Business Software

Running on AIR: Great Office Apps You Can Get Now

No. 6 -- Ora Time and Expense

Ora Time and Expense is a simple AIR app you can use to create and keep track of time sheets, expense reports and invoices. Document formats supported include HTML, Excel, CSV and XML.

The app features a timer that will track the time you spend on a task and then log the duration to a time sheet. Sales receipts can be scanned with a webcam, and they will be automatically attached to expense reports.

No. 7 -- AgileAgenda

This project scheduling manager dynamically adjusts schedules to changing conditions that play out across a project's life cycle: start and end dates for tasks are automatically generated based on information you provide, such as priority and resource availability. Data is in standard XML format, and it can be exported to PDF and shared through the Web.

Presently in beta, AgileAgenda will also include a developer API, allowing third parties to create applications that integrate with the Web services at AgileAgenda.com.

A companion app, AgileTracker, adds time tracking to AgileAgenda.

No. 8 -- Kinetik

This AIR-rified take on an ERP application suite offers access to a variety of tools and information tied to the running of your business, through a series of application modules. The software includes modules to manage billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable and banking accounts. For an extra fee, developer Alivebox will custom-make modules for customers with specialized business management needs.

Alivebox boasts that, because most of the nitty-gritty number-crunching happens on the server, the AIR-based Kinetik client app doesn't require a PC with heavy-duty specs in order to run well.

Kinetik is reaching the final development stage of Version 1.0, with a release expected in a couple of months. Plans are already in place for Version 2.0, which will also handle accounting, production and payroll.

No. 9 -- Pronto

Pronto mashes together e-mail, online collaboration, secure instant messaging, RSS feeds and video communications. "Think about your desktop -- you probably have an e-mail client, an IM client, maybe a VoIP client and then something to play media, like iTunes. We wanted to bring all these things together, and most importantly, we wanted to deliver that to any desktop," said Jon R. Doyle, vice president of business development at CommuniGate Systems. "Pronto brings all forms of communications together with a framework that allows expansion or new applications to snap in."

Pronto 2.5 is due toward the end of the year. It will allow users to create and share video clips, and include an API so third-party developers can build application modules to run within Pronto itself.

No. 10 -- The WagerWidget

Designed for sports fans, fantasy leaguers and sports betters, the WagerWidget obviously doesn't fall under the category of a "serious" business application, but it can be handy for managing your office betting pool. Sports and leagues covered are the NFL, MLB, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NBA and NHL. As odds update, you can spot discrepancies by half-points. An analysis feature built into the widget can also help you find the best odds.

The WagerWidget has been made to run on several platforms (including Facebook and iPhone), with the AIR version being the latest. "We decided that AIR was worth porting to because it gave the WagerWidget's existing code base the ability to run as a native desktop application on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, all from the same installer," explains David Steinbrunner, one of the developers of the WagerWidget.

Future versions of the WagerWidget may include odds conversion tools and more sports types.

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