Yesterday was a big day. After about six weeks of private beta testing involving our crew and numerous loyal users, we’ve finally released iBiz 4 to the public — as a beta. Its amazing how much time and effort goes into a major release. The documentation has to be updated (although not done yet for the beta), a new web page needs to be created, new disk image backgrounds need to designed for the .dmg downloads, and so on. It is a great feeling to have made it this far! All major components are in place and iBiz 4 has no known “show stoppers” bugs or large outstanding features.
There are a few areas that still need some work and polish, though. For example, we wrote a new html invoicing engine that allows for invoices to have running headers, footers and page number and all of the good things you would expect in a multi-page invoice. We’ve shipped a couple of professionally designed templates with iBiz 4 to illustrate the power of these new invoices, but these don’t have matching statement templates yet. So before the final release, or perhaps another public beta, we want to add more invoice templates and create matching statement templates. And there are a few minor UI glitches we have noticed that we need to address.
Along with the invoicing engine, one of the nicest changes in iBiz 4 from iBiz 3 has been a switch from the antiquated “drawer inspector” to our new pop-up inspector à la iCal. This took a while for me to appreciate and get used to, but now I see its advantage — you only need to take up screen space when you need to see specific info, otherwise it is hidden. The existing tables still let you see lots of info at a glance, but if you need to dig deeper, or do some editing, a double-click quickly brings up the contextual inspector.
Another change you’ll notice is that throughout the UI we replaced big icon-driven buttons by more streamlined + and – buttons. This allows fore more window real estate to be devoted to data instead of buttons. Not to mention it makes the UI look more sleek and professional.
There are a LOT more features that we’ve added to iBiz 4. Please see our newly posted webpage for details.