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osCommerce

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Microsoft Retail Management Systems


tfittsy

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Hi,

 

I just recently learned of osCommerce and am very interested. Currently my store uses Miva Merchant, which I'm not overly happy about. I'm interested in moving to osCommerce, but in order to go through the work, we are looking for one major feature. Is there any way to integrate osCommerce stores with Microsoft's Retail Management System POS? Has anyone thought of this or is it being developed? Thanks.

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Is no one interested in this or is it just that no one knows how to do it? A demo of the RMS software can be downloaded if that is what is holding anyone back. I wish I knew more about programming and I'd give it a try myself, though I'm sure it's a bit more complicated than most other contributions.

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Integrate in what way?

 

I am not familiar with the system, but an export/import of CSV data from/to osCommerce is quite simple and has been done with a number of contributions.

 

What more than this would be needed?

 

Matti

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  • 4 months later...

I think he means integrate in a way that is convenient/user friendly/easy to operate for the (huge?) number of comparitavely non-technical people who operate the checkouts in stores using Microsoft Retail Management Systems.

 

I have a need of exactly that kind of solution myself. Our physical store runs on Microsoft RMS. Our web store on osCommerce. Administrating just one system is difficult enough for the average employee. But 2 systems means twice the work. Integrating the 2 systems would half the work - half the headaches - and the costs!!!

 

Given the huge number of stores that use MS RMS worldwide, there would seem to be a huge need.

 

An opportunity which currently seems to be all the rage in the Microsoft ecommerce community.

 

 

Shouldn't the osCommerce community be trying to reclaim the ground in some way?

 

I'm not enough of an osCommerce/php expert to do this myself, but surely someone should?

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I'm not enough of an osCommerce/php expert to do this myself, but surely someone should?

 

People tend to do things for 1 of 2 reasons.

 

1. Because they need it desperatly

2. Because they are paid to do it :)

 

If people need this functionality then help sponser its development. Then release it to the rest of the community. Thats what open source is all about :)

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Exactly what I was thinking. If you can let me have an estimate on how long it would take and how much it would cost I can then try to raise the necessary sponsorship.

 

People tend to do things for 1 of 2 reasons.

 

1. Because they need it desperatly

2. Because they are paid to do it :)

 

If people need this functionality then help sponser its development. Then release it to the rest of the community. Thats what open source is all about :)

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Exactly what I was thinking. If you can let me have an estimate on how long it would take and how much it would cost I can then try to raise the necessary sponsorship.

 

I wasnt offering to develop it for you :)

 

Maybe contact one of the team members to see if they have the resources or look for community or corporate sponsors that can do the work.

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Fair enough. But my last post was censored by the team members so they obviously don't want to know. I might be able to raise corporate sponsorship but would need help with the code - which is what I'm trying to attract by posting here. Thanks anyway for your interest.

 

I wasnt offering to develop it for you :)

 

Maybe contact one of the team members to see if they have the resources or look for community or corporate sponsors that can do the work.

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After almost 5 months of inactivity on this topic I was dissappointed to discover that my first post was censored by the moderator only two hours after it was posted.

 

Apologies are obviously in order. I was aware of - and entirely agree with - the rule prohibiting commercial advertising of osCommerce related services. But I did not know that posting "links to other ecommerce solutions or commercial products" was prohibited - particularly as my intention was to analyse and criticise rather than advertise those products.

 

Unfortunately, removing the links has also removed most of the point I was trying to make. As this is an issue which may be of interest to many members of the osCommerce community I will try and restate it in a way that will hopefully not be censored.

 

The story so far:

 

I discovered this topic and thought the point raised by Tyler was very interesting. I certainly have a need for integrating Microsoft RMS with osCommerce, and my guess was that there might be quite a few others with similar needs.

 

It didn't take long on Google to find this: "The wait is over! Completely integrated with Microsoft Store Operations, the XXXXXXX eCommerce solution builds an entire webstore in just minutes using data and pictures from within your existing RMS database."

 

I'm not trying to advertise this solution. Quite the opposite. The point I was trying to make is this:

 

Click through to their sample site (sorry, no links allowed so you'll have to Google this yourself) and you will discover a layout that is strikingly familiar.

 

Click through to their registration page and you discover a layout that is even more familiar. The filename is create_account.asp. (Yes. ASP!) I haven't checked through any other fileneames yet, but my guess is that the similarities will be even more striking.

 

I thought this might be of wider interest to the osC community for two reasons:

 

1) Many of us were under the impression that the GNU licence is designed to prohibit repackaging open source software for sale. If it does, then could this be a breach and should some kind of action be taken? If legal action is too expensive and the deepest pockets always win, then publicity would be the next best option.

 

2) If the Microsoft mob are doing a Netscape on osCommerce, then maybe there are some in the osC community who would like to try pushing back with an open source alternative. Certainly, because there's a need and there could be some kind of profit in it. But also - in the spirit of the founding fathers - for the sheer love and the hell of it.

 

At the very beginning of TEP 5 years ago, Harald's motivation was to create something that would prove how effective open source could be. It's been an awe-inspiring, monumental achievement. Are we now to watch all this hard work by so many people dissappear into the Microsoft mob's pockets with no comment whatsoever?

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  • 1 year later...

There is a program called Web Integrator Pro from new west technologies. I think their website is www.newestech.com. The pro version allows you to upload inventory and other information from your RMS db to your web database and download orders straight into your POS screen. The regular version allows you to download orders but not upload inventory.

 

Pricing on the pro is $1500

pricing on regular is $1000

 

It doesn't work with osC out of the box but I've made it work with both order downloads and inventory uploads. It is expensive but if you are doing any significant volume of orders it is well worth it.

 

If there are many people who are interested in this I would encourage you to contact newestech and let them know you are interested in osCommerce support. I offered my work to them in exchange for a free developers copy of their program but they weren't interested in that. Maybe if they know they'll sell more copies of their program they will offer support.

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There is a program called Web Integrator Pro from new west technologies.
That's exactly the software I was referring to when I first posted to this thread almost exactly a year ago. Unfortunately Johnson, the forum moderator, edited out all the company names, URLs and most of what I had to say on the principle that we aren't allowed to refer to any competing products on these forums. I'm just wondering how long it will be before your post gets pulled!

 

I can't be doing with that kind of censorship on what is essentially a community-driven research and development project, so I dumped osC and moved on to other open source projects which are more vigerous and open minded about such things.

Pricing on the pro is $1500

pricing on regular is $1000

That's an extortionate amount of money for an add-on to link between 2 programs. If osC was priced on the same scale it would cost more than a house!

It doesn't work with osC out of the box
And why would it? Imagine you've made a program to link from RMS to a shopping cart. RMS costs thousands and you want to charge thousands yourself. Which shopping carts would you choose to link to? Those that also cost thousands or those that cost absolutely nothing?

 

What I discovered when I researched this issue last September was that at least one of the MS compatible shopping carts they were linking to (no names, no pack-drill :) ) used a lot of the same file and variable names as osC, suggesting a straight port from php to asp. I was not surprised to discover that this shopping cart also cost thousands!

If there are many people who are interested in this I would encourage you to contact newestech and let them know you are interested in osCommerce support.

I'd like to be proved wrong, but I suspect that West Tech would be even more inclined to censor references to the competition than Johnson has been here.
I offered my work to them in exchange for a free developers copy of their program but they weren't interested in that. Maybe if they know they'll sell more copies of their program they will offer support.
And maybe they are afraid that if they draw their customers attention to the fact that half the software they are linking to is open and free, then their customers might start to wonder why the other half isn't? :)
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  • 4 weeks later...
There is a program called Web Integrator Pro from new west technologies. I think their website is www.newestech.com.

Pricing on the pro is $1500

pricing on regular is $1000

I've searched and searched but can't find an alternative. So it looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay up after all. :'(
It doesn't work with osC out of the box but I've made it work with both order downloads and inventory uploads....

If there are many people who are interested in this I would encourage you to contact newestech and let them know you are interested in osCommerce support.

Have emailed them but they haven't replied. Guess they're probably not that enthusiastic about OS. I've downloaded the demo but don't have a version of RMS running locally to test it on. Was wondering if there were any tips you could pass on from your experience before I commit myself to buying something I might not be able to get to work?
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  • 2 months later...

The root data source for Microsoft RMS is SQL. I think the answer here is to not try to integrate the products, INETGRATE THE DATABASE! If your web app and your in-store app both use the same database, everything you need should be there already. What you will need to do is enable php on your server by adding the php package and running either a web server or an IIS server. You then point the configuration.php file to your SQL server as its datasource. (Make sure your field name mapping is the same on the SQL end as it was on your MYSQL server) Finally, you would need to change file permissions so your SQL server can answer web-based queries. To do this you will probably need the services of a competent Microsoft Engineer and a .NET programmer, but I can't imagine it would cost nearly the figure I saw mentioned for buying the software to do the job.

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  • 4 weeks later...
The root data source for Microsoft RMS is SQL. I think the answer here is to not try to integrate the products, INETGRATE THE DATABASE! If your web app and your in-store app both use the same database, everything you need should be there already. What you will need to do is enable php on your server by adding the php package and running either a web server or an IIS server. You then point the configuration.php file to your SQL server as its datasource. (Make sure your field name mapping is the same on the SQL end as it was on your MYSQL server) Finally, you would need to change file permissions so your SQL server can answer web-based queries. To do this you will probably need the services of a competent Microsoft Engineer and a .NET programmer, but I can't imagine it would cost nearly the figure I saw mentioned for buying the software to do the job.

 

 

I think an easier way to do this would be to have 2 databases ( the Microsoft RMS,s SQL and the oSC's MySQL) running on the same server, add a modified database conversion program that will syncronize both databases everytime a transaction is made ( just a few lines of code could be added to both OSCommerce and Microsoft RMS to trigger the syncrnization )

 

Just an idea, any more suggestions. :thumbsup:

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I think an easier way to do this would be to have 2 databases ( the Microsoft RMS,s SQL and the oSC's MySQL) running on the same server, add a modified database conversion program that will syncronize both databases everytime a transaction is made ( just a few lines of code could be added to both OSCommerce and Microsoft RMS to trigger the syncrnization )

 

Just an idea, any more suggestions. :thumbsup:

I agree and think you have found a terrific solution, except that I doubt that Microsoft would be willing to release the source for RMS in order for the mod to be written. RMS, out of the box, requires installation on a Windows Server running SQL. I would think they would use a Small Business Server 2003, Premium Edition, which also contains IIS server, which would serve as the host for the web platform. (Microsoft recently announced their intention to offer more support for php, but I'm not sure this is even necessary today, as most people running php 4.0 or higher on an IIS server are not seeming to experience any issues.) The only cost I can see here is mapping the fields that osCommerce uses to the SQL database the RMS system uses and creating more work interfaces in IIS.

 

Alternatively, QuickBooks has a retail POS system that costs many hundreds less than the Microsoft version, and there is already mapping to pass the data from an osCommerce database to QuickBooks. My interest in this is that I am a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, as well as a systems engineer. I have a client who is setting up a retail/web operation in the next few months. We researched RMS (my obvious preference as a Microsoft Partner) and found the RMS people to be less than helpful.

 

We found exactly the opposite at QuickBooks. Their development people were thrilled at the opportunity to join osCommerce with their retail solution, and are proposing API's to make a more seamless approach. I'm positive this is the solution we will try to implement. We have an SBS server and are loading a test osCommerce site on it. QuickBooks has said they will send us a trial version of their POS software, so we'll see what we get in a test environment.

 

I want to stress here that I am relatively new to php. I have customized several shopping carts, and offer web hosting and web design as part of my company's offering. HTML is my native language, so I want to caution everyone that I am expert in neither php or SQL.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in the process of creating a webstore for my company, a small retail business. I'm trying to figure out what shopping cart software to use, and where to host the thing. One of the requirements is that the shopping cart software integrate with Microsoft's RMS software, since that's what we are running in the store.

 

Can anyone give me advice on who to go to for integration, quotes on costs involved, and information on what I will need in a host? Will a Windows-based host be required, or will I be able to use a Linux-based host? Has anyone successfully integrated OsCommerce with RMS? How does it run?

 

Any advice would be appreciated at this point. Thanks!

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  • 5 months later...

Yes, it is possible for OsCommerce to connect with Windows Retail Management System (RMS) by using a 3rd Party Program from New West Technologies called Web Integrator. This isn't freeware, but it is cheaper than trying to write it yourself imho. You can download a trial license which you can use to connect your OsCommerce shop to the sample RMS database.

 

The standard version/license allows for Order Download to RMS.

The pro version/license also allows for Product Export to OsCommerce. (it can also exports product images via FTP)

 

The catch is, you need to write some of your own code, as there's no freeware tool (that I could find) to act as the bridge between WebIntegrator and OsCommerce.

 

For the standard license, you need two webpages (in any language, could be php for example)

1. get new orders (ie, all pending orders) Orders are output as xml conforming to an xsd.

2. confirm orders as being download from rms (could set status from pending to processing for e.g) Parameters are passed via query string (item names are: OrderNumber & StatusCode)

 

For the standard & pro license, you need two WebServices for product upload

1. one for product upload.

2. another one product deletion

 

I've just finished writing some in .net 2.0 for the pro license, so it's definetly possible.

 

Cheers,

Tim

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  • 8 months later...

I don't know if this post will be allowed but if anyone is still interested in a copy of this program I am selling my license to it. I needed a certain feature with inventory that they don't support or intend to support. If an item is -2 in stock (meaning you oversold) the web integrator program will upload 0 instead of -2 and for my purposes this wouldn't work anymore. Instead of waiting on them I decided to make my own integrator using a virtual machine running ubuntu, 2 php pages and a cron job that runs the check every couple of minutes.

 

My open-source solution actually works a little differently than the web integrator. The web integrator drops orders into the internet orders screen that pops up when you hit ctrl+shift+f10 in the POS but after getting a large enough database this was taking almost 3 minutes to create a customer, add the order and run it through. So my solution adds the customer directly to the database if they don't already exist and then puts the order as an order on hold. It used to take 30 minutes to run 12 orders through and now I can run at least 5 orders through per minute.

 

Anyway, $750 for the pro license which includes inventory syncing if anyone is interested. In a few months I'll also have my custom version output in xml instead of making changes straight to the database so if anyone is interested in that I can probably help them out.

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  • 6 months later...
I don't know if this post will be allowed but if anyone is still interested in a copy of this program I am selling my license to it. I needed a certain feature with inventory that they don't support or intend to support. If an item is -2 in stock (meaning you oversold) the web integrator program will upload 0 instead of -2 and for my purposes this wouldn't work anymore. Instead of waiting on them I decided to make my own integrator using a virtual machine running ubuntu, 2 php pages and a cron job that runs the check every couple of minutes.

 

My open-source solution actually works a little differently than the web integrator. The web integrator drops orders into the internet orders screen that pops up when you hit ctrl+shift+f10 in the POS but after getting a large enough database this was taking almost 3 minutes to create a customer, add the order and run it through. So my solution adds the customer directly to the database if they don't already exist and then puts the order as an order on hold. It used to take 30 minutes to run 12 orders through and now I can run at least 5 orders through per minute.

 

Anyway, $750 for the pro license which includes inventory syncing if anyone is interested. In a few months I'll also have my custom version output in xml instead of making changes straight to the database so if anyone is interested in that I can probably help them out.

 

Hi,

 

I am still interested in linking the RMS EPOS with my OScommerce website to show live stock information. I really don't want to re-develop my whole site to an non-open source program if I can help it. Can you let me know if you have 'cracked' this integration. I would be happy to sponsor the development as I think there is a real need to have this program.

 

thank you. Nancy

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  • 1 month later...
Hi,

 

I am still interested in linking the RMS EPOS with my OScommerce website to show live stock information. I really don't want to re-develop my whole site to an non-open source program if I can help it. Can you let me know if you have 'cracked' this integration. I would be happy to sponsor the development as I think there is a real need to have this program.

 

thank you. Nancy

 

Nancy,

 

I wrote a script for myself to update all inventory information from RMS to my OSCommerce site. It updates inventory, item info, and sale prices on my website. It also uploads my website orders into RMS (so you can access them using Ctrl-Shft F10 - Internet Orders). I am interested in making this available to others, but what I have right now is very specific to what I needed for my site. Send me a message or respond here with what kind of functionality you would be looking for.

 

Gretchen

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Hi Gretchen,

 

Thank you for replying. Can you tell me what your website address is so that I can look at it? Basically I need to be able to 'hit the make item active on website' button in RMS and have the product go live. So that would include information like:

manufacturer

price

tax code

item description

qty in stock- by style and colour

special offer sale price if there is one

category/department

 

Do you currently run RMS yourself?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Nancy

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Hi Gretchen,

 

Thank you for replying. Can you tell me what your website address is so that I can look at it? Basically I need to be able to 'hit the make item active on website' button in RMS and have the product go live. So that would include information like:

manufacturer

price

tax code

item description

qty in stock- by style and colour

special offer sale price if there is one

category/department

 

Do you currently run RMS yourself?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Nancy

 

I do run RMS right now. I have a script that runs every hour to update inventory numbers, import any web orders into RMS and check for new specials. It also make the item active or inactive on the website based on the inventory number (ie. if we sell out of something, it doesn't show on the site anymore, and it something we were out of is returned it shows on the site again.)

 

My site is Turquoise Boutique (please excuse the summery home page, I am in the process of changing it right now!).

 

Do you use any kind of product/inventory contributons? Maybe QTPro or Master Product? Also, how many products do you have, and how often would you need the information to be synced?

 

Gretchen

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  • 1 year later...

I do run RMS right now. I have a script that runs every hour to update inventory numbers, import any web orders into RMS and check for new specials. It also make the item active or inactive on the website based on the inventory number (ie. if we sell out of something, it doesn't show on the site anymore, and it something we were out of is returned it shows on the site again.)

 

My site is Turquoise Boutique (please excuse the summery home page, I am in the process of changing it right now!).

 

Do you use any kind of product/inventory contributons? Maybe QTPro or Master Product? Also, how many products do you have, and how often would you need the information to be synced?

 

Gretchen

 

 

Hello Gretchen,

 

I am very interested in the solution you have for this. When you have a moment can you email me. Thanks, Donovan

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

 

Pathfinder offers a range of retail software products and solutions which integrate a wide spectrum of customer requirements, streamlining business functions and increase organizational efficiency with a definite mark of quality with a ROI assurance.

The team, our most valuable asset - technically qualified and certified professionals committed, capable and in pursuit of perfection, continuously upgrading, fine-tuning the retail software product and solution, offering quality services using proven customer centric methodologies, extensive testing and long term relationship of support and maintenance as the essence.

 

http://pftec.com/

Retail management system

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