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How do I install offline terminal mode for a register station?

WARNING: If you plan to use this feature for off-site sales, DO NOT SETUP THIS FUNCTION THE DAY BEFORE YOUR EVENT!

Offline terminal should be setup and tested for several days prior to any off-site use. This includes testing sales and ringout procedures, hardware configuration (receipt printer, drawer, magswipe, etc.). You should familiarize yourself with database synch, network disconnect, limited operations in offline mode, reconnect, blind closeout, and processing Z reports in Manager for the offline session.

The offline database feature is built into Store Operations to allow users to continue transactions if the network connection to the database is lost. It can also be used when a workstation needs to be taken off-site, such as to a trade show, warehouse sale, or to a remote location. This feature is not intended to be used as the primary database. It is best to maintain the primary database on a networked machine for daily use. When using offline mode, cashiers can only ring sales of existing items. They will NOT be able to add items, create customers, run the Z report, etc. 

WARNING: Most custom POS button options will NOT function in offline terminal mode. If you use integrated card processing in RMS, you'll need an Internet connection at the remote location or sales will be limted to cash and check tenders.

Each register that will be utilizing the offline server mode must have MSDE, SQL 2005 Express, or 2008 R2 Express installed and running at all times.

To access offline mode, follow these steps:

1. Make sure SQL Server (MSDE, SQL 2005 Express, or 2008 R2 Express) is installed on the local machine. To check if it's installed, you should have a Microsoft SQL Server folder within the Program Files folder. If SQL Server is not installed on the local machine, you can install it from the RMS CD or installation download folder.
2. From within Store Operations Administrator on the local PC, connect to the server on the local machine. The server will be the machine name (My Computer | Properties). Make sure the correct server name is displayed as being connected to in the lower left-hand corner.
3. Create a database from the blank backup database (RMSDB.bck) in the DB Files folder for Store Operations. Make sure you use a different database name than the normal database for the store.
4. Go to File | Configuration from within Administrator. On the Database tab, make sure the server name is the machine name of the networked machine & the primary database name is listed.
5. On the Offline tab, enter the local server name & the database that you just created. Enter the user name and password for this database (usually, it is a user name of 'sa' with a blank password, unless a password was entered during installation of SQL). Close Administrator.
6. While connected to the network, run a Z-report or a ZZ-report then log back in. This action will synchronize the primary database with the offline database. (If you don't want to use the offline database right now, ring sales as normal, but make sure you run the Z-report or ZZ-report before taking the machine off the network).
7. Close POS and take the workstation off the network.
8. Launch POS. You should get a message that you are in offline mode. Once the machine is taken off the network, the open batch that existed when in online mode will be automatically blind-closed.
9. Ring sales as normal. When in offline mode, you can access the items within the offline database on the local machine that was synchronized in step 5.
10. Close POS & connect back up to the network.
11. Re-launch POS. You should get a message prompting you to update the primary database with the offline database. After synching up with the online database, the batch that was opened in offline mode will be automatically blind-closed. The purpose of this is to keep the offline batch separate from the online batches.
12. To close the blind-closed batches (from steps 8 and 11), launch Store Operations Manager (on any PC) and go to Journal | Update Batch Info. Print the report to the screen to see your open and blind-closed batches. Place your cursor over the Batch ID so it turns into a magnifying glass and double-click to access the window where you can run a Z-report to close the batch. Keep in mind that reports run from Manager will use the default Windows printer that is set up in the Control Panel.
13. Continue running on the network with the primary database as usual.


- If you receive a script error while synching the offline db, try entering the main server's IP address instead of PC name in Store Operations Administrator, File Configuration, General tab (not Offline tab), Server name, click Test Database, then OK, OK to save changes. Then restart POS and try the Z out/sync again.

- If sync hangs on first table entry then times out with generic error message ("close app, restart, ok, sync successful") then a firewall exception needs to be configured on server for port 1433 even if SQL Server is already listed as an exception. Run Windows Firewall, select Advanced, add Inbound rule, Port 1433, accept defaults, call it SQL Server port. The try Z out again.

TIP: We suggest disabling offline terminal mode when is not required to avoid creating blind closeouts in error. You can disable offline in Store Operations Administrator, File, Configuration, Offline tab, by deleting an entry such as the server name which is usually set to (local). Once entry is removed, start POS again and offline mode will no longer be active. When you need offline in the future, insert (local), then Z out POS and log back into the POS. Watch for any offline sync errors. If no errors, you are ready to close POS and disconnect the PC from the network.

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  1. Dave J

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