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POSitive Multi-Site allows you to monitor and manage your remotes sites from one central location. With POSitive Multi-Site, you can:
- Share inventory descriptions and pricing across all sites
- Check Stock Levels of all sites at all sites
- Maintain different pricing at different sites, all controlled from the central site
- Transfer stock between sites
- Share customers across all sites
- Share Accounts Receivable information at all sites (customer can charge or make payments at any site)
- Share gift card information across all sites
- Gather employee time card information from all sites to a central location
- Gather General Ledger information from all sites (and export this information to Quickbooks!)
- Run and compare reports from all sites, including Sales Tax, Inventory Valuation, Items sold, etc.
- Compare sales across all stores across any date range, with our "at-a-glance" Sales Summary screen
- And much more!
POSitive Multi-Site uses Microsofts's SQL Replication to move data between sites. This means your data is moved quickly and reliably between sites, with no intervention on your part. Once a sale is made at a remote site, that sale can show up at the master site in 60 seconds or less!
There are two components to POSitive Multi-Site: Presentation and Transportation. Learn more about the fundamentals of POSitive Multi-Site.
POSitive Multi-Site Operational Concepts
There are two components to POSitive Multi-Site:
POSitive Multi-Site uses data replication to share all data from all sites at all sites. This means, that the data from Site 1 is also at Site 2. So, when looking up Invoice History, how does Site 1 know which data to present?
All POSitive data is stored in what are called "Tables" in the SQL database. For example, a Table might be called "Invoices". Within this Table are Records which contain Fields. For example, a Record might contain the "Invoice Number" field, the "Invoice Date" field, etc.
When you look at the Invoice History list in POSitive, you are looking at a listing of Records from the "Invoices" Table. They are sorted by Date and Time, so that the most recent are displayed first in the list. A very important Field in each Record, is the "Site" field.
The "Site" field, as you may have guessed, is different for each physical location. For example, your Master site might have a Site ID of B000, and your Remote site might have a Site ID of B100. All POSitive has to know is what Site is needs to display, and then it displays only those Records that belong to that Site. So at the Master Site, you would only display records that had a Site field equal to B000.
This data structure makes it easy to view data from any site at any site. All we need to do, is tell POSitive what the Site is. So, in Invoice History, you can use the "Site" drop down, select the Site you want to view, and the Records for that Site are displayed.
Because replication allows us to replicate all data from all sites at all sites, we can write reports that compare this information. So, you can view or print the different stock levels for a particular item across all sites. Or compare overall sales totals across all sites.
POSitive has many of these views and reports included in the program. If there is a specific report you need, a 3rd party reporting product such as Crystal Reports can be used to access this data, and give you the information you want.
Please review the Specifications and Concept information below, for more specific information about Multi-Site.
In order to have a successful Multi-Site installation, certain minimum requirements must be met.
In addition to the standard PRM requirements, the following are necessary in order to successfully operate POSitive Multi-Site:
- MSSQL 2005 For Workgroups (or greater) at the Master Site
- Broadband Internet connection between all sites
- Router capable of supporting a stable VPN connection between locations
Here is a look at each of these requirements in detail:
MSSQL 2005 For Workgroups (or greater) at the Master Site
POSitive Retail Manager uses Microsoft's SQL 2005 to store, retrieve, and manage data. SQL Express 2005 is distributed with POSitive, but this version does not act as a publisher for replication (which is required for replication to work).
In order to support replication, which allows the data to move between sites, MSSQL 2005 For Workgroups is required at the Master Site. The Workgroups edition includes the replication agent, which can move the data around even if the other sites are using SQL Express 2005.
This should work fine for sites with low volume sales. If you expect high volume sales, for example you are creating over 100 transactions per day, then you should install MSSQL 2005 For Workgroups at all sites. This will provide the necessary "horsepower" to make your SQL replication perform well.
Broadband Internet connection between all sites
In order for replication to work well, a broadband internet connection is required between all sites. If this is not possible, there are ways to have replication work on a low speed internet connection, however, we do not recommend it if at all possible.
Router capable of supporting a stable VPN connection between locations
When using replication, we created what is called a "VPN Tunnel" between the sites. "VPN" stands for Virtual Private Network. Simply put, this makes your remote site part of your master site's local network, using the internet as the "wiring" between the sites. Practically all routers support VPN connections, but it doesn't hurt to check!