A picture is worth a thousand words | Khaos Control Cloud

Well that’s that then, our next development phase (sprint) is complete which means it’s time for us to update you on what we’ve been improving in our online stock management solution during the past couple of weeks.

We love an old proverb (especially one that’s been made up) as much as the next person, so it seemed appropriate to go there when flagging up the latest changes.  But images are the least of it.  I’m really excited about some of the cool features in the latest version of Khaos Control Cloud, so I hope that you enjoy!

Content Delivery Network for your Online Stock Management Solution


content delivery network for our online stock management solution

You now have the ability to upload images to your stock items.  We have built and deployed a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that allows you to store all of your images in the cloud and link them to your products.  All you need to do is go to the “Images” tab on your stock item screen.

Once you are in edit mode you will be given the ability to drag/drop images onto the page or browse through your files and select the appropriate images from there.

Any images that are linked to your stock item will be presented in both a gallery and grid format, allowing you to see the images and fetch more details about them, such as the URL of the image if the user requires it.

I’m really excited about this change on two levels.  Firstly, it means that you can take your phone, tablet or other device around your business (or even out into the field) to gather images of your products, upload them straight away to the CDN and then link them to your products in Khaos Control Cloud.  No need to worry about which barcode goes against which item, or getting someone to translate file names in a couple of weeks’ time.

Secondly, once you’ve uploaded an image to the CDN this means that it’s available to any other online tool you use.  For example, emailing product updates out to customers via Mailchimp (other email marketing tools are available), your eCommerce website, your marketplace and so on.

Any content management system that can grab an image via its URL will be able to take the image(s) that you’ve uploaded to the Khaos Control CDN and display them.  Online stock management software that means a picture really is worth a thousand words?  That's right!

Company logo + Report Headers


Upload company logos to our online stock management solution

It is now possible to upload your company logo into Khaos Control Cloud.

In your System Setup | System Values screen you will notice a panel at the bottom of the screen labelled “Miscellaneous.” When you put the screen into edit mode you will be able to upload your company logo.

Doing this has allowed for KReports (our reports generator for invoices, delivery notes etc.) to display your company logo at the top of the report in place of the Khaos Control Cloud logo.

Making the Trial Balance Mobile-Friendly


We have overhauled the trial balance screen on mobile.  It is now easier to use this tool on smaller devices.  We have achieved this by implementing a similar interface to that used in the Sales Invoice Manager, where the screen will slide across to a more easily accessible grid.

We hope you find this change an improvement on the previous solution, but please do let us know if you have any suggestions on further improvements that could be made.

Site switcher colouring


Just a quick mention on the site switcher, we have given the colour generation a bit of an overhaul as we were previously getting some strange results. This will now associate colours with each of your site names that are much easier on the eye!  Sites are a key element to our online stock management solution and allow you to segregate your stock quickly and easily.  Changes like this allow us to highlight just how quick and easy it is to control your stock by site.

Technical challenges


This sprint also saw us overcome a few technical challenges, mainly in terms of report generation.  When your reports are generated we use things called “merge tags” which tell the PDF what dynamic information to add when it is generated.

We have always been able to do some fancy things with the merge tags that allow us to put different data in if it is missing or not the value we expect.

{{IF:STOCK_CODE == “”}} “N/A” {{ELSE:IF}} {{STOCK_CODE}} {{END:IF}}

This all worked fine and dandy, but when we tried to do this whilst we were adding your items to the PDF it simply failed.

{{IF:EACH:STOCK_CODE == “”}} “N/A” {{ELSE:IF}} {{EACH:STOCK_CODE}} {{END:IF}}

This took us some thought on how to do things properly without slowing down the report generation, but we’re happy to say that, having put our heads together, we’ve cracked it!

The other technical challenge that we faced was how we were going to get your images from your client machine to the server in a secure manner whilst still protecting vital parts on our end that we didn’t want the end-user knowing about.

After much debating and a number of different iterations, we eventually decided that sending images as a base64 string (this is the what the image would look like in plain text) to the server was the best way. The server then handles the final communications with the CDN, and lets the client know when it has finished uploading them!

Bug fixing


As well as adding new features in this sprint we have also removed a few lingering bugs that were missed in the last sprint.  This includes errors such as not being able to add a new site and the grid pager showing at points when it should not have been doing so.

We have also made a few improvements to the data import tool as a few users reported that they were having issues with this.  We now have a definite answer on the file format to use for importing data into our online stock management tool and that is; tab delimited data and columns. The template generator now makes sure that templates are using tab delimited data instead of comma separated.

What next?


I shall be back again in 2 weeks’ time once we complete our next sprint, which will have started before you’ve finished reading this blog post.  Thanks to everyone that has highlighted issues with the application so far, it has enabled us to fix problems that we wouldn’t have been able to recreate from simply using the application in a development environment.

In the meantime, if you have any issues with Khaos Control Cloud then please get in contact with us via the application.  You can access the feedback mechanism via your user menu or the help dialog at any time.

If you’re not using Khaos Control Cloud yet, then what are you waiting for? You can start your free trial today!

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