Monthly Archives: December 2010

vnext

Hello,

just this small post to let you know the features that I am currently implementing in vnext (2.5) :

BAM users have probably noticed that BAM does not provide yet a real budget management where you could specify a budget for a post for example and evaluate your expenses for this same post against this budget.

It is a needed feature in a such app so I work on that to implement it quickly and integrate smoothly in current BAM interface.

I work also on graphics implementation to be able to see some trends in graphical views.

Finally I’m implementing also the possibility to have automatic backup and OFX import based on a given schedule; the idea is indeed to be able to be able to import periodically an OFX file that you would retrieve alsoperiodically from your web bank site.

I am now interested by all others suggestions you could submit to me ! 🙂

JP

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New features of V2

Hello,

In this post, I would like to present you the new features of the version 2 that I submited today to the MarketPlace.

1) The main new feature is the possibility now to import OFX file.


OFX files can be usually dowloaded from your bank web site and contain all bank operations  with their corresponding account created in a range of date.

BAM will allow you so to import such file and will populate automatically the Imputed list of your BAM accounts with the operations found in the OFX file.
All imported operations will be created with a post name “Imported”.
In this new version BAM do not allow to assign automatically a post to an imported operation depending of the description of each OFX operation but I’m working currently to add that possibility in version 2.10; the idea indeed si able to create some “rules”  specifying the post to assign  if a description contains some tesxt.

During the import process, fr each  account  found in the OFX file, BAM will propose you to choose in a list a target BAM account (an existign one or a new one), or to ignore the imported account.
This associatton between OFX accounts  and your BAM accounts will be preserved after the import so BAM will remember next time the target BAM account to update automatically and will not prompt you again . BAM will prompt you only if it can not find automatically a registered BAM account from the account number contained in the OFX file.

BAM allow also to get the balance contained in the OFX file if you select the corresponding option.In this case, the balance will be updated for each target BAM account with the ones found in the OFX file.

To import an OFX file (or even backup/restore your data files) , you need to use the new version of the BAMBackupRestore tool named BAMBRImportV2 which is available for download at this address:

http://cid-b32d646e5aa6fa64.office.live.com/self.aspx/BAM/BAMBRImportV2.exe

Run the tool on your PC , specify the folder containing your BAM data files or OFX file, the communication port, the encryption/decryption password and click on the button to listen for your phone.
Once the tool is in listening mode you can start the operation on your phone.

I would like really to underline the fact that the OFX file is encrypted in the PC side before to be sent to the Windows Phone during the import procedure, and then decrypted on the Phone, so you do no have to worry about securtiy  issues with you OFX file you downloaded from your bank web site.
 
 
Please let me know via this blog or via the BAMWP7@hotmail.fr support mail address if you meet any problems during the import. I tried several sample OFX files and the ones from my own banks but could not tested to much of course.

 

2) Encryption/Decryption mandatory

 
– V2 makes now mandatory the encryption/decryption of the backuped, restored and  imported OFX files .
You do not have anymore so the choice to encrypt or not : all files echanged between your phone and  your PC are encrypted.

BAM use the following mecanism to do that :

BAM encrypt with a pwd you choose each data file to send to the PC
BAM decrypt with a pwd you choose each data file received from the PC
BAMBRImportV2 tool on the PC decrypt each data file received using the password you specified in the tool
BAMBRImportV2 tool on the PC encrypt each data file sent using the password you specified in the tool


3) Improved user interface

 
– V2  add for each payment type a subtitle showing their properties like the deffered processing date.

– In V2 you can now show all details of an operation listed in a filter by selecting the operation in a list , but you can not modify them. In previous versions, you could just list the operations with their summary 

– in V2, each recurrent operation  (periodic) which is created automatically in the pending list will appear with a title in the same forecolor  than the others, but its subtitle “Created  Automatic.” will be in Orange.

– All expenses amounts appear now in red instead of brown 

– All balance amounts are now in bold in the Account list page


3) Display Themes

I also introduced in V2 the possibility to apply a cutom theme to the BAM interface in addition to the current phone theme.
I recognize perfectly that it is not a critical feature for a financial app 🙂 but , as WP7 say itself in its  theme settings panel, you can change in BAM the theme to “match your mood today, this week or all month ” ! 🙂

I receive also some feedbacks from users asking to have the interface in white instead of black, so I decided to offer users this choice and additionnal colors :-).

Please let me know you feedbacks on that, are the themes really useful in a such app ? do I have to modify them to match more your prefencess,  or create new ones, etc..

These are below some BAM Page screenshots for example based on different themes :

BAM presentation

Why BAM and what is  BAM ?

As my first post on this blog, let me introduce BAM  and why I created this WP7 application

The idea came from my  previous similar development on PSION Series 3a organizer 15 years ago; I was amazed by its Basic language and how easy it was to create an application on it using dialogbox, menu, and other integrated controls.
I had found immediately a need to create a personal financial  application which could allow me to register all my accounts, enter in few seconds my expenses or deposits, register all my recurrent operations with their frequency, and which would be able to give my estimated balance at a specified date. The main key for me was to enter very quickly any payment specifying a payment type , operation name and an amount.
I never ported this app on Pocket PC or Windows Mobile  for the main reason that I did not find  a good UI interface support for it.

Then WP7 arrived… its Pivot views, intiutive and quick interface  pushed me to write a such app on Windows Phone 7.

With Bank Account Manager on WP7,  using simple gestures you can quickly and easily manage your finances in intuitive pivot views. Whether you want to enter your recent payments and deposits, check your pending transactions or calculate your current or estimated balances at any date, BAM will allow you to do this while also allowing detailed filters for the results.

First principe of BAM is to to allow you entering in few seconds your expenses (or deposits) and to impute them into their respective account  (in debit or credit of the account) once their checking is made.
Each new operation entered will stay so in the  pending operations list until you “check” it.
Once have the confirmation that the operation was really debited or credited from its account( by consulting for example  you bank web site  or bank receipts) ,  you can check the operation and then it will be moved to the Debit or Credit lists of the corresponding account accessible via the account view. 

To enter quickly operations, BAM allows you to predefine default options like the default payment type, the default post, the  default account linked to the payment, the default currency,.etc..
Ther second  principe of BAM is to allow you to estimate precisely if possible your accounts balance at a specific date (or a delay after the current date).
Of course, calculation of the futur balance will use so all the periodic (recurrent) operations you registered with their periodicity and frequence.

The last principe of BAM is to give you the possibility to filter your operations on different criterias and you can so create your own ‘views” of your operations, either in the pending list ,the ones already imputed into their accounts, the periodic ones, etc..

It is important to underline that :

– BAM manage ONLY locally all entered data and does not transfer information outside your phone without your manual control

– BAM needs a bank and account name for each registered account but entering account number is optional.

– BAM encyrpt all data to be backuped or restored (or when importing OFX file in next  version)

BAM Features:

This a list of main features of BAM in current version 1.50 :

· Manage any type of bank account. You can enter the payment types and currency individually per account.
· New payment and deposit information can be entered in seconds with either the default category or custom currency and payment type selection.
· Completely custom periodic payment feature that allows you to manage your expenses and income. You can select the date, frequency, type and amount of these transactions and your balances will be updated automatically.
· Selectable currency options as well as exchange rates.
· Entirely configurable categories. You can add your own such as HOME, FOOD, TRANSPORT, SCHOOL, TAX etc.
· Powerful filters that allow you to create any view you can think of such as unreconciled transactions, registered recurrent transactions, payments, deposits, description, comments, amounts, creation date and many more.
· Forecasting ability that will allow you to see any date in the future and your expected balance given the payment/deposit information you have entered.
· Complete backup and restore functionality to your PC so that you never need to worry about losing your information.

I hope you will enjoy the App.

If you  have any problems to use the app, find any bugs, or have any suggestions to add, you can send a mail to BAMWP7@hotmail.fr or ask your question in this blog

JP