HELP! Moving to RMS from DOS program...

Hi all,

Here's the situation.  I work at a small retail store.  We are trying to 
upgrade from our very old retail software that runs on DOS and dies 
unexpectedly on occasion.  However, we have a HUGE database of customers 
and inventory that we need to transfer over, preferably intact.

I've found four files that contain all the important data, a customer 
table with a linked table of notes and an inventory table with a linked 
table of notes.  It's crucial that we get the notes over, as our customer 
rewards program is contained in the notes.  The files are .DBT and .DBF 
files.  The DOS program is called "Smart Register".

I'm not techie enough to do the transfer myself and I'm not getting a 
firm commitment from the vendor selling us RMS about getting the notes 
over.  They seem really unsure of it.  What I really need to know is... 
is this even possible?  We don't really care if we have to hire an SQL 
expert to do the transfer, we just want to be sure we aren't going to 
lose half our data when we do.

In addition, I would ideally like to be able to transfer the database 
once for training, and then once again when we go live.  Would it be 
possible for an SQL expert to create a program that would allow me to do 
that?

Then, going a bit further, since I haven't run this thing live yet... I 
want to know if I will be able to configure my own buttons on the bottom 
of the POS screen.  As a for instance, we don't do lawaways, can we get 
rid of that button?  And we use customer notes a lot, can I create a 
button to pull those up?  I haven't been able to figure out much from the 
help files and the little playing around I've done.  How configurable is 
this program?

If we do pull this move off, I'm sure I'll have even more questions.  But 
those are the burning ones at the moment.  I've read through the last 
month and half of notes, so I'm sorry if I missed anything that would 
have answered my questions already.

Thanks,

-Laura
0
realtegan (22)
8/5/2005 10:39:48 PM
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I'd say there's at least an 80% chance of getting your data converted, but 
there's no way to say with absolute certainty without looking at the files. 
Has the reseller you're working with looked at the files?  If you can EXPORT 
the data into comma separated files from your current system, it will be 
very straight forward to import it - there's even a tool that gets mentioned 
on this forum quite a bit.

By the way, you're just looking to load customers and items, right?  Not 
transaction history?  Transaction History is not completely impossible, but 
I generally try to avoid it - there's just too much that can go wrong.

Yes, it's possible to script your data conversion so you can test the 
conversion.  You may get charged a little more to have it set up this way 
than to just have a one time bulk load performed, but it's certainly 
possible.

You can't hide function keys that you don't expect to need, but you can 
disable them so they are grayed out.  You can't reorder the keys.  You CAN 
hide all of the function buttons and create your own keyboard template 
though - you can also use a Touch Screen Keyboard (Even without a touch 
monitor - the mouse will work the buttons too:).  Touch Screen Keyboards can 
be customized to make the frequently used features easier to get to.

You can record macros.
You can add "Custom Buttons" to the right side of the POS window to perform 
some functions (not all are available)

RMS is very customizable in most ways - changing the function keys just 
doesn't happen to be one of them.  There are many Add-is available that add 
features or change behaviors of the system, and you can have almost anything 
you want built - if it's worth enough to you.  Custom development is 
expensive - most things can be worked around without going to that expense, 
but if you REALLY need something there's no such thing as impossible.


-- 
Glenn Adams
Tiber Creek Consulting
http://www.tibercreek.com
glenn@tibercreek.com
----------------------------------------------
Please DO NOT respond to me directly but post all responses here in the 
newsgroup so that all can share the information



"Laura" <realtegan@excite.com> wrote in message 
news:Xns96A99F4F2E3Brealteganexcitecom@207.46.248.16...
> Hi all,
>
> Here's the situation.  I work at a small retail store.  We are trying to
> upgrade from our very old retail software that runs on DOS and dies
> unexpectedly on occasion.  However, we have a HUGE database of customers
> and inventory that we need to transfer over, preferably intact.
>
> I've found four files that contain all the important data, a customer
> table with a linked table of notes and an inventory table with a linked
> table of notes.  It's crucial that we get the notes over, as our customer
> rewards program is contained in the notes.  The files are .DBT and .DBF
> files.  The DOS program is called "Smart Register".
>
> I'm not techie enough to do the transfer myself and I'm not getting a
> firm commitment from the vendor selling us RMS about getting the notes
> over.  They seem really unsure of it.  What I really need to know is...
> is this even possible?  We don't really care if we have to hire an SQL
> expert to do the transfer, we just want to be sure we aren't going to
> lose half our data when we do.
>
> In addition, I would ideally like to be able to transfer the database
> once for training, and then once again when we go live.  Would it be
> possible for an SQL expert to create a program that would allow me to do
> that?
>
> Then, going a bit further, since I haven't run this thing live yet... I
> want to know if I will be able to configure my own buttons on the bottom
> of the POS screen.  As a for instance, we don't do lawaways, can we get
> rid of that button?  And we use customer notes a lot, can I create a
> button to pull those up?  I haven't been able to figure out much from the
> help files and the little playing around I've done.  How configurable is
> this program?
>
> If we do pull this move off, I'm sure I'll have even more questions.  But
> those are the burning ones at the moment.  I've read through the last
> month and half of notes, so I'm sorry if I missed anything that would
> have answered my questions already.
>
> Thanks,
>
> -Laura 


0
glenn1806 (721)
8/5/2005 11:20:15 PM
Laura,

Yeah, your notes might be a problem.

Have you or your reseller looked at MS SQL Import by EMS?  I can't tell if 
it works with the .DBT file, which is your notes file.
http://www.sqlmanager.net/en/products/mssql/dataimport

You can download a trial version and see how it works.
-- 
*
"Laura" <realtegan@excite.com> wrote in message 
news:Xns96A99F4F2E3Brealteganexcitecom@207.46.248.16...
Hi all,

Here's the situation.  I work at a small retail store.  We are trying to
upgrade from our very old retail software that runs on DOS and dies
unexpectedly on occasion.  However, we have a HUGE database of customers
and inventory that we need to transfer over, preferably intact.

I've found four files that contain all the important data, a customer
table with a linked table of notes and an inventory table with a linked
table of notes.  It's crucial that we get the notes over, as our customer
rewards program is contained in the notes.  The files are .DBT and .DBF
files.  The DOS program is called "Smart Register".

I'm not techie enough to do the transfer myself and I'm not getting a
firm commitment from the vendor selling us RMS about getting the notes
over.  They seem really unsure of it.  What I really need to know is...
is this even possible?  We don't really care if we have to hire an SQL
expert to do the transfer, we just want to be sure we aren't going to
lose half our data when we do.

In addition, I would ideally like to be able to transfer the database
once for training, and then once again when we go live.  Would it be
possible for an SQL expert to create a program that would allow me to do
that?

Then, going a bit further, since I haven't run this thing live yet... I
want to know if I will be able to configure my own buttons on the bottom
of the POS screen.  As a for instance, we don't do lawaways, can we get
rid of that button?  And we use customer notes a lot, can I create a
button to pull those up?  I haven't been able to figure out much from the
help files and the little playing around I've done.  How configurable is
this program?

If we do pull this move off, I'm sure I'll have even more questions.  But
those are the burning ones at the moment.  I've read through the last
month and half of notes, so I'm sorry if I missed anything that would
have answered my questions already.

Thanks,

-Laura 


0
spam3944 (2163)
8/5/2005 11:58:56 PM
"Jeff" <spam@Hotmail.com> scribbled these words:

> Laura,
> 
> Yeah, your notes might be a problem.
> 
> Have you or your reseller looked at MS SQL Import by EMS?  I can't
> tell if it works with the .DBT file, which is your notes file.
> http://www.sqlmanager.net/en/products/mssql/dataimport
> 
> You can download a trial version and see how it works.

Just playing with the trial version tonight, it seems to pull the notes 
over properly.  I'm going to have to find an item with longer notes and 
make sure it grabs the full thing... but this seems to be the tool we 
need.  And I can do most of it by myself.

I was most worried about the note fields... my boss would be inclined to 
stick with the horrible DOS program if she couldn't be promised that the 
notes would come over as well.  A little more testing, and I'll be able 
to give a definitive answer.

Many, many thanks!  You just made my life a lot easier.

-Laura
0
realtegan (22)
8/6/2005 3:41:50 AM
"Glenn Adams [MVP - Retail Mgmt]" <glenn@tibercreek.com.nospam>
scribbled these words: 

> I'd say there's at least an 80% chance of getting your data converted,
> but there's no way to say with absolute certainty without looking at
> the files. Has the reseller you're working with looked at the files? 

Yes, but they seemed oddly reluctant to make any promises.

> If you can EXPORT the data into comma separated files from your
> current system, it will be very straight forward to import it -
> there's even a tool that gets mentioned on this forum quite a bit.

I cannot export the notes safely.  I've tried many times.  I get the 
first 8 lines, but the rest is garbled if it appears at all.  The linked 
format is the problem.

The program that Jeff linked to appears to have moved the notes over 
safely.  I'm going to do more testing, but if it works I can celebrate 
tonight and tell the boss tomorrow that we're good to go if we just buy 
it.  I think she'll go for it at the price, even if we need to hire 
someone else to work on it as well.

> By the way, you're just looking to load customers and items, right? 
> Not transaction history?  Transaction History is not completely
> impossible, but I generally try to avoid it - there's just too much
> that can go wrong. 

I think I've talked the boss out of it, yeah.  She'll want access to it, 
but she can fire up the ol' dinosaur if she wants it.  I suspect once 
she's worked with RMS for awhile she get over the small loss of data, as 
long as she has access to the customer and item notes.

> You can't hide function keys that you don't expect to need, but you
> can disable them so they are grayed out.

That will do!  I couldn't figure out how to do it while playing, so I'll 
go mess with it some more.

> You CAN hide all of the function buttons and create your own keyboard
> template though - you can also use a Touch Screen Keyboard (Even
> without a touch monitor - the mouse will work the buttons too:). 

This might be a good option for us as well.  The problem is the 
technophobes who often end up working for us.  I want to make it as easy 
as possible on the clerks so we don't have a nightmare come Christmas.  I 
need to play some more with it to figure out how to configure it.  I'm 
finding the help files to be frustratingly lacking in detail.

> You can add "Custom Buttons" to the right side of the POS window to
> perform some functions (not all are available)

I suspect this option won't work in our environment, but this is *one* 
thing I was able to figure out how to do.  Heh.

>  Custom development is expensive - most things can be worked around
> without going to that expense, but if you REALLY need something
> there's no such thing as impossible. 

This is very good to know.  I can always tell the boss that we could have 
it if she's willing to pay for it.

Thanks for the prompt answer!

-Laura
0
realtegan (22)
8/6/2005 3:51:47 AM
>> Yeah, your notes might be a problem.
>> http://www.sqlmanager.net/en/products/mssql/dataimport
>> You can download a trial version and see how it works.
> 
> Just playing with the trial version tonight, it seems to pull the notes 
> over properly.  I'm going to have to find an item with longer notes and 
> make sure it grabs the full thing...

No joy.  It only pulls over 5 lines of notes.  Worse, it pulls over the 
oldest five lines.  I'm beginning to seriously wonder if this is even 
possible.

-Laura
0
realtegan (22)
8/6/2005 4:21:07 AM
>>> Yeah, your notes might be a problem.
>>> http://www.sqlmanager.net/en/products/mssql/dataimport
>>> You can download a trial version and see how it works.
> 
> No joy.  It only pulls over 5 lines of notes.  Worse, it pulls over the 
> oldest five lines.  I'm beginning to seriously wonder if this is even 
> possible.

Did it!  With some assistance via e-mail I found DBF Viewer 2000, which can 
export the notes completely into a csv file.  It was harder to map the csv 
to the SQL database, but when I did get the file in, the notes were 
complete.

Many thanks to the folks who helped me out.  I'm sure I'll have lots of 
questions in the future.

-Laura
0
realtegan (22)
8/6/2005 3:52:25 PM
Reply:

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