e-Newsletter, Julyl 24, 2006

Roundtable Software Newsletter #42, July 24, 2006

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In this issue...

Patch 26 Released
Click Here To Download This Patch
Be sure to review the instructions for loading this patch; it involves more that just the program files being updated!
  • NEW FEATURE: A new key file has been added to the Accounts Receivable Sales History. This key file is sorted in order by Customer Number, Item Number and Date Sold. The purpose of adding this new file is so that users may now use both the Inventory Expert add-on package's Sales History viewer as well as the Last Price Paid feature in Point of Sale, Billing and Order Entry. These two features required the Sales History key to be set up in mutually exclusive ways. Now the new key file will be used by the Last Price Paid feature, leaving the original custom sort key for Sales History to be set in any way the user wishes. Both sort orders are available when printing in AR program 25, Sales History, as well.

    Please note that you will need to run SA7, Update Files on your Accounts Receivable companies after installing this patch.

    Also, if you are using the POS-Remote or A/R Archiver add-on packages, you will need an updated version to maintain compatibility with this change. Click here to download patches for these products.

  • NEW FEATURE: You can now specify the invoice number associated with the service charges created by Accounts Receivable program 19, Service Charges. Previously the program always created service charges with the invoice number "SVC.CHG".

  • Billing 8, Update AR/IN, was updating extended costs and prices to Accounts Receivable based on unit cost and charge decimals. All extended amounts in AR should have been updated with two decimals only. This was causing invoices with totals that went beyond two decimals to be unpurgeable, since the invoice could never be exactly paid off.

  • In Inventory program 81, Print Items, the Items Produced option could in some cases ignore certain records in the Inventory Audit Trail, thus printing an inaccurate report.

  • The Report Generator dictionary for Bank Reconciliation had a field in it that did not actually exist in the module.

  • In System Administrator program 7, Update Files, the method used to determine if new data fields needed to be added to company-specific print layout fields might not recognize certain fields as new in certain unusual circumstances.

  • Point of Sale program 4, Full Invoicing, would reuse active hold numbers. This would only be possible if the user did a very large number of invoices, and made extensive use of the hold facility.

  • The Import and Data Test functions of Inventory program 55, Import Data, had a record number range that allowed a maximum of 32,767 records to be imported from a source file. This limit has been increased to 999,999,999.

  • Additional fields have been added to the Bank Reconciliation Bank Master for the upcoming Windows version. These fields will not be available in the DOS version, but for compatibility purposes users must convert their Bank Reconciliation companies to add these fields.

  • Payroll program 15, Calculate Taxes/Deductions, could ignore some direct deposit accounts in some cases when the employee had a mixture of active and inactive direct deposit accounts defined.

  • The report printed by Payroll program 17, Direct Deposit, showed the check number where the batch number was supposed to print.

  • Payroll program 57, Edit Payroll, needed to do more than it was doing when a check was edited to ensure that direct deposits were properly recalculated.
Click here to download this patch and be sure to read the instructions on how to load this patch.

Add-On Patches For Compatibility
Due to addition of a new key to the A/R Sales History file included in Patch 26 of the RTS-Advantage Accounting System, two of Roundtable's add-on packages also required updating. If you use either the A/R Archiver or the POS-Remote add-on, click here to download the available patches to make these packages compatible with patch 26. NOTE: Like our regular patches, these must be installed with the DeltaDOS utility; they are patches, not complete copies of the software, and will expect to find the previous version of the executable in order to properly install the patch.

Windows Version Beta Testing
After a successful dealer-only beta test for a portion of our new Windows version of RTS-Advantage, we now invite users as well to participate in the next phase. Users are invited to try out the beta version of our new Windows-based Bank Reconciliation module. The beta version is expected to be ready for release sometime in August.

Click here to register now to become a beta tester. Beta testers are not required to be currently using the Bank Reconciliation module, so all are invited.

We will send a newsletter with further details when the beta test becomes available, but you can register now to be sure you’ll be notified concerning any developments related to the release of beta versions.

Internet Shopping Carts and RTS-Advantage
Many of our users are selling on the web, or at least thinking about selling on the web. In order to do this most businesses will use a piece of software called a shopping cart to facilitate users in making purchases.

Shopping carts come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from relative toys, to hulking monsters. Boiled down to the essentials, though, the typical shopping cart provides a way for customers to search and browse your online inventory, put selected purchases in a virtual shopping cart, and then check out and pay for their purchases online. For the retailer, better shopping carts provide a way to upload inventory from their accounting software (as opposed to having to recreate it all manually online) and provide an interface whereby the retailer can download orders.

That last operation has long been a stumbling point for most shopping carts. Many makers do nothing more to report sales than sending the seller an email for each order placed. This is cumbersome and prone to error. There is really no convenient way to import the contents of an email into your accounting software, so each email must be transcribed manually. Inevitably there are errors, and even if there aren't, what a waste of labor to type in all that data.

However, the better shopping cart vendors provide a much more convenient method. They create, as often as the store owner wishes, a formatted text file (typically in CSV format) containing all the orders placed on the web store since the last time orders were gathered. A formatted text file can be reliably used to import information into accounting applications.

But there was still a problem. Though quite a few shopping carts have finally gone to this data export model, every shopping cart manufacturer creates their own proprietary format for those export files. Worse, many of these export files fail to include important information necessary to translate the web orders into orders in your accounting system.

At Roundtable Software we have been writing custom import programs for our user's shopping cart files for years. Since the files have always been lacking in important information, the custom approach has been necessary since we must have the user's input to determine how these sketchily defined orders are to be translated into full-fledged complete orders in RTS-Advantage. It has long been our desire to create an off-the-shelf product for interfacing with shopping carts, but given the state of shopping cart software this was simply not a possibility.

However, we recently found a shopping cart software producer who is doing things the right way. Their import and export files are some of the best we've seen, and they already have been interfaced with two accounting packages. If everything goes as planned, we will be the third. The company is PDG Software . They offer two levels of their software; PDG Shopping Cart and PDG Commerce. As things stand, we expect to work with both.

PDG Software is currently making some relatively minor enhancements to their products for us, adding some missing information to their export files that we need to properly import orders into RTS-Advantage. Once this is taken care of, we will proceed with our task of creating the interface that will tie the two products together. If everything goes as planned the development should not take more than a few months.

Usually we don't talk about products before they are ready for market, but in this case we wanted to give everyone a head's up now. You may be in the process of making a decision about web-based marketing, and we'd like to make sure that you give consideration to the PDG products since they will definitely be your best bet once the interface is available.

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