Thursday, August 14, 2008

Deal Processor 1.4 Getting close to Alpha

With getting close to an alpha release of 1.4 (not to be confused with the rest of the preview releases that have been used internally, but this is the first one that could potentially be given to an end user to try out), the thought of having an open, available download is still freaking me out.

I know through my own trials of other software products, I appreciated the idea that the author of the package was kind enough to give me this form of access of the software before I handed over my hard-earned cash to them so that I didn't see an ugly watermark, but I just don't yet know about this little project.

Deal Processor has a few pain points in it that need to be rectified at some point (creating a quote or contract template is one of them). When we were first designing the thought of how to print a quote or contract, the immediate first-reaction that I had was to use Microsoft Word, with some code-behind, so that the data could be placed in from the software, and the end-user would have a familiar experience for designing how they wanted the contract to work.

After thinking about the full ramifications of this idea, the thought of releasing an end user to have the ability of editing the Word document AFTER the data was merged sounded less attractive to me, after all, dealprocessor was developed to make the life of a sales rep and shop owner easier, and not harder. Also, if we were to have used Word, we would not have been able to mark the one item that we actually lock down in the software with licensing... the printed document.

Why am I discussing this? it is because we are working on having an available download of dealprocessor 1.4 so that anyone interested in the software can download and install it before they hand over their hard-earned cash. The software will run in its entirety, but will have one fatal flaw, it will put a nasty watermark over the printed document until you purchase licensing.