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Help with testing.

Peter Wlodarczyk
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 05, 2013
Posts: 5
Hello, I am working on a freeware project (simple POS system) and would like some input,
if anyone has time to check it out, it is located at: posproject.net
Thank you!
Tony Docherty
Bartender

Joined: Aug 07, 2007
Posts: 2417
    
  50
I've written a commercial POS system aimed at restaurants, what input do you want?
Tony Docherty
Bartender

Joined: Aug 07, 2007
Posts: 2417
    
  50
And welcome to the ranch
Peter Wlodarczyk
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 05, 2013
Posts: 5
I would like to find out if the installation process I described is understandable and people are able to install it and use without problems.
Tony Docherty
Bartender

Joined: Aug 07, 2007
Posts: 2417
    
  50
We aren't a testing service.
If your product is aimed directly at shopkeepers, cafe owners etc then it is likely to be installed by people with only basic computer skills so I suggest you grab the least computer literate person you know and sit down next to them whilst they try and install it. The difficult part is to not give them hints every time they appear to get stuck, you just have to watch and make notes about everything they seem to find difficult and let them work out how to continue. Afterwards talk through the process with them and find out what would have made it easier for them.
Peter Wlodarczyk
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 05, 2013
Posts: 5
@Tony I know Java Ranch is not a testing service, I am just looking for opinion/hints from follow programmers
like other people here ask for help with coding issues, I took it step further - use of the coded application that is all.
Tony Docherty
Bartender

Joined: Aug 07, 2007
Posts: 2417
    
  50
like other people here ask for help with coding issues, I took it step further - use of the coded application that is all.

But we aren't the type of person who will be installing or using the app. We are all computer experts and so it's unlikely we will have problems installing/using the application whereas someone with less computer experience may find it impossible, hence my suggestion in my earlier post.
Peter Wlodarczyk
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 05, 2013
Posts: 5
I just hoped any of you had experience on release of application, dealing with user etc and had advice on that process,
Thanks.
Tony Docherty
Bartender

Joined: Aug 07, 2007
Posts: 2417
    
  50
I just hoped any of you had experience on release of application, dealing with user etc and had advice on that process,

I have, hence my earlier suggestion.
You need to decide who your user base is likely to be: Fully featured POS systems are fairly cheap to buy these days and most of that cost is for setting up the system and for customer support not the software so you aren't going to be supplying large retailers. You may however find that small family run shops/restaurants etc without a budget to purchase a system may be interested but this sector are unlikely to be full of computer experts. Some of the restaurants I installed POS systems into around 8 years ago had staff who had never even used a computer before. Admittedly these days it is increasingly rare to find people like that but I still deal with people with very little computer experience and people who are not at all confident on a computer. Now obviously these aren't the sort of people who are going to download your app but they are very likely to be the sort of people who will be using it. So you need to ask yourself what sort of person will be downloading a free POS system and base your instructions etc on that.
Peter Wlodarczyk
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 05, 2013
Posts: 5
Sounds good, so the best approach then would be put all configuration into executable jar file, so they do not have to look for changes to make etc..
ok that gave me couple of ideas, thanks
Tony Docherty
Bartender

Joined: Aug 07, 2007
Posts: 2417
    
  50
Ideally you want a single installation program that they can download and which installs everything ie java, mysql and your app. You definitely don't want the user to have to download 3 things from 3 different sites and install them all individually.
The installation program should configure mysql without asking the user anything - most users won't have a clue about how to setup MySql or what options to use.
The installation program (or a configuration program which auto runs on first run of the application) should configure your app - this will almost certainly require asking the user some questions but make sure they are within the domain of the user ie if you need to configure the heap size don't ask the user to select a memory limit of say 50Mb, 200Mb or 500Mb rather ask them to select the number of sales items they have eg "less then 100", "100 - 500" or "greater than 500" and work out how much memory is required from that.
 
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subject: Help with testing.