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Mobility

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Mobility

Without any doubt, one of the most important findings of the 20th century has been The Internet. It changed the way people accessed information and communicated with the rest of the world. Nowadays, people, consciously or not, use cloud applications every day for many different purposes: communicating through email or instant messages, sharing documents, watching videos or listening to music in streaming, accessing social networks,… Business applications are also following this trend as it has clear benefits for companies and users.

Since the beginning, Openbravo’s vision has been to build native web based business applications. Openbravo solutions use state-of-the-art technology that enables you to have 100% of its functional footprint fully accessible through a web browser. This capability has clear benefits for companies as it provides total flexibility for end users allowing them to access their business processes data from any device and any location. It also reduces IT costs, as it simplifies the solution deployment process as well as its maintenance. No specific software needs to be installed in users’ computers and server updates are immediately available to all users.

Cloud based solutions are in addition much more secure than traditional client server applications. With Openbravo, access to data is done through a highly secure Internet protocol that encrypts the data that navigates through the net and furthermore the solution can be hosted in cutting-edge data centers that have capabilities such as 24×7 availability, redundant hardware and data communications, full server backups and advanced disaster recovery strategies. Very few companies can guarantee this level of security in their in house servers.

If you still have a legacy business application and want to move to a modern native web based and cloud ready solution, contact us here and ask for a demo. We will be pleased to put you in touch with one of our local partners.

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Mobility

Openbravo POS on tablets and smartphones


With the recent announcement last week about the smartphone support for Openbravo POS, Openbravo for Retail completes the range of possible devices that let retailer adapt to any business scenario, ranging from PC based terminals to laptops, tablet devices and now “smartphones like” devices. 
I would like to stress the “like” reference, since it is not even necessary to use an smartphone, but simply a mobile device with a supported browser and internet connectivity, with the miminum required characteristics in terms of screen size and resolution (3.5″ and 480×800 pixels). As a result, retailer can use cost effective devices of around $300, like a simple iPod Touch or others. 

The beauty of this is that this new capability does not mean we are distributing a new version of our solution for smartphones, but the same solution which automatically adapts its layout depending on the size of the terminal, thanks to the responsive design principle provided by the powerful Openbravo Mobile Infraestructure. Its application to our solution was already explained by Rob Goris in this great blogpost. Tablet users will usually work with the double column layout but will be able to switch to the single column layout by simply rotating the device, while smartphone users will usually work with the single column layout.

To illustrate this, a new video is available which shows Openbravo POS features in action on mobile devicesEnglish and Spanish, which complements the one we published last week showing Openbravo POS in a sporting shoes retailer, here.


With this new capability which strenghtens Openbravo’s mobile retail offering, brick-and-mortar retailers get clear business benefits:

  • Simplified deployment and maintenance of a single and cross platform solution that can be run in multiple terminals, either traditional PC based or modern mobile devices like tablets or smartphones, providing the same functionality and user experience, instead of native mobile solutions which require to be installed on each mobile terminal. Only by using a browser.
  • Enable the go-mobile strategy, an industry imperative today, by using both iOS, Windows or Android mobile devices
  • Dramatically reduce terminal costs by using mobile consumer devices, like smartphones or tablets, instead of traditional PC-based terminals
  • Provide a better service and shopping experience to their customers
  • Empower store staff and increase service quality with a modern and more flexible solution that help staff while selling and assisting customers
  • Be more agile in front of seasonal demand situations which require more points of sale by simply adopting mobile devices during these periods

This new feature converts Openbravo for Retail in an even more compelling solution for retailers of different sizes and activity, that can access to a modern and more flexible solution, which can be easily tailored to their own special needs, giving them more agility and better TCO, while achieving real-time global visibility and efficiency on their business demands.


Are you expanding into new territories and/or new business areas, or just seeking for a solution to modernize your stores and provide better shopping experience with a state-of-the-art mobile POS solution? : 

  • Are you an independent mid-sized brick-and-mortar retailer struggling to go mobile and interested to grow on-line? Openbravo for Retail can provide you strong store, e-commerce backend and corporate functionality, with a single source of truth
  • Are you an e-tailer seeking for a complete e-commerce backend solution to better manage your growing operations? Openbravo for Retail can be easily integrated with any e-commerce platform (Magento connector available for example). If you are thinking on opening pop-up stores for showrooming, Openbravo POS with mobile devices can also be a key element for a quick up&running
  • Are you a large brick and mortar retailer and want to protect your headquarters system investment while improving your stores operations? Openbravo POS is the perfect solution, easy to integrate with your current corporate system and from a single integration point

If you want to learn more about our solution:
·        Visit our Retail website section

·        Download our product brochure (Englishand Spanish)

·        Dowload our solution description (Englishand Spanish)

Happy retailing!

Xavier Places
Openbravo’s Retail Lead

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Mobility

Have you seen the power of Openbravo Mobile already? As you may have read in a previous post, we have been looking for the best HTML5 framework for Openbravo Mobile. After several months of researching, prototyping and testing we have decided that Enyo is our best option. What’s Enyo? Enyo is an object-oriented JavaScript application […]

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Mobility

After announcing our plans for a mobile solution of Openbravo 3 last year, we decided to first launch the Openbravo for Retail solution with Web POS as the primary mobile interface. Having delivered, we now continue working on the core mobile Openbravo…

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Mobility

A week ago I started to search for a mock-up tool for tablets. What I wanted to do is to use a set of ready-made page designs and add interactivity to make it come alive. This is business as usual for desktop: I have been doing this for years in tools as simple as Powerpoint or in Dreamweaver by just dropping image maps (linked hotspots) on top of bitmap images. It turned out to be quite hard to find similar tools for tablet and mobile.
The whole point of an interactive mock-up is that it gives the user the impression that they are dealing with a fully functional application. Interactive mock-ups are used to test a much more detailed version of your application design than you would do using wireframes. The difference between mock-ups and wireframes is in the level of maturity. Wireframes are used to communicate the functional flows, the specifications and the layout of an application with very low fidelity. Most designers intentionally draw wireframes in black and white using sketchy lines to make sure their audience understands that everything is still rough. Mock-ups are the next iteration of wireframes. They add more look & feel, interactions, color and graphical elements. Ultimately there is the prototype which is a first real implementation of the design intent. It is developed by engineers and it aims to prove that the technology can do what the designers had in mind.  Here´s an image showing the different stages:
The different stages in application design
Application design comes to life in the mock-up stage and the user – or client – may even think the application was built already. Let me just give you a tip as a side note: Always make sure to communicate that in this stage not a single line of code was written yet and that everything is just smoke & mirrors.
There are plenty of wireframe tools on the market for PC/Mac but also web based applications that do a good job. Here´s an overview of a few years ago that is still valid as things have not changed that much. Good quality wireframe apps for tablets are thinner on the ground and it really gets hard to find a good interactive mock-up builder. Deceptively, most wireframe apps for iPad promise easy image importing but fail on the delivery. Images either have a maximum size, a maximum amount (e.g. ProtoTap) or just can´t deal with full-size rendering in high quality  (e.g. iMockups). Also, when you need to use your mockup for usability testing, you don’t want disturbing toolbars that come with the app, as they distract the user who can’t distinguish between the controls of your app and the mock-up app. Most mockup tools just don’t seem to be designed by designers.

In theory, you could create interactive mockups in HTML (images + hotspots) the same way for tablet as you would do for desktop. The problem however, lies in the playback. The iPad does not allow users to run local html files in the browser, an annoyance of iOS. Android is more flexible but here we run into the second problem: Images are not scaled optimally in the browser which results in nasty slider bars appearing.

So after wasting too many euros on useless – for my purpose – wireframe apps in the App Store (it´s a shame that you can´t return an app if it doesn’t do what it says on the tin), I finally found a decent interactive mockup builder app in the business category; a place where I did not expect it. Don´t get fooled by the boring name but mind you: Presentation Link  is quite an exciting find for interaction designers that need to test their work on users. Presentation Link lets you import your images (or PDF presentation) from Dropbox or iTunes. You can then add transparent hotspots on top of these images that turn dead pixels into interactive components. Just draw a rectangle on top of (an image of) a screen element and tell it which slide should appear next when tapping it. By adding enough images that represent different scenarios, you can get very close to the behavior of the final application. Here´s a little demo of Presentation Link:

 
How to create a simple interactive mockup

Presentation Link might actually disappoint tablet users that are looking for a fully fledged presentation maker à la Powerpoint or Keynote but this was obviously not the intention of Zuhanden GMBH, the authors of this tool. Knowing that slick presentations and interaction designs are much better produced on desk/laptop computers, Presentation Link just imports external beauty, links it together in a non-linear way and presents high quality, snappy clickable mockups that can be used for usability testing and demonstrations.
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Mobility

With the release of the iPad ( http://www.apple.com/ipad/ ) a new range of possibilities can be discovered regarding the ERP mobility world.See this example about launching a Stock report in Openbravo ERP on an iPad.See also a Sales invoices dimensiona…

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