Do any of the POS software packages allow access to the database for the purpose of writing and generating my own database reports? I have a limited proficiency in SQL reporting and queries, and would like to have access, if anyone provides it, to run some personalized, and location-specific reports as they come needed. Ad hoc sort of queries and reports.
Does this mean anything to anyone, and can anyone answer for any of the systems?
Nick, first let me tell you I’m a pizza guy so when you start getting into the creation of reports it’s like asking me to read Chinese… backwards. However, Point of Success does contain a program that will allow you to generate your own reports based of course on the information it can gather from it’s database. You might want to call Jeff Ward and talk to him a little about it. I’m sure you two speak the same language. Whatever you do… anything’s better than D.O.O.R. sheets. shame shame nicholas.
I’m an ex mainframe systems programmer (was in the business for about 15 years) - and I write my own SQL and reports to get certain information out of my POS database (Vitalink). The POS itself has a lot of built-in stuff - but since I have the background, I don’t mind doing custom stuff myself. Vitallink doesn’t provide documentation of the table layout and relationships - but it didn’t really take me long to figure it out by just looking.
We ran this system for a year. It is a nice mid-level system. It does several things well. It just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. It does however have the option to run via an SQL database. As it runs by default, it is an open MSJET database. I hired programmer to create a small utility to examine the database and cut it into different groups… (30/60/90) etc.
If you can do the programming yourself, your a step ahead.
It also has a demo, so you can check it out. Honestly, make me an offer on my 4 licenses too. I could use the cash for a new make-line.
I also use Vital Link and could use a bit of help with it. I have a few issues that they can’t seem to get right for me that I feel that a more educated user than myself may be able to help me through. If you are willing, please send me a PM or an email. Thanks!
The two things required to do reporting from any database are:
Ability to get access to the data
Software to use to do the reporting
How you get to the data will vary with the software you’re using. Find out which database the software uses to store its information. You should also ask if the database is accessible outside the software, as with an ODBC driver, .net data provider, or by using some other method. It is possible that the database is password protected or encrypted, in which case you need the password and/or encryption key to decrypt the data.
The software you use for creating reports is somewhat dependent on the database used by the POS system. The most popular general database reporting tool is called Crystal Reports. This software will work with many databases and because it is so popular it is most likely to have the ability to integrate with the database used by your system. It is also possible that a program like Microsoft Access could be used for reporting with your POS system if you can get to the data.
Creating even a simple report is beyond the ability of most everyone who uses a POS system. If you have done something like this before, you should be able to do it again if your POS system has an open database. If you have never done it, it’s probably better to leave the rocket science to the rocket scientists!
thanks for your reply. My primary MOS at the last law firm I worked for was developing automated merge document packages that pull from the database as well as programming reports and queries from the database using Infomaker. It is similar to Crystal Reports, and I don’t remember why we weren’t using Crystal. I know where to get reporting software and how to use some of it.
My inquery really is about any knowlege anyone has as to the accessibility of the various POS system databases. Which ones are open or accessible to build my own reports via outside software? Is Point of Success one that will allow me to do so? Can I use the existing back end component of Point of Success to generate my own reports? (front end interface - database - back end reporting)
Wow! Sorry I missed the point by such a wide margin.
Yes, Point of Success can do what you need it to do. It uses a client/server database called Advantage Database Server (more information at www.advantagedatabase.com). You can access the data with any program that can use an ODBC driver, a .net data provider, or by using a purpose-build application written in a number of languages. Our database is relatively self-documenting, and we’ll give you the database specification if you request it. After all, your data is yours.
Point of Success comes with a built-in report designer that compares in ability to Crystal Reports. All the reports in the system were created with the report designer and can be edited with it. You can also do new reports from scratch if you have the experience, and it sounds like you do!
In my experience it is unusual for a POS system to include this type of reporting ability, but somebody else must have it too!
By the way, very interesting photos of your building renovation. It takes a lot of determination to do what you’re doing in that hardware store. I get tired just LOOKING at all the work you’ve done!
I hope you have all the success you deserve. Let me know if I can help in any other way.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I intend to give these guys first consideration when it comes time to install a system. Jeff seems not only extremely knowledgable about his product, but is willing to schlep out long, detailed explanations to someone who doesn’t even pay them money for a service contract.
I am sure others may be just as skilled/informed, but he is right here where the fish are swimming and fighting to build our businesses. Thanks, Jeff. By no means an every day question from a pizza proprietor, and you fielded it cleanly for the double-play.
Not trying to resurrect this old post, but I’m looking to find out how I can connect with @Jeff_Ward as I am working on a project that I need to be able to access (at least read-only) our Point of Success database. He mentioned in this thread that it is possible but I am prompted for authentication when connecting. I have reached out to Point of Success support but they said they don’t give database access to their customers. Thank you in advance.
I didn’t get actual direct access to the database module(s). I do remember being about to write reports and SQL queries back in my ownership days. I did not ever have access to the actual data … just table/column labels.