Thursday, January 10, 2008

DashBook improved for Bookstores

Although our original focus for DashBook was to provide a quality software tool for small publishers, of course, we wish to help a larger audience. One of our beta testers has an interest in using DashBook rather than Intuit's QuickBooks in a small bookstore.

As DashBook was designed for a small publisher with few titles, as expected, it failed miserably! She had over 4000 titles, with nearly the same number of authors. DashBook choked! Well, I've actually gotten ahead of myself. To facilitate this bookstore's transition to DashBook, we wrote a new import utility to import all of her products and corresponding authors from her existing Yahoo! Small Business store. Yahoo! has a nice facility to export their catalog.xml file once you've generated your storefront.

So, rather than having to type in thousands of entries, she simply imported the books (gifts, etc.) directly into a new DashBook database. It was during our testing before releasing this incremental feature that we saw how devastating the existence of thousands of products was to the DashBook interface speed. Fortunately, this slowdown was readily rectified so that working with thousands of titles is as fast as working with a handful.

More good news is that now DashBook's screens for Orders, Products, etc. are much faster when handling just a few titles as well. Everybody wins!

So, why did this customer choose DashBook over QuickBooks? Obviously, DashBook is focused on the idiosyncrasies of selling books. For her, this means that she can easily look up her products by author name - something she could not get QuickBooks to do. She also much preferred the way that DashBook handles sale discounts during the Order process.

Because she gave us great feedback, we were able to help her in implementing a superior system for her sales and inventory tracking needs. What would you like us to do for you?