New in Fabman: Better invoicing, customizable logo, performance improvements, and more

Over the past ten months, we’ve silently shipped numerous changes and improvements for Fabman. It’s time for another feature round-up:

As a large language model, I cannot vouch for how impressive these features are. Just kidding. We still write these blog posts the old-fashioned way – by hand. The same is true for our code.

Improved invoices

All invoices are now created as PDFs (instead of just HTML), which makes them easier to print, save, and send around.

Any newly created invoices will group charges by date and have less verbose charge descriptions for bookings so that your members better understand what they get charged for.

Depending on where you’re located, you might want to go to your space’s “Charges & invoices” settings to select between A4 and US Letter page format.

Sending invoices via email

You can now finally send members their invoices by mail with a single click! If you create them en masse via “Create invoices for all charges” you only need to select “Notify members via email” before clicking “Create invoices”.

Notify members about new invoices.

And if you want to send a single invoice, go to the invoice detail page and click “Send invoice via email”. Or you can copy a link to the PDF to your clipboard and send it to your member via Slack, WhatsApp, or any other means.

Send a single invoice.

You can customize the text sent in those emails via your space’s “Charges & invoices” settings:

Add instructions or just thank your members in invoice emails.

You can now customize the logo shown in the admin app, in the member portal, and its sign-in screen, as well as on your invoice header. This new option is available in your account settings.

The custom logo uploaded by Happylab in their Fabman account settings.

Serious performance improvements

Everyone claims to deliver “bugfixes & performance improvements” in their announcements. But we’re serious about it!

We’ve upgraded our servers, updated our databases, and improved some frequently used SQL queries to make everything quite a bit faster.

95% of all requests are now being served 3x-6x faster than a year ago! (And they weren’t slow before that, either.)

More WiFi setup improvements

We’ve tried to make the WiFi setup for Fabman bridges a bit more convenient: When the bridge starts the WiFi setup, it automatically scans for nearby access points and offers the results in a drop-down on the setup page. This helps to avoid typos that lead to connection issues.

And if something goes wrong during the WiFi setup, the bridge now reports more helpful error messages.

Equipment description fields and your space’s “additional information” text can now contain links that are personalized for every member. This can be useful if you want to link to external sites (eg. for online assessments of machine knowledge) and want to pass on information about which member has clicked the link. See our help page for dynamic links to learn more.

3rd-party Python library

Davin Lawrence from the University of Texas at Austin has released a Python library for Fabman. So if you know Python, this will make it much easier to extend and automate things via the Fabman API. Go check it out!

Other changes

Here are some of the other improvements we have shipped since the last blog post: