JForce

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company

JForce is a software development division of WebSpark Inc., that specializes in Joomla! extensions to assist companies with project management tasks. Its parent company, WebSpark Inc., is a web development company with the mission of helping companies manage their online presence. WebSpark Inc. is based in Graham, North Carolina.[1]

History

JForce, founded by WebSpark Inc. and under the name of Extreme Joomla, began in 2006 with the purpose of creating an extensive and fully functional Project Management system.

Before 2006, WebSpark was in need of a project management tool to support the needs of its private web design and development division. The small team of Developers on staff started the process of evaluating the mainstream project management software systems available at the time and choosing what they felt were the most important features to include for their company’s specific system. They wanted the solution to be something that could be web-based; and therefore, available directly on the company’s website. They wrote 4 separate extensions: JAccounts, JContacts, JProjects and JSupport; but made sure the extensions were developed to work well together.

JAccounts handled all the accounting needs of the company. Quotes and invoices were easily managed and easily accessible. JContacts offered a fair amount of Customer Relations management functionality. JProjects encompassed all the objectives that would be included to run a project from start to end. JSupport offered a way to address any support issues that would arise. Customers could submit support tickets and the system would notify the support staff to address the issue. The “J” in each title was added as an honorific nod towards Joomla!, based on WebSpark’s advocacy of the Open Source Content Management System.

As clients began to interact with the software on the site, they began to inquire how to obtain it for their own sites. What began as development for an internal solution transitioned into development for the entire Joomla! community. Extreme Joomla, LLC was formed to manage the needs of this growing project.[2] A site was designed and established so that clients could purchase any or all of the 4 extensions and install them on their own sites. The system of all 4 extensions working in collaboration was dubbed the “JForce Suite.” The developers decided to rewrite the system so that there was only one extension handling all 4 of the main objectives - accounting, customer relations management, project management and support. They worked quickly to provide this solution to the community. JForce 2.0 was launched in the summer of 2009. It was advertised as a CRM/PM solution for any Joomla! website. In order to avoid confusion for new customers, the four separate extensions were moved to another site, Extension Depot; and JForce 2.0 became the sole product of Extreme Joomla.

Throughout 2009, the parent company, WebSpark Inc., underwent several internal changes in staff; and focus was shifted away from new release development and support of the JForce 2.0 system. It was early 2010, when the company could again focus on the system and return to address the current state of developmental updates and support to members of the Extreme Joomla site in earnest.

Even though the system had just, within the year, been re-coded, the Lead Developer on the project called for a code review, which ultimately led to a company-wide analysis of the system. The choice to revamp JForce 2.0 and narrow its focus strictly to project management objectives was made. The team of developers worked to create flawless code on the existing JForce 2.0 framework, while also providing support to the current membership.

In early part of the 2010, transitions within the company were apparent to the Extreme Joomla membership and entire Joomla! community. A new home site was established; the system was transferred to the new site as the old site became just a letter of explanation to the membership; and communication via site blogging and a campaign of email newsletters in order to keep the membership updated became a company priority. Extreme Joomla was dissolved and JForce, a new division of WebSpark Inc., was established.

The developers have a background in pure Joomla! extension development and have developed a custom version of JForce to be used by Joomla.org.

References

External links