A Word to hippoRENT Users
I have put off writing this post for a long time now, but it’s finally reached the point where I feel I must. It gives me no great pleasure to write it either, but sometimes I just have to say what I think. Today’s post is exactly that, me finally saying what I feel needs to be said. To put it bluntly … if you are using the hippoRENT Rental Management System then it’s time to find something else.
The hippoRENT™ Rental Management System
Many years ago a very smart person named Andy Enfield created and began selling a revolutionary device to help Land Owners manage their Land Rentals in Second Life. Originally created using very early LSL scripting technology, over time Andy enhanced and improved the product, adding features and capabilities that made it into one of the most successful products ever. For a long time it was the only reasonable product to use when trying to manage your Rentals and Tenants.
All Good Things …
But as so often happens in Second Life, Andy reached a point where he felt it was time to move on. He found another group that was willing to pick up the product line and support the existing customers. For a time, things were good. I am sad to say though, that is no longer the case. Since that other group took over support and management of the hippoRENT system, things have gone drastically downhill.
Caveats and Legalese
One of my most popular products is called Rental Beam. It was originally designed at the request of a good friend, intended to help him automate the process of putting his Available Rentals on his web site. That was back in 2011 … back when he used hippoRENT, and back when it was still a viable, supported product.
As the Creator of Rental Beam, I am very much concerned with the steady decline in the hippoRENT System and its support. Last year, after receiving just too many requests (demands?) to add support for another system to Rental Beam, I extended it to work with the CasperLet Rental Management System.
To be clear, I am not associated with either of those two product lines. I am only a fellow developer and creator in Second Life, and I make a product designed to work with both of them. I try very hard to stay neutral when it comes to discussing the merits and benefits of each. But I also have to be honest when people ask me point-blank what I think about them both.
Keeping Up With The Times
Sadly the hippoRENT System has passed its better days. Whether they are unable or simply unwilling, the current group supporting the hippoRENT system has essentially stopped supporting it. Rarely does a week go by that I don’t hear from a Rental Beam customer complaining about the lack of response or support they have received for their hippoRENT products. It hurts to hear that a product as good as hippoRENT was, no longer is.
I have full systems for both product lines that I use to help me develop and support Rental Beam. I will be supporting hippoRENT for as long as there are customers still using it. But I can also see the writing on the wall, and it has become time for me to put my own opinion into writing.
Moving from hippoRENT to CasperLet
Thankfully the developer of the CasperLet system, Casper Warden, has invested the effort to help people move from hippoRENT to CasperLet. He provides a “Migration Tool” with the CasperLet Elite system that makes the conversion nearly painless. (Full information can be found on the CasperLet Wiki here.)
Rental Beam also provides an easy migration path to help you convert over to the CasperLet system. Basically all you need to do is rez a single CasperLet Region Listener on every Sim that contains hippoRENT Rental Boxes before you begin the migration. Rental Beam will then automatically detect and register every newly converted Rental Box as they are migrated.
The hippoRENT System is still useful. Let me be very clear on that point. It still works and quite a few people still use it daily. But day by day, important features stop working and will never return. No one can say when the day will come that it just rolls over and stops working completely. But in my humble opinion, trusting your Land Rental business to a product with such an uncertain future … not such a good idea.
I truly wish it wasn’t so.