Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

37signals adds custom fields to Highrise

1 min read

Sometimes you come across a really great piece of software. It is intuitive, affordable, robust and really nice to use. But there is just some thing which does not quite work as you need it. So you end up abandoning it because it is just not quite right and the feature is too important to ignore.

NetBeans IDE is a classic example for me. I love the features, the object-orientated approach and it looks gorgeous on my Mac. But I like to indent my code (without reformatting it) and I just cannot find a way to do this. So I stick with Eclipse and IDEA.

Six months ago we were looking to replace a proprietary piece of code we wrote to track customers and conversations with them with a SaaS application. I want to focus my time on developing our products not supporting legacy internal code (especially when I can pay someone just 25-50 dollars a month to worry about it all – a sum which does not buy a great deal of my time which should be spent on developing/selling).

We tried several applications and my favourite was Highrise. It was:-

1. Simple, robust and intuitive.

2. Did not need us to change our working practises.

3. It even had a little IPad application so I could check on things easily.

I really liked it but for one thing… If you liked the field selection it was brilliant but you could not add your own fields. It was a show-stopper for us as we need to track Customer VAT numbers. So we wrote to 37signals and said “Almost perfect product guys. Let us know when we can have custom fields”.

It seems lots of people asked for the same thing as Highrise now has custom fields. So I am off to sign up for another trial…

Are there any little things that stop you using any piece of software? Are we missing something in our PDF library?

Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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