VB.NET Forum Admin
- Jun 3, 2004
- Programming Experience
For vendors and consultants seeking a method of managing invoicing and collecting funds for your hard earned work, DotNetInvoice may be your answer. It's one thing to send out an invoice but it's another to collect funds without a flexible payment/store solution. And to top that off, dealing with recurring invoicing becomes even more of a challenge and anything to automate the process in our busy lives today is certainly welcome. In the era of web based applications, cloud computing, application service providers, hosted solutions, i.e. opportunities for developers and companies to earn recurring revenue is key to continued business. DotNetInvoice is a great solution to investigate.
In reviewing version 2.5 I was able to easily get DotNetInvoice up and running in about 15 minutes. I configured the web site to run on Windows Server 2008 and the database SQL Server 2008. The included PDF was straight-forward and easy to follow, the beauty in this system is its simplicity. Version 2.5 boasts support for various payment gateways affording the customer of this product flexibility to use any of the credit card processors included, we use PayPal's PayFlow Pro (formerly VeriSign) and therefore configured our existing payment gateway with ease.
The dashboard makes it simple to manage every aspect of this product. The toolbar is cleanly organized as well as the dashboard with all relevant tasks. There is some terminology I think could be improved upon, i.e. DotNetInvoice uses the term "Deleted" when I believe "Inactive" is the better opposite of the "Active" status for payment gateways, customers, etc. Other than that everything is easily understandable and there really isn't any need to get into the documentation, which is minimal by the way and typically consists of the vendor's community forum where topics are outside that of the PDF included with the product.
Full source code is included with the $395 purchase price which at this time contains Visual Basic code, however, C# is also expected to be available when version 2.5 goes final near the end of this month. The source is .NET 2.0/3.5 compatible, however, the source is for VS 2005 and I'd like to see it compatible or "VS 2008" ready out of the box at this day and age. The source is modestly commented but sufficient and straight-forward.
Features include full support for admin management with roles assigned, client management for those you want to "invoice" and good search capability within the portal for the various areas. Invoice "items" allow you to create your billables and you can specify whether or not the items are taxable. HTML editors are used extensively for e-mail templates, which is very nice. For screen shots click here.
Areas of emphasis are the PDF generation of invoices with your company's branding which is very nice for a professional and polished impression. Recurring invoicing is a big plus for those with recurring billing scenarios and the product comes with support for nine currencies.
When we were looking for an invoicing solution and came across this product which inspired this review we were looking for a system to tie into our new .NET applications that will have subscription based services. These services will have recurring fees such as monthly, annual, etc. We need to tie our applications into a system like this to determine if a customer is paid, i.e. get whether or not they are allowed to use a service and then an option to pay any due invoices to proceed. For version 3 of this product I would definitely like to see more of an API approach, i.e. a web service model to integrate with the invoicing system. Granted, source code is provided but I do feel that the architecture (plumbing) should be developed in this products future to tie this system into existing applications such as the scenario described above.
All in all this looks like a great product and the inclusion of source allows us developers to take this to suit any requirement with a billing engine included. I'm not aware of any other .NET competitors to this product so it's definitely nice to start with and the price is very affordable for even the smallest of ISV's, i.e. the micro ISV.
Click here to visit the DotNetInvoice web site and try out a demo.