A New Plugin: Mockups for FogBugz!

Synopsis:

  • Balsamiq Mockups is now also a FogBugz 7 plugin
  • public beta: not for sale but good enough to play with
  • it will go on sale in a couple of weeks
  • per user price: 1/3 of FogBugz
  • product home page
  • we're stoked about it ;)

Now for the full announcement...

Introducing Mockups for FogBugz

It is with great pleasure that we would like to introduce to you Mockups for FogBugz, the newest member of the Mockups family of plugins.

If you're not familiar with FogBugz, you've been missing out. Also, I'd like to visit your planet one day. ;)

FogBugz is a bug-tracking, project management, wiki tool built by Fog Creek software, and it fulfills all of the requirements we have for platforms we like to integrate with:

  • it's incredibly simple to use (usability FTW!)
  • has clean, powerful APIs for us to use, and the company behind it is committed to their "extensibility story"
  • it's proven and it's extremely successful (15,000 customers and counting)
  • it's made by people we look up to.

This last point is critical for us. Just like we look up to Atlassian for their values, transparency and killer products, we have learned SO MUCH over the years from Joel, via his books (a required reading for any Balsamiq employee) and his uber-famous Joel on Software blog, and follow many of the practices he teaches in our daily work.

So in other words, linking Balsamiq to FogCreek fits nicely in our  "be excellent and surround yourself with excellence" plan.

It's a public beta

Mockups for FogBugz is not finished, but we decided to ship a demo of it today so that we can start gathering your feedback and get your help to make it as good as it can be.

We hope the beta period will be "short and sweet", with new builds out almost daily. We are aiming to be able to remove the beta label by the end of August at the latest.

Here's what's currently missing:

  • finish the licensing code (both for on-premise and on-demand customers)
  • wiki integration
  • filling in the gaps in the documentation
  • support for image upload and linking mockups together

The current Integration

At the moment we integrate with the bug tracker. You edit a case, click on the "Add UI Mockup" link and are taken to the Mockups editor.

You can then create a new mockup or import one you worked on in the Desktop version (via the Import... command).

When you're happy with it, you just select Mockup / Save and Close and see this dialog:

fogbugz_saveandclose

Any text you had written in the case before clicking on the link is already there for you, and you can add some more as well as giving the mockup a name.

Hitting save will take you back to the case, where you'll notice both the mockup image and the .bmml file for you to download. This is useful if you want to edit your mockup on the Desktop while you're offline, for instance.

That's about it! Nice and simple.

The only other thing is that if you add a mockup to a case that already has some on it, you'll be able to select one to start from.

Here's what you'll see when you get to the Mockups editor:

fogbugz_browser

This is useful to create new iteration of the same mockup, or to add your two cents to someone else's idea. :)

Plugin Pricing

We are going to sell two versions of the plugin, one for FogBugz on Your Server customers and one for FogBugz onDemand customers.

Both will cost roughly a third of FogBugz's price, per user.

A small 3-User Pack of the on-premise license costs only $237, and it gets cheaper per user if you buy more licenses.

FogBugz onDemand customers pay only $8/user per month, and we only plan on charging for the number of mockup editors you selected that month (see our pseudo-code algorithm here). This means that if your team is heads down coding and not wireframing at all for a month or two, you can simply uncheck all editors and not get charged for that month. Pretty fair huh? We like that.

Here's our full pricing details.

As always with our plugin versions you install on your server you will get an equal number of Mockups for Desktop licenses so that your designers, programmers and other stake-holders will be able to work on their wireframes while they're offline.

If you purchased Mockups for Desktop in the last 30 days and would like to upgrade to a Mockups for FogBugz installation we'll be happy to offer you a discount equivalent to your current purchase, just email us and we'll set it up.

Why is this more expensive than your other plugins?

The main reason is because this is really two products in one: there's the integration with the bug tracker (similar to our Mockups for JIRA integration) and the one with the wiki (similar to our Mockups for Confluence and Mockups for XWiki integrations).

The other reason is that we believe that 1/3 of the platform is a very good deal for our plugin, as it adds a very powerful feature to FogBugz. Also don't forget that all of our plugin versions come with free licenses for Mockups for Desktop...so really you'll be getting 3 products for the price of one.

Marco's First Product

This plugin was coded entirely by Marco Botton, who as you might remember joined our company a couple of months ago.

I have thrown all sorts of challenges at him since day one, and he seems to be able to take it all. The FogBugz plugin, for instance, was a big one. I bought him a Vista license for his MBP, we had a 10 minute chat about the plugin, and off he went. He had never done any C# programming, client-server programming or plugin programming, but that didn't stop him from developing this plugin FAST and with basically no supervision on my part.

He is, of course, modest and says that part of the credit goes to the FogCreek guys for being so responsive whenever he had a question, while being flexible enough to add APIs for our plugin when we needed them. And I'm sure that was part of it, still...I am impressed. :)

What next?

If you'd like to keep updated on new releases you can follow us on Twitter or subscribe to this blog. We post every update here.

Onward!

Comments (5)

  1. Just saw this – what a cool feature and a win for both you and Fog Creek! Good going guys!

  2. The Balsamiq empire continues to expand… Great news!

  3. And, if I have a “small-team license” of FogBugz, with limitation in two users and prise = $0/month/user, can I hope that price of Balsamiq Mockups will be 1/3 of this price? :)

  4. Congrats!!

    This is the thing that would make me buy it. Have been playing around with the free version for a while, but having it integrated into my bug tracker… Now that would be a killer feature – provided I could mail mockups/PNG’s to my customers without having to first save them to my file system and the reattach the file. No need for fancy commenting tools, as long as they can reply directly to that same case the mockup came from, I would be content (I think).

    I’ve just tested it, and unfortunately it doesn’t work this way. Might be a limitation in FogBugz? When I try to send an email from a case which has a mockup in its history of edits, it doesn’t give my any easy way to attach this mockup. So I would have to save it first to the file system and the reattach it to the mail. A bit more cumbersome than I’d want, but stil usable of course.

    Alternatively FogCreek should allow me to directly forward any edit made on the case, including those with attached files. That would also solve my problem.

    Again thanks for an awesome product!!

  5. Hey there,

    Just letting you know that I’m using Balsamiq in a big presentation today: http://en.oreilly.com/oscon2009/public/schedule/detail/8896

    It helped me add some very useful UI mockups to my slide deck at the last minute!

    [Peldi: that's awesome Bradford, glad we could help and thanks for spreading the word!]

    Bradford

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