This technical summary is designed for corporate and IT professionals who want to rapidly understand the Fieldpine system. It is for retailers who have their own inhouse IT teams. Refer to our Products Information page for more general information
- Fieldpine POS is designed as a distributed system. Systems can operate for extended periods without network connectivity.
- The core POS application is designed to allow site specific customisation, from selling screens, business flow and even custom data capture and external interfaces. There are several APIs available for different interfacing purposes.
- The system is generally self contained and does not require additional product installation.
- The logical structure has "Trading Lanes", optional "Store Servers" to control a store, and "Head Office" to amalgamate all sales.
- The system is realtime, sales completed in lanes are visible within seconds at Head Office
- Networks are generally VPN, but stores can also be connected using the internet directly.
- Head Office servers can be hosted inhouse, or using cloud vendors such as AWS, Azure or any others of your choosing.
- Stores can use tablets for instore ordering and other functions. All management and non selling functions are web based to allow maximum flexibility.
- Automated and remote diagnostics are included in some of the products, this permits remote support even while lanes are still actively selling to customers.
- Architectural limits are very high, and performance is important to us even at high volumes.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- High reliability due to decentralised design.
- Scalable. New stores and lanes can be easily added
- Highly customisable to enable specific requirements. However it still works out of the box.
- Not ideal for all verticals. Restaurants/Bars (no table tracking). Clothing (no size/colour/style matrix)
- API to allow easy interfacing. API is same as used by trading lanes, not cut down.
- Some functions are smaller retailers only. eg Monthly statement generation/printing/emailing is not suitable for large scale use. Larger retailers typically use more specialised tools for this functions and interface to Fieldpine.
- Core system built for high performance and large volume. 100,000's of products, millions of customer records and can store over 100/sales per second at Head office with typical hardware.
The following devices are supported. New devices can be added as required. There are APIs for interfacing devices if required
- Barcode scanners. Keyboard wedge or serial. Tablets and mobile phones may have restrictions depending on models/versions. In general scanners will work.
- Receipt Printers. Epson, Star, Bixolon etc. Most printer models can be used. Network printers can sometimes be directly supported avoiding the need for printer drivers. Tablets and mobile devices are able to use printers connected to lanes and store servers.
- EFT solutions. A range of providers are available and include fully and partially integrated options
- Label Printers. Generally Zebra or Intermec brands, or any printer capable of EPL or ZPL.
- Scales. A range of retail counter scales are supported. New models can be added reasonably easily
- Fuel Controllers. Multi store fuel retailers should contact us directly.
- Cameras. Built in cameras and network connected cameras. Feeds can also be provided (via serial port) for security camera overlays.
- In store tablets connect to local store servers for maximum performance.
- Databases can be inhouse or cloud or a combination of both. The system is based on a distributed database and uses relational databases (several engines supported) on each server node.
- Retailers that wish to retain all data inhouse can route encrypted transactions via websites to in-house servers.
- POS itself uses a rights and roles security model for controlling system functionality
- Audit trails are kept of most operations. We tend to use a log based recording system.
- Sensitive data is encrypted where necessary.
- Database records can include tamper controls to prevent direct database changes.
- Everything can be recorded if you wish
- Software updates and configuration changes are automatically deployed.
- Lanes can be remotely monitored and controlled (network connectivity permitting)
- Systems optionally send technical events to central Fieldpine servers for support purposes. We are often aware of issues before the lanes.
- Automated diagnositic tools.
- Fieldpine software is released on a continuous delivery basis, but sites can choose when to deploy new versions.
- Bulk data upload/extract can be by uploading Excel spreadsheets
The following areas are typically customised. Customisation at this level means changes that can be made without needing to change the Fieldpine source code. Customisation of Fieldpine has been described more as "site configuraton"
- Receipts. (Common)
- Windows. (Common). Selling screens are changed to reflect brand and needs. Configured by simple text files that describe the user interface.
- Database. (Common). Custom fields and tables can be added to the database. eg. If you want to record the customers hair colour, this can be accomodated easily.
- Web (Average). Create custom reports and forms.
- External Servers (Rare). Lanes can communicate to 3rd party applications while selling.
Several methods exist to interface depending on business requirements. (Technical Details)
- For simple batch type operations, information can be loaded or extracted directly at the logical database level.
- Realtime APIs exist for most operations so that you can, for example, create and receive customers/products/sales as they are created.
- For implementing business logic at selling time, there is a JSON/XML API inside the lanes and you can write procedures to receive very fine level control. This means you can affect the operation at an extremely fine level. This API is not often required as the built in scripting engine is usually capable of handling most requirements.
- Standard reports are web based.
- Excel addin for power users. Uses formulas to extract information from live database
- All realtime
- KPI reports can be published to internet and viewed by owners on cell phones. LiveResults displays current days trading on your phone
- Fully integrated stock control
- Supports large number of products
- Individual item tracking can be enabled on a per product basis
- Purchase orders, create and lifecycle management.
- Electronic interfaces to key suppliers
- Tracked (audited) store to store stock transfers
- Individual customer sales tracking.
- Customer entry can be centrally controlled or distributed to selling counters
- Customer specific pricing
- Extensive range of options
- Flexible discounting options, fixed, percentage, cents per litre, quantity based
- Promotion support options (buy N pay for M)
- Specific overrides
- Markdown pricing. Individual barcodes that are tracked from issue to sale
- Email receipts
- Unlimted park/store-recall of sales
- Can have multiple active sales
- Custom business logic per product, customer, store.
- Can include dynamic linked reports. eg Select customer X for selling to, screen shows last sale details
- Easy to use interfaces to configure Read/Write exchange with websites
- Website sales can be fully completed, or marked for store fulfillment.