The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server Released

We are excited to announce that The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server has been officially released! By harnessing the power of the Microsoft SQL Server database engine, everything about The Uniform Solution is better. Transactions, reports, and searches are now super-super fast. And because the data is stored in a secure area inside SQL Server, anti-virus software can no longer cause problems with the data integrity like it currently can. Say good-bye to corruptions and hello to the platform that will extend The Uniform Solution and your business well into the future.

The Uniform Solution Mobile

 With Microsoft SQL Server, we are able to extend The Uniform Solution’s reach onto the sales floor and outside your store using the Web Server and the new smartphone apps we have created. When the first version of The Uniform Solution Mobile is released into the Android and Apple app stores in late December or early January, your employees will be able to take a picture of an item’s barcode to view pricing along with both store and vendor stock levels. This is really quite cool, and if you have multiple stores, you can log into another store and see their stock levels in real-time. Owners and Managers will be able to see a “Dashboard” that provides a snapshot of critical sales data that includes month-to-date sales this year and last year, year-to-date sales this year and last year, current inventory value, open Purchase Orders, AR, and AP. With this new mobile platform in place, we are thrilled to continue extending The Uniform Solution’s reach and usefulness.

New Features in The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server 2014

  1. Customer Merge on the Customer List – Right click a customer to merge their transaction history with another customer record
  2. WebStore Free Shipping – Set up a free shipping option for the WebStore when orders meet a minimum dollar amount (Setup > Shipping).
  3. Open Window Toolbar – The bottom of the application displays all open windows for quick-selection
  4. Backups – You can log in and use The Uniform Solution while creating a backup on another computer – thank you SQL!
  5. WebStore Restart Monitor – A new WebStore monitor ensures the WebStore stays up and running. If a problem occurs that prevents the Web Server from working properly, the monitor quickly restarts the WebStore and sends an email to us letting us know a problem occurred.
  6. Faster, Faster, Faster. With The Uniform Solution+ running Microsoft SQL Server 2012, everything is faster and more reliable. Watching the smartphone app summarize your Sales, Inventory, Purchase Orders, AP, and AR in less than 1 second and display it in the Dashboard is a testament to the power of SQL Server. With SQL Server you’ll also say good bye to the corruption issues of the past caused by Anti-Virus software and bad hardware – just make sure you have that battery backup on your Server.
  7. Transactions and History. With the move to SQL Server we no longer need to “archive” sales records for performance reasons, so all older records can be edited if needed. After converting to SQL, check your Month-End settings because you can keep transactions for up to 20 years now if you prefer.

The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server Month-to-Month Licensing

The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server is a comprehensive month-to-month software license for the entire The Uniform Solution product line. It includes The Uniform Solution for Windows with the extended Multi-Store (i.e. Enterprise) feature set, Microsoft SQL Server Express 2012, the WebStore with Shopping Cart functionality, The Uniform Solution Mobile for iOS and Android smartphones (to be released in December to January), the Vendor Catalog, use of all Connected features, and up to 2 hours of Technical Support and Training each month. There are no long term contracts. Just renew your subscription each month and you’ll continue to receive all the benefits The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server has to offer.

The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server Subscription is $250/month/location and Additional Users are $25/month. The Uniform Solution+ OnSite is $150/month/location but has a reduced feature set that is used for mobile and outside selling.

Upgrading to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server – Your 2014 Subscription Entitles You to a Big $Discount

If you currently own a license for The Uniform Solution Professional or Enterprise and purchased a Software Subscription in 2014, you can upgrade your licenses to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server and receive a $100/month/location discount in 2015. Additional Users are discounted $10/month in 2015, and The Uniform Solution+ Onsite is discounted $50/month in 2015. Customers with 2-4 locations also receive a 10% location discount, and customers with 5 or more locations will receive a 20% discount. To see all upgrade pricing details, check out this page on our website.

Your Upgrade Pricing and the Option to Upgrade Yourself

To see the monthly pricing you will receive after upgrading your existing licenses to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server, just select File > My Account in The Uniform Solution. A webpage will display (1) your active Uniform Solution licenses, (2) the credit card you have on file with us, and (3) the option to upgrade your existing licenses to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server. If you have trouble viewing the My Account Page, please contact support and we can help you gain access to your account details.

Upgrade in December 2014 and Get 20 Days Free ($100 value)*
Upgrade in January 2015 and get 10 Days Free ($50 value)*

If you upgrade to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server in December using the My Account Page, your license will renew 20 days beyond the date of your current Professional or Enterprise Subscription. If you renew in January 2015, you’ll get a 10 day extension at no cost.

*This extension does not apply to current WebStore customers

Upgrade by May 31st 2015 and Save $ in 2016

The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server upgrade pricing in 2016 is scheduled to be $200/month/location and $25/month/user, but if you upgrade by May 31st, 2015, your price will be $175/month/location and $20/month/user in 2016.

End-of-Life for Professional and Enterprise Software Subscriptions

2015 will be the last year The Uniform Solution Professional and Enterprise Software Subscriptions will be offered. A 2015 Professional and Enterprise Software subscription will provide Vendor Catalog updates and support for all existing Connected features, but we do not plan on adding any enhancements. Starting in 2016, these licenses will continue to operate, but the Vendor Catalog and the Connected Features will no longer be supported and functional. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your business, but we have to set an end-of-life for the Subscription portion of our older products in order to adequately support The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server and it’s many features.

Preparing Your Locations for The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server

Upgrading to The Uniform Solution+ SQL server is a fairly quick and easy process, but it does require that you have the right operating system and equipment. Windows XP is not supported and you will ideally want a Server that has at least 8GB of memory. If your PC has 8GB of memory, the processor speed and hard-drive space should be adequate. If you feel your Server computer does not perform adequately now, consider getting a new PC.

Battery Backups

If you don’t have a battery backup on your Server, get one today. This is the most essential item you can have to make sure your data does not become corrupted during a power outage. You should have a battery backup for each computer, but you must have one for your Server. Save yourself from a lot of grief by having a working battery backup.

Installing The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server

After upgrading your licenses to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server, make sure your current version of The Uniform Solution is Version 4.76 or newer. Once you have this version installed, you will be able to download and install The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server 5.74 (or newer) by selecting Maintenance > Updates > Check for Program Updates. The process takes about an hour and must be done at all locations before you can batch again. We recommend doing the upgrade Sunday night to Thursday night in case you have a problem and need assistance. Don’t forget our technical support hours are M-F 8:30am to 5:00pm CST. If you have an anti-virus program, you should disable it for 2 hours if possible. We have seen some anti-virus software prevent Microsoft SQL Server from installing correctly. If you feel you need assistance before you start, please give us a call.

Do not install and convert to The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server if you have started a Physical Inventory. The items and quantities you scan are not converted to the SQL Server database and cannot be used. You must start and complete your Physical Inventory before or after the conversion process.

What’s Next for The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server

Since its inception, The Uniform Solution has been in continual development and has improved each year to become what it is today – a robust, reliable, and innovative inventory control solution for the uniform retailer. Now that we have a SQL backend in place, we can make improvements that have been on the backburner for some time. We are currently working on completing the Smartphone apps and emailing receipts to customers from the Point-of-Sale. To make sure your emailed receipts get to the recipient immediately (1-2 seconds), we will be providing you with a “transactional” email account that is included with The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server Subscription. Regarding long-term projects, we have several that we are currently considering and excited about what they can do to improve your efficiency and selling opportunities. I hope to provide more details next year as we determine an approach to bring these to fruition.

At Diamond Data Systems, we are embracing the changes we see coming to retail and the technology you will need in the long-term to be successful in the uniform industry. If you have any questions, please give us a call. We are excited about the opportunity for you to use The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server to run your business.