e-Bills is a server-side tool for generating bills or invoices to your clients. All of the PHP code,
configuration files and documentation are available under the GNU GPL licence. e-Bills also includes a
Billing Engine that supports more complex billing scenarios and provides some big productivity advantages.
From version 1.12 of e-Bills functions that were added that made the software much
more of a customer management solution rather than just billing (although it does do billing
very well). New features such as workflow, better reports and the ability to
integrate closer with e-commerce enabled web sites has supported this and will continue to
do so. Who knows at some point we may even create a new project to enhance this focus?
e-Bills was written with some strong design principals in mind:
- Ease of use by any member of staff
- Productive generation of bills to regular clients
- Automated generation of bills for service or usage-based contracts
- Handle high volumes of data
- Responsive user interface with limited client side code
- Minimal key strokes and mouse clicks
- A good level of security
- Usable by contact centre staff handling billing enquiries
- Develop using well documented and supported tools
e-Bills produces bills as Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF) or regulat HTML files for printing, faxing or emailing. These files
are also archived, so that you can be sure of seeing the customer's copy when handling billing
It is also useful for businesses that send out ad-hoc bills or invoices,
and recently added some features to better support this.
For regular bills though it brings some big (and automated)
e-Bills helps you manage your customers through the customer life cycle.
It can integrate with your web site to capture customer details and interwork with your
preferred secure payment system to capture order details. In addition the new workflow features can be used
to ensure that you never forget to follow up on a web site query, support query, late payment or even
order fulfillment. The system also allows you to email customers directly and to send the correspondence
by regular mail or fax.
e-Bills become particularly powerful when integrated with your web site.
e-Bills creates bills (or invoices) for your business efficiently and allows
you to send them to customers by post, email or fax and archives them for solving later
billing queries. It provides any user on
your LAN the possibility of using the system through their existing web browser.
No more worries about configuring client PCs here!
e-Bills can also be used in an ASP-type environment to produces bills for multiple businesses from a single server.
It uses information that you or your employees have entered, allows
them to view it, but more importantly it automates the task of bill-production
for your customers. Bills are produced as PDF files.
The following components need to be installed on your server for e-Bills to
- Apache web server, version 1.3.9 or above (www.apache.org)
- PHP version 4 (www.php.net)
- MySQL database version 3.22 (www.mysql.com )
- LaTeX, text processing system (ftp://ftp.tex.ac.uk/ctan/tex-archive/systems/linux/teTeX/current/distrib/)
- ghostscipt (ps2pdf) (www.ghostscript.com)
There is also a Billing Engine currently available as a binary, which can be used to do an 'overnight' billing
run or improve performance of the web side application. This is being released under the GPL.
There's loads of features, we've tried to group them here:
- Multi-user access using web browser
- Supports different classes of user to ensure security of data (if required)
- Fully integrated and context sensitive help system
- Secure user access
- Bills created as Portable Document Format (PDF) files
- Bill formats designed for your needs and include your own logo / graphics
- Bills may be printed on a huge selection of available printers
- Archive of all bills produced
- Bills may be printed, faxed or emailed
- Bill messages
- Workflow features
- Export of key data to spreadsheet
- Customer and contract notes (V2)
- Payments received management & reporting (V2)
- Conglomerate billing (V2)
- High performance SQL database
- Stores customer, contract and product data
- No additional workstation software
- Modules for customers, contracts, products and charges
- Automated or manual billing runs
- Can be managed remotely if required
- Highly configurable
- Supports many billing scenarios
- service / utility bills on a monthly bills
- ad-hoc charging to customer contracts
- Quarterly or Annual bills to customers
- time & materials projects billed when required
- Configuration via the browser by Super-Users
- selection of billing template
- setting / changing billing organisation details
Products / services or items billed
- Complete product / price management tool
- Supports install, monthly and final-balloon charges
- Uses your existing referencing schemes
- customer reference number
- contract or meter or order reference number
- product or service codes
The following are the components of e-Bills:
- SQL Database, storing information about user, customers, contracts,
products, charges, bills issued and your organization.
- Text processing system that converts a template bill into a PostScript® compatible format and PDF files or a regular HTML file.
- A Billing Engine that can be run as a cron job to do a nightly bill run and
significantly improves performance and functionality.
- A Workflow Engine (in development) to automate workflow reminders and some reporting functions.
The release history for e-Bills is now at http://ebills.sourceforge.net
New features worth bragging about are:
- a worflow management system
- the ability to produce HTML format bills
- allocation of market segments against customers
- a detailed customer report showing work items and contracts per customer
Coming soon ...
Payments received listed in invoices
- an improved quotation system
- a workflow engine
- Customer / distributor portal(s)
- Proper support for metered billing
- Conglomerate billing
- Language files making translation possible
- Ability to fax bills
Please note this HOWTO often lags the development of new features due to resource available.
To overcome this please feel free to visit http://ebills.sf.net and use the users mailing list
to ask questions and get support.