The Fieldpine support notebook is a collection of technical documents and notes for support staff. It is designed to assist with onboarding new support staff, programmers that might require overview knowledge, or casual IT professionals that might require a quick boost.
Design Notes provides overview information on how various aspects are assembled internally.
Support Cases outlines real support calls and how they were resolved. They also include pointers to various techniques and tools that might have helped.
Programs & Applications
PosGreen.exe is the primary front counter/checkout capture Point Of Sale. It is a 32 bit Windows application. There is no overriding need for it to be 64 bit and the difference between 32 and 64 bit is unlikely to make material performance impact.
An Excel addin, FieldpineGlobalData.xll, is available for power reporting users. This addin allows reports to be built in Excel using simple formulas to retrieve trading information. It works in conjuntion with the Global Data Server to answer questions. To use the Excel addin, you only need to configure the server to be used for reporting, you do not need to configure database sources, it only requires a TCP definition and connection to the Gds server to be used.
Users can also upload Excel spreadsheets containing products, pricing, customers (or in fact almost anything that can be entered on a UI), but these do not require the Excel addin. They are simple Excel spreadsheets, which Gds is capable of reading and processing.
Each application has its own database. The Fieldpine systems use distributed database techniques so there is no single point of failure. Most PosGreen sites will have a private Access database on front counters. Where multiple counters exist in the same store they typically have one database each. The most common names of the database file will be fpos.mdb or green.mdb. The actual name and location of the database is inside the fpos.ctl file
Access. While reasonably old technology and unfavoured by some professionals, it has proven to be very reliable when used in a non shared mode (ie each lane has its own database) for the PosGreen workload. It also has deployment advantages of not requiring additional downloads or software to be installed. Sites do not have to use Access on front counters and we will be implementing new backing stores before end of life.
Sql/Server. Microsoft Sql/Server is the most popular choice of database for store servers and head office systems. Even moderately large stores will be able to use Sql Express with a 10Gb storage limit. Larger retailers will use full Sql/Server, either directly in house or as cloud service. Fieldpine applications connect to Sql/Server using ODBC although other transports are possible.
Oracle, DB/2, MySQL. Some sites will be using these database engines, especially if they have backend corporate accounting systems, such as Oracle financials, that are using these databases. As we connect using ODBC, we primarily are unconcerned by the backend database engine in use.