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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First release of version 3 contains only one language – English. Soon I will add back languages from version 2.
In the upcoming updates I will concentrate on a few features for teams. Among very first upcoming changes:
- 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
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.