Understanding orders

Applies to: 4.3 NeoPackProfessional, PackBuilder

Version 4.3 introduced new concepts and terminology with respect to orders in SQL jobs. This article not only helps to explain the new concepts but will also help achieve a better understanding of orders in general

For more information regarding Orders, Packages and Products, refer initially to the article "Ordering in Version 4"

What is an order?

Before proceding it is important to understand what an order is and when an order is created.

An order is deemed to have been created when either:

  • A package code is entered for a subject in either Details Mode or Orders Mode (henceforth referred to as 'Paper Orders')
  • An online transaction is completed in Timestone's Internet Ordering System - IOS (henceforth referred to as 'Online Orders')

An order automatically receives a unique 8 character "key" called an Order Key which can be used a reference for the order. The order date and time is recorded along with the monetary amount of the order. Online orders additionally have customer information - the name, address and telephone number of the person completing the online transaction. Paper orders do not belong to a customer. Instead they are placed against a subject and therefore do not contain customer information.

Orders are comprised of one or more Package Codes (sometimes referred to as 'orderitems'). These Package Codes may contain Package Options such as pose or item information. Package codes are 'processed' according to the job's offer resolving into products. (See Offers, products and packages - an overview)

Paper Orders

Paper orders are created when one or more package codes are entered for a subject in either Details Mode or Orders Mode. This can be achieved by scanning a barcode, importing a text file or by keyboard entry.

As soon as Package Codes are entered for a subject, an order is created and a unique Order Key is generated. This unique key can be viewed in Orders Mode and may be printed with the new @orderkey code.

Important points to understand regarding Paper Orders

  • Multiple package codes entered for a subject at the same time create a single order
  • Returning to the subject later and entering further packages will create extra order(s)
  • Paper orders can be re-processed against a different offer. This will replace the original orders with new orders

Paper orders may be considered as belonging to a subject since it is not possible to order for several subjects in one transaction. A paper order may only contain one subject.

Online Orders

Online orders are created when a customer succesfully completes an order in IOS. If the customer places items into the cart but then quits the browser, has their payment rejected or otherwise does not complete the transaction an order is NOT created.

At the successful completion of an online transaction an order is created along with the unique order key. This order key is relayed to the customer both on-screen and by confirmation email.

Important points to understand regarding Online Orders

  • It is possible to order for multiple subjects in a single order
  • A single, completed, transaction in IOS creates a single order regardless of the number of subjects ordered for
  • Returning to IOS later and ordering again creates a new order

Online orders may be considered as belonging to a customer not a subject since it is possible to order for several subjects in one transaction. The customer is the person who placed the online order.

Online Orders - two types

Online orders may be classified in two ways:

  • Orders downloaded as package codes into Orders Mode of NeoPackProfessional or PackBuilder
  • Orders downloaded into Fulfill

See "Uploading jobs - process orders with Fulfill or as pre-orders"

Online orders downloaded into NeoPackProfessional or PackBuilder

Online orders downloaded into Orders Mode are designated by a single 'download' icon. Products resulting from these orders appear in the Online Orders branch of the orders tree in Queue Mode. These orders may be deleted from Orders Mode but, unlike paper orders, cannot be re-processed against a different offer.

Orders downloaded and processed in Fulfill also appear in Orders Mode (double download icon) but these are for informational purposes only. They may not be deleted or re-processed.

Point 'n Click "Orders"

Strictly speaking products added directly to the print queues in Point 'n Click Mode are not orders - an order is not created in the database and an order key is not generated. These 'orders' do not appear in Orders Mode or various order reports such as the Checked and Delivered report and reports in tsPortal.

Products added in Point n Click Mode also appear in Queue Mode under the Point 'n Click branch of the orders tree. These pages (unlike pages generated from Paper or Online Orders) may be deleted in either Queue Mode or Point 'n Click Mode.