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Real-time data with WinDSS

August 17, 2011

WinDSS is a solid and flexible point of sale (POS) system used by many reputable retailers around the world. Its ability to work offline enables stores to continue processing sales transactions and accept payments without interruptions. A "plus" for your business, since every register is able to act individually, in case of internet, network or server failure. It is virtually impossible for all registers in store to fail at the same time and not being able to process customer transactions. However, even though WinDSS can trickle poll according to the retailer’s desired frequency (daily, hourly, every 15 minutes, etc.), access to this data by its head office is not in real-time.

Fortunately, two options are available to decision makers who need timely up-to-date information on store sales and inventory, allowing them to have the best of both worlds.

One approach is to configure WinDSS for trickle polling, sending all transactions made since the last data transfer. While this is a good solution, it requires several daily transfers that may impede (slowdown) your network while increasing the risk of data loss. This method is appropriate in situations where you can correct errors later at night during the polling. Nonetheless, this method does not offer a true real-time.

A second method is to install an ODBC driver on the WinDSS server at each store (which is also responsible for the polling). By coupling this with an ODBC client-server service relaying SQL queries and / or using web services, it is possible, without changing WinDSS, to easily examine and modify, in real time transactional data of a store.

Advantages: you can query the point of sale system of one or multiple stores and get, in a few seconds, real-time information on any data stored or processed by WinDSS. This information may provide a competitive advantage to your managers, sales managers, etc.., enabling access to critical data to motivate sales efforts, to respond to a trend, temperature, communicate results at the end of the day rather than the next day, etc..

We used both methods in different situations and as required. To achieve real-time access with the second method, we used the fifth generation language WinDev from PCSOFT, which greatly facilitates these projects through a simple and fast development, without sacrificing on performance, stability and the number of features. This development tool imposes virtually no limits with its rich API and integration of the .NET framework. The program developed with WinDev works as a service relaying requests made to WinDSS. A second component, also developed with WinDev, can integrate the solution to any software, website or smartphone.

 

A2R is a proud JDA partner assisting retailers in maximizing their return on investment in MMS and WinDSS. If you are looking to optimize the use of WinDSS or wish to understand how the use of WinDev could help you with your projects, please contact us.

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