Invision Power Services


Invision Power Services

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Invision Power Services, Inc. (sometimes abbreviated IPS) is a software company established in February 2002, probably most well-known for Invision Power Board. Some other products include Invision Community Blog and Invision Gallery, both of which are implemented as plugins for Invision Power Board. IPS also provides Web and forum hosting.

History

Invision Power Services, based in Forest, Virginia [ [http://www.invisionpower.com/corporate/contact.html Invision Power Services :: Corporate :: Contact Us ] ] , was created when Matthew Mecham and Charles Warner left the company known then as Jarvis Entertainment Group (now Westlin Corporation). Mecham, the original author of IkonBoard alleged that JEG intended to charge for the software rather than maintain its free status. A large number of supporters from Ikonboard followed Matt and Charles to the new company.

Initially Invision Power Board was free, including user-provided support, and the company maintained the product would remain free. The license has since been changed incrementally, so that the free version became an unlimited free trial. On September 27, 2004, IPS announced that the free trial download was to be withdrawn from the Invision Power Services site, and the product moved to a paid-only model with a 15 day hosted trial [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=149069 IPS: A New Focus - Invision Power Services ] ] . This move invoked much criticism, since there had been numerous bug fixes and suggestions incorporated into Invision Power Board from its user base who thought that the product would always remain free. This move disenfranchised many users, who for one reason or another, refused to pay for an IPB license. Eventually, the 15 day encrypted file trial was discontinued and replaced with a shorter trial available on IPS servers. Some have criticized this change as hypocritical as Invision Power Services was started in protest to JEG's desire to sell IkonBoard and is now selling its own product despite its assertions that the program would remain free.

On July 13, 2005 Invision Power Services announced that they would discontinue IP Top Site List and IP File Manager. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=178415 IPS: Products Update - Invision Power Services ] ]

On February 2, 2006 Invision Power Services announced that the new official resource site named IPSBeyond had completed its BETA phase. IPSBeyond was then opened to IPS Customers with active support contracts. With the opening of IPSBeyond, the Customer to Customer Support forums were closed. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=207021 IPS Beyond Opened - Invision Power Services ] ] Since then, however, IPSBeyond has been closed and support has moved back onto the IPS Company Forums

On September 20, 2006 Invision Power Services announced to offer continued product and support enhancements they have implemented a change to their pricing and license structure for Invision Power Board. Gone are the Yearly and Perpetual license purchase options which caused much confusion as their differences were often not clear. The new license options are Standard License, Business License, and Enterprise License options. It was announced that all current licenses are still valid for their duration. Any renewals, etc. of current licenses will adopt the new license offerings. IPS also added their IP.Community Suite: a single purchase which encompasses their entire suite of community products - IP.Board, IP.Gallery, IP.Blog - for a significant discount off purchasing them separately. Some people criticised the price "increase", despite the fact that existing customer's service (who were within their contracts) would either not change, or be cheaper. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=226814&view=findpost&p=1417891 Coming Soon: Invision Power Board 2.2 - Invision Power Services ] ]

IPS Community

The IPS Community Suite consits of its flagship products Invision Power Board (IP.Board) and three components for IP.Board - Invision Power Gallery, Blog and Downloads.

Invision Power Board

Invision Power Board (sometimes abbreviated to IP.Board or IPB) is a commercial Internet forum package written in PHP, similar to other forum software such as vBulletin, phpBB and others. Even though it is a commercial product there are many large communities dedicated to creating and distributing free modifications for the software.

The latest version of IP.Board (2.3.5) was released on 29 April, 2008 [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=272116 IP.Board 2.3.5 and IP.Blog 1.4.0 RC Released - Invision Power Services ] ] . This is supposed to be the last release before the next major release of the software (3.0.0). It is priced at $149.99 which includes six months of support and upgrades. Thereafter a fee of $25 every 6 months is required to continue receiving support and upgrades. [ [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/board/purchase.html Invision Power Services :: Community :: Board :: Purchase ] ]

The next major release of the software (3.0.0) is now in development, Invision Power Services has released some information about the development of IP.Board 3.0.0 [http://forums.invisionpower.com/blog/ips_news/index.php?showentry=2332 IP.Board 3.0 Development Introduction] . They are also releasing weekly blog posts about a particular feature or improvement that is goiong to be in IP.Board 3.0.0 [http://forums.invisionpower.com/blog/ips_news/index.php? IPS Company Blog] . They have predicted to release the software in Q4 2008. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/blog/ips_news/index.php?showentry=2332 Invision Power Services -> IP.Board 3.0 Development Introduction ] ]

Invision Community Blog

Invision Community Blog (sometimes abbreviated to IP.Blog) is a commercial addon for Invision Power Board. It allows members of the Internet forum to create and host their own blog on that site, it is similar to the add-on Blog available for vBulletin forums.

The latest version of IP.Blog (1.4.0) was released on 19 May, 2008 [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=272945 IP.Blog 1.4.0 Released - Invision Power Services ] ] . It is priced at $50 which includes one year of support and upgrades. Thereafter a renweal fee of $20 per year is required to continue receiving support and upgrades. [ [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/blog/purchase.html Invision Power Services :: Community :: Blog :: Purchase ] ]

Invision Power Gallery

Invision Power Gallery (sometimes abbreviated to IP.Gallery or IPG) is a commercial add-on for Invision Power Board. It allows users of the fourm to create upload and share their pictures with other users. It allows videos to be uploaded as well as images.

The latest version of IP.Gallery (2.2.3) was released on 09 April, 2008. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=271500 IP.Gallery 2.2.3 Released - Invision Power Services ] ] It costs $65 which includes 1 year of support and upgrades. Thereafter a renewal fee of $30 per year is required to continue receiving support and upgrades. [ [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/gallery/purchase.html Invision Power Services :: Community :: Gallery :: Purchase ] ]

Invision Power Downloads

Invision Power Downloads (sometimes abbreviated to IP.Downloads) is a commercial add-on for Invision Power Board. It allows users of the forum to upload and share files with others. It can supports many file types by default and more permitted types can be added by the Administrator should they wish.

The latest version of IP.Downloads (1.2.1) was released on 18 March, 2008. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=270814 IP.Downloads Manager 1.2.1 Released - Invision Power Services ] ] It costs $50 which includes 1 year of support and upgrades. Thereafter a renewal fee of $20 per year is required to continue receiving support and upgrades. [ [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/downloads/purchase.html Invision Power Services :: Community :: Downloads :: Purchase ] ]

IPS Business

The IPS Business suite is still in development and the first product is due for release in 2008. Its flagship product is Invision Power Nexus (IP.Nexus) which is a business management application.

IPS Hosting

Invision Hosting was the first service that was released by Invision Power Services. They originally used it to generate income while developing the first version of Invision Power Board.

Now they have expanded that hosting service to include three different types of hosting; community; website and dedicated hosting. IPS operate their own Datacentre and Servers, meaning that they are able to optimize and run everything within their hosting department to their own expectations.

Community Hosting

This is simply a hosted installation of IPS's flagship product Invision Power Board, the only webspace that you receive with this hosting is space for forum users to upload attachments and avatars. This is the cheaping hosting package they offer. There are many variants on this package with different specifications with prices ranging from $10 to $75 per month.

Website Hosting

This is normal website hosting that you will find with any other host on the internet. The only difference is that you get a free (although encoded) copy of Invision Power Board to use on the website. There are many variants on this package with different specifications with prices ranging from $$14.99 to $49.99 per month.

Dedicated Hosting

This option allows the customer to purchase a dedicated server for their website and community. Again, this option comes with a free encoded copy of Invision Power Board. There are many different types of server available from IPS Hosting with prices ranging from $279.95 to $749.95 per month.

Invision Power Converge

Invision Power Converge (sometimes abbreviated to IP.Converge) is a piece of software that allows "ready" web applications to share login details, meaning that a user only has to register once to be able to log into all the applications connected to the Converge installation. The applications connected to Converge do not have to be on the same server. By default all IPS products are able to be imported into Converge and documentation is available to allow third-party developers make their applications connect to Converge as well should they wish to. [http://www.invisionpower.com/files/ipb23devdocs.pdf IPS Developer's Documentation]

The latest version of IP.Converge (1.0.1) was released on 25 March, 2008. [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=271036 IP.Converge 1.0.1 Released - Invision Power Services ] ] It is free to anyone who has an active IP.Board license. An active IP.Board license is required to continue receiving support and upgrades. It is an encoded application in IonCube format.

Products in development

Invision Power Nexus

Nexus (sometimes called IP.Business) is modular business software. The core application is made up of a static CMS, Client Area and Knowledgebase. Extra functionality will be available through other "applications" that can be purchased and added when released.

One of these applications will be a CMS module, this now replaces what was before known as IP.Dynamic. The applications on launch will be a CMS, Billing, and Hosting modules. IPS have now announced that the former customer support, and customer management module will now be free (unknown) with purchase of Nexus

The product has been placed in a "suspended" state as of June 2008 [ [http://forums.invisionpower.com/blog/ips_news/index.php?showentry=2490 Invision Power Services -> IP.Nexus ] ] as development resources are reallocated to the company's flagship IP.Board product.

Discontinued products

Invision Power Services has, in the past, released products and services which have since been discontinued.

Invision Power Dynamic

This product was never released past a beta stage. Instead it was integrated into IP.Nexus as a CMS module. Therefore IP.Dynamic technically no longer exists as an individual product.

Dynamic is a commercial content management system still in development but a public beta is expected to come out later this year. Key features include member management, page permissions, subscriptions, page rollback, content blocks, content groups and file management tools. This product is now entering the beta stage and a release is expected next year.

Invision Power File Manager

Previously named "Aquonics File Manager", this was a multi-user web-based file management system.

Invision Power Top Site List

A top site list featuring integration into Invision Power Board. Members have now gone on to create their own mod topsite for people to use on their boards. The link can be found in the different links below.

Invision Power Chat

A rebranded Java-based chat solution which was integrated into Invision Power Board. While IP.Board still offers integration with two separate chat systems by default, all support and billing is handled by the chat vendor.

ervices

Invision Power Services has since diversified its offerings to include services such as web hosting and dedicated server hosting. Since all of Invision's customers must use web hosting in some capacity, this is probably a lucrative source of second income for the company.

Management

* Matthew Mecham - Chairman and Chief Software Architect
* Lindy Throgmartin - Chief Executive Officer
*Charles Warner - President
*Debbie Mecham - Customer Accounts Manager

References

External links

Official
* [http://www.invisionpower.com/ Invision Power Services, Inc. website]
* [http://forums.invisionpower.com/ IPS Company Forums]
* [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/ IPS Community Software]
** [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/board/ Invision Power Board]
** [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/blog/ Invision Community Blog]
** [http://www.invisionpower.com/community/gallery/ Invision Power Gallery]
* [http://www.invisionpower.com/business/ IPS Business Software]
* [http://www.invisionpower.com/hosting/ IPS Hosting]
* [http://resources.invisionpower.com/ IPS Resources (Formerly IPS Beyond)]


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