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Discussion in 'Computers' started by Captain Karma, May 7, 2012.

  1. Captain Karma

    Captain Karma Lurker
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    Hi there,

    Im new here. Im just wondering if any of ya'll know if there are any well known retail businesses that have Android apps , which are able to access their inventory as part of their value addedd services . If so , how is the marriage of the 2 systems done. ( i.e.... if the retail business's inventory is run by Microsoft Excel for example). Different code right ?

    Look forward to hearing from y'all.

    br,Cap'n
     

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  2. scythefwd

    scythefwd Well-Known Member
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    Excel is a poor way to run a busines. At least jump to postgre sql or or mysql. MS SQLserver light is another option. Then, anything that can perform a sql query (can be done from a web page, no reason an app can't do it) can tie into your inventory and keep things right.
     
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  3. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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    No one runs inventory in excel. Usually there is some sort of ERP system with a database back end.

    Access to that back end could be via any number of front ends, of which an app for android could be one of them, however customers don't get inventory access so not sure what you're asking. Do you mean a purchasing app? That would work the same as a website.

    I dare say there will be some middleware involved bringing both data sources together.
     
  4. Captain Karma

    Captain Karma Lurker
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    Hi there,

    @ scythefwd...hey thanks. Great stuff. However, was wondering if the access could be done via Wifi. So customers will only be able to access the store's stock availabilty only once in the store. I suppose this will provide flawless access , as opposed to being subject to bad receiption with the different telcos...


    @SUroot ... Thanks for the response. What i meant was an APP to access the inventory (on the display shelf) to help the customer easier access to the location of the items in the store. So not a purchasing APP per se. could you recommend a free "middleware" you mentioned ? Would there any be open source by any chance ?


    So guys ....in a nut shell the flow would be

    Back end
    MySql database (for the inventory)


    Middle ware
    Any recommendations ?
    Wifi tie up ( Any recommendations ? )

    Front end
    Android app

    Is this set up accurate ?

    Thanks again , look forward to hearing from you.

    br, Cap,n
     
  5. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert
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    @Captain - so you want the app to be in the store, with a search function (or categories) linking to the database which holds inventory. Then it will show a description of said product along with a map to find it in your store?

    I don't know anything about app development, but I do know a bit about web development, and you can do that with mysql and php.... I would guess that an app could be written to link up to a local web server that would query the database for you and push the results to the application.... ?? just a thought.
     
  6. scythefwd

    scythefwd Well-Known Member
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    you could do it with ASP or php. Use a captive portal (like those ones in Panera that require you to access their splash page first). That way you'd just have to connect to the open wifi, and launch their browser. Have a search box for the products.. and have the queries sent directly to the sql server from the webpage. It'd require a sql server instance (whether co-located with the web server or not.. doesn't matter that much), a web server of some sort.. apache is free, iis comes with most windows server OS, sharepoint for the rich. An app could be written, but I'm not sure if you'd have to hard code the IP's into it or not..
     
  7. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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    In regards to middleware, its seldom free and its not a product you buy off the shelf. Often its a custom offering, tailored specifically to tie in the 2 softwares. Sometimes people buy all their products with a view for them all fitting together, but that's rare.

    I think if this is something you want for your business, you need to settle on what your own inventory system is. Then you need to look at how you publish that.

    Some things to think about, for people to use an app, the data would need to be published on the internet. Unless its only going to be available on the stores WAN. Then it would have to be a large store for it to be worth setting up.

    Can you tell us your history here? Do you own a large store?

    I'm sorry but it may be possible that you're looking for an over complicated solution that could easily be fixed with decent signage.
     
  8. scythefwd

    scythefwd Well-Known Member
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    SUroot - Damn skippy.

    Although, there are several free FOSS firewalls that should allow you to redirect any and all traffic to one site (Squid I think allows it.. saw a prank where a guy redirected everything that wasn't his systems MAC to cuteoverload.com).

    SU is definitely right though. The solution you are requestiong is NOT a simple setup, is not simple to keep running (upkeep) and definitly only suited to a store that would have a dedicated IT staff. IKEA is huge.. and even they don't need it.
     
  9. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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    Like I said, Decent signage ;)
     
  10. scythefwd

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    Su - the signage is only effective if it can be shipped in a flat pack box :)
     
  11. SUroot

    SUroot Android Expert
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