Roundtable Software Newsletter #42, July 24, 2006
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In this issue...
|Patch 26 Released|
Be sure to review the instructions for loading this patch; it involves more that just the program files being updated!
|Add-On Patches For Compatibility|
|Due to addition of a new key to the A/R Sales History file included in Patch 26 of the RTS-Advantage Accounting System, two of Roundtable's add-on packages also required updating. If you use either the A/R Archiver or the POS-Remote add-on, click here to download the available patches to make these packages compatible with patch 26. NOTE: Like our regular patches, these must be installed with the DeltaDOS utility; they are patches, not complete copies of the software, and will expect to find the previous version of the executable in order to properly install the patch.|
|Windows Version Beta Testing|
|After a successful dealer-only beta test for a portion of our new Windows version of RTS-Advantage, we now invite users as well to participate in the next phase. Users are invited to try out the beta version of our new Windows-based Bank Reconciliation module. The beta version is expected to be ready for release sometime in August.
Click here to register now to become a beta tester. Beta testers are not required to be currently using the Bank Reconciliation module, so all are invited.
We will send a newsletter with further details when the beta test becomes available, but you can register now to be sure you’ll be notified concerning any developments related to the release of beta versions.
|Internet Shopping Carts and RTS-Advantage|
|Many of our users are selling on the web, or at least thinking about selling on the web. In order to do this most businesses will use a piece of software called a shopping cart to facilitate users in making purchases.
Shopping carts come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from relative toys, to hulking monsters. Boiled down to the essentials, though, the typical shopping cart provides a way for customers to search and browse your online inventory, put selected purchases in a virtual shopping cart, and then check out and pay for their purchases online. For the retailer, better shopping carts provide a way to upload inventory from their accounting software (as opposed to having to recreate it all manually online) and provide an interface whereby the retailer can download orders.
That last operation has long been a stumbling point for most shopping carts. Many makers do nothing more to report sales than sending the seller an email for each order placed. This is cumbersome and prone to error. There is really no convenient way to import the contents of an email into your accounting software, so each email must be transcribed manually. Inevitably there are errors, and even if there aren't, what a waste of labor to type in all that data.
However, the better shopping cart vendors provide a much more convenient method. They create, as often as the store owner wishes, a formatted text file (typically in CSV format) containing all the orders placed on the web store since the last time orders were gathered. A formatted text file can be reliably used to import information into accounting applications.
But there was still a problem. Though quite a few shopping carts have finally gone to this data export model, every shopping cart manufacturer creates their own proprietary format for those export files. Worse, many of these export files fail to include important information necessary to translate the web orders into orders in your accounting system.
At Roundtable Software we have been writing custom import programs for our user's shopping cart files for years. Since the files have always been lacking in important information, the custom approach has been necessary since we must have the user's input to determine how these sketchily defined orders are to be translated into full-fledged complete orders in RTS-Advantage. It has long been our desire to create an off-the-shelf product for interfacing with shopping carts, but given the state of shopping cart software this was simply not a possibility.
However, we recently found a shopping cart software producer who is doing things the right way. Their import and export files are some of the best we've seen, and they already have been interfaced with two accounting packages. If everything goes as planned, we will be the third. The company is PDG Software . They offer two levels of their software; PDG Shopping Cart and PDG Commerce. As things stand, we expect to work with both.
PDG Software is currently making some relatively minor enhancements to their products for us, adding some missing information to their export files that we need to properly import orders into RTS-Advantage. Once this is taken care of, we will proceed with our task of creating the interface that will tie the two products together. If everything goes as planned the development should not take more than a few months.
Usually we don't talk about products before they are ready for market, but in this case we wanted to give everyone a head's up now. You may be in the process of making a decision about web-based marketing, and we'd like to make sure that you give consideration to the PDG products since they will definitely be your best bet once the interface is available.
|Roundtable Software 30831 Cove Road Tavares, FL 32778-5164
(352) 253-9779 FAX: (815) 572-5446
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