If you’re into serious business productivity, then the folks at Marketcircle will become your new best friends. As of this week, there is a new version of Daylite that will enable even higher productivity. We’ve written about Daylite before, so this article will discuss what is new, not a complete re-hash of the application.
With version 3.9 of Daylite, small businesses users will have collaboration tools comparative to Microsoft Exchange: multi-user access to calendars, contacts, and tasks. In addition, they will also have multi-user access to opportunities (sales and more) as well as projects. In environments of 50 or less people, setting up Exchange or a comparable enterprise-class solution is cost prohibitive.
With Daylite version 3.9, Marketcircle provides a product that simplifies the deployment and management of this business productivity and collaboration suite. Let’s review what is new:
- Daylite Touch
- Daylite Server
- Daylite 3.9
- Billings 3.0.4
I’ve written about Daylite Touch before — back in January. The big news is that Daylite Touch is now available in the Apple (s aapl) App Store.
As discussed in my earlier review, the biggest impact of Daylite Touch is the ability to sync the Daylite data to the iPhone and complete so many business critical tasks while mobile, including:
- Group scheduling
- Task Management & Delegation
- Objectives (Opportunity and Project) Management & Delegation
- And much more
Daylite Touch Home Screen
With the release of Daylite 3.9, Marketcircle has changed the underlying architecture of the application to make it easier to manage. Essentially, they migrated from the OpenBase database system and replaced it with PostgreSQL. Why is that significant? Fundamentally, here are the benefits:
- Enables the ability to create a separate server infrastructure for Daylite Touch.
- Simplifies the management of Daylite software licenses — all licenses are now managed in the server application and not in Daylite itself.
- Re-architecting the offline database functionally for improved robustness and management.
Translation: a more reliable application with a simple management console for a multi-user environment. Bottom line: a huge win for the customer. Let’s take a look at the new Daylite Server Admin application.
Daylite Server Admin
This new application enables users to quickly set up a shared Daylite database for all users of the organization. What is great about this new application is that on the general pane, you get a quick overview of the health of your server, additional information about how many users, the last time you had a backup, and if you are running a Daylite Touch Server.
The following panes let you manage each database, how often you back up, how you share the database across the network, and licensing management.
Daylite Server Admin Tool – General Pane
If you choose to run Daylite Touch, this part of the Daylite Server Admin application lets you view registered iPhones as well as review logs and if necessary, remotely wipe the data from the iPhone.
Daylite Server Admin Tool – Daylite Touch Server Pane
Daylite itself also received some additional features:
- Support for the new database format (PostgreSQL) and server infrastructure.
- Improved support for Apple Sync Services.
- For workgroups, licensing management is available via the Daylite Server Admin application.
- Updated task smart lists (see below) that now reflect an even stronger link to the Getting Things Done method, as well as maintaining cohesion with Daylite Touch.
- A new login with auto-discovery of the database.
New Task Management
Billings, Marketcircle’s incredibly easy-to-use time management and invoicing application, also received a small version bump with the following enhancements:
- Daylite 3.9 compatibility
- The timer now has a resolution of 1 second (used to be a minimum of 1 minute)
- Ability to edit start and end times for each log entry
- A new report: “Payments received – grouped by client”
- A bulk edit fix so any currency formatted values are applied without tabbing out of the field
Billings 3.0.4 – Payments received – grouped by client Report
Connectors + Daylite Delivery
Each of the following connectors plus Daylite Delivery were all updated to support the new PostgreSQL database infrastructure.
So what does this all mean?
For those already using Daylite, this is a major upgrade with a significant amount of new functionality. Most of that functionality (sans Daylite Touch) is not end user-specific. Though this might not be a bad thing, as learning all-new user interfaces for a release does have a training cost. For Administrators of Daylite, this new release is a sheer pleasure, as management has become significantly better.
Here are the details of the 3.9 upgrade:
- Daylite 3.9 is a free upgrade for all registered users of 3.x. It includes Daylite Server, Daylite Touch Server and the new Daylite Server Admin application.
- Daylite Touch is a free download from the App Store. It will cost $49.99/year per user. Yes, this is subscription pricing. For clarity, the subscription is not automatically renewed (giving the user choice if they want to continue using Daylite Touch).
- Billings 3.0.4 is a free upgrade for registered users of version 3.x.
- Each connector and Daylite Delivery upgrades are all free.
An item of note is that Marketcircle will stop all support for Daylite versions 3.8 and below effective June 30, 2009. The purpose behind this is to have their customers move to 3.9 so that they can all be on the new PostgreSQL back end.
According to Marketcircle CEO Alykhan Jetha, their highest support costs are with OpenBase. Thus, providing a free upgrade to 3.9 is a good incentive for their users, especially given the long-term benefits of PostgreSQL and the new Daylite Server plus Daylite Touch functionality.
If you are a sole proprietor or a small business (with about 50 users), then Marketcircle’s offering may make you think twice about what solutions you’re using to manage your business productivity.
With this new release, which enables your crucial business information on an iPhone, you ought to consider migrating to the Marketcircle offering. If you already own the product, then upgrade now as the benefits will only improve your business.