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December 15, 2004


Our official version is beta – we simply use 2.0 beta for display purposes. Our version system for this current release is not standard but will be standardized after the 2.0 production release.

Also we have not formally announced who we are and what we are trying to do – we weren’t planning on doing so until the ERM component of the portal was ready for production, the site is there more for our open source team we have put together , which I am very excited about. I am a firm supporter of open source and feel that following the open-source path will provide the greatest benefit to users of the portal in many ways.

You can find more about open source at http://www.opensource.org/ - we have not released the portal open source just yet – but that is our plan!
(You’ll find more about that later.)

Our main goal for making it available early is simply to help get more people to help in usability and functionality testing. Load testing, etc can be done without the need of beta testers. So far we’ve got over 250 beta testers which are really giving us valuable feedback. Not opening it would have delayed our release by possibly months.

We appreciate and want more feedback such as yours because it helps us get towards our release. 2.0 is slated to be the first version which is open source. We are still not sure if we are going to host it on java.net or sourceforge.net (Check them out if you aren’t familiar with open-source)

I am confident that our production version will run with the big dogs, and with the new team we put together as well as the support of different organizations and companies we are gaining - it’s only going to get better with each release!

Also – if you have features you would like to see – let me know – since you are in this business those ideas/ comments are extremely valuable to us.

Thanks again,

John Mark

John... it also says version 2.0, not 0.9. Gmail still says beta. Firefox 0.9 was a better browser than Netscape7 or whatever number they're on now. Beta doesn't mean the product should be raw. EP was more like an alpha when I tested it.

Tim... I made an offer to Andy Powers earlier today that I'd try to help out (for free) after Christmas. I'm very interested in the model you're trying to pursue. Which is why I was very disappointed in what I saw. It simply wasn't ready to be made public, even if you slapped BETA all over it. Andy can tell you more about my comments.

Hello everyone. I am part of the expressplanner team. One of our developers showed me your blog and I wanted to comment on the review, also we hope that more people can give us feedback such as what I found here - it really helps us make the portal better.

The portal is beta just as it says – meaning it shouldn’t be used in production! We decided to make the beta version available online so that we could get feedback and apply the feedback to the production release. The beta release has not been worked on by our designers as of yet – so it’s look is rough. Design is our last goal as we finish bug fixes, etc.

We agree that it is hard to use right now – we are actually focusing on making it easier to use and expect to have a new beta release ready this coming week. (All the problems you mentioned in the review were fixed at the beginning of the week – and will be in this next release.)

ExpressPlanner will remain free – even after it’s production release. Support options are there for people who need help with their events – they are simply consulting support options which were part of our event consulting business we had before building expressplanner portal. Our overall goal is to make expressplanner so easy to use anyone can sign in – and manage their event without any problems. We will get it to that point – and your feedback speeds us along to that goal.

As for mentioning Reggie – we have no affiliation with Reggie from cvent – one of the partners simply had a company named reggiesoftware – reggie stood for Reg(g)istration.

We have a surprise in store for event planners – ExpressPlanner portal was the last piece of a project we have been working on all year. As soon as it’s production quality – we will be releasing something I am sure every event planner will love. Upon it’s release – the website will be changed and you will see what we’ve been up to!

Please send us any feedback you have on the portal. We need people to sign up and play with it so we can make the portal easier for everyone to use. If you think something needs to be different or you run into bugs – send me an email so we can get them resolved.

Also - if you have feature ideas or comments - let us know - we are going to be looking to add as many useful features as possible after our production release!

That's why it says beta :)

So it really is true that there's no such thing as a free lunch? Bummer--I really like Aussie shiraz! Thanks, Rich, for making the sacrifice so the rest of us don't have to.


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