Thursday, August 04, 2005

Slowly getting there

The Utility Server applications suite is very near completion. It was getting a bit late in the Domino 6 life cycle, so I took a bit of extra time to make sure it would work with whatever Domino 7 configurations happened to be in place as well. It's going a bit more slowly than I'd like, both because of the back problem situation and because, well, this is an evenings and weekends thing, what with my employer expecting that their work would take priority in the office and all.

The suite is pretty much what you'd expect, I suppose — an enterprise scheduler based largely on the Open WebCalendar code you've already seen, a CRM, a CMS, a project management application, a "website in a box", a help desk/bug tracker, and a portal. All can be used standalone or as components of an integrated application. (Okay, the portal all by itself with nothing to run in it is pretty much useless, I'll admit.) What I hope will set the suite apart from the others out there is the bang for the buck factor. I expect to price it so that it's a reasonable fit as a purchase plus optional maintenance with a Utility Express turnkey (about the price of a "professional" productivity suite) or as a rental with a low-end hosted Domino solution. Either way, the BP/ISP gets his/her/its cut as well. Target audiences would include small businesses and NGOs. (I figure the ability to create an adaptive project-oriented schedule in a volunteer-driven organisation would be a good selling point.)

I've tried to make the applications as close to best-of-breed as possible, but I'm approaching the game from a developer's point of view rather than the end-users'. I'll be needing a smallish number of pre-release testers who can make a legally-binding promise not to sell the applications as their own or release them as free apps. Drop me a line if you're interested.


Ashish Sidapara said...

I would be glad to help.

Esther said...

Stan, I'd be happy to help. I can't even count the number of answers you've given me on LDD.

Mika Heinonen said...

So you're doing freetime entrepreneur business too? That's a cool thing, as you can get some money from hobbies and passions, experiment with and develop new ways of business. I do it too :)
I wish you good luck, success and lots of fun with it!

Ben said...

I'll have a few hours to give you. No, not that I want your code (it's way too complex for me anyway!!!) but I've been involved deeply in a CRM project and a project management app lately so I think I can give you feedback from a business point of view.

Also, I have a customer that might be interested by all of these tools: Having been too dumb to code them in the past few months, he still has needs and I think I can push for a sale here...

Keep me posted :D

Stan Rogers said...

Esther? You've been up and running since May and I'm just hearing about it now? (I have to pay more attention to the after-name links over at Jake's place.)

You're going onto the blog roll right now!

(I think I'll add Mika too, now that the site looks presentable -- sorry, Mika, but the first time I visited it was obviously still not quite worked out.)

Mika Heinonen said...

Yeah I know, I just tend to do things "On the fly", and present anything which is working rather than before it's looking good.

Domino gives the opportunity to make things change on the fly, and I love that :)

Lance Spellman said...


This fits in nicely with a business opportunity we're working on. I'd be interested in talking with you about it.

By the way, how do we get an RSS feed of your site? I was lucky to stumble on this.

FrancieWhitlockWFS said...

6 reasons why I'd be a good asset to the Utility Server Application Suite:
1. I am not a developer and would hence be just like one of your future, somewhat "ignorant" customers
2. I have common sense (although is that directly contradicted by me posting this?)
3. I am a CLI and have hence learned to anticipate the goofy questions you'll get from end users
4. I don't steal code 'cause I wouldn't know the first thing to do with it
6. I am a sucker for adequate documentation - you do have documentation, don't you?

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