You have an awesome app, and your users are willing to pay you to use it? There is still a barrier between you and the money: accounting, tax, payment processing, maybe special discounts, reseller deals and more... Martin will show how to overcome the boring financial stuff quickly using open source tools, while leaving you with the flexibility you need to scale the business in future.
Commercial web apps are rapidly gaining popularity: there are many examples of small web development companies finding success in the model of charging a small-to-medium monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go fees, often targeting small business customers. These businesses rely on getting a large number of customers who each pay a small amount; it is therefore essential that the processing of the financial transactions is completely automated.
I am a developer and have experienced several web projects which needed to process financial transactions, during which I encountered plenty of challenges: automatically producing invoices, handling payments and tax, VAT rate suddenly changing, accountants' confusing terminology, bizarre legislation, complex billing relationships with suppliers, resellers and partners, internationalisation and multi-currency support.
Therefore I decided to develop some open-source tools which would deal with all the boring core financial bookkeeping within a Rails application, which would be resuable across a wide range of applications, and which would work in a way which was both developer-friendly and accountant-friendly. The result is the Ruby Invoicing Gem and associated tools. It is a framework which allows you to write just as much business logic as you need, and deals with everything else.
This walk will outline how the Ruby Invoicing Gem solves the problems which arise, and demonstrate how it works with a hands-on technical example (a Rails application operated by a small UK-based company). There will also be a perspective on interoperability between accounting applications using open web APIs.
This topic will be presented by Martin Kleppmann (click for more details on Martin and all our speakers).