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Is FOSSBilling the Future of Hosting Billing Panels?

FOSSBillingWhen people think of a hosting industry billing panel, many default to WHMCS.  But there are many other options in the marketplace.  One of these was BoxBilling, which described itself as “an open source, free billing and client management software”.

However, its last release was in April 2022 and the site now bears a warning that says “as of the time of writing (10-30-22), BoxBilling is no longer being actively maintained…if you do decide to use BoxBilling, please be aware that it’s current state has multiple bugs and vulnerabilities.”

FOSSBilling was forked from BoxBilling and is the successor.  As their FAQ notes,

The BoxBilling project still exists (you can search for it on GitHub) but FOSSBilling is a new project forked from it. Many of the team behind FOSSBilling had previously tried to revive and update BB but found that for various reasons, mostly about project ownership, etc. that it was not possible.

OK, so there was some drama apparently, but BoxBilling seems to have capitulated as there is a banner on top of their site pointing to FOSSBilling.

Yesterday, FOSSBilling announced their initial 0.1 release (GitHub).  Keep in mind it’s version 0.1:

FOSSBilling is very much a work in progress. Right now we are busy squashing a lot of bugs and at the same time working on a major rewrite of large sections of the codebase.

The last release and the latest commits should work and should be relatively stable and secure but we don’t really recommend using it on production sites just yet. If you do, then please be aware that there may be breaking changes somewhere in the near future, even though we aim to make migration to future versions as easy as possible.

It’s obvious from the end of BoxBilling that these products are a lot more complicated to produce than one might thing.  There’s all the front-end work, which is both admin- and customer-facing, and the automations, and then all the integrations with payment processors, reseller services, etc.

Good luck to the FOSSBilling project!

And now some questions for all of you:

  • Have you tried the software?  What do you think?
  • Are you a BoxBilling user who’s hoping to move to FOSSBilling?
  • Do you think the FOSSBilling project will be successful or will they always lag behind commercial competitors?

Let us know in the comments below!  Or jump over to discuss on the LowEndTalk thread.



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