It’s interesting how ideas converge and details clarify themselves. Things are coming together now on my strategy to build an addon infrastructure to facilitate extending the Squirrel POS System and then reselling those new application extensions. Talking to some resellers to get their feedback is still a task to do. The core architecture will be to base the new infrastructure on Jetty and build applications in Java. The Squirrel side will be extended to have a full suite of interface drivers that just pass on the interface information in XML and parse incoming IP msgs with XML. Printer messages will be sent to the Host, via either a driver or the Squirrel API port, which handles the printing sub-system. (Idea, build a new print subsystem which looks like a terminal to Squirrel and have all printers configured to be handled by this terminal). POS Extensions will work through this same Jetty subsystem, though communication will be via HTTP. The beginning pieces will be Detail Reqs and the Java side will emulate the current Squirrel Reqs (reading configuration from the database) for both Detail and Summary, and implement a few desirable modifications. Customers will buy Req formats that they want from a catalogue, and it will be implemented in the new Req sub-system. They should be able to switch to any Req Format in the catalogue as long as they have an active account. Concurrently with this will be implementing a credit/gift card xml system. Different handlers will communicate with the appropriate credit card processor (or test system). Squirrel POS extensions will extend the system functionality and still communciate via Jetty so logging and audit trails can be better managed. First implementations will be MoneyBar, Visanet, PaymentTech. This is also going to be the architecture for the Prophet (Web Portal app), which will allow some of this information at the Squirrel Workstation as well as other devices.
10 Apr 2006