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Topic # 138868 20-Jan-2014 14:46
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Hey guys,

I've been looking in to quote management software to beat down the pen and paper in order to get some efficiency and transparency happening in the work place.  I started a thread before about CRM's, but I felt this is a lot different to what I was requesting before.  Since nothing freeware contained a CRM and quote/invoice system combined, I went for a separate quote management system and found a good one that works.

It's called Fusion Invoice.  It has great reviews, but when it comes to anything MySQL, PHP or web related in general, I start foaming at the mouth and flop around on the floor, so I need some help.

I've found WAMP  and Z-WAMP.  WAMP is great, I've used it in the past, but is for local use only.  It's a complicated process to get any other machine to recognise that it is part of the network, so I found Z-WAMP.  I didn't have to install it, everything worked locally right away, perfect!  Only problem was I think I needed to install other things to go along with it in order to create the database, phpmyadmin...ect..ect...

I thought maybe the best way to go ahead was to just pick a box and call it a web server and install everything manually and do it properly.  I've looked around on the net a bit, but thought I'd ask here to to see if I was on the right track with Z-WAMP and I'm just missing something critical.  Any tutorials anybody knows of to make this a slightly less painful process for a webdev noobie?

Thanks!
David





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  Reply # 970084 20-Jan-2014 16:14
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Hi David,

Sorry to confirm your wanting to run this offline inside your network and not access it via the internet ?

You could go with a number of pre created images with all related software loaded (under some flavour of Linux) or as suggested with WAMP of some style.
You could then just point at the IP of the box or so something a little more fancy with your internal dns server(s) ?

Cheers

Lee



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  Reply # 970100 20-Jan-2014 16:23
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There are loads of cheap ($5-$15/mth) NZ-based web hosts around that will take away a lot of the pain involved in running a LAMP site (updates, backups, redundancy etc) and you can still restrict access to your network if you want.

Otherwise if you're happy dealing with all that;
- I use XAMPP which is pretty simple to setup and loads of docs on the internet (haven't used the ones you mentioned however you may be better off with XAMPP over Z-WAMP as you'll get PHPMyAdmin to easily create your databases as opposed to phpMoAdmin which looks a bit more complicated).
- Do you need to access this remotely, on one PC or on your entire network?
- Provided you've opened up your firewall on the host box you'll be able to connect to your app from computers within your network at http://[host-ip]/your-app/, the first time you do this you'll get a XAMPP security notification so just follow the instructions on it to enable network access





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 970116 20-Jan-2014 16:28
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I would +1 getting a webhost







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  Reply # 970425 21-Jan-2014 08:56
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Thanks for the reply guys! I will give XAMPP a go. I've never heard of it before, but it looks like it does what I want. The only reason I have not considered going cloud based is because I have $0.00 budget (not kidding) and the plan is to attach large files to invoices/quotes for good record keeping down the track. At the moment our 6Mb/s internet is not ideal for that...But fibre is on the way!

I will update this thread once I crash and burn trying to work out XAMPP.

Cheers!





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  Reply # 970457 21-Jan-2014 09:17
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Another vote for hosting here. Plus they'll do things like backups of the software and your database, which are non-trivial.




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  Reply # 970463 21-Jan-2014 09:24
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WAMP is what I use on my windows machines. If using it locally use it in conjunction with something like mySQLftpBackup.


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  Reply # 970512 21-Jan-2014 11:19
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DravidDavid: Thanks for the reply guys! I will give XAMPP a go. I've never heard of it before, but it looks like it does what I want. The only reason I have not considered going cloud based is because I have $0.00 budget (not kidding) and the plan is to attach large files to invoices/quotes for good record keeping down the track. At the moment our 6Mb/s internet is not ideal for that...But fibre is on the way!

I will update this thread once I crash and burn trying to work out XAMPP.

Cheers!


Go for hosting and a local cache to solve this. Cost will be less than you think (although a bit more than $0). Full service and access hosting plans can be as little as $25/week (exluding CRM licenses and support) and a caching server is made up of an old PC and a lot less technical ability to support and build than a fully spec'd CRM service.

It seems both SugarCRM and vTiger support invoicing, BTW, both have free community editions with practical limits that change once your business grows.

Also, one last suggestion, business owner to business owner - if you're going to create a solution for your business that will eventually be the backbone of the company, be prepared to spend a proportional amount to the value of your business. Having something that constantly needs attention or is expected to be free will lead to lots of heartache down the line, especially with CRM and invoicing (imagine invoices not going out or CRM confusing client records on the last day of the month - who fixes this while you visit clients?). If you can't get something free, at least negotiate a deal with something that is not free or is at least portable (can export to other software). For example, some vendors offer start-up rates - free for a limited time or free for small number of users/transactions/transactional value.

I am a LAMP host and can help you in this area - PM me if your options are thin but you are sure you will have budget for this project in the future.

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