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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    522

    AWBS just not worth it in my opinion...

    AWBS just isn't worth the money, it might be worth of it as open source, but not as paid.

    Here's a short list of why:
    • Updating is a pain in the ***, really stupidly done. Of course, they charge for updates.
    • You have to update your system directly in production environment and/or atleast on the same domain as your production website
    • It's literally full of bugs, especially in the most important areas (Perhaps this works towards getting more upgrade orders?), areas like invoicing, and handling suspends/unsuspends and late charges.
    • Fraud screening isn't trivial to get working properly
    • Separete updates for templates. Naturally if you have completely custom you have to yourself code the updates into the new layout.
    • Doesn't allow running even in a private network (addr. 192.168.x.x) and/or doesn't bypass license check when 127.0.0.1 address used even temporally. Makes it harder to upgrade.
    • Admin panel is quite slow & sluggish.
    • Some configuration options just aren't in obvious places.
    • Removing old hosting orders (inactive/stopped by nonpayment) is very annoying.
    • Sometimes makes order id same as some order has already had. No way of changing this atleast from GUI.
    • Because of the order id thing, sometimes clients aren't able to make a moneybookers payment thru the site. (Just lost a dedicated server client due to this couple weeks ago)
    • No direct update possibility from older version to newer version, unless you use *NIX tools to make patch files yourself.
    • Seems to be almost all updates has some SQL changes.
    • DB Backup it has on admin panel bugged: end of the .sql file contains HTML page
    • Why it has 3 different index pages for all templates? I just don't know, there is changes in every one of them altho.
    • Saves e-mail templates in to DB. As this is mostly static data, ie. you change it only very rarely, it isn't very sensible method. (If you are an experienced coder who has worked with high volume sites, you probably know what i mean)
    • Changing the stock template graphics always isn't trivial
    • Default domain ordering system isn't very convenient for searching domain to register
    • In the change logs, i haven't seen the changes eNom made this weekend (or did i just miss them? I don't know, if you know better, PLEASE TELL ME)
    • Doesn't report to admin by e-mail if someone made an domain order using credits, and as the job queue is by norm blinking red...
    • Doesn't report to admin by e-mail when something needs to be setup manually...
    • No sensible method of creating custom payment modules and/or options.
    • for some reason, it has A LOT of config files... all but db config zend encrypted.
    • There's no method no difference for encrypted files from those which are not without opening the file. Only from some dirs you know those aren't encrypted.
    • Some things could be dynamic and auto-updating when changes are made, but are not. Ie. front page hosting package details.
    • Coupons sometimes just doens't work, they do most of the time, but some coupons just doesn't work.
    • Bugs in cloning & creating addon packages and other similar things, thus requiring you to first create it, then go edit to get to put all the options.
    • File downloads aren't really aren't that sensible, those files for which you have to pay (ie. website templates), altho you get aroudn that by trial & error. One update altho made it so that you were required to edit all the file downloads if a package was required in order to get those files.
    • If a client has negative credit (i allow this for friends etc.) it doesn't show negatives on the client page, only on credit page.
    • If you give a client say 3 free months, and after that the normal price, you actually need to make it create the invoices, and mark them paid, and without some other changes it A) messes up some statistics, B) if not done by that method, it tends to create within couple days later on several invoices, and suspend the client immediately (without checking invoice creation day naturally) and marking some of the invoices over due, and some of those gets also late charges. Because of this, there has been direct loss of revenue(=lost clients)
    • Doesn't add a line into the invoice for late charges (required for accounting), just changes the total sum. Thus creating quite odd looking invoices...
    • By default backorders are enabled via 3rd party... Using their affiliate ID, and configuration isn't in an obvious place for that
    • By default, they send to you and/or to your clients renewal notices... To use THEIR service: TOSDOMAINS to renew it... Now that isn't very sensible is it? They pointed that the problem would be with eNom.

    I have had quite a lot of direct revenue loss by AWBS, also i have had to give credits because it has bugged.
    I've been using AWBS quite a long time --> My AWBS account shows ~310$ paid to them... and i haven't been using their fraudgrabber thingie long, just a month or two now, which also created some direct revenue loss, as i mentioned, it wasn't trivial to get working right. Fraudgrabber just isn't a "turnkey" solution kind of thing, like you'd think from a paid service.


    Also now they changed themselves to use eKayako as support system, nothing bad in it itself, but:
    • They send login details to eKayako outside of SSL (atleast you get a warning from that), while they otherwise use SSL for all sensitivie information
    • They haven't pre-created accounts to eKayako, and there is no registration to that.

    To top that off: They don't have [email protected] e-mail address! So, you got to make use of contact form to get support at the moment.


    NOTE: Please correct me if i'm wrong in any of that, or the list is missing something etc. Also, this is just a list of problems i see and have had, and most probably doesn't have everything.

    Billing is the MOST IMPORTANT thing in ANY company, if a company's billing is screwed, i wouldn't trust them to do anything else properly neither. If a company neglects their billing, the reason why one runs a company: to get to invoice clients, and collect revenue, and that way to get profit.... and when bilöling doesn't work, it looks REALLY BAD
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  2. #2
    "They haven't pre-created accounts to eKayako, and there is no registration to that"

    you have to log in with your previous details
    http://www.empresasdehosting.com
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    362
    Thank you for the information. Very detailed and well put.

    Can someone second what Skal Tura posted? (I know that the post is from the OP's point of view and that your opinion might vary). I ask this because we were looking into this billing system as a possible implementation for us.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    389
    I have been using AWBs for a while now and whilst I agree with quite a few things that Skal Tura I must admit once its set up the software isn't half bad.

    Problems:
    - Templating sucks hard, but saying that I did manage to suss it in the end and it wasn't as hard as I thought. They say they are addressing this looking at a 'templating engine'

    - Settings in strange places: Yes there are a few odd settings in not so obvious places but I guess once you know it should be second nature (although their latest version has changed a few link locations about!)

    - Support isn't bad, I have put a few tickets in and although they are not always answered fast they do get answered within a decent timescale

    - According to their forums the Enom changes (I am guessing this is the EPP key or whatever its called) are already in place in the latest version. I haven't had a good look yet

    - Searching for an available domain isn't the best either, but I have put a request into their dev team so see if the suggested changes get made. As this is my first dev request it will be interesting to see how long the change may take (haven't got anyone assigned to it yet)

    Saying all the above the software works once its set up - it took me a good week or so to get everything running the way it should and now it runs well.

    Yes the updates are a pain if you have to fiddle with your custom templates, but if you spend a bit of time planning it at the start there shouldn't be much to do!

    I do like the software - like every bit of software there are a few bugs and things that are missing but hopefully they will.

    Hope that helps out a bit - I recommend the software, but its down to how much time you want to waste sorting it out to start with!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    37
    Well, The first reason why I didn't buy AWBS is because of the (lack of for a?) template system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    522
    abluegrape: and you have been using it how long .... ?
    WHOIS abluegrape.com: Creation date: 30 Mar 2006 20:12:26
    Wayback machine didn't return anything.

    So a maximum of 7 months now, atleast on that domain.

    The enom changes i didn't notice on changelog.

    Now let's see how long i've been using it... First invoice: 09-25-2005, and first i acquired trial license to fiddle around with it...

    Empresasdehosting: They have a link on your account, named support system or something, which supposedly logins you to eKayako... Well, in my case it just complaints about incorrect username / password... Oh yeah, and they send that information clear text even that domain has SSL! :O Thanks for the security...

    I also own account lab license... And even the usage experience with AccountLab Plus is VERY limited what i have, it's way superior to AWBS... Because of it's simplicity! Altho, it's domain registration system isn't a beauty neither... But it seems to just get the job done
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    389
    Quote Originally Posted by Skal Tura
    abluegrape: and you have been using it how long .... ?
    WHOIS abluegrape.com: Creation date: 30 Mar 2006 20:12:26
    Wayback machine didn't return anything.

    So a maximum of 7 months now, atleast on that domain.
    Not sure why you are jumping on my opinions but you are wrong on how long I have been using AWBS. On ABlueGrape.com I have been using it 3 months (I bought the domain off of someone else) and my first invoice date is 16 October 2005 for a different business I had at the time, so been using it as long as you have really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skal Tura
    The enom changes i didn't notice on changelog.
    Thats why I said they mentioned it in the AWBS forums: http://forum.awbs.com/showthread.php...highlight=enom

    Quote Originally Posted by Skal Tura
    Now let's see how long i've been using it... First invoice: 09-25-2005, and first i acquired trial license to fiddle around with it...
    Yes - I also had the trial license for the week before my first invoice.

    Still confused why you wanted to bite my *** for agreeing with you on key points that you made.
    Anyway......I'll keep my opinions to myself then shall I

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    1,955
    We've used AWBS for 2 years now and are VERY happy with it. Customizing is not intuitive and requires web development knowledge but the system is solid. It does what it does very well: the support forums are very active and the development team has a new release every few months.

    All tolled - they are still around after many years of other applications(lpanel) falling by the wayside.



    Regards,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    522
    Abluegrape: sorry, i perhaps sounded something i did not intend... I was a bit sleepy and tired at the moment of writing that. Been sick over a week now... Acute bronchitis

    Besides, it's really how you want to understand my comment... I was rather looking on the credibility(=experience with AWBS) of your statements

    I've been thinking about writing my own billing system... Tho been looking on a easy solution also: Account Lab Plus.

    One thing i found out just about AWBS: Their support personnel doesn't have any programming experience, or atleast that one who has probably always replied to me. It would be helpfull if he had SOME experience, thus having some real understanding of how the code works.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    389
    No worries - I snapped back, lets put it down to the Monday feeling
    I guess you are on about Sam - I never knew he had no programming experience, but saying that I haven't needed support that much....

  11. #11
    I have to agree with many of Skal Tura's complaints. We have tried several versions, starting back when it was still DRAMS. Some people are probably lucky, don't change the default design, and things work right out of the box. We attempted to fix many of the perceived problems, but a new release would come out with different files encrypted, or a different file structure, and it was just too hard to merge changes. Unfortunately, it is the best out there that we have found, so we took the plunge to develop our own system. It's really ashame, if the source code were 100% modifiable, we would have just used AWBS (easier to fix the problems than build from scratch). In retrospect, building our own in-house solution was probably a good decision, but many hosting resellers probably don't have the resources to pull it off.

    ModernBill is very similar to AWBS (you would almost swear that the developers are one and the same), but with ModernBill, integrating it with your own design is much easier (still shares many of the same functional problems as AWBS, however). Of course, your mileage will vary, depending upon your expectations and circumstances.

    -Matt

  12. #12
    I have used awbs Domain Edition for several years. I now use awbs Hosting Edition on two different sites. (using the new feature allow single database backend with unlimited front-end installations).

    Most of the complaints by Skal Tura are are result of

    1) His own fault of poor configuration (ie: not changing the email template defaults, fraud guardian setup, etc.)

    2) Lack of understanding (or just not agreeing with) how the template system works.

    OK.. so here is my opinion about awb hosting edition:

    1) I agree the template system is stupid. No question about that. There are no examples on their site on how to customize, and you must be very familiar with both an HTML and PHP to customize anything. It is *not* a good template system, especially if you want to make your own template. (ie: if you want to integrate your own existing design instead of using one of their "out of the box" templates.)

    2) I agree with the following points Skal Tura has made. These are items I agree need to be fixed by the awbs developers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skal Tura
    • Removing old hosting orders (inactive/stopped by nonpayment) is very annoying.
    • Doesn't report to admin by e-mail if someone made an domain order using credits, and as the job queue is by norm blinking red...
    • Doesn't report to admin by e-mail when something needs to be setup manually...
    • Bugs in cloning & creating addon packages and other similar things, thus requiring you to first create it, then go edit to get to put all the options.
    • If a client has negative credit (i allow this for friends etc.) it doesn't show negatives on the client page, only on credit page.
    • If you give a client say 3 free months, and after that the normal price, you actually need to make it create the invoices, and mark them paid, and without some other changes it A) messes up some statistics, B) if not done by that method, it tends to create within couple days later on several invoices, and suspend the client immediately (without checking invoice creation day naturally) and marking some of the invoices over due, and some of those gets also late charges. Because of this, there has been direct loss of revenue(=lost clients)
    • Doesn't add a line into the invoice for late charges (required for accounting), just changes the total sum. Thus creating quite odd looking invoices...
    However, even with these problems I still believe awbs is better then WHM AP and MB. (I own an unlimited license for both of those products and am very familiar with them both.)
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    522
    Hi,

    Thanks for feedback MrZippy but:

    - Yes, i haven't changed really at all the e-mail templates, however, they do not contain links etc. to tosdomains/awbs or anything else Total Online Services has. Or atleast haven't noticed any.

    - I did check the fraudgrabber setup initially, and loosened straight from the beginning it a little bit, and some portions a little bit tighter. However, i had to finally increase the total score allowed to 7.6 (Got some legitimate users with 7.5-7.56)

    - I've done also custom pages to it, yes, i kept almost default look, and didn't do many changes, however, i understand how it works, i'm just not intrested on learning some stupid proprietary templating system, neither have currently much of need for that.



    AWBS was the best suit for my needs for a long time, but now i see couple possible replacements for it: WHM AP, Account Lab Plus (however, it seems their support is really bad) and WHMCS.

    But i doubt i will go for any of these as i have still credits left for awbs for couple months and that time should be sufficient to create my own as a side project. (My main project is unrelated to hosting currently, a budget built over 500 wheel horsepower RWD car for street use, and durable)
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thessaloniki
    Posts
    244
    http://netenberg.com/
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    593
    I'm currently using Clientexec. There are many good and bad points about it, but am generally happy with what I'm getting because I can make it work for me.

    However, I can't wait for SilverStar. I've been awaiting it's release pre-Auracle.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Top Secret
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    While I can't say I experienced any of the specific problems you did with AWBS, I CAN say that their support is craptacular, and the product itself is miles away from "stable" (or was in April when I left).

    What you're looking for really isn't that hard to find here. I've been through MB/AWBS/ClientExec/L-Panel and WHMCS extensively, and found just ONE of them to suit my needs. That would be WHMCS (www.whmcs.com).

    WHMCS offers a much better templating system (smarty), is incredibly easy to customize (ie:match your site), and just a breeze to go through. In the past 2 months, I've embedded an entire client area (logging/firewall/server info/etc) into WHMCS for my own personal needs and it works dandy.

    As far as support? Matt @ WHMCS has this game ruled. No questions asked, hands down, Matt is the best. After an update last week, he went in, fixed problems that came up, within 24h of my request. Just the other day, he IM'ed ME telling me that something needed to be updated for CC processing. Now THAT'S support right there. Once he had my permission, he went in and did it.

    WHMCS is great, whether you're looking for an AIO solution (all in one - helpdesk, billing, etc), or just a billing client. It does it all, and SOOOOO much better (and easier) than anything I have ever seen. Got feedback? Yeah, that's listened to and WORKED with! Try getting THAT from MB or AWBS.

    Give WHMCS a shot, they offer a 2 week trial, and the price is a LOT less than you'd think .
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  17. #17
    With regard to awbs and support... I've never had to wait longer then about 12 hours for a response to my support requests from AWBS. (This is taken from my history over the last year, where I've submitted 21 helpdesk tickets into their system.)
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    In canada
    Posts
    3,213
    Now i feel so comfortable after reading this post that i made the right choice in not going with AWBS ( i had even forgotten its name ) . But from the looks of it they havent changed much , i was hoping they would come with better script soon.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Directadmin Core
    Posts
    770
    Ok, here's my 2c.

    I used AWBS, I admit, I was drawn in by it's feature pacakge, but once it was up and working, what a royal PITA to keep updated and all customers happy. A lot of "features" didn't work properly - and of course you couldn't change even the least little thing (encrypted, dontcha know). Simple things like spelling errors couldn't even be repaired.

    Admin processing of orders was a nightmare - very difficult. Refunds were poorly designed IMHO.

    I'd never consider going back to AWBS ... just a waste of $ as far as I was concerned (of course, no refunds if you're not happy)

    Joe
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  20. #20
    What "features" didn't work properly? What was difficult for Admin to process orders?

    I think clarification of your statements would be appropriate...

    Also, all language components are isolated into the language files, so changinge spelling errors is a matter of updating text in a language file. (Although finding the right language file to change is often a challenge...)
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    318
    Quote Originally Posted by mrzippy
    I have used awbs Domain Edition for several years. I now use awbs Hosting Edition on two different sites. (using the new feature allow single database backend with unlimited front-end installations).
    Which database are you using?

  22. #22
    AWBS looks a good piece of software but i would not but it as it can do practically the same as AccountLab with a few added extras, The admin panel is huge (i got lost several times) and i dont like the layout of the system, i would consider buying the domain system but im not sure if you have to have a reseller account with eNom ect as they cost a lot despite whether you get one of these Free enom reseller accounts (i think they have hidden costs).

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by VDRS Host
    AWBS looks a good piece of software but i would not but it as it can do practically the same as AccountLab with a few added extras, The admin panel is huge (i got lost several times) and i dont like the layout of the system, i would consider buying the domain system but im not sure if you have to have a reseller account with eNom ect as they cost a lot despite whether you get one of these Free enom reseller accounts (i think they have hidden costs).
    THe AWBS domain edition works with all popular (and some unpopular) registrar systems. It even supports the new registerfly system, although I think you're nuts if you use it.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Architect
    Which database are you using?
    I am using a single mysql database. It is shared between the two AWBS front-end websites.

    Works great.
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,904
    AWBS is a loaded product with many great features. However, with the many great features as you have all said comes many headaches. The system is sluggish and the task handlers are mundane. The template system needs to be just a simple order form and then a client area that is pleasing to look at. Why they have to include such hideous templates is beside me.

    CE, MB and even Uber with their reluctance to migrate to php5 is far better than AWBS. Sure it has features - but at what cost to your clients and your company?


  26. #26
    Just spent 2 1/2 months trying to get ModernBill 5 up and running.

    Had critical problems getting even the most simple tasks to work. Example: You cannot take a credit card order with Modern Bill 5 unless you use one of their listed payment gateways and there is no manual processing.

    After 20-30+ hours we finally gave up paying to BETA test.

    Ordered AWBS last week and it looks as if we will be able to go live this week. (Have spent about 3 hours installing and configuring)

    What I like: User account interface is very very friendly for customers. (Most important) PDF invoices, affiliate program, PayPal works, manual processing works, the dialogues in place need minimal editing. User groups is neat feature too for displaying different usr experience dependant on the type of hosting company and also for user group based email alerts. Another refreshing thing I only just discovered is creating one off detailed development invoices. Just enter in item after of item of detail, add a total price and then choose the user to send it to!

    Everything seems to work enough for us to be able to feel comfortable with launching this week. What a relief.

    Haven't tried to modify the templates too much (I have read all about the dramas) We will just top and tail it and roll it out.

    We just want a billing system that works and have it up and running without having to submit endless support tickets that came back "No can do yet".

    We upgraded our modern bill 5 install four times on recommendation from support to no avail. I believe it is very far away from being useable in the real world.

    MB5 might be ok next year some time. Can't wait that long.

    Perhaps MB will be more extensible - but at the moment MB5 is a nightmare waiting for billing system newbies blinded by the hype of the modernbill home page. (That was me) Worse commercial software experience I have ever had.

    Is anyone actually using Modern Bill 5 for billing in the real world yet?

    I think my timing was just bad and the hype on the home page and pre-sales questions took me down. Have AWBS now and catching up on sleep.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    59
    Maybe an old thread but this is similar in situation
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...16#post4459816

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    449
    We've been using AWBS and its predecessor for more than 2 years and couldn't be happier. There is a learning curve for such a powerful application, just like there would be for learning Photoshop or MS Visual Studio. But once you get past that, you realize the power of templating and having the ability to make AWBS do anything you want. Support is great and updates never take more than 20-30 minutes with a difference tool like Beyond Compare.

    A misconception many people have is that ALL the pages have to be changed every time there is an update which is a crock. Most pages are encrypted and just copied over. Between major version changes, very few of our customized template files are updated. If you properly document your customizations, they are easy to spot and update.

    Did I struggle with AWBS? Yes! I came from Windows world where ASP ruled and here was something written in a laguage (PHP) that I had no experience with. But I did see the potential and heck, I even learned PHP along the way. I started with MB 3 years ago and the support [email protected] back then. Came across DRAMS (changed later to AWBS) and so glad I did, implementing it was one of the better decisions I ever made in this business.

    For anyone contemplating a billing system, do yourself a favor and spend more than few days with it. You can get a free trial and yes, its not easy at first, but very few good things in life are.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    59
    The product is good, clearly written in India or Pakistan based on the code but the only nasty issue I have is how poor the quality of the template code is. I'm amazed that the templates even render correctly with countless nested elements and form code that works in spite of its vast short comings.

    I too build templates for AWBS but it took a spank of time to get a working foundation that would make the entire process quick and somewhat painless. I managed to get some css versions done with a bit of work. I just don't understand why they have so many redundant nested elements that seem to serve no purpose beyond making the template complex and SUPER HEAVY.

    ~ Jared

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    318
    Quote Originally Posted by php4ever View Post
    The product is good, clearly written in India or Pakistan based on the code
    I guess I missed that. I don't see any indication of that. Talking with the developer, he sure doesn't talk like that and worked in for an American company for many years before here. As for subletting any of the code, that wasn't my impression from talking with him.
    Quote Originally Posted by php4ever View Post
    ...but the only nasty issue I have is how poor the quality of the template code is. I'm amazed that the templates even render correctly with countless nested elements and form code that works in spite of its vast short comings.
    I started out thinking like that. The more I got into it, the more it made sense. I said on the outset that I wished they had written it with Smarty. Now that I understand it, I hope they don't take my advice. I agree that it is heavily nested, but that makes it easy to maintain and very flexible. I've had a few issues, like I surfaced that it wouldn't do a restore at one point, which they fixed, and an annoying situation where one of the nightly processes posted messages when everything went right, which they also fixed. I can't think of a UI that's easier to work with or modify. It's tons easier than Smarty and you can natively call PHP. Smarty has better debugging of course, but overall, this beats Smarty by a lot. We have Smarty sites as well.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Skal Tura View Post
    AWBS just isn't worth the money, it might be worth of it as open source, but not as paid.

    Here's a short list of why:
    • Updating is a pain in the ***, really stupidly done. Of course, they charge for updates.
    • You have to update your system directly in production environment and/or atleast on the same domain as your production website
    • It's literally full of bugs, especially in the most important areas (Perhaps this works towards getting more upgrade orders?), areas like invoicing, and handling suspends/unsuspends and late charges.
    • Fraud screening isn't trivial to get working properly
    • Separete updates for templates. Naturally if you have completely custom you have to yourself code the updates into the new layout.
    • Doesn't allow running even in a private network (addr. 192.168.x.x) and/or doesn't bypass license check when 127.0.0.1 address used even temporally. Makes it harder to upgrade.
    • Admin panel is quite slow & sluggish.
    • Some configuration options just aren't in obvious places.
    • Removing old hosting orders (inactive/stopped by nonpayment) is very annoying.
    • Sometimes makes order id same as some order has already had. No way of changing this atleast from GUI.
    • Because of the order id thing, sometimes clients aren't able to make a moneybookers payment thru the site. (Just lost a dedicated server client due to this couple weeks ago)
    • No direct update possibility from older version to newer version, unless you use *NIX tools to make patch files yourself.
    • Seems to be almost all updates has some SQL changes.
    • DB Backup it has on admin panel bugged: end of the .sql file contains HTML page
    • Why it has 3 different index pages for all templates? I just don't know, there is changes in every one of them altho.
    • Saves e-mail templates in to DB. As this is mostly static data, ie. you change it only very rarely, it isn't very sensible method. (If you are an experienced coder who has worked with high volume sites, you probably know what i mean)
    • Changing the stock template graphics always isn't trivial
    • Default domain ordering system isn't very convenient for searching domain to register
    • In the change logs, i haven't seen the changes eNom made this weekend (or did i just miss them? I don't know, if you know better, PLEASE TELL ME)
    • Doesn't report to admin by e-mail if someone made an domain order using credits, and as the job queue is by norm blinking red...
    • Doesn't report to admin by e-mail when something needs to be setup manually...
    • No sensible method of creating custom payment modules and/or options.
    • for some reason, it has A LOT of config files... all but db config zend encrypted.
    • There's no method no difference for encrypted files from those which are not without opening the file. Only from some dirs you know those aren't encrypted.
    • Some things could be dynamic and auto-updating when changes are made, but are not. Ie. front page hosting package details.
    • Coupons sometimes just doens't work, they do most of the time, but some coupons just doesn't work.
    • Bugs in cloning & creating addon packages and other similar things, thus requiring you to first create it, then go edit to get to put all the options.
    • File downloads aren't really aren't that sensible, those files for which you have to pay (ie. website templates), altho you get aroudn that by trial & error. One update altho made it so that you were required to edit all the file downloads if a package was required in order to get those files.
    • If a client has negative credit (i allow this for friends etc.) it doesn't show negatives on the client page, only on credit page.
    • If you give a client say 3 free months, and after that the normal price, you actually need to make it create the invoices, and mark them paid, and without some other changes it A) messes up some statistics, B) if not done by that method, it tends to create within couple days later on several invoices, and suspend the client immediately (without checking invoice creation day naturally) and marking some of the invoices over due, and some of those gets also late charges. Because of this, there has been direct loss of revenue(=lost clients)
    • Doesn't add a line into the invoice for late charges (required for accounting), just changes the total sum. Thus creating quite odd looking invoices...
    • By default backorders are enabled via 3rd party... Using their affiliate ID, and configuration isn't in an obvious place for that
    • By default, they send to you and/or to your clients renewal notices... To use THEIR service: TOSDOMAINS to renew it... Now that isn't very sensible is it? They pointed that the problem would be with eNom.
    I have had quite a lot of direct revenue loss by AWBS, also i have had to give credits because it has bugged.
    I've been using AWBS quite a long time --> My AWBS account shows ~310$ paid to them... and i haven't been using their fraudgrabber thingie long, just a month or two now, which also created some direct revenue loss, as i mentioned, it wasn't trivial to get working right. Fraudgrabber just isn't a "turnkey" solution kind of thing, like you'd think from a paid service.


    Also now they changed themselves to use eKayako as support system, nothing bad in it itself, but:
    • They send login details to eKayako outside of SSL (atleast you get a warning from that), while they otherwise use SSL for all sensitivie information
    • They haven't pre-created accounts to eKayako, and there is no registration to that.
    To top that off: They don't have [email protected] e-mail address! So, you got to make use of contact form to get support at the moment.


    NOTE: Please correct me if i'm wrong in any of that, or the list is missing something etc. Also, this is just a list of problems i see and have had, and most probably doesn't have everything.

    Billing is the MOST IMPORTANT thing in ANY company, if a company's billing is screwed, i wouldn't trust them to do anything else properly neither. If a company neglects their billing, the reason why one runs a company: to get to invoice clients, and collect revenue, and that way to get profit.... and when bilöling doesn't work, it looks REALLY BAD
    Sounds like you like to complain about everything and anything. AWBS + Kayako now? Sorry, we cant help people who have limited knowledge of a product and doesnt know how to use it. Try Modernbill, how many pages of issues would you post about that? About 5 or 6 pages I'd suspect. Instead of being a cry baby why dont you drop the AWBS program and go with something more on your level or better yet, try to write your own. Opening a thread just to complain about your inability to use the product is ridiculous.
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  32. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Architect View Post
    I started out thinking like that. The more I got into it, the more it made sense. I said on the outset that I wished they had written it with Smarty. Now that I understand it, I hope they don't take my advice. I agree that it is heavily nested, but that makes it easy to maintain and very flexible. I've had a few issues, like I surfaced that it wouldn't do a restore at one point, which they fixed, and an annoying situation where one of the nightly processes posted messages when everything went right, which they also fixed. I can't think of a UI that's easier to work with or modify. It's tons easier than Smarty and you can natively call PHP. Smarty has better debugging of course, but overall, this beats Smarty by a lot. We have Smarty sites as well.
    Smarty is certainly never a wise choice anymore. I had the luxury of examining Smarty with a coder who showed how bad the caching can get and how the redundant template calls can get so out of control its a burden on the server. I use to use Smarty for simple things like the school administrative website I built which needed a template engine to list vendors for departments based on pre-formatted templates. So I agree Smarty would NOT be a good idea.

    As to the rest, well sure the code is easy as hell to work with and any competent designer can quickly make his template work with AWBS. But the CODE can be cut in half easily I SAID EASILY by just cleaning up all the countless un-necessary redundant elements, outdated code formats and the form code is so out of wack its just frustrating to think anyone BUTT a coder could have done this. No punn on the AWBS developer but coders are not designers and this is the perfect example of that.

    For all its worth AWBS is a great product. I reiterate that so I don't look like I'm bashing. I made these posts only to FOR-WARN others that if you think its clean and you want light and fast, THINK AGAIN.

    Best regards

    ~ Jared

    P.S. Before someone decides to beat up on me for stating my experience and numerous encounters with AWBS and other templating formats. Please note that I use and suggest AWBS above and beyond ModernBill most of the time. I like AWBS and have nothing but respect for it. I didn't come here to beat up on it, only to make comment that the template code is in my personal opinion very nasty. As I stated once before, after running Dreamweavers find and replace on the entire directory to remove all the redundant code elements I was able to reduce its size after much frustration to about half its out of box weight. Things I removed were all the redundant inline styling, bogus or outdated code elements and things like that.
    Last edited by php4ever; 05-02-2007 at 08:08 PM.

  33. #33
    Things change over the years. I have used modernbill, whoicart, clientexec, and a few others. In the end, I went with drams, now AWBS. Granted, this software has a few issues. Show me a software package that does not have its issues.
    My customers are very happy with the billing system and we have learned to manipulate it to our needs. AWBS support has been understanding and helpful.
    php4ever, you really have a tongue and cheek position stating how good awbs is and then bashing their code structure. If the code structure was so bad that my pages would not render well, I would have moved long ago.
    I recently ran a time test on my pages and the only places that took over a second to render was from China and a few other countries that are not of interest to me. From an administrative side, I definitely prefer AWBS. The best part....the AWBS developers listen to us. I have made several requests that have been implemented.

    Here is what I did.....I leased the software for a few months to make sure it was exactly what I wanted. For the trivial lease price, you can make a well informed decision about the product and support you will receive.
    I say...try the software for yourself if you are looking for a good solution. AWBS is a solid TURN-KEY solution!

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    318

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by tudads View Post
    I have made several requests that have been implemented.
    That has been my experience too. There are two changes/features that I personally can lay claim to in less than a year. IMO if it's for everyone's benefit, it will happen, and happen soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by tudads View Post
    Here is what I did.....I leased the software for a few months to make sure it was exactly what I wanted.
    You big chicken! Actually that's what I did too. Any software that the company themselves believes in will do that. If they don't believe in their own software, they will make you buy it with no recourse.

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