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Version 3 release!

18/10/2017, category: Update

After many months of work, when you get almost no updates and new functions, I’d like to present you something very special – BaccS version 3. In this happens exactly after 1 year after release of the first version. Why this time it was decided to roll out the whole update instead of usual smooth implementation? Because version 3 is created on a new platform, which is incompatible with the current one. Except a lot of cool new features, it introduces some breaking changes, which you have to carefully consider before updating. But let’s describe all in order.

Breaking changes

To move from version 2 to version 3, you need to complete few actions manually. The whole process is described in this manual article. Please read it carefully. Both version can be installed in parallel, so you can always start from scratch if something will go wrong.

New platform

New platform means new internal infrastructure. The first significant advantage is increased performance. From the very first moments, you will notice that the application became very responsive. This is only the tip of the iceberg, while there are deeper, invisible changes. New platform will allow to implement new functionality much faster. For example, you can see that job list customizations are also reflected in the dashboard and the list of jobs in the customer editing form (in version 2 it was needed to do that twice). This perfectly describes new approach – solidity. You will see it everywhere – in the context menus, in all forms and functions. Thanks to the new platform, it became much more difficult to get lost, because necessary functions are always found where you expect to see them.

Custom fields

You requested this function many times, and I decided to implement it in a way you won’t see in any other similar product. From the first look, it is very simple – you select entity type where to add new field, specify field name and data type. That’s all! Restart the program and you will get this field, which can be displayed in lists, placed anywhere on data entry forms, used in reports, and even be calculated based on another field values! Have a look at the default invoice editing form:

Say, we want to create a new field called “Discount description” and then include it to the invoice printing template. No problem – just a few clicks and we get the following result:

Very easy (details in the manual), and this feature introduces infinite customization possibilities!

Bug-free

Separate section about this improvement, because previously you could experience program crashes in exceptional situations. Now this is in the past. Even during beta testing we didn’t see a single program crash, and even if something wrong happens, only a tab where an error occurred will be closed. Stability is real highlight of the new version!

Customization

This is a central line of the new version highlights. Customize everything! When you launch the program for the first time, you can start using it as is, without even knowing about customization possibilities. With time, when get more familiar with the UI and program features, you can start experimenting with customization. Like in previous version, you can hide and display columns in lists, setup conditional formatting rules, apply filters, etc. But comparing to the previous version, these possibilities are available everywhere, not only in the selected areas allowed by the developer. Absolutely all lists support customization, with saving settings between sessions. Absolutely all forms can be customized: you can hide and display fields, rename them, re-arrange them, etc. If to go deeper, you can even change formatting of individual fields (for example, amounts can be formatted to include any number of decimal places) and quickly create calculated fields. It is possible to change application font family and size, adjust field margins on data editing forms, switch menu type between ribbon and classical menu, etc. Squarely, BaccS is the most customizable solution in the field.

Custom dashboards

BaccS has two dashboard types. The first allows to create forms to include any other forms existing in the application in one place. For example, here is very simple custom dashboard containing jobs, translation assignment, invoice and payment lists. Such forms are created in a few clicks:

Another interesting feature is a separate Dashboards module, which provides possibilities to create analysis dashboards, which include different charts, pivot tables, summaries, etc. In other words, provide a way to display some reporting/aggregated data, not lists of current jobs or unpaid invoices. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself playing with the new Dashboard module during few hours. That’s very catchy. Here is screenshot showing the results of some experiments (this dashboard is supplied with the program):

Feel free to experiment; create dashboards for different indices, like income, number of translated words, customer balance, margin from vendors, etc.

Dashboard settings can be exported to external files to exchange them with other users.

Reference data

When filling data entry forms, you have to regularly select different reference data. Examples are customer in job, or language in the project, or work type in the job details table. Previously it was possible to create reference data on the fly only on the job editing form. Now this feature added to ALL such fields. Wherever you must select something from reference data list, you can create missing data on the fly! Here is an example of expense type selection when adding new expense:

That ‘New’ button presents in all such selection list. Click it (or press Ctrl-N), create necessary expense type, and it will be immediately displayed in the corresponding selection list.

This new additional will significantly increase your productivity during working with the program.

Stats and analysis

After describing dashboards module, you may think that it is enough to talk about stats. Well, maybe, but there is even easier way to build charts and get statistical data – Analysis module. This module is slightly different from dashboards, because it is intended to concentrate on some single index. For example, you may quickly build a report showing number of translated words in different specializations in particular year. Number of such indexes, which is interesting to know for translators and teams, is infinite. Here is an example of such analysis window:

The most interesting thing is that after creation of such analysis index, it will be automatically added to the navigation tree, so you can access it in a second!

No need to go to reports, look for the desired one, and then build it. Instead, now you can create only those reports, which you need, link them with corresponding entity type, and quickly open when it needed.

Edition for teams – database storage options

Such modular and feature-rich infrastructure forced me to make BaccS available for teams. It fully supports simultaneous work of many users. If local version, used by one user, allows to store database file nearby main execution file, version for teams requires different approach – database file must be stored in a place accessible by all users. Nowadays we have two main options to organize such access – setup database server is the local network or use cloud technologies, when database file is stored in Internet. BaccS developer provides additional services to configure database server in the cloud for you – you just will be able to simply launch the application and immediately get everything working, like in a local version. All the details about this option can be found on the Pricing page on the website.

Edition for teams - security

One of the most complex and attractive features of the new version is flexible security system. You can create users and roles, assign passwords, and fully control access rights of individual user. You may restrict access to individual forms and even individual fields! Here is an example of situation when user is restricted to view some data:

In addition, security system is so flexible, that you can protect data depending on different criteria. To clarify, let’s take example above. You may expand rules to show price and amounts for the jobs created in 2016, but hide them for jobs created in 2017. Of course, you’re fully free in specifying this additional criteria. Due to complexity, setting up security rules may take plenty of time, but that’s worth that.

Invoice templates

In general, approach to invoice templates remained the same. One important change is that invoice templates are now stored in the database, not in separate files. This eliminates the need to transfer those files between computers when you need to move database. In team environment, creation of invoice template on one workstation immediately makes it available to other users.

Also, field list in invoice template designer is now simplified and easier to navigate. One downside is that invoice templates created in version 2 will stop working. This is because many field names in database were changed. But don’t worry – you can adjust your old invoice templates to the new version by following instructions provided in a separate article in the manual. Also, there is much simpler way – to send old invoice template to the developer and get corrected one. This service is provided free of charge to all existing users.

File attachments

Mail sender also got few improvements. First of all, sent messages are now stored in the database, so you can always check messages you’ve sent via BaccS. In addition, attached files may also be stored in the database. This means that even if you delete attached file from hard drive, it will still be available in the message history. This approach provides very interesting basement for the future updates, when it will be possible to attach files to projects, job and assignments, to simplify their sending to clients or vendors.

Of course, each attached file will lead to database file size increase, so it is recommended to regularly clean attachments and save them to backup folders on HDD.

When you use cloud database provided by BaccS, initial limit will be 250 Gb.

Other changes

It is not possible to list all the new features in one small article. Changes are made in virtually each, even smallest, part of the application. During usage, you will be finding them and, hopefully, find them handy. As it was said in the beginning, with the release of the new version and switching to a new platform I’ve got possibility to implement new features much faster. During this year, you will see a lot of small updates, and then there will be another big announcement. Hope to prepare it during winter. I’m already can’t wait to announce it. This will be absolutely magnificent surprise for all users.

Localization

First release of version 3 contains only one language – English. Soon I will add back languages from version 2.

Upcoming changes

In the upcoming updates I will concentrate on a few features for teams. Among very first upcoming changes:
- Localization
- Possibility to attach files to contractors (NDAs, CVs, etc.)
- Improved functions to work with files (attach to projects and jobs, send to contractors, etc.)
- Import from Excel

Final words

Happy switching to all existing users, and welcome new translators – I’m always happy to meet new friends, get your comments and help to make our management tasks as simple and enjoyable as a cup of coffee.

Eugene


Version 3 announcement

07/09/2017, category: General news

Hello all!

If you're an existing BaccS user, you may find that there were less updates during last month. I'm happy to tell that such silence has nothing common with period of vacations. Vice versa, I've used this time to work even harder than before, to prepare fully new version of BaccS. Version 2 was released just in July, and it was linked with adding of different integrations with ProZ.com. And now, after just only 3 months, a third version will be introduced. Can't predict exact release date, but hope to finish it during the month. And in this news post I'd just like to break long silence and write few words about ongoing work.

So, new version will bring incredible number of new features. Can't disclose all secrets right now, but really can't wait to do that! What is know for sure is that the application will get a new platform, and this will bring improved performance. You can see that the most complex forms, like Dashboard or Job editing forms, as the main application itself, require some time to be loaded, while user must observe loading indicator. This is in the past! Performance was significantly improved, and all forms and main application are now opened immediately! This brings refreshed user experience and makes our workflow much-much smoother. I really like the results!

Second feature is customization. Previously it was possible to customize BaccS in many ways, and some people said that BaccS is extremely customizable. Well, level of customization was so much expanded and I hope it will become a pleasant surprise for those who like to experiment.

Another direction of work is network access and features for teams. A lot of stuff has been prepared here!

Not forgetting about individual use, as it is main purpose of this program. Learning curve has been significantly lowered, and I hope there will be no more statements about complexity of the program. It is very easy and interesting to use it, while level of complexity can be easily adjusted to the user's needs. Want just run and start working? No problem. Want to customize? Easily!

Another important, but hidden addition, will be internal program composition. New platform will allow me to add new features in future much faster, allowing to avoid possible bugs. In general, the program became much more stable, and even if somethings goes wrong, it won't crash, but will just require to close the tab where a bug ocured.

Of course, I didn't list even half of improvements. All the details and full list of changes will be published on the day of release. Hopefully, it will be mini-revolution in the field of such kind of software.

Hear soon!

Eugene


Network version

17/08/2017, category: Update

Hello, dear translators!

Today I’m happy to inform about release of the network edition of BaccS. This feature was requested a number of times by small teams who needs to share single database between members. Since this feature was in work for a long time, waiting time wan’t too long.

The new edition is absolutely the same program, but with support of connection to remote databases. This database can be placed in a local network (requires to install Microsoft SQL Server), or in the cloud. There are a lot of providers who offer dedicated SQL database servers, like Azure or Amazon Web Services. You can use any of them, create private database and connect to it from BaccS.

If database server will be deployed in a local network, please follow a short procedure described in this help article. In a few words, you need to install SQL Server Express edition and provide details of the installed instance to BaccS. The program will automatically create a new database and prepare it for work. Detailed information about connecting to a remote database can be found in this help article.

This new feature will be interesting for individual translators too. While working on the network version, I’ve found that SQL Server Express database performs much faster than local version. Thus, I recommend individual translators to try new mode too. Especially this improvement is visible when using Recreate transactions command in the Settings window.

If someone switches from a local to network mode, then it will be possible to move old data to a new database. Detailed description of this process is provided in this help article. However, back conversion is not supported, so please decide which version you’d like to use in advance. Downside of network version is loosing of portability, as the program can’t be moved to USB drive or cloud drive anymore.

Chat.

For now, the only exclusive function of network edition is a built-in chat. This is a small window which is docked to the right side and expanded on hovering mouse pointer over it. Its purpose is very simple - allow connected users to exchange short messages. When someone writes something, the corresponding signalling icon appears on the chat header.

In future there will be more interesting features for small teams. The first planned one is possibility to get detailed information about works performed by each team member. After that, there will be more and more functions added. So, if you feel that it is to early to invest to this program, please come back later to see how it was improved - I promise to add a lot of new stuff until the end of this year. Can’t disclose all the secrets, but there will be a LOT of exiting functions.

Pricing.

License code determines a number of workstations allowed to connect. It was decided to set the price for each workstation on the same level of 120 USD with free upgrades for 3 years. So, just please select number of copies during purchasing. If you’re an existing user and want to expand the limit of allowed workstations, you can simply purchase additional number of copies, and in a few minutes you will get a new license key. In demo version, to evaluate networking capabilities, it is allowed to register maximum 2 (two) workstations.

What’s next.

Very simple - continue working and improve the tool. BaccS is not becoming a tool for teams, and I will continue to add features for individual translators too. For example, one of upcoming features is possibility to prepare bilingual quotes/invoices. I’ve promised it in previous post.

Since network version is only released, there could be some issues, which require corrections. Of course, there are a lot of plans to add functions intended for teams. One of those is quick and easy jobs assignments. Another one - detailed reports about work performed by each team member.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading :)

Eugene.


Plans for August, monthly news

01/08/2017, category: General news

Hello!

Today I would like to share some news and impressions from the first month of cooperation with ProZ.com. There were different opinions about BaccS inclusion into Proz.Com Plus package, but a lot of translators tried the program and started to use it in daily basis. Our main thread on ProZ.forums (here) is more alive and full of useful suggestions and complimentary comments. Thanks to all who is interested in the program development!

One of the most significant events was a review by famous blogger and translator Emma Goldsmith. She not only wrote TO3000 3D and BaccS: side by side article, but created 2 greatest sort videos for new users (Getting started and Invoice customization - both can be found here. Thank you, Emma! Your opinion means a lot!

The coolest feature BaccS got during July is a Workload planner. The idea behind it is to get a clear picture of the current jobs and to get help with decisions about incoming offers. With 1 task for the day, that's easy to remember what is planned to do, but with 5-10 ongoing jobs it becomes easy to get lost. This planner is intended to help in such situations. Here is an example of visual workload representation:

You can find detailed presentation in this Facebook post or in the manual.

As for August, it may appear to be less updates-intensive, but anyway it will bring something new to BaccS users. For example, the first August update will add a possibility to customize keyboard shortcuts used to access the most used program commands. After this, there will be more performance optimizations, improvements in the mail sender, client editing form. Of course, will continue to fix found bugs. In addition, BaccS will get an option to generate not only localized invoices, but also bilingual. This feature seems to be awaited by few people.

The main reason of rarer updates in August is current work on a network version! Soon BaccS will be able to work in a network environments, with possibility to keep database on server (local or cloud, like Azure, for example). In the result, small groups (not agencies, but small teams) who share same data will be able to use the program. Initially, there will be no access rights, but this will be added with time. For now, at least chat window is planned :)

That's all for now. As always, thanks to all who sends suggestions, comments, bug reports, kind words and criticism!

Eugene


ProZ.com partnership and release of version 2.0

03/07/2017, category: Update

Hello!

Finally this day has come and I can share this news. Happy to announce about partnership between ProZ.com and BaccS!

Would like to express profound gratitude to colleagues from ProZ.com, who believed in this tool and made all this possible. Thank you!

To celebrate this, with latest update we switch from version 1 to version 2. As against to general approach, when new version brings a lot of new functions, BaccS will get them with time. New features and direction mean a lot of new things.

First of all, from today, all ProZ.com Plus package subscribers get unlimited free access to BaccS – the program is now included in this package. If you’re the one, than in addition to all benefits of this package you will get one more tool in the stack. Hopefully, useful tool.

For all other translators this partnership means a lot of new features. BaccS now supports connection with your ProZ.com account to perform certain actions. With this release, it includes ability to post and view WIWO entries (What I’m Working On now) and link clients with Blue Board records to get general details about them, view and post feedback. There is no more need to visit ProZ.com website to leave feedback for your customers or post a new record to the WIWO service – now these actions can be done in a few clicks.

Before starting to use these functions, please go to program Settings and connect BaccS with your ProZ.com account. This procedure is described in detail in a new help article, which is available here. Also, recommend to read another articles from the same topic.

Bottom right corner (status bar) of the program now has two easy accessible buttons:

Click on WIWO+, and a small popup window will appear to share something about ongoing work:

Click 'Add details' to provide additional details about created entry and even upload an image:

The feature also allows to view WIWO entries created by you, by BaccS users or by all users.

Blue Board button will open a popup window with recommended clients to leave feedback. These recommendations are composed according to a number of completed jobs for your clients during last year:

Select desired row, fill-in appeared row, and your feedback will be sent for vetting by ProZ.com staff.

Of course, this is only beginning. Later I will add possibility to set availability and take part in polls.

At the end I’d like to make 3 remarks which are connected with this new partnership:

  • As this is only beginning, some bugs may appear in new functions. If something won’t work, be sure it will be working tomorrow.
  • Again, as this is only beginning, a long road is still ahead – no doubt there will be a lot of new stuff in upcoming weeks and months
  • Usually I answer e-mails very quickly. Now, if there will be huge increase of incoming support messages, it may require more time to answer. Hope it won’t happen, but please don't take any delays with answers unkindly.

That’s all for now. All these news has no sense if you won’t like the program. We’re working hard to improve it, make easier, faster, handy, feature-packed. So, hope you’ll enjoy it and it will be become your invaluable partner for many years to come.

Regards, Eugene.


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