Version 4 Quick Start Guide
They key difference with Version 4 when compared to previous versions of the software is that tnj files have been replaced with an open, centralized SQL database.
In many respects using Version 4 is no different to using previous versions of the software with the day to day operator proceeding in much the same manner as before.
Perhaps the greatest operational difference with Version 4 is the initial setup where many tasks are now centralized with the Timestone Administrator.
This document represents a "Quick Start" guide to installing Version 4 and starting a new job. It should be used in conjunction with the many other knowledge base articles.
Version 4 uses a centralized SQL database - MySQL - which must be in place before beginning. The user should consult the following three articles to install and configure MySQL before starting
Run the Version 4 installers
Installing the Version 4 programs not only installs the applications such as NeoPack/Professional but also install the Timestone Administrator
Create a shared folder for the Auxiliary files
Version 4 introduces the concept of auxiliary files which are used to store information (principally image thumbnails) away from the Timestone database. A location needs to be provided for these auxiliary files. For more information on auxiliary files consult the knowledge base article:
Once the auxiliary files folder (or folders) has been created, its location needs to be specified in the Timestone Administrator (see below)
Run the Timestone Administrator
Version 4 uses an administrator utility, Timestone Administrator, to perform several functions. These include:
- Create the timestone schema (database) when first installing Version 4
- Update the timestone database as required
- Centralize many functions that were previously job or computer specific such as workspaces, fields, tags and paths
- Entry of new (Version 4) parameters such as seasons, accounts, products, packages, offers and pricing
The Timestone Administrator is central to the operation of the Version 4 software. It is used by the main Timestone operator (the "Administrator") and a thorough understanding of the Timestone Administrator is needed. To this end several knowledge base articles are available. To begin with, it is recommended the user first consult the following introductory document and then other articles on the Administrator as needed
Each time the Timestone Administrator is launched it asks for the IP address of the MySQL server together with a user login name and password. If the timestone database is not present (as in the initial installation) it will ask permission to create it
Set a path for the auxiliary files
The software needs a location for auxiliary files as previously described. Set the auxiliary files path in the Timestone Administrator as described in:
Create a season
Although optional, it is anticipated most users will create at least one "Season" to group like jobs and assign Offers/Packages to jobs in that season. More information on seasons can be found at:
A season can be assigned many parameters such as fields, paths to templates and offers/packages.
Enter some products
Products can be considered as anything that is offered to a customer - be they products that are produced by the Timestone Software applications or not. Products are often simply the equivalent of Timestone Software portrait type templates (from NeoPack/Professional, PackBuilder or OutPost).
Enter some products into the Timestone Administrator. These will later be used to form packages in offers.
More information on products can be found in the following articles:
- Offers, products, packages and units - an overview
- Entering products into tsAdministrator
- Product attributes
Set paths for images, graphics and templates
Prior to Version 4, paths were set and saved at the workstation level. This function has now been centralized with the advent of Timestone Administrator where paths can be set globally. In addition the use of the optional grouping parameters - seasons, accounts and workspaces - adds much flexibility to how paths are defined.
The following detailed knowledge base articles describes setting paths for templates and images. However the concepts they describe can be equally applied to graphics paths.
Create an Offer and define some packages
All ordering in Version 4 is done via Offers and Packages where an Offer is comprised of one or more Packages and a Package is comprised as one or more Product
Use the Timestone Administrator to create an Offer for the Season defined earlier. Then add some packages and products to the offer. Make note of each package's code as this is the basis or ordering n Version 4.
Offers/Packages and ordering in Version 4 refer to the following articles
Launch on of the Version 4 applications
Run one of the Version 4 programs and start a new job. A window prompts the user for a job name together with other parameters such as season and offer. Once a job has been started, the software is used in essentially the same manner as previous versions. Many parameters such as fields and paths should already be set as defined in tsAdministrator.
Take particular note of the difference in ordering in Version 4 as described in the article:Ordering in Version 4
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