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Step 1: Setup & Installation Overview

Last updated on May 17th, 2022

Hardware

While most software packages are migrating exclusively to the web, for a lot of merchants in Africa, internet connectivity still remains one of the biggest challenges they face when going digital. A lot of inventory management solutions on the market today will not offer full functionality without an active “always-on” internet connection, this renders these systems inoperable for some merchants. While WooPOS offers merchants all the web-based features that are the mainstay of modern inventory management solutions such as cloud backup, remote-access, multi-location inventory lookup and sync as well as E-commerce extensions for selling inventory or services on the internet when there is no internet connection WooPOS can operate as an offline, on-premise fully-featured end-to-end inventory management. How about that!?


Hardware Requirements

WooPOS relies on your computer to operate smoothly, in particular, your computer’s hard drive, processor, and internal memory. To improve your experience when operating WooPOS please consider using hardware with the recommended specifications and a fast internet connection. While we have seen merchants install and successfully run WooPOS on very low-spec hardware without any issues, doing so, is not recommended as it compromises the reliability and efficiency of your business operations. We always strongly encourage WooPOS users to make an adequate investment in their hardware. Below are the recommended computer hardware requirements:

  • 2.6Ghz i5 or i7 (4th or Newer Generation) or Compatible CPU
  • 8GB RAM Memory
  • 128GB SSD (SATA HDD is not recommended. For best performance, please use M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive)
  • 1920 X 1080 Screen Resolution Recommended
  • Windows 10 – 64bit Home or Pro (S mode, Apple, Linux or Chrome operating systems are not supported. Remote Desktop embedded in the web browser is available for these operating systems)
  • 1Gbit Network Speed
  • Internet: 20 Mbit/sec download and 5 Mbit/sec upload

Note: If you install WooPOS on a device that has other software programs installed, conflicts may arise which may significantly slow down WooPOS. Always uninstall all unnecessary software or, alternatively, create a new user account on your device to install and run WooPOS.


Software

Downloading WooPOS

You can download the latest version of WooPOS from the WooPOS download page.

Note: You need an active internet connection to download, install, and activate WooPOS.

 


Installing and Activating WooPOS

Once you have downloaded WooPOS on your device, open the downloaded .exe file and follow the installation prompts.

  • Step 1: Run WooPosSetup.exe file from the Downloads folder. Review and accept the WooPOS terms of agreement and click Next.
  • Step 2: Enter a valid email address and click Next. (Please use the same email address on all your devices)
  • Step 3: You should get the verification code sent to your email address within two minutes. Enter the verification code and click Next.
  • Step 4: Enter or edit your registration information and click Next.
  • Step 5: If you wish to install a SQL database as part of the installation, tick the “Install SQL Database on this computer” option ond click Next.
  • Step 6: WooPOS will finish the installation and you’re done!

Tip: Skip to the “Database” section of this guide to understand when to install a SQL database on your device

 

Note: The email address you use to activate your copy of WooPOS during installation is very important because it links your WooPOS installation to your billing account and cloud database. When you install WooPOS on any other device that you want to be linked to a single WooPOS account and cloud database please ensure that you use the same email address for all installations and in your billing portal.


Troubleshooting Installation Issues

During WooPOS installation, as a starting point to resolve unexpected issues that you may encounter, please go through the following troubleshooting checklist.

  • Is the latest version of Windows 10 Home or Pro (64bit) installed on the device ?
  • Does the computer meet the minimum hardware requirements ?
  • Is the computer connected to the internet over a stable internet connection?
  • Is my antivirus software and firewall intefearing or blocking the WooPOS installation?
  • Is WooPOS being installed on a “clean” installation of Windows or, at least, a new Windows user account specifically created on the device for installing WooPOS?


Database

Installing SQL Database

WooPOS installs a local SQL database running on a free version of Microsoft’s SQL Express to your computer to store data locally, this database is backed up and synced to your WooPOS cloud account at all times and is synced across all your devices and locations. To ensure that all devices running WooPOS are always in sync, all POS devices linked to the same account via the installation email address remain synchronised at all times. WooPOS gives you three optional “modes” to sync your POS devices to your database depending on your preferences:

  • Mode 1 – Online Using a Local Database (Recommended)
    In this mode, all your POS devices in a single location (connected to the same Local Area Network) share a single database installed on any one of the devices (this is the server). Any additional devices in the same location must have WooPOS installed without a SQL database, instead, they should connect directly to a device (the server) on which a SQL database is installed. A single location can have one or several devices set up as a server at any time. Data will sync instantly on devices that share the same database server and at 5-10 minute intervals via cloud sync for devices connected to different servers on different networks.
    Note: For whatever reason, if no local database server is available while in Mode 1, WooPOS will revert to Mode 2 and will require an always-on high-speed internet connection to continue operating.
    Note: For E-commerce integrations, multi-location sync and remote access and lookup to work, an internet connection must be available in the background.

  • Mode 2 – Online Using Cloud Database
    In this mode, all your POS devices are installed without a local SQL database. When a WooPOS installation has no access to a SQL database on the local network it will automatically connect to the Cloud Database. In this mode, WooPOS will require an always-on high-speed internet connection. (20 Mbit/sec download and 5 Mbit/sec upload is highly recommended)
    Note: On a slow internet connection this mode will offer a slow and an unstable user experience.

  • Mode 3 – Offline Using Local Database
    In situations where an internet connection is not available at all or where WooPOS is being operated in a single location without the need for E-commerce integrations, remote access, or cloud backup you can operate WooPOS on multiple devices without an internet connection (identical to Mode 1 but without an internet link). In this mode, ensure that all local devices are connected to the same Local Area Network. If you wish to operate a single device as both your POS and server you should install both WooPOS and a SQL database server on the same device.
    Note: An active internet connection is required to download, install and activate WooPOS.

  • Mode 4 – Web-Based Using Cloud Database
    You can access WooPOS in a web browser without a local installation or license. WooPOS remote desktop access makes WooPOS a web-based app. Your WooPOS can work the exact same way as the live demo.
    Note: In this mode, the remote host computer must be switched on and connected to a high-speed internet connection. Note: On a slow internet connection this mode will offer a slow and an unstable user experience.


Configuring SQL Database

Each time you run WooPOS it will first try to connect to a database on the device that it is installed on, if there is no database installed on that device it will search for a database on any other device on the same local network. If no database is available on the local network, WooPOS will search for a cloud database associated with the WooPOS email address of the current installation.

Where multiple databases are available on the same local network, WooPOS will connect to any of the available databases at random. To force WooPOS to connect to a specific local database you can hold the CTRL and SHIFT keys immediately after WooPOS starts and release the keys as soon as you see the “Searching available database” progress box. When prompted, you can select your prefered device as the database server. If you tick the “Set selected server as preferred” option on the prompt, the selected device will become the preferred device whenever WooPOS searches for a database.

Tip: Install WooPOS using Mode 1 above where only one device on each local network has a database installed to avoid unexpected database connections and improved performance.

Whenever a transaction is recorded, each database server will have its own transaction ID sequence where the server ID is the prefix. If you wish to have all transactions from each location share the same transaction ID sequence, ensure that only one server is installed on your local network or always ensure that a single preferred database server is used every time.


Identifying Your Current SQL Database & Installation Details

In Your WooPOS on the top bar at the left side of the application window, you will see details of your installation including your Database/WooPOS ID, Computer Name, connected Server Name, WooPOS Version, Business Name.


Maintaining & Repairing a Local SQL Database

After you have installed at least one SQL database on your local network, database synchronization will automatically run in the background when WooPOS is open or minimized. If your local database is unavailable or any of your data appears to be incorrect or out of sync, please check your device’s cloud sync status first (see below), if you cannot resolve the issue this way, you can quit WooPOS and perform a database backup and maintenance when prompted to do so on exit. Once the databasebackup and maintenance has been completed, go ahead and restart WooPOS and check your data again.

Tip: After you have installed a local SQL database on any device pleasedo a database backup and maintenance to ensure that the local server downloads the latest copy of the Cloud Database onto the local device.

Tip: Always identify which server your WooPOS installation is connected to. When a WooPOS installation uses the CloudDB server directly it means that no local database could be found. In this mode, WooPOS will rely primarily on the performance of your internet connection to operate and will often be unstable or completely unusable on unreliable or slow internet connections. Please regularly monitor the performance and status of your cloud sync and your internet connection to troubleshoot any performance issues.

Note: Your firewall or an unstable internet connection may prevent the successful sync of your Cloud Database to your device, if you experience any issues syncing your Cloud Database please check the localpos.log file in your WooPOS installation directory for errors.


Checking Cloud Sync Status of Local SQL Database

You can check the status of your database at any time by opening WooPOS and going to.


Customising WooPOS

Switches

WooPOS is highly customisable and open-ended. As a result of all the features included in WooPOS some users have the assumption that WooPOS is “complex”. When confronted with the WooPOS User Interface for the first time, some users find it intimidating or even overwhelming.

Don’t let that deter you, once you get around to the most basic features first, by the end of this series of guides, you’ll be able to use WooPOS end-to-end without having to mess around with many of the other settings and options. Usually, in no time, after users get comfortable using WooPOS’s basic features they often reach out to us and request advanced functionality and customisations.

The good news is that, in most cases, most of the requested features come as part of WooPOS out-of-the-box. By default, many WooPOS advanced features and options come “switched off”. For example, you can disable PCI compliance and minimise the amount of time you’ll see the annoying password dialogue box each time your POS is idle for a few minutes, for obvious reasons PCI compliance comes enabled by default. To access the list of all available WooPOS switches do the following:

Useful Link: Turning on or off switches


Peripheral Devices

Setting Up Touch Screen

WooPOS works instantly with your touchscreen, however, you may want to enable the WooPOS on-screen keyboard to optimise your experience and minimise the need to regularly shift between using your screen and physical keyboard.


Enabling Onscreen Keyboard

In WooPOS


Setting Up Printers

Using the printer settings window you can specify which printer will print each type of document (invoices, day end, etc). Before adding printers to WooPOS, please install printer drivers (if needed) and print a test page in the printer properties setting to make sure the printer is working properly.

  • Step 1: Login to WooPOS,
  • Step 2: Access the Setup menu.
  • Step 3: Select Printers and Local Equipment tab to set up the printer.
  • Step 4: Select the document you wish to configure a printer for, and press the Setup button.

Useful Link: Setting up Printers


Setting Up Cash Drawer

Typically POS cash drawers are connected to a POS via the receipt printer. In WooPOS you can set up your cash drawer via the Printers and Local Settings tab of the Setup menu by configuring the receipt printer.

Useful Link: Setting Up (and plugging in) a Cash Drawer via the Control Signal-Printer

Useful Link: Setting Up (and plugging in) a Cash Drawer via the USB Port or Serial Port

Tip: Switch on Switch 003 to configure the cash drawer to only open when a cash transaction has been completed, the cash drawer will remain closed for non-cash transactions.


Setting Up Label/Barcode Printer

WooPOS utilises barcodes at different stages of the inventory management workflow to ensure accurate and efficient data capture and processing. To take full advantage of WooPOS’s built-in features it is highly recommended that you make use of barcodes and labels in your own business processes. While using a dedicated label printer is ideal, WooPOS supports the use of a normal desktop printer for all your label and barcode printing needs.

  • Step 1: Login to WooPOS,
  • Step 2: Access the Setup menu.
  • Step 3: Select Printers and Local Equipment tab to set up the printer.
  • Step 4: Select the document you wish to configure a printer for, and press the Setup button.

Useful Link: Designing and Printing Labels using a Desktop Printer

Tip: You can use your Android Phone with a camera as a barcode scanner using an Android scanner app.


Setting Up POS Connected Scale

WooPOS can work with most POS connected measuring devices including a weigh scale or digital flow metre. Connecting a measuring device to your POS reduces the likelihood of data entry mistakes and inaccurate capture of transactions. Setting up a weigh scale in WooPOS is simple.

  • Step 1: Connect your scale to your computer
  • Step 2: Log into WooPOS and access the Setup menu.
  • Step 3: In the General Settings tab, add Unit Name (eg: kg), check the Partial Qty option , then click Add.
  • Step 4: Select the Printers and Local Settings tab > Weigh Scale menu located in the top right corner.
  • Step 5: Select a printer and click Save.

Tip: The Com Port field is where you select the com port number of the USB-Serial adapter where the scale is plugged into your computer.

Tip: To find your com port: First plugin the scale into a USB port using a USB to Serial converter if necessary, or connect the scale directly to the serial port via a Serial to Serial cable. In your computer’s Device Manager  navigate Ports (COM & LPT) > USB Serial Port (COM#) (the # represents the Com Port in use)

Useful link: Setting Up Weigh Scale


Communication

Setting Up Email

WooPOS can integrate seamlessly with your email application or service to send your customers automated invoice emails, statements and notifications.

Useful link: Setup Email Application to Work With WooPOS


Setting Up SMSs

WooPOS can integrate seamlessly with Twilio to send your customers automated invoice SMSs after each transaction.

Useful link: Sending SMS Text Message


E-Commerce

Setting Up WooCommerce

If you have a WooCommerce powered store that you want to serve as the web storefront for your WooPOS powered business you can connect and manage everything directly from within WooPOS. When integrated with WooPOS, your WooCommerce store will automatically sync prices, inventory, images, orders, store credit and gift cards with WooPOS. Within WooPOS you can manage and assign inventory to your website including product variations, description, price and product image. Within your WooCommerce store, you’ll be able to accept and process online payments and push them to WooPOS for fulfilment and dispatch. All your inventory will continue to be managed from within WooPOS

Useful Link: Setting up WooCommerce User Account and API

Note: Any changes to products (like description, price, etc) that you make directly within your WooCommerce store will not be synchronized automatically into WooPOS (you’ll need to import changes into WooPOS manually). To ensure auto-sync, always manage your inventory in WooPOS.

Note: Customers (With Switch), Gift Cards, Store Credit and Reward Points will sync both ways regardless of where they are created or edited between WooPOS and the WooCommerce store

Useful Link: WooCommerce Data Synchronization

Useful Link: Editing and Publishing Product to WooCommerce

Useful Link: Bulk Publishing Products from POS to Web

Useful Link: Exporting and Importing Web Attributes


Setting Up Shopify

If you have a Shopify powered store that you want to serve as the web storefront for your WooPOS powered business you can connect and manage everything directly from within WooPOS. When integrated with WooPOS, your Shopify store will automatically sync prices, inventory, images and orders with WooPOS. Within WooPOS you can manage and assign inventory to your website including product variations, description, price and product image. Within your Shopify store, you’ll be able to accept and process online payments and push them to WooPOS for fulfilment and dispatch. All your inventory will continue to be managed from within WooPOS

Note: Any changes to products (like description, price, etc) that you make directly within your Shopify store will not be synchronized automatically into WooPOS (you’ll need to import changes into WooPOS manually). To ensure auto-sync, always manage your inventory in WooPOS.

Useful Link: Connecting WooPOS to Shopify

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