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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Point of Sale program?


    I'm new here and I'm also quite new to programming.
    I started coding very basic automation scripts with AutoHotkey about five years ago and have made little tools for work. Also, I have been maintaining Quickbooks POS which I have set up for my parents business 6 years ago. Due to lack of support and numerous errors I made little tools that will avoid those bugs and do things better.

    I got started thinking that I feel we've been paying too much for a software that's not even specifically meeting our needs and that carries too many features that we don't even use.
    So I want to start developing it on my own with C# as this was the language my friend recommended to get started off with if I was going to create a non-web-based program that interacts with users through GUI also due to its relatively low learning curve.

    I do have the free version of visual studio but I have no clue as to where I should start.
    Although I understand this won't be an easy project, I want to start making a prototype version so that later when we search for a company that will create a software for us, I know exactly what we want.

    Could someone please shed some light on this matter?
    Oh and I almost forgot, obviously database is a large portion of this project. What do you recommend I use? (mysql, mssql, no-sql like mongodb, etc.)



  2. #2
    Arjay's Avatar
    Arjay is online now Moderator / MS MVP Power Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: Point of Sale program?

    There are many point of sale systems out there that can be customized to your needs, but if you really want to roll your own...

    Since you are posting in the C# forum, I assume you will be using C#. If so, I would recommend that you stay in the Microsoft stack and use MS SQL (a version of which is installed with your installation of Visual Studio).

    If you want to write a stand-alone app, I'd start with WPF. For web based, I'd go with ASP.Net MVC4. You may consider going with the ASP.Net because there are project templates and tutorials out there that can quickly get you up to speed interacting with an MS SQL database using Entity Framework. They also incorporated security into, so you can have different types of user roles that are able to provide different functionality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Point of Sale program?

    Thank you for your clear and straight advice.
    I've looked into lots and lots of customizable point of sale software and supposedly-flexible programs but they were never adequate. I think it's best if I set it up on my own that will include all of my know-hows I learned over the course of using Quickbooks POS.
    I was thinking of getting started with C# + any easy and yet robust database first, then moving onto a web-based version because I have four offline-stores and two online shops that I wish to be integrated so no more repetitive work has to done in near future. In this case, do you feel I then might as well just start with ASP.Net MVC 4 and MS SQL right off the bat? For now, I'm trying to achieve a system where customer information (mostly reward points) and transaction histories are sync'd between stores and the office not necessarily instantly but maybe at least every 10 minutes, 30 minutes latest.
    Ideally, on one end, two web sites will use the back-end database, and on the other end, four offline stores will also access the same database but use a POS interface within the browser. Also, would this method require a offline mode as well, thus needing a separate windows application? Can this be all done on a domain we're leasing through a web-hosting company, or do we need an office based server?

    Thank you for all your inputs.

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