TOTECS Platform Release 10.02

Its a been a few months between drinks in the TOTECS RnD Labs land and we hope your summer has been an amazing and joyous one. Over this time there has been a hive of activity here with 3 platform releases and 2 Connector releases, which has added a number of features and new opportunities available to you. So here we go!

NEW Connector Version 1
 

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For over 3 years we have been working overtime in developing our Connector software which allows your Accounting/ERP systems to reliably and seamlessly integrate to the TOTECS platform. All of this has happened under the version 0.x Beta labelling. In the past few months we have made major changes under the hood which warrants a major new version, version 1! As a part of this new version the Connector has been rebranded to the "Squizz.com Connector". This reflects how the Squizz.com platform will be leveraged to make the Connector available to a wider audience of businesses, which will be very important for connecting your suppliers and customer business systems together, and cutting integration costs for everyone. This new version will still work perfectly with the TOTECS platform, and will still be actively maintained by the TOTECS developers. Over time we will be upgrading existing projects to the new Connector.

NEW Generic Adaptor In The Connector
 

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In version 1 of our Connector software we have created a new adaptor called the "Generic Adaptor". For those of you who don't know, the Connector has things called "adaptors" which each can connect to a single specific business system (such as a MYOB or Micronet system) to read and write data. However the Generic adaptor is a completely different beast, since it is not designed to connect to any one business system, instead it's designed to connect to a range of different data sources where business data is stored on a computer.

So the Generic adaptor can flexibly read and write data from CSV spreadsheet files, ODBC supported databases (such as Microsoft Access, MySQL, PostGreSQL, Oracle), Microsoft SQL Server databases, and web services supporting the Ecommerce standards. In simple terms, it opens up a whole world of possibilites for where you can manage and have your business data worked from. This is a big win for data specialists and data maintainers.

Lets take an example, the MYOB AccountRight Premier software does not have any concept of a contract. So instead you can create a spreadsheet file in Excel that contains a list of all the contracts, and in another sheet have a list of all the products, and another sheet have a list of all the accounts assigned to the contract. Using the Connector's Generic adaptor you can now configure it to read in all these contract spreadsheet files, and automatically import it into your TOTECS project, making contracts accessible to your customers on your website. If you delete a contract in its spreadsheet file, the next time the contract data is imported from the Connector, the contract will be deactived and no longer appear in your TOTECS website.

The Generic adaptor opens the door to systems such as Microsoft Dynamics, ReadySell, Jiwa, and many more to integrate into a TOTECS website. The end result, TOTECS has got your back for almost any business system that you decide to work with now, or in the future.


NEW Customer Account Enquiry Webpage Areas
 

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We have added new areas to content managed web pages that allows sales order and back order account enquiry data to be displayed that has been retreived from your business systems. This allows highly customised layouts, and styling of back order, as well as sales order data to be shown that is consistent with your branding. This continues on our path in making more Trade interface functionality available within content managed websites.

NEW Sending TOTECS Notifications To Squizz.com
 

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In November's 10.02.1 release we added the ability for the TOTECS platform to be able to send notifications to the Squizz.com platform when your users submit orders, enquiries, news/blog items, or news/blog item comments in your website. This breaks the cycle of needing to rely upon Email to receive notifications. Instead within the Squizz.com platform you can receive categorised notifications, easily control who else receives the notifications within your organisation, as well as receive push notifications to your mobile device if you have the Squizz.com Android app installed. The end result, less Email, and you are still kept in the loop.
We are in the process of sending out invites to the Squizz.com platform, so stay tuned for when your turn comes to sign up.

IMPROVED Calculating Freight Unit When Sending Orders To SmartFreight

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Continuing on our integration into SmartFreight from late last year, we have now added into the TOTECS platform the abilty for it to calculate the most appropriate freight unit when submitting orders to SmartFreight, and the subsequent freight carrier. This means that if your user's order does not fit within a satchel, then the system can instead choose to put it in a bag, or box, or container, or shipload! You get to define the freight units that your business supports, and the thresholds at which each unit can be used.

If you wish to streamline freight processes in your website and business, Our SmartFreight integration is definitely worth a look.

NEW AND IMPROVED Integration Into TNS Payment Gateway

Towards the end of last year TNS suprised us by advising that they were no longer supporting the older version of their credit card payment gateway that TOTECS has reliably used for the past 6 years. So in record time we developed a completely new integration into their latest, and greatest credit card payment gateway, with minimal disruption, which looks to provide a long term solution for the future. TNS has also been acquired by MasterCard, so for those businesses using their service there is a reason why everything in their system is now branded as such.
 
NEW TOTECS Releases Its Ecommerce Standards To The Industry
 

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Over the years we have built into the TOTECS platform and the Connector software a set of standards on how data can been transferred between different business systems, in a software independent way. This means data such as a sales order can be transferred from one accounting system to another Ecommerce system seemlessly in realtime. This seems like a simple task but many software providers in the industry have been focused on speaking their own language, which makes it difficult and time consuming for others to work out how to push and pull data into their software.

So January this year we have released our standards called the "Ecommerce Standards Documents". This has been released as an Open Source project to the wider Ecommerce industry as a way to get different software providers to have their software talk all in the same universal language, without everyone having to double up on doing laborious integration work. The objective is to reduce the time and costs in getting different business systems integrated, which in turn means less costs for businesses, reduced errors, improved efficiencies, and we can all spend more time working on other things that matter. The TOTECS developers here are passionate on taking a leading role in the industry, and getting a set of standards widely employed throughout.

IMPROVEMENTS The Other Stuff

Oh yeah there's a bunch of other improvements that went out with the 10.01.1, 10.01.2, and 10.02 releases. Visit the Administration Centre or the forums to review the complete list of Release Notes. If you wish to be a part of the process to get a piece of functionality into the platform, please get in contact with us or visit the forum's wishlist topic. As always, until next time happy online trading :) Here's a wrap up of the new features and improvements developed over the last 13 weeks and placed into the 10.01.1, 10.01.2, 10.02 releases.
 

Optional Features (fees apply)
  • Calculate order freight units based on cubic volume with SmartFreight integration.
  • Settings to switch the sender address assigned to SmartFreight orders that are drop shipped.
  • Setting sender name in freight orders submitted to SmartFreight.
  • Setting to the change the warehouse when a sales rep user switch customer accounts.
  • Sending of credit card payments to TNS's new payment gateway.
  • Customer Account Enquiry content managed web page areas for listing back orders, sales orders, viewing details of a back order, and viewing details of a sales order.

 

Available Features
  • Squizz.com Connector Version 1 and Generic adaptor.
  • Filters to find users within Product Search and Emedia Email administration centre interfaces by matching the user's account code, contact, company name, email, class, or territory.
  • Settings to control the tax format of pricing within orders.
  • Settings to label, and hide or show payment method display in the Trade interface and order notification attachment.
  • Sending notifications to Squizz.com
  • Hooks for displaying address 4 field and organisation name in User Registration Emails
  • Removed restrictions to allow single characters to be entered in address fields for user registration and guest checkout.
  • Additional hooks to display user data in Product Review Listing content managed web page area.
  • Connector integration upgraded to Ecommerce Standards Documents version 1.0
  • Button to allow a Free Draw content managed web page area to have its content saved and not close the editor.
  • Setting to exclude products from being listed in a Category Listing content managed web page areas.
  • Improvements to text markup in News/Blog Item and News/Blog Item Comments content managed web page areas.
Note: Some functionality may require labour for setup and configuration.

Listed below are the features that we look to work on over the next 3-24 months.
Please Note: Development is dependent on funding, demand and scheduling.

  • Integration with ReadySell Enterprise Resource Planning system
  • Customer Account Enquiry Invoice Line Reports
  • TOTECS documentation centre
  • News/Blogging Search content managed web page areas
  • Emarketing enhancements
  • Integration with Jiwa Enterprise Resource Planning system
  • Integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning system.
  • Ebay Integration
TOTECS Delete All Products In A Category

The 10.02 TOTECS release brings the ability for administrator users to to make changes to Free Draw areas within content managed web pages and keep the editor open. This helps save a bit of time when constantly changing content on a web page, and needing to review the changes saved. To use the feature follow these steps:

  1. Login to the Administration Centre.
  2. Click on the Websites menu button.
  3. Click on the Websites menu item.
  4. Expand the web pages tree and click on a web page of choice.
  5. In the Web page editor click on the Modify Area button shown for a given Free Draw web page area.
  6. In the editor make changes to the content then click the Save And Continue button.

The area's editor will stay open and have saved the changes to area's content to the server. If you reload the web page in a different browser then you can see the updated content. WIth the two browsers open side-by-side you can quickly save a change, then refresh the web page in another browser to verify that it looks as expected.

Note: This improvement was built into the platform based on feedback made through the forums. If you have ideas like this to make the platform better, please post them on our wishlist forum.