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Hey All,

A friend of mine has asked me a question which I unfortunatly am unable to answer.

Here's the situation.

He is opening a retail store. He would like to have a Database where he can track his whole inventory. Pretty simple, right? Here's where I get lost. He wants the database to tie into his "cash register" system using barcodes and readers... on top of that he wants the database to also be used for a webstore. Further more, he has two kiosks in malls which he would like to use the same "cash register" application. The good thing is, he refuses to use PCs, he wants a 100% Apple operation.

Now I'm just his designer, and a Mac user. I've worked with FileMaker, Oracle (a wee bit) and MS Access (shudder) in my other job... however this is a little out of my league.

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!
 

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I am no expert and am in the process of setting up a web presence with online payment capabilities myself. Filemaker has all the tools you need to run the database/kiosk/barcode reader thing. From keeping inventory to printing out the sales slip for the custiomers, Filemaker is perfect for the job. There are numerous online resources and Filemaker developers out there to help with this. If he wants to include a web store with credit card payment capabilities, you will need a couple other things. One is a merchant account with someone that provides this type of service. Another would be an SSL server with certificate that can provide the secure data transfer link. Look at www.stormweb.com They are canadian, use FreeBSD unix servers which would make migrating to your own Xserve latter on if you wanted to easier and they have a good description of the online payment system if you want to learn more.
 

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I would second that, FileMaker Pro is the best starting point. There are thousands of add-ons and templates to help you do the job.

It's not particularly simple once you get into specialized uses, but there are quite a few consultants that do nothing but create and support custom FileMaker solutions. I would suggest at least talking to one to see what they can do for him.
 

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I ve been working for the last 6 months on developing a PHP/mysql web based app for a company's inventory and sales and invoices. This can be easily extended to either internal use or internet use.
Now Im working on an emplyee sign in /out kiosk for their payroll, while adding more features to the larger inventory sales package.
Contact me if you want to discuss it further
Mark
[email protected]
 
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