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Contract Software

edited August 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Hello everyone. I am in need of a little assistance. Do any of you guys know of any ONLINE contract software? I deal with numerous clients overseas, and it is just not practical to send them a hard copy of a contract, and have them send it back to be, especially when you take into account revisions that need to be taken place throughout the project. I am not sure that anything like this currently exists. You know of any? If not, I have a new point, and a little request. I am a php coder, and I am aware that MANY of you are also. If none exist, I would like to make my own. Here is how I see it to work, and what I think is required. Requirements: - Database (for contracts, and use information). - Neato looking interface, as to not scare them away. Process (as I see it) - When project started, all contacts for particular client are added to the database. I think only company staff should be able to do this. - Contract created/added for particular project. Role assigned (I will assume each client is a role, and all contacts for that client are part of said role). - Emails sent out to all those part of role associated with particular contract. (maybe one-time-valid urls sent out with email, so they don't have to login when they open link form their email). - Contacts/ Client 'digitally' sign the document by confirming thier password. md5 or sha-1 hash should be used, and then the hash should be displayed on the screen (under the contract text), to show who has signed it. (might even put a list of all those that need to sign the contract below, and have a status next to their name. 'Needs to sign', if they have not, and then the hash if they have?) - When all people have signed it, another email is sent out, saying the contract has passed, and the project is a go. I also thought, but I could be getting ahead of myself, that if the client/ company member changes the contract (could be an option to allow them to edit it), all revisions are highlighted, and a message is sent out to change sign/ approve it again. I would really like your thoughts on this. I would also like to have it done. If I make one, I would release it under GPL, and maybe even offer a hosted service like basecamp, but for contracts.

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    I would also like to note, that AFAIK, digitally signed documents have legal standing (except in Italy for reasons unknown to me), if md5 or sha-1 is used as the hash method. I know ther are plenty of other, more secure hashes, but I don't want it to take for ever.
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    Pretty good ideas nathan, however in a real-case scenario, it's ALWAYS a good idea to have a hard copy with the clients signature in there somewhere even your own as necessary. Revisions and additions are typically minor which shouldn't really require a new contract as long as it's within the scope of the original work. However it's a good idea to keep track of all those changes when turning the site over to the client and having a contract which finalizes the deal and meets to the clients satisfaction and expectations at the time of delivery. The only reason why I suggest that a hardcopy be available is if anything for whatever reasons winds up in court from either your end our theirs. It's basically proof that two sides made an agreement to deliver cash for services.
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    missed that second comment, I want to agree with you that digital signatures do count, but it's good to have a hard copy regardless with an actual signature in case your system is suspect to be flawed or tampered with. Perhaps this system could be the construction phase contract modifiers, and prior to delivery and final payments a hard-copy should be requested.
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    I understand. I can see your point. I should always have a hard copy. Digital stuff sort of freaks out many legal systems. How about I re-phrase. Instead of a contract, we call it a letter of engagement. This would then track all 'minor alterations' of a written contract, after meetings and other correspondence. This way, after coming out a meeting, I can do a quick write up of what I believe to be their expectation of me, and, if any, my expectation of them (to provide copy my a specific date etc.) to clarify and confirm that we are othe same page. This would track minor details, after the project has been aproved. What do you think of this?
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    edited August 2005
    >> missed that second comment, I want to agree with you that digital signatures do count, but it's good to have a hard copy regardless with an actual signature in case your system is suspect to be flawed or tampered with. Perhaps this system could be the construction phase contract modifiers, and prior to delivery and final payments a hard-copy should be requested. Please read above comment. I think this might cover what you are saying. I agree, it should aslo act as a constructor/ modifier and prior to handing over (final payments) a hard copy be signed. Thanks for the idea.
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    Yeah, a contract of engagement seems more of an appropriate term for it. This would probably be seen as more of the outline prior to the finalizing of the contract before the actual contract in question. I suppose it could even be compounded as a detailed list included with the final negotiated contract to serve as a checklist which the client can then print out and send back to you with a final payment after everything is complete. Needless to say, I haven't yet seen any kind of detailed program like this out there. Would be nice to use something like this.
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    >> Would be nice to use something like this. Then I propose we make one. It really can't be too hard. I see two apporaches. 1. Have a full featured application, that supports all the clients/ (preffered) 2. We have a file browser type application, in which, you simply copy all of the files in a directory, which name is the name of the client. Any one want to give me a hand? As I said, release it under GPL. What do you say?
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    If I knew how to create something possibly this complex I would be more than happy to help, but at the moment I'm working a project of my own. The most I could offer is perhaps some layout help and stepping through the way the client and admin interacts with the application.
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    Thanks for offering to lend a hand. Any help is much appreciated. I know enough PHP to get me through, but fear I am going to need a fair bit more help. Anyone who is good at PHP and care to lend a hand? Let me know. It would be great you could help out (in any way). Thanks again.
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    edited August 2005
    EDIT: sorry, was supposed to be a whisper.
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    lol
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