Let’s face it: some releases are simply more significant than others. While you put care and attention and love into all releases you put out, some will simply stand out. Sometimes it’s because the release was more technically challenging than usual. Sometimes it’s due to bringing your users features you are especially excited about. Other times, it’s because you’re bringing your users features that they are especially excited about. And then there are releases that are significant for all of those reasons.
Today, we are proud to announce the release of Ubersmith 4.2!
As I was trying to characterize this release while writing this blog post, the only word that kept coming back to me was just that: significant. A milestone.
With customizable invoices, a new plugin framework, the ability to create your own Usage Collectors, integration with vCloud through the OnApp platform, support for Stripe Checkout, support for Alipay Global Cross-border Website Payment, and loads of smaller enhancements and bug fixes, it’s easy to understand why we feel that way. Some of these new features you’ve been requesting for some time, others we feel will help make your jobs (and your lives!) easier. But they all contribute towards making Ubersmith a stronger, richer platform.
I’d now like to take you through some of those new features.
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like, and yes, it’s awesome. This is one feature that has been on many, many wish lists over the years, and we’re thrilled to finally bring it to our users. We simply needed time to do this right!
Available now as an opt-in functionality, customizable invoices allow your organization to massively customize Ubersmith invoices by moving information blocks around the invoice, or even remove them altogether. All this is available within a great editor tool which will make editing the invoice template a breeze.
You can read more about customizable invoices here.
Ubersmith’s extensibility has always been one of its key strengths. Whether it is through the use of modules, event triggers or the API, being able to customize and tightly integrate it with third-party or in-house backend stacks is what makes Ubersmith a true business solution.
With 4.2, we are taking this core tenet to the next level with the introduction of our brand new Plugin Framework. Plugins are a smarter, more practical and more cohesive way to add functionality to Ubersmith. They offer a full featured SDK, various hook points across all areas of Ubersmith (devices, services, orders, etc.), shared configuration, and many other powerful features.
Plugins will greatly simplify bundling of the various facets of any single integration by distributing and installing them as package.
You can find more information about using plugins here, and developing plugins here.
Custom Usage Collectors
Taking full advantage of the power of the new Plugin Framework, it is now possible to extend the Usage-based Billing Framework we introduced in 4.1 and create your own Usage Collectors. Usage Collectors are thin data sources allowing you to connect to third-party systems and collect usage metrics, which are then run through Usage Plans to generate complex usage billing.
With this new ability, creating a new usage-based integration is as simple as creating a new Usage Collector. This greatly reduces development time for such integrations, allowing you to focus on what makes your organization great instead of spending time on menial tasks like building visual representations of this data, or calculating pricing based on rates and usage data.
OnApp for vCloud Billing
Since VMWare discontinued their vCenter Chargeback product in June 2014, invoicing vCloud usage in a supported way has been another highly requested feature. For the 4.2 release, we’ve improved our OnApp integration by adding new billing methods to it, including the ability to bill per vCloud Resource Pool ID, leveraging OnApp’s own integration with vCloud Director.
These are only a few of the many great new features we’re introducing in 4.2. On top of delivering exceptional value to your organization, this release lays the groundwork for the future of Ubersmith as a leading business management software software.
I hope you now appreciate why we feel the 4.2 release of Ubersmith is so significant, why it is a milestone, and we hope you will feel the same way about it as we do.
Believe me, what comes next will be even more exciting!