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View Full Version : What billing system are you using for your hosting business?



etegration
05-15-2004, 05:16 AM
What billing system are you using for your hosting business? any others please do a reply. :)

Bloory
05-15-2004, 09:03 AM
I'd add WhoisCart to the poll - one of the few that supports automation for DA :)

Personally I'm not a fan, something to do with the licensing I think :S

webhostau
05-31-2004, 11:20 PM
Im using Modernbill billing systems. With built in helpdesk its a goer. Try it out and register your domains and hosting at http://www.webhostingmelbourne.com/modernbill/order/

Cheers,
Support Team Melbourne.

jdlitson
06-01-2004, 12:06 AM
Whois Cart :D

UltimeWWW
06-01-2004, 07:16 AM
Been using ModernBill for quite a long time.

Works great.

interfasys
06-01-2004, 07:54 AM
Modernbill is the least worst ;)

Bloory
06-01-2004, 10:17 AM
I'm currently figuring out how to get PhpCoin talking to DirectAdmin - both have API's which look up to the job - just my skills lacking!

TMC
09-09-2004, 09:45 PM
. . . Excel ?

webhostau
09-09-2004, 09:51 PM
by the looks of voting uptop modernbill is the best. Just call me for a great price on modernbill. I use it and she rocks day and night.

Tommy :D
http://www.webhostingmelbourne.com/

Blair
09-10-2004, 12:59 PM
DramsPlus is not on the list. I have just finished setting up DA with DramsPlus and it seems to be an excellent combination of features and ease of customizing. The support is also quite good and they have an extensive forum. Before I used Drams I tried to get Whois cart setup. I was not happy with the support and found the product was worth the money as in you get what you pay for which is not much. Saving a couple hundred dollars is of no use if you lose loads of customers or waste hours of time trying to do things that are easily done in Drams.

l0rdphi1
09-10-2004, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by Blair
DramsPlus is not on the list
Nor is a custom programmed option. We rolled our own PHP billing system. This is easy when you have DA's wonderful API to work with ;)

Phi1.

Blair
09-10-2004, 01:53 PM
Does anyone have any input on how to integrate the two login screens needed for the billing software and the DA login? I am a bit unsure on how this can be done or how others may have done it? Any links of examples would be helpful.

regards

l0rdphi1
09-10-2004, 03:01 PM
Blair,

I can't speak for anyone else, but we do not integrate both logins. Our billing logins are completely separate from the DA panel.

Granted this method we can associated as many control panel logins per billing login as we like :)

nobaloney
09-10-2004, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by TMC
. . . Excel ?
Can't. It doesn't run on Linux.

Jeff

TMC
09-10-2004, 04:54 PM
:D Samba and VNC grasshopper, Samba and VNC!

jechilt
10-04-2004, 11:06 PM
we use WhoisCart and DRAMS+

We made a deliberate choice between ModernBill and DRAMS :)

nobaloney
10-05-2004, 09:11 AM
John,

Can you tell us some of your decision criteria?

Thanks.

Jeff

rldev
10-05-2004, 10:42 AM
There is also servernetix or something like that. It is very advanced, but not too hard to use. Akthough it is not very good looking.

jechilt
10-05-2004, 10:52 AM
Hi Jeff et al,

Search criteria......sure :)

First, I have been using Whois.Cart for quite a while and really like it. In fact, I will continue to use it on a smaller site that does not require the added features we needed.

For our environment, we were really wanting an add-on item or the ability to do one time fees for certain services. As an example, we have quite a bit of "logo" work to do and it was getting hard to keep track of a billing system for web site clients and 'all others'. We also wanted the ability to keep the interface as simple as possible. The most important aspect of our criteria was cost.

I will hand it to ModernBill (MB) because they were the top runner and we had to choose between MB and DRAMS. In the end, I wished for ala carte (ohh, i wish i had that!), bandwidth billing (though we don't think that is an issue at the moment), or Free domains but we had to give way to the almighty dollar. For 10dollars less per month, we lease the license from DRAMS. So, in the end, it really boiled down to price over features (with exception of the template system).

I would add that we did quite a bit of reading on the MB, WhoisCart, DRAMS, and DA forum before choosing. We demo'd the MB and DRAMS client for about a week before choosing. We concurred that MB is a "heavy" application. It has much more than we need and the interface for the user is pretty intense. We have simple users so we needed a simple interface (a plus for whoisCart). DRAMS is not super simple but it was our opinion that it was easier to navigate than MB. We also found that DRAMS had enough flexibility to change the layout to blend into our site better. For what it is worth, we have a license for ClientExec but after an hour with it, I was ready to throw my computer from the roof. Not only was it too hard to navigate or accomplish simple configuration (packages and the sort), it was too stinkin slow for the short fuse attached to my patience factor. We experienced in our demo sessions that MB was a bit slow in doing things also...and we read that most people blame the application, not the network for that performance. As for the interface, honestly I was a bit intimidated by the MB admin interface. I am sure it gets easier as you get used to the application but my first impression was "holy dog poop!". My colleague said, no way! He was a bit intimidated too.

Do I have any negatives about DRAMS? Sure...but they are working hard to make improvements, just as any client is with their respective billing software company. I would say that I liked that they provided an entire website template solution. Although we had worked for a few weeks developing our web site and thought we would have to scrap it to integrate DRAMS, we found it easier to integrate our site concept around DRAMS (with a few mods to our design). In any case, we are pretty happy with the new layout and the site seems to be flowing ok now...
If I had any one gripe with DRAMS is their templates. After working with a simple WhoisCart template system, DRAMS was initially a nightmare. IMO, the template system is very confusing but once I got it all figured out and traced (documented), we were able to make changes a lot more quickly. Also, plugging in our own mySQL queries has been easy enough.

I am sure I have left a few pertinent details out and I spared you the detailed, in length discussions we had with cost analysis for 3,6,9,12,24 month operations :)

ohhh, i will add that we did decide to lease for a few months before purchasing "just in case" we decide it is not going to work for us...in which we would most likely choose MB or just wait for the future release of WhoisCart Silverstar

nobaloney
10-05-2004, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by jechilt
Search criteria......sure :)
Thanks!


For our environment, we were really wanting an add-on item or the ability to do one time fees for certain services. As an example, we have quite a bit of "logo" work to do and it was getting hard to keep track of a billing system for web site clients and 'all others'.
It's my understanding that Whois.Cart doesn't offer a-la-carte (one time per item) billing, but that DRAMS and ModernBill both do.

Am I correct in that?

Thanks in advance for any clarification you may be able to provide.

I'd like to be able to consider DRAMS but they don't support our Payment Processor, BluePay.

Perhaps if they will (it's not hard, both ModernBill and Whois.Cart added BluePay quite quickly after it was pointed out to them) we could consider it.

Again thanks.

Jeff

Icheb
10-08-2004, 03:53 AM
At the time we're using Client Exec, but I have to admit, it's one of the worst programs I've had to use so far.
It's totally not made for the Dutch market, we're just using it to create/send invoices, no one pays by credit card so far (note that we don't have a cc merchant account). But as an example: I've modified the included signup.php file to be able to run for a certain summer action we had, every time a new user signed up, it created an invoice. Worked great, although there was a little problem with the invoice, it's due on data would always be the same day as the signup, instead of giving 2 weeks to pay.

When I first bought the product it didn't have tax support, also some numbers that are needed to make a invoice valid here couldn't be placed on the invoice. Therefore I wrote an plugin that could generate invoices, but in the newer versions one can also e-mail the created invoice... Well, no way, didn't work with my plugin, you could say that's my problem. Which is true, but to correct it, I needed to have the name of a certain variable from the encoded part. Asked them, they replied it not being their problem...

Is this really something you would like to pay for ?

(note that their site is partially down at the moment)

johnsboro
10-19-2004, 08:46 AM
I run a small web hosting company in Kentucky. We don't have many customers, so I haven't found a need to use an automated billing system.

We use PayPal for signups, rebills, etc. We have a customized PayPal form to include domain names, preferred passwords, etc.

I will also allow customers to mail their payments. For invoices, I use Invoice! 2002 (http://www.bls-software.com) which automatically emails invoices to users in PDF format. That way I save money from mailing out paper invoices, postage, etc.

John Wright
Johnsboro Online, Inc.
http://johnsboro.com

redeye
10-19-2004, 10:57 PM
We're using phpcoin. No link to DA jet :( and still only made for webhosting. It has, email handling, invoicing, helpdesk, faq, and a small cms.

A new version is comming up with multi-order shopping cart and a lot more features, it's nice. :)

www.phpcoin.com

btw Instalatron is also providing this script.

Redeye

wheat
11-01-2004, 02:26 PM
I use Platypus. I find it to be the best package so far.

johnsboro
11-01-2004, 02:31 PM
What's the URL for Platypus?

wheat
11-01-2004, 03:04 PM
Platypus: www.boardtown.com. I have been using it for about 5 years now with excellent results.

nobaloney
11-01-2004, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by wheat
[B]Platypus: www.boardtown.com.
Returns this error message:

No web site is configured at this address.

Jeff

johnsboro
11-01-2004, 03:19 PM
Try www.boardtown.com (http://www.boardtown.com).

nobaloney
11-01-2004, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by johnsboro
Try www.boardtown.com (http://www.boardtown.com).
Thanks.

I should have noticed that.

Jeff

WholesaleDialup
02-07-2005, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Blair
DramsPlus is not on the list. I have just finished setting up DA with DramsPlus and it seems to be an excellent combination of features and ease of customizing. The support is also quite good and they have an extensive forum. Before I used Drams I tried to get Whois cart setup. I was not happy with the support and found the product was worth the money as in you get what you pay for which is not much. Saving a couple hundred dollars is of no use if you lose loads of customers or waste hours of time trying to do things that are easily done in Drams.

Blair,

Are you still using this product with DirectAdmin? Are you still impressed?

Can you tell me the good the bad and the ugly about this product? I have been looking at ModernBill, AgileBill and DRAMS Plus. Any help would be appreciated!

jechilt
02-07-2005, 10:50 PM
Another comment about DRAMS+

I can't tell you how many hours I have invested into the provided template structure that comes with Drams+. I can tell you that if you are going to use it, it helps to know PHP and it can be quite intensive if you are going to make some major mods.
Nonetheless, they continue to update the software with new features and they are doing a great job. It appears that DRAMS is only going to keep getting better and guess what? It is still fast! So, our vote is still DRAMS+. If you have not looked at it closely in the past month, it might be worth taking another look at.

matthewventura
03-03-2005, 08:24 PM
does platypus link with directadmin out of the box or do you need to do custom programming?

I have whois cart but I need something that incorporates check payments, one time payments, and paypal... and I don't really understand whois cart at all... my brain works differently I guess.

taguapire
07-10-2007, 02:16 PM
Can ModernBill talk with DirectAdmin?

Regards,

Taguapire

interfasys
07-10-2007, 02:49 PM
Yes, but version 4 is buggy (not always compatible with PHP 5) and version 5 not ready for production yet.
Support wasn't too great 6 months ago, it may have improved.

RadMan
07-10-2007, 07:26 PM
Another comment about DRAMS+

I can't tell you how many hours I have invested into the provided template structure that comes with Drams+. I can tell you that if you are going to use it, it helps to know PHP and it can be quite intensive if you are going to make some major mods.
Nonetheless, they continue to update the software with new features and they are doing a great job. It appears that DRAMS is only going to keep getting better and guess what? It is still fast! So, our vote is still DRAMS+. If you have not looked at it closely in the past month, it might be worth taking another look at.


Can you post a link to this software please?

Nevermind.. Found it.. :) (http://www.awbs.com/)

matthewventura
07-11-2007, 03:29 PM
I looked at drams and it seems the best out there... modernbill is way too hard to use and you have to take too many steps to do simple tasks like add a customer or even get to the page where you view your customer list.

how does drams handle these scenarios?

1) your customer goes on vacation for 5 months and you dont have your accounts set to turn off if they dont pay, they come back and you want to accept a SINGLE $50 payment for 10 different invoices, modernbill can not handle this and it just fails to register the bulk payment and your totals are off

2) you have customers not yet imported into any billing system that havnt paid for years for hosting and domains so I might want to send them a bill for 5 years of $10 domains ($50 total) as soon as they are entered into the billing system... can DRAMS handle this because modernbill cant.

is drams easy to use with a clean, uncluttered user/admin interface so I can easily find things?

I've got to tell you that I really believe modernbill was written with the intent to make people pay for support telephone calls at $150/hour and to pay for training (big bucks) because its been nothing but a headache for me and nearly everyone else I've asked who uses it... you can even see this in their own forums where everyone is complaining about it... we need to get John to write a billing system for directadmin in c++ !

matthewventura
07-11-2007, 03:59 PM
Another comment about DRAMS+

I can't tell you how many hours I have invested into the provided template structure that comes with Drams+. I can tell you that if you are going to use it, it helps to know PHP and it can be quite intensive if you are going to make some major mods.
Nonetheless, they continue to update the software with new features and they are doing a great job. It appears that DRAMS is only going to keep getting better and guess what? It is still fast! So, our vote is still DRAMS+. If you have not looked at it closely in the past month, it might be worth taking another look at.

how is their support(DRAMS)? with modernbill I would ask one question then an answer to another question, sometimes they ignored my questions all together and just told me I was wrong. I hate modernbill.