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Retail

  • Release 1.22 - Better Support for Time-Zones and Eat In / Take Away VAT

    An update to Bluestore Live will be released on Tuesday 1st March between 4am and 6am GMT. The enterprise console will be unavailable for about an hour but POS terminals will continue to function normally.

    The update features better time zone support for shops outside the UK, the ability to set the tax code differently for eat in / take away and the printing of product images on labels.

    For mac users, we have made further changes in this release to improve the installer and we've also added the 'Bluestore Settings' app which was previously only available on Windows. This helps to diagnose problems and provides a way to refresh the local database. Unfortunately this means again that, for Apple Mac OSx installs only, you will need to completely uninstall and reinstall the POS application to apply the new release. We can help with this process if you are unsure, but please do this outside business hours to avoid any impact to trading.

    Here's the full list of changes:

    • Improvements in data storage and handling outside the UTC time-zone
    • Reporting of sales in the time-zone of the enterprise
    • New 'transaction tax class' allowing tax code determination based on transaction button e.g. eat in / take away
    • Ability to print product images on a label
    • Improved mac installer and settings application
    • Internal technical improvements for store-hub communications
    • Bug fixes around the display of charges and discounts when a sale is refunded
    • Bug fix on stock movements export
    • Bug fix for image support in sales receipt

    As with all new releases, we recommend testing before applying the update in your live stores. Your individual enterprise data can have a bearing on how the system functions so it is important to test first - we don't charge for the creation of a test store on your account as we prefer you to ensure the update goes smoothly and without impact to your live stores.

    If any issues occur or you have any comments about the new functions, please create a support ticket at support.bluefishretail.com

    We appreciate any feedback or feature requests so do please get in touch!

    Bluestore Live

  • Release 1.21 - New import templates and discount features

    An update to Bluestore Live will be released on Monday 23rd November between 4am and 6am GMT. The enterprise console will be unavailable for about an hour but POS terminals will continue to function normally.

    The update features support for Java 1.8, new import templates for customers, suppliers and supplier-product links, plus some new discount features and bug squashing.

    For mac users, we have made some changes to the way the POS application is installed and how it interacts with the Apple hardware. This is to ensure the update process is smoother and more stable in future. Unfortunately this means that, for Apple Mac OSx installs only, you will need to completely uninstall and reinstall the POS application to apply the new release. We can help with this process if you are unsure, but please do this outside business hours to avoid any impact to trading.

    Here's the full list of changes:

    • Support for Java 1.8
    • Customer search during sale, added ability to find customer by loyalty id and telephone number
    • Added optional text for paid in / paid out / pickup
    • Sales by product report, allow filtering by category
    • Console product maintenance overview, added 'active' column
    • New data import for customers
    • New data import for suppliers
    • New data import for supplier / product relationship including cost price
    • Added reorder level to product import file
    • Added ability to exclude header discount from any item that already has an item discount applied
    • Added a minimum quantity for item discounts so that the discount can't be applied unless the customer has bought a certain quantity
    • Stock on Hand and Sales by Product reports, changed product selector to allow better searching and multi-select
    • Changed Apple Mac install process and removed serial port drivers for more stable operation
    • Fixed problem with inconsistent dates on export of drawer events report in non-UK time zones
    • Fixed issues with fixed amount discounts allowing sale to go negative
    • Tidied up pagination on maintain suppliers page
    • Fixed problem with price overrides and maximum discount percentage
    • Fixed issue removing products on console stock operations
    • Various other minor bug fixes

    As with all new releases, we recommend testing before applying the update in your live stores. Your individual enterprise data can have a bearing on how the system functions so it is important to test first - we will not charge for the creation of a test store on your account as we prefer you to ensure the update goes smoothly and without impacting your live stores.

    If any issues occur or you have any comments about the new functions, please create a support ticket at support.bluefishretail.com

    We also appreciate any feedback or features requests so do get in touch!

  • Using Bluestore Live POS on a Tablet

    We recently evaluated the possibility of running Bluestore Live on a device that could be used in pop-up stores, trade shows or for queue busting. We used a Partner Tech EM-200 which is a semi-rugged tablet coming in at a reasonable cost, well suited to retail environments.

    The EM-200 tablet feels physically robust and is dust/spill proof. It has a 10.1" touch screen so there is enough screen space to work with while being small and light enough to carry around. It can be used completely mobile or while fixed in a purpose-built 'POS Base' docking station which gives additional connectivity options.

    Our tablet was running Windows XP Pro, although it would be much better suited to Windows 7 with its tablet support. The device can also run Windows POSReady (a cut down version of XP designed for POS systems) or Ubuntu Linux which would reduce the cost of the tablet.

    Incidentally we recently tested Bluestore Live with Ubuntu 10.04 with very good results. Ubuntu would be a great option for retailers wanting to save on the cost of Windows licenses; it is very easy to install and use and has a familiar 'desktop' style layout.

    We started by setting up a clean new enterprise on the Bluestore Live back office, filled with sample data for the test. The EM-200 was connected to our local LAN through wi-fi and we checked we were able to successfully browse the internet before starting the install process.

    We started up the tablet and launched internet explorer, entering the URL of our Bluestore Live back office console. After log in, we started the process of installing the terminal software on the tablet. We clicked on the terminal record in the console and were prompted to check if we had Java installed on the tablet.

    Windows XP doesn't come with Java pre-installed so we followed the instructions to install it first.

    The terminal download and install wizard then started automatically. Just a few screens to click through and the POS terminal was installed.

    When first starting up the terminal, Bluestore Live contacts the central server to download the enterprise data (products, prices, user accounts etc). This took a few minutes before the login pop-up was displayed, we then logged into the POS application and started a terminal session.

    To test that the everything was working ok, we created a few sales then checked the Transaction Journal Report on the back office console to ensure they were all updated.

    Despite the modest Atom processor, the POS doesn't feel sluggish on the EM-200. Entering sales using the product selection buttons was quick and responsive and the 1GB of on-board memory definitely helps. The unit has a 160GB hard drive so there is plenty of disk space for storing data.

    The smaller screen area at 1024 x 600 resolution also did not seem to be an issue. We tweaked the screen layout slightly to make best use of the space, giving more room to the transaction buttons on the wider aspect ratio.

    The LED backlit screen is bright and can be seen from any angle, you don't have to have the screen directly facing you; the display has a matt finish which feels responsive to the touch. The battery life was also perfectly usable in store, with the wi-fi on it lasted for around 2 hours before we had to charge it up again.

    We tested it with a USB receipt printer and it worked fine, although a mobile solution would be better for operators on the move. A printer connected by bluetooth and worn across the shoulder would make the user truly mobile.

    All in all we thought that the Bluestore Live POS terminal worked really well on the EM-200 tablet and can see it being used in a variety of situations. Do get in touch if you'd like to discuss using Bluestore Live and the EM-200 in your business.

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