Development is well underway on nBill 2.0, although there is a long way to go yet. nBill 2.0 will be a new major version - as such, it will not be free to upgrade from 1.x, but existing clients will be offered a generous discount (prices have not yet been decided, and licensing arrangements may change - eg. to allow multi-site licensing). There will be a new minimum requirement for nBill 2.0 - while nBill 1.x will work with PHP4, nBill 2.0 will not - PHP5 will be required.What's new in nBill 2.0?
The biggest change in this new major version is a complete overhaul of the architecture - separating out all of the calls to the CMS into 'interop classes' so that nBill itself is not dependent on the API of Joomla (or Mambo). This will allow nBill to work with Mambo, Joomla 1.0, and Joomla 1.5 without legacy mode, and potentially with other CMSs, or even standalone in future. Likewise, when Joomla 1.6 is released, it should be relatively easy to adopt support for it simply by creating a new interop class. At the time of writing, most of this work has been done, although there is still some work to do on payment processing.
In addition to removing the need for legacy mode in Joomla 1.5, and the other architectural changes, new features that are planned include:
- Support for Quotes and Purchase Orders
- Ability to copy records (especially order forms)
- Printable receipts
- Introduce a template system for emails
- Provide an alternative (simpler, lightweight) method of PDF generation
- Allow more control over the core profile fields
- Enhanced order form editor
- Allow drill-down into the tax summary report to see what items make up the totals
- New snapshot report detailing the invoices that were outstanding on a given date
- Better support for partial payments
- Support for multiple compound taxes and fees
- Allow gross to net price calculations
And a few other enhancements. Whilst I will endeavour to include as much of this as possible in the first release of nBill 2.0, time constraints may limit what is included in the first release. I do not intend to add any of these features to nBill 1.x, as I want to concentrate on nBill 2.0 moving forward. nBill 1.x will continue to be supported though, and if I ever decide to stop providing support for nBill 1.x, ample warning will be given to allow people to upgrade if they wish.
If you feel there is a vital feature missing from nBill, please let me know, and I will consider whether it can be included. Just because a feature is important to you though, does not necessarily mean there is a large demand for it, so I will have to evaluate the priority based on the amount of time I have available for development and the other features that have been requested.When will it be available?
This depends largely on how heavy my non-nBill-development workload is over the next few months (including answering nBill support tickets!). I am aiming to release a BETA version in the summer of 2009. There have already been significant delays in getting the development underway, so of course I can make no guarantees.