Serenity Release targeted for June 2016

The next incarnation of freelance client management

Published on May 29, 2016

Serenity Application Icon

Setbacks and delays

I have been getting a few questions about the future of Serenity development lately so hopefully this article will help answer some of those questions. Originally, version 2.0.0 was slated to be released in March 2016, but then a few external factors prevented that from becoming a reality. So, I had to push the release back to April, which again, just didn't show out. As of now, the application is almost completely finished and makes enormous improvements over the initial 1.0.x series. The only things left are the implementation of the file manager, custom reports, and to write the internal documentation. I am also still on the fence about how to balance user accounts vs contacts (formerly called prospects). Being that this application is focused on freelancers who work solo or in very small teams, the focus is on communication and job management at a relatively simple level. This is by no means a recreation of the Entity {CC} application and I want to make sure there is a firm distinction between the two.

Entity {CC} is a large, complex, application which manages businesses of medium size and offers the ability to include and manage invoices and projects that involve third parties and complex teams. Serenity {CC} does not offer that kind of complexity and is made for the small freelance venture that wants something simple and small that will allow them to get paid, manage their client contacts, and the jobs they do.

Why did development end on 1.0.x

Version 1.0.4 and prior are based on a faulty database implementation that makes it impossible to extend the application and branch out into new features. That's not to say that the application is faulty or unable to perform what it set out to do, rather it's the approach I took when making it that needs improvement. I also noticed that most project management applications on the CodeCanyon marketplace make use of an identifiable design pattern: the sidebar and fluid width display. So, with all that in mind, I decided to completely redesign the interface to be able to incorporate multiple themes, with the default one making use of that design pattern. I also needed the ability to easily allow customers to: configure, implement different languages / translations, and install without using the SQL import method, as these all seemed to be problems for customers who bought Serenity.

Version 1.0.4 will not be receiving any new features or upgrades, aside from security patches, and support will end in October 2016. Version 2.0.0 will not be compatible with the previous versions' database and therefore, their is no direct upgrade path.

Why not create a new product and continue supporting the older version

I notice a lot of people on CodeCanyon tend to create an entirely new product for a new "version" of their application. This is just a money-making ploy in my opinion and a way to get up higher on the search results (which I think Envato should manage better). This also makes current clients pay for an entirely new product, which is unfair in my opinion. So, I can happily guarantee that all customers who purchased Serenity will continue to be able to update their product without having to pay for a whole new version. The drawback with this is when I discover an unavoidable core problem, such as the one with version 1.0.4 and prior. These kinds of problems make for a lot of work and I slap myself daily for not catching it sooner.

So what's the release date and what should I expect

The new version of Serenity should be done by the middle or end of June 2016. Users will have to install this application from scratch and slowly migrate their data from the older versions of the application manually. With the upgrade, there are significant improvements in speed and functionality of the application. JavaScript reliance has been shifted down a few notches. Password hashing algorithms have been strengthened and application security and form validation methods have been significantly improved. Also, the whole application just looks better and seems more intuitive.

As always, if you have feedback or questions, don't hesitate to contact me directly!