Neptune – web based lead management / tracking tool – going free

Neptune is going free. I spent sometime not long ago implementing the subscription billing system into Neptune. Now I have spent some time to enable Neptune to have a plan that can be signed up to free of charge …

You can sign up and use Neptune for free now.

Trying to run Neptune like a business and only have paid plans took the fun out of the Neptune project. With the business aspects of Neptune out of the way Neptune can now be treated like the side project that it really is.

Neptune – web based lead management / tracking tool – launch

Neptune has been launched and can be found online at the following website address …

Neptune has had a “soft” launch in that no huge marketing efforts have been done yet and there are still plenty of features to add to Neptune over the course of time. Marketing and feature development will be on-going.

Any updates to Neptune going forward will be posted at this blog as usual.

Neptune – web based lead management / tracking tool – email address conflict

Last week I spoke about the upgrade to Neptune in that Neptune now accommodates multiple users per account. Originally a Neptune user-account was the whole account. With the advent of the modifications last week a user-account now has a one to many relationship with an account thus allowing for multiple user-accounts under a single account.

Visit Neptune here …

I thought this was suitable for purpose until I started thinking into some of the scenarios that could crop up when Neptune finally goes live. If Neptune was left with this solution then the user-account could not be shared across different accounts. Lets say a person from Account A wants to add Jon Doe to his account and a person from Account B also wants to add Jon Doe to his account. This scenario would not be possible without Jon Doe having 2 different accounts with different emails addresses meaning Jon Doe would have to create another email address to have an account with Account B …

Account A
User-account A – Jon Doe

Account B
User-account B – Jon Doe

User-account A and user-account B both would have different email addresses. User-account A and user-account B are represented as 2 distinct user-accounts.

The above system could be improved upon so I set upon improving it. I came up with 2 solutions …

Solution 1

Keep the one to many data structure between the account and users and have it so “email addresses” do not have to be unique in the users table. The email addresses would then only have to be unique per account they are related to. I could then give each account a special login URL which is unique to the account in which the user-accounts can login with. This would result as follows …

Account A
User-account A – Jon Doe

Account B
User-account B – Jon Doe

Although it looks the same as before, user-account A can have the same email address as user-account B, in the old model this was not so and user-account A had to have a different email address to user-account B. User-account A and user-account B are still represented as distinct user-accounts though. The system would know which account the user was attempting to access via the special login URL given to each account and the system would only have to check the uniqueness of the email addresses for each given account.

Solution 2

Get rid of the one to many data structure and replace with a many to many data structure. This solution is the most taxing in terms of implementation as the code would have to be altered in the system to accommodate the many to many relationship which also means swapping a few other database columns round and getting rid of some as they would be no longer needed.

Luckily due to the way the system was abstracted in the code, it turned out that most of the changes could be accomplished by altering a few class methods. Essentially just changing the way those methods returned the data they where fetching from the database.

Using this solution the result now looks like the following …

Account A
User-account A – Jon Doe

Account B
User-account A – Jon Doe

In this solution both accounts share the same user-account. The user-account obviously uses the same email address as it is the same user-account across both accounts. If a fictitious Account C wants to add Jon Doe to their account the system would first check if the email address for Jon Doe exists, if it does then the system will link the Jon Doe user-account to Account C, if not, then the system will create a new user-account for Jon Doe and then link the newly created user-account to Account C.

When a user logs into the system using this solution and the user belongs to more than 1 account the system will present a list of accounts that the user-account belongs to in a selection list. The user can then choose which account to fully log into. If the user-account is only in 1 account then the user is taken straight to the account.

In the end Solution 2 was chosen in favor over Solution 1.

Neptune – web based lead management / tracking tool – multiple users

Neptune – Lead Tracker has been updated. The latest change to Neptune is the multi user capability. Originally Neptune had just 1 account per user. All users would login to the same account using the same username and password. There was no way to differentiate between users within an account.

The fundamental structure of the user accounts on Neptune within Neptune has changed. Now users create an account and an account can have multiple users within it. Each account has a Administration user which controls the creation, updating and deletion of users within the account.

Visit Neptune here …

Users are managed within the Administration screen only accessible to the Administration user …

Neptune user accounts page

This change to Neptune is part of a series of changes leading to a paid version of Neptune. It was decided to make Neptune a paid for product using a monthly subscription model.

This release is expected to go live with the new subscription payment integration within the next couple of weeks.

Neptune – web based lead management / tracking tool – lead statistics update

Neptune – Lead Tracker has been updated. After using Neptune to keep track of my own leads I decided that Neptune needs a way to show how many leads are in each of the lead categories.

Using Neptune you can store, process, search your leads and opportunities.

Visit Neptune here …

Originally I was going to leave this feature until I had extensive time to do a nice reporting system for the leads with charts etc. I do not have time to create the reporting system yet so I decided to just put the statistics in the drop-down filter for the lead categories for now.

When selecting the drop-down to the right of the leads data-grid table you will now see the drop-down includes the number of leads in each category …

This is a nice little place to put those statistics for the time being.

Neptune – web based lead management / tracking tool is released

Neptune – Lead Tracker has now officially been released. Using Neptune you can store, process, search your leads and opportunities.

Visit Neptune here …

Just enter your details on the homepage sign up form and you will be signed straight into Neptune, a password will be emailed to you so you can access Neptune using your email and password in future sessions.

Update: The sign up process may have changed since the time of this article.

Neptune – Web based lead management / tracking tool

So I am bored and I have spare time. How am I going to spend this spare time? I am going to re-introduce Neptune as an online Lead Tracking tool. As a freelancer I have had to store leads in TODO lists, Notes, Databases and free online CRM tools. None of these options where ideal. The CRM came close but it provides a ton of other features that I did not need and the other tools were too simple.

Neptune will be introduced as a lead tracking tool that can accessed through the web browser. It will be hosted by myself and will not be made available for download like the Neptune – Task Manager system was.

I aim to create a central area for the storage of leads. Leads will be added using a form. I aim to keep this project simple and straight to the point of storing leads. As the project has been stripped down, this will give me the opportunity to provide the tender loving care which a larger project like the Neptune Task Manager lacked. The ability to collect leads from external web forms is yet to be decided and may be included after the initial release.

The project will be released to the public through its own website. Neptune – Lead Tracker will be accessed through a single user account as I did not feel the need to allow people to create multiple user accounts under one company. The user login will be kept simple in that each company will have a single user account with which to access the software.

Look out for Neptune – Lead Tracker, expected release date is January 2017.

Update: Neptune – Lead Tracker has now been released, visit Neptune here …