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  1. #1
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    ModernBill or similar?

    Hi,

    For the past several months we have been using a custom order and customer admin management system.

    We now have a number of extra things we would like in there, but unfortunately this would require starting again from scratch.

    We have been looking around and have looked at ModernBill. We havent had a detailed look as yet, but as far as I can see it looks like a pretty feature rich piece of software.

    I have had a look through some old posts and read both good and bad things about it, but would like to get some up to date views.

    Has anyone got any examples of the order system that can be implemented with ModernBill. Is this easily configurable?

    For your information, we currently use muliple CPanel servers and WorldPay, so would need integration with these.

  2. #2
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    hmmm...maybe no one is using ModernBill anymore...

  3. #3
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    Could be that the new version of Modernbill was just released and many are deciding whether the new price is worth it.

  4. #4
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    Not just wondering about the new version, I wanted to know peoples opinions the old product too and the solution on the whole.

    Surely, the new price is not expensive at all if it does the job?

  5. #5
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    I think that its a great product... and it sure makes things very easy to use. I would suggest you use it However there are still alot of things built in that you never need to use, or have a hard time find out what they do.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by phpcoder
    I think that its a great product... and it sure makes things very easy to use. I would suggest you use it However there are still alot of things built in that you never need to use, or have a hard time find out what they do.
    Thanks for the reponse. Having looked at the new demo, I have to agree there is probably a lot of redundant features in there.

    A couple of questions you may be able to help with....

    *I know it integrates with WorldPay, but how configurable is this and how will it work with recurring billing failures etc...

    *Is it possible to import data (client data) from an existing MySQL db, or excel doc into the ModernBill database? I would hate to have to manually input all of our old orders!

    Cheers for any help you can give.

  7. #7
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    We are working on getting our own authorize account now, we have just been using Paypal and 2checkout (which isn't supported yet) for now.

    Unless you write a script to convert a previous database you will need to do it yourself

    -Alec

  8. #8
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    mmm...that could be a real pain...

  9. #9
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    It's just my opinion but I think Modernbill has lost sight of their original purpose. Version 4 seems overly complex and the feature list far outweighs what we wanted back in the beginning.

    If you can get them to sell you a copy of version 3.1.3 that should suit your needs (and then some).

    While it's an amazing system for billing, and I think the guys at Modernbill have done a great job, we're starting to think that something else might be the better option if this direction they're heading in is the future. No idea what that something is though a little bird has told me of two alternatives that *may* come into development soon.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  10. #10
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    I'd be interested to hear what your little bird has told you

    Surely something on that scale could take many months of development and testing, so anything "on the drawing board" is a long way off.

  11. #11
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    yes both are programmers I know that are *thinking* about a system so I wouldn't expect either to have a final product for a very long time yet

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  12. #12
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    I am guessing here, but even if they would supply an older version they would not continue to support it.

    Is it the fact that they have added on too many toys, rather than the fact that the product is not good, that you say they are loosing direction?

  13. #13
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    Oh the product is excellent, but yes, it's the 'toy factor' that's irked me about it. With the bugs that show up whenever an addition is added the development of the core billing system is slowed down.

    On the other side of the coin, version 4 is supposed to be more modular so you can pick and choose what gets installed or not... only the core of that system is already pretty crowded.

    I wouldn't suggest you don't look into it, as it's possibly the best billing system out there, but I personally have reservations about the direction they've gone in.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  14. #14
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    thanks for that, i think we will wait for the 30 day demo to become available and then run some tests to see how it will work for us.

    if anyone uses ModernBill in conjunction with WorldPay and cPanel I would really like your input.

  15. #15
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    The CPanel module isn't out yet

  16. #16
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    I have been using modernbill since version 2 and they have improved it vastly.

    I use modernbill inconjunction with authorize.net and that is the best way to use modernbill as far as i am concerned. It is easy to keep track of who owes what.

    As far as version 4.0, it is a move towards complete automation and a one stop solution that could not be done with v3.x.x. Modernbill will soon support kayako esupport and also auto account creation for things like plesk and cpanel.

    This means through modernbill you will be able to bill, support, and setup accounts all from one management area. This will be wonderful to the backend people so you dont have to use 3 different applications to do the same thing and also have 3 databases of customers.

    As for the price, modernbill has risen a little bit, but they are creating a product that is far superior to anything else out there and plus you get free upgrades for 6 months and then it is just a fee of 20 dollars or so for future 6 month blocks...it has been well worth my time.

  17. #17
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    Worldpay - integration ok but no future pay facilities

    Sign up forms are crap unless you are registering com/net/org only

    Price has risen steeply I think it is about $800 now - support fee has went up to $50 for 6 months

    Program really good but developers tend to go off on a tangent and leave really basic things unfixed

    Watch out for 3rd party links on the system

    Invoice printing/delopment leaves a lot to be desired

    No facilities for multiple tax rates

    I have now installed it over 20 times in each case having to remove it because some newer version came out and after a year I still have been unable to fully use the program.

    I like it and will stick with it but all is not rosey

  18. #18
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    After looking into it things arent looking good for our circumstances. I understand there is a lack of support for FuturePay and also the order forms are a considerable downside for us....

    Its a real shame as MB looks like it has features that could really help us out

  19. #19
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    Modernbill has alot of things to offer, however I am dissapointed in it.

    Cpanel intergration has been promised by the staff for MANY months however nothing has been done, and it's still lacking.

    When we originally started we used 2checkout.com. Problem was when we bought modernbill it didnt allow you to use 2checkout however more promises that it would get intergrated, we gave up after 6 months and applied for worldpay.

    Now we find worldpay isnt intergrated properly even though they state it is, no recurring billing etc, no eta when it will be done.

    My view, wait for phpmanager2. I think the current phpmanager does alot, and version 2 features will blast modernbill out of the water.

    Yes maybe modernbill has a nice GUI, but I need features not fancy graphics. I, and others have been waiting for months for worldpay, 2checkout and cpanel intergration but it seems these requests have fallen on deaf ears.

    Version 4 was a botched release. From the key file saga, now to constant bug fixes. If they were to release version 4 to all customers when still in beta they would have fixed 90% of the bugs they are finding now, and would have more time to concerntrate on modules and other things.

    That said their are alot better packages out their at the moment webhostbilling, phpmanager that do a far better job.
    Clustered Hosting With Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
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  20. #20
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    There are a lot of interesting comments coming out here and they all follow a similar theme.

    I am still interested in MB, but I am under the impression that without an Authroize.net account full integration is not possible. The problem is it looks like it could be a bit difficult to get an authorize account without going through planetpayment as we are UK incorporated. I think the problem lies with the way FuturePay works.

    It also appears that although they promise cpanel integration soon, that this could still be a long way off. It sounds like they have been promising this for a long time already.

    It looks to me like a great product that would make life easier for us, but it appears you have to have a very specific set up to get the most from MB.

    I have taken a look at phpmanager and this looks like a nice product, but possibly a bit too trimmed down for our needs.

    Maybe we should keep going with our custom client management tools, although there is a LOT of manual work involved in that.

  21. #21
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    I too looked at phpmanager
    Really nice little package at a great price.
    But ( theres always one aint there)
    No support for tax rates ( sort of rules out most serious users)
    No support for domain only reg i.e no hosting

    So that one is in the bin :-(

    Back to trying to persuade MB to work for me.

  22. #22
    I agree with you Myacen

    I like Modernbill as it suits my needs, but I am not jumping to V4 anytime soon.

    All I see is MB trying to get the next version out before it is finished, which me personally, I think that is stupid, why roll a car off the production line with no wheels?

    I also agree that MB is skewing in other directions and losing focus on the core product, a billing system.
    L. James Prevo - President/Owner
    Prevo Network, LLC - http://www.prevo.net
    Est. 1999 - Month to Month Billing!!

  23. #23
    Ok, That's enough.

    Let's really think about this and understand where ModernBill is going.

    I think that some of you are ModernBill clients and we are amazed at what comments show up on this forum.

    The direction of ModernBill is coming from client input and suggestions. The three core functions of ModernBill are as follows:

    1. Billing System
    2. Central Administration (Client Support Ticketing system)
    3. Module Provisioning and Gateway integration (Plesk, Ensim, C-Panel, etc) (Authorize.net, etc)

    ModernBill v4 went through a long period of Beta Testing with two different groups. It takes time, money and dedication to roll out a "New Version". That's right ModernBill v4 is a brand new version with a new look and new features. The MAIN FEATURE BEING THE API!

    As akashik has mentioned, ModernBill has taken a modular approach to the Provisioning and Gateway integration... why you ask, because now the modules are exactly modules, not hard coded into the core. This type of development takes time and planning. But, with the core API in place, the modules are unlimited now. Experienced programmers are going to be given the opportunity to code custom modules and have the freedom of utilizing the API for development.

    Akashik:
    we have not lost sight of our project. This is a well calculated project that has many more components and development ahead of it. Please contact MicroSoft and tell them to stop adding features to their software offerings.

    Per SuperDon's comment
    about some programs being "trimmed down", that is exactly right. Some people will not use all the features in ModernBill, but they are there for a reason. They are there because people like you have suggested them. And believe it or not, our company uses every single feature in ModernBill.

    Myacen: Do you have any idea how to program 2checkout into ModernBill... we do. But guess what? 2checkout will take some time to be programmed into ModernBill. There is a standard to programming Gateways, and 2checkout is a bit different. There are lots of Gateways that follow a standard, as in Authorize.net. That is why we started with the Authorize.net integration in the first place. I'm not going to run through each Gateway, but the pattern is simple. Some companies do not follow this simple pattern

    We have not set any dates to when these modules will be complete, but I'll say that we are working every waking moment to bring these features to you in a productive manner. Although, we have said that the modules will start post v4 release. And now that v4 is released, the modules have begun.

    Myacen
    "Yes maybe modernbill has a nice GUI, but I need features not fancy graphics. I, and others have been waiting for months for worldpay, 2checkout and cpanel intergration but it seems these requests have fallen on deaf ears."

    Nothing has fallen to deaf ears. We take every suggestion seriously and add them in an order of priority.

    Myacen
    That said their are alot better packages out their at the moment webhostbilling, phpmanager that do a far better job.

    We will have a product comparison out soon that will give you a true picture of how ModernBill compares to the other products.

    Last comment about this thread...
    Pricing has changed. You have to understand that software development is expensive. Support is expensive. With this said, you have to understand that to grow a business and product, price will increase. That is why you see a slight price increase when we feel that enough features have been added to the version. ModernBill was $49 in the beginning. ModernBill is not Version 1 anymore. ModernBill is a solution that will help your business grow and reduce the amount of time you bill each day or month. We know this is true because we too have a hosting company that bills each day. It has made our everyday work environment a breeze to bill clients. ModernBill may not be the solution for your company. Maybe it does not have the features you desire or could be too expensive for your company. Please note that we took this into account and came up with some additional options. Version 4 has many levels of purchase. Please visit the web site and review the pricing matrix. All we see mentioned on this forum is the highest priced option available. This is a misconception and is in need of research on your part.

    We normally do not post such long comments to this forum, but we feel that it is appropriate at this point.

    Like always, we appreciate your constructive comments, but let's work in a positive manner and make ModernBill the best it can be.

    Warmest Regards,
    ModernBill .:. Support Team
    Last edited by MBill Admin; 10-23-2002 at 10:20 PM.

  24. #24
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    Hey MB: Do you have any option to sell the 3.x version still? Seems as if there would be a market for that still.

    -WC-

  25. #25
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    i think you can still download v3 stable from their member's area

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by MBill Admin
    Akashik:
    we have not lost sight of our project. This is a well calculated project that has many more components and development ahead of it. Please contact MicroSoft and tell them to stop adding features to their software offerings.
    Since that was directed to me... When I install Windows on a computer, the next few hours are usually spent scouring the computer uninstalling a wide range of things I have no use for - it adds about 2 hours to my 'install time'. If Microsoft would listen to my requests for removal of certain software I'd happily write to them. Alternatively I've begun installing Linux of desktops instead. Linux offers a simple core desktop that does everything I use Windows for as far as administering a computer and getting it online.

    Now, as stated before I like Modernbill - or at least it's core. It's a wonderful script that may indeed offer everything I need down the line, without the extras that have begun to creep in (such as the immutable dolphin theme). Version 4 is a big change and I don't think anyone would disagree with that. I think some of us are a little gun shy of it due to the constant upgrade path through both version 2 and 3, without resolution of a few basic requests that were never implimented in earlier version (a rewrite of the order form for example).

    While this isn't modernbill's forum and I'm the first to agree that these sort of things should probably be discussed within your own forum, I still have a ticket over a week old now regarding the failure of your forum software to send me the password so I can access it (no, not the support area itself, as that works fine).

    At the end of the day I do support Modernbill and their script - regardless of my 'peeves'. I do also see a bright future for it once things settle down. I'm also fully aware that those of us that got in on the ground floor have done very well out of what we paid, to where the script is now, and we all thank you for sticking with the promise regarding support/version costs.

    However once version 4 has stabalized, I do forsee myself spending a lot of time 'unistalling' a large percent of the recent 6-12 months worth of ideas that have been included. Thankfully the API modular approach should make that fairly painless.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  27. #27
    akashik,

    While this isn't modernbill's forum and I'm the first to agree that these sort of things should probably be discussed within your own forum, I still have a ticket over a week old now regarding the failure of your forum software to send me the password so I can access it (no, not the support area itself, as that works fine).

    If you go to the support area, you are able to reissue your key from a link on the main support page... after you login.

    ModernBill .:. Support Team

  28. #28
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    i think he wants the password to the forums (that's how i understood it)

  29. #29
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    akash, yes that's correct. Modernbill has now answered that issue with the same reply twice now (once in a ticket). On explaining again what you seemingly understood quick clearly I never got a reply. *shrug*

    The 'key' is sitting, staring me in the face, saved on my desktop, but thanks for letting me know how to get it. The 'password' to the forums seems to be still floating about in cyberspace somewhere...

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  30. #30
    Greg,

    I will send your username and password to the email you were originally sent from your original purchase.

    Do you have that original email or did you delete it?

    ModernBill .:. Support Team

  31. #31
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    I have all my login info to the support area so that's all sweet. I can read the forum without a worry. Posting to it however says I'm not logged in (as I'm not). Going to the password reminder says it sends the information, but it never arrives.

    Yes, the e-mail address on record works (that's how I got the key for MBv4).

    Shall look forward to your e-mail.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  32. #32
    Greg,

    Apologies...

    I understand now. Please review the info I sent you.

    Sincerely,
    ModernBill .:. Support Team

    P.S. Sorry Chicken... please edit if you see fit

  33. #33
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    *edit*

    Spoken via e-mail with Modernbill and the user/pass issue I was having with their forum is now fixed.

    Thanks MB

    Greg Moore
    Last edited by akashik; 10-24-2002 at 01:15 AM.
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  34. #34
    MBill Admin,

    As akashik, I am a ModernBill user and do like the product, but I would agree that it has lost sight of the project. You may say no, but that is just a matter of semantics. ModernBill had one vision when I purchase it, and that was to be the low cost, best billing solution available for webhosts, especially resellers, available. I orginally bought Modernbill in the era of the v1.X releases, so I have been around a while. To me, the prime example of loss of focus is the support ticket system. You say that all this was added based on customer requests and suggestions, but I remember the discussions on the forums. There was just as many customers, including me, saying don't do it - concentrate on billing. At the time that you added the supportdesk, ModernBill 3.X still had a lot of bugs, but yet we were adding features. It made not sense at the time.

    Now, as I said, I like the ModernBill product. If I went back and did it over, I would purchase it again. I have not said anything here, that I have not said on your forums at one time or another. I am not meaning to harm or be openly critical in any way. Just sharing the truth as I, a customer, sees it.
    Marty Hoskins
    http://tlcwe.com

  35. #35
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    MB Admin
    Ok, That's enough.
    Is it?

    As you may be aware I have been openly critical of developments within MB for some time.

    I tend to agree with other posters that MB has lost sight of certain areas, the main bone of contention is the billing system, without this the support and integration systems are useless.

    There is basic issues in the signup and billing system that need to be addressed and have been there for nearly a year but in this time MB has played party to the clients who ask for everything and tried on various occasions to accomodate them and caused themselves problems in the meantime.

    Before you say "could you........" no I couldn't and that is why i bought the software from you.

    Many, many people complain about the Vortech forms which is part of the core product and not a module, however this has never really been addressed and continues to be a bone of contention.

    The single tax rate is a problem for users who have clients in other countries as this requires going in to the config turning off/changing the tax rate billing that customer and then going back in and changing the tax rate back to original - therefore negating being able to add this customer to the automatic billing schedule.

    Invoicing - printing and layout are problematic and with no proper way of raising a credit note.

    The move in direction with the theme IMO is wrong - we dont all want little dolphins but would like to be able to at least colour code the package in line with main site design

    Now unless I am mistaken ( and I sometimes am) none of these issues above are in a todo list and none of these issues are related to a "module" but are part of MB's core.


    These are where I believe MB has lost sight of its direction.
    Stable products may be stable but not always functional

    Don't get me wrong I will continue to support MB and hope one day to be able to use it however don't come out with comment like "thats enough" when people are raising general points even most of the critical posts here praise your efforts and that has to be a good thing for the future.

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