19, 2009
After months of hard work, we're pleased and excited to announce the launch of the new Invoice Machine, now a full blown web application with tons of powerful features to simplify your management of invoices.
Built for businesses and freelancers
The Invoice Machine is built for businesses and freelancers who want an easy way to manage, create and send their invoices. It's not restricted to an specific area or market. It works great for anyone who has a service or product to sell.
Beautiful and customizable
The Invoice Machine let's you create beautiful and customizable invoices in a snap. You can customize the invoices with colors and logo. You can also download and send your invoices as nice looking PDF files.
Integrated with PayPal
The Invoice Machine makes it possible for you to let your clients pay you with PayPal. Just enable the PayPal integration and enter your PayPal email and The Invoice Machine will take care of the rest. When an invoice payment is made, the payment will automatically be added to the invoice's history. You can also add payments manually if you're using another solution to receive payments.
The Invoice Machine has support for more then 150 currencies and lets you set different number and date formats. You can chose between six invoice template languages including English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Swedish. The Invoice Machine also has a clever format address function which automatically formats the address in the correct format according to the chosen country.
The Invoice Machine not only lets you create invoices, it also lets you track time for your ongoing projects. Your projects can later be easily included on an invoice. Tracking time for your projects can either be made manually or with the handy web based timer. A timer widget for Mac OS X and Windows Vista will also be available soon.
An easy-to-use interface.
The Invoice Machine is designed with a really amazing and easy-to-use interface. We've paid attention to the details down to every last pixel. We've spent almost as much time on the user interface as on the actual backend development!
An powerful API
The Invoice Machine goes even further by providing a powerful API (Application Programming Interface). The API lets you hook up your own application with The Machine's functionality. There are many situations where this could be useful. Let's say you run an online store and want to send an invoice to your customer each time a purchase is made. This is possible with just a few lines of code using the API.
The Invoice Machine simply takes a new more beautiful and clever approach on online invoicing. You can see it in action and learn more by taking the tour or you can signup for a free account. We hope you'll find The Invoice Machine useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us or post a comment.