Contents of the RTI.DOC file
Documentation for Real-Time Inventory
Thank-you for using Real-Time Inventory, a user-friendly, yet
powerful, inventory keeper / cash register program. There are many
inventory programs available on mainframes, and these are what most
businesses use to keep track of their inventory (many of them directly
updating inventory counts as an item is sold). Real-Time Inventory
now allows small businesses to do the same thing, but with an IBM-PC
or compatible -- it even allows the user to set-up separate configuration
files so that the program may be run on several terminals / computers,
and use any of the three standard printer ports!
Setting-up and configuring Real-Time Inventory is a quick and
pain-free process; first, create a directory on your hard-drive (if
you plan to use several terminals, it is suggested that you have an
external hard drive, which is to linked to all the terminals) which
will be used to store all of your master inventory files and the
.EXE file. The first time that you run the program, you will be
prompted to enter the full path to all the master inventory files (this
is the directory that you have just created); for example, if the
directory is "C:\UTILS\INV", simply type in "C:\UTILS\INV". Next,
you will be prompted for the name of your company, the terminal
number (to identify which terminal a certain report, sale, or refund
was done on), and finally, which printer port to use (1-3). The
program will then create all the necessary data files, if required.
Finally, you are asked if you wish to print this manual. If you
choose not to print it, it will be displayed on the terminal, and
can be aborted by pressing "N" when prompted to continue (it is
highly recommended that the manual be printed).
Unlike many other inventory / application programs, Real-Time
Inventory doesn't require the user to remember complex ESCape key
sequences or function keys; the program is completely menu-driven and
self-explanatory. Below is a list of valid keys, in specific cases:
- if you are asked a QUESTION, such as "Continue?" (as
in this manual), the *ONLY* valid keys are "Y" for "Yes", and
"N" for "No".
- In some cases, the only legal input is numeric values
(0-9); hitting a letter instead of a number will produce a beep.
Decimals are not allowed either; if you are entering a price, enter
"999" for "$9.99".
- During most input, you will see a "" as your prompt.
However, in some cases, the prompt will be missing. If this is
the case, hitting alone will skip to a different (usually
the next) field, and, if there is any preprinted (default)
information, it is not modified.
- There is no need to hit if you type in the
maximum number of characters; this is done automatically.
- Hitting the ESCape key will erase all input in the current
field, and return the prompt to the first position in the field.
(more specifics printed in appropriate sections of this manual)
In order to make this program look more professional, every
screen is enclosed by a border. In addition, the date is displayed
in the upper left-hand corner (and, on Sunday, it appears in light
red), as is the time, which appears in the upper right-hand corner.
On occasion, certain other information will appear such as:
- The store name, centered on the bottom border.
- What function you are currently performing, displayed just
to the left of the time, surrounded by asterisks (ie. if you look
next to the time, you will see "*Documentation*" displayed, if you
are currently displaying the documentation on the terminal).
- The total amount of a sale (or refund), displayed in the
bottom left-hand corner.
- The outstanding balance, displayed in the lower-right corner.
The following files are created by Real-Time Inventory, and should
*NOT* be erased:
Main Directory Terminal Sub-Directory
INV.CTL -- Inventory Control ????????.ODR -- Order File
INV.MST -- Master Inventory ????????.TRS -- Transaction File
INV.HSH -- Inventory Keys ????????.TND -- Tender File
INV.CHK -- Master Check ????????.xxx -- """""""""""
INVCHECK.CTL -- Check Control RTI.CFG -- Configuration
INVCHECK.HSH -- Check Keys INVTRANS -- Last Transaction
INVHASH.CTL -- Hash Control
RTI.KEY -- Registration key (only needed if registered)
RTI.FRM -- Registration Form
Files that consist of "?"s are date-dependent; every day, a new set
of these files will be created. "xxx" is created when a cash out is
performed, and the .TND file is renamed to have an xxx extension,
where xxx >= 1 and <= 999.
*BACKUP YOUR FILES DAILY!!!*
This is the "heart" of the program -- this menu is the only
place that can lead you to other menus, or perform certain tasks.
You will see ten choices on this menu (listed below), and each one
of those choices is described in detail on their own page(s) of this
manual (except for "Exit Program", which terminates the program).
1) Add to Inventory 5) Cashier -- Sale
2) Delete from Inventory 6) Cashier -- Refund
3) Edit Inventory 7) Add to Bad Check List
4) Price Look-up 8) Delete from Bad Check List
9) Report Menu
Add to Inventory
By choosing this option, you are going to be adding new
items to the master inventory file. Remember: The Vendor ID is
the first 5 digits of a standard UPC code (ie. 51851 for Okidata).
When you enter the Vendor ID, one of two things happen:
- If that vendor is in the system, the vendor's name will be
displayed, and you will be prompted for the item number.
- If the vendor is not in the system, you will be prompted to
enter it. From now on, when you type the vendor's ID number (ie 51851),
the vendor's name will appear (ie. 'Okidata').
Next, you will enter the vendor's item number (the last 5 digits of the
UPC code). The system will not permit duplicate item numbers for the
A SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit) Number will then appear -- use this number
for faster reference to the item in the future (SKUs are in increments
You then enter the item's description (ie. 'Toner Cartridge').
All items must have prices, so you are to enter the price (obviously).
However, do not enter the price in "standard" form (ie. 49.99) --
rather, you are to omit the decimal point and enter it as "4999".
Next, enter the quantity on-hand, followed by the reorder quantity
(when the quantity is equal to, or below the reorder quantity, it
is time to reorder this item).
You need not enter the last date sold, as it defaults to 'today'.
If the item is active (it probably is, if you are just entering it),
enter "Y" at the "Active:" prompt, otherwise, enter "N".
If the item is taxable (not food or clothes), enter "Y", otherwise, "N".
Enter "0" to exit at the "Vendor ID" Prompt.
Delete From Inventory
By choosing this option you can delete (erase) an item from
the master inventory file. There is no safeguard for the deletion;
in other words, an item can still have a quantity greater than 0 and
still be deleted.
You will be prompted to enter the Vendor ID. If you would rather
enter the SKU number, simply hit , and the cursor will go
down to the SKU field; hitting again will bring the cursor
back up to the Vendor ID.
Should you choose to enter the Vendor ID rather than the SKU, and
the vendor exists, you will be prompted to enter the item number.
If the item number exists, the information for the current inventory
record will be displayed, and you will be prompted for confirmation
of deletion. The SKU will be placed on a free SKU stack, and will
be used again once all of the lower SKU numbers (from other deleted
records) have been used.
Edit Inventory / Price Look-up
This option allows you to edit any inventory record (Price
Lookup just displays the information -- you can not edit anything).
The input is the same as previously mentioned in the Deletion section;
you can either choose the Vendor ID / Item Number, or the SKU to
access the record (and "0" to exit).
If the record exists, you can edit any field EXCEPT the key fields
(Vendor ID / Name / Item Number / SKU); the cursor is placed on the
Item Description line. The default information is displayed; hit
to go to the next field, leaving the current line unchanged.
To change the information on the current line, simply start typing;
the old information will be erased from the screen (should you change
your mind, hit , then ; the old information will not
be re-displayed, but it is there.
If you decide to change the "Last Sold" field, type in the number of
days ago that the item was sold (ie. 0 for today, 1 for yesterday,
15 for 15 days ago, etc.).
Point of Sale / Refund
These two options deal directly with customers -- the
customer can either be purchasing or returning items. The input
routines are the same as the Deletion section, except that once
a valid record is selected, you are to enter the quantity to
take out (0 cancels the record).
Underneath the "Quantity" line, is a small box, which displays the
total number of lines entered (a line is the number of independent
records that have been entered), and the subtotal thus far.
Once you are done with the sale / refund, enter "0". If the total
lines = 0, you are returned to the main menu, otherwise, you are
brought to the cashier sub menu.
Point of Sale / Refund (Cashier Sub-menu)
This menu is displayed once the sale / refund input is
complete -- there are 10 items listed on this menu:
1) Cash Transaction -- handles cash, and tells how much change
is due to the customer (*REMEMBER -- TYPE IN THE AMOUNT WITH
NO DECIMAL POINT, such as 5500 for 55.00!!!*).
2-4) These are credit cards; first, enter the amount that is
to be used with the credit card, followed by the customer's name,
then his account #, expiration date, and bank authorization code
(sale only) -- you must get manual authorization from the credit
card company before accepting the sale, except for a refund.
5) Check -- enter the amount of the check (sale only), followed
by the account number on the check (the number between the two
colons). The account is then checked against those on the bad
check list -- if it doesn't match, then you may accept the check,
otherwise, a list of customers with that account # (don't forget
that different banks may use the same account numbers) is displayed,
and you are asked if the customer is on the bad check list. If
(s)he isn't, then you may accept the check, otherwise do *NOT*
accept it! (Please note that this system is useful only for track-
ing customers who have already passed bad checks, and does not
protect against all potential bad checks -- use your discretion &
call the bank to verify funds, if possible.)
6-7) Gift Certificate / Merchandise Credit: Enter the amount of
the credit; if change is due, it is subtracted from the cash total
(ie. $50 sale; $100 credit. You give back $50 cash, and the
closeout report subtracts $50 from your cash).
8) List Items / Edit Quantity: Lists all lines entered. You
may then change the quantity of a line (providing that no form of
payment has been accepted) by entering its number. To delete a
line, choose its number & enter "0" -- the bottom item in the
list is moved up to the line that was deleted (ie. if there are
10 lines & you delete line #6, line #10 will move up to line #6).
9) Continue Current Transaction: Simply continues the current
transaction -- providing that no form of payment was accepted.
0) Void Transaction: Asks for confirmation; if approved, the
current transaction is voided, and you are brought back to the
For options 1-7, the printer *MUST* be on-line, as a receipt will
be printed, and the program will not continue before a receipt
The Total and Balance are displayed in the lower left and right-
hand corner, respectively.
Once a customer has written a bad check, he should, without
hesitation, be added to this list. Simply enter the account #,
followed by the person's name, address, city, phone #, License
(SSN) #, and Bank. Enter "0" for the account # to end input.
If you decide to remove a customer from the bad check list
(which is not recommended, unless a typo was made), simply choose
this option & type in the account #. The first account that matches
is displayed, and you are asked if you wish to delete this record.
Since the chances of the same account number existing is very slim,
the format of this deletion screen is to sequentially (in order,
one at a time) display all the records that match, and ask for
confirmation of deletion.
Choose this option if you wish to print out a report. All
reports (including register receipts) have a header, which looks
something like this:
Date Store Name Time
| | |
v v v
November 24, 1992 Wonderful Items Cheap 21:00:00
1/2/25 *SALE* Page #1
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Terminal # -----/ | | | |
Printer # ------ / Trans Trans Page
As with the previous menus, there are 10 options (option 0 returns
to the main menu).
1) Bad Check Listing -- displays all the bad checks, in order
of account number.
2) SKU Listing -- displays all SKUs; you are given the option of
ascending/descending order, the entire inventory file, or just the
active or inactive items.
3) Vendor Listing -- have as #2, except that it displays all the
vendor IDs, in the order you choose.
4) Vendor IDs -- prints out a vendor ID / name conversion list.
5) Items Sold Today -- displays all the items that were sold today.
6) Items to Reorder -- you are given the option of using the entire
inventory file, or just the items that were sold today; prints out
all items that need to be reordered (Reorder Quantity <= Quantity)
7) Hunt-and-Search -- prints out a report for items that either:
- Haven't Sold in the past "x" days (you provide the value of x)
- Negative on-hand counts for the entire inventory listing
- Negative on-hand counts for items that were sold *Today*
8) Register Reading -- prints out a list of all currency in the
cash draw for the day (or since the last closeout).
9) End of Shift -- same as #8, except that the totals are reset
(the file is renamed to "????????.xxx", as mentioned in the "Files"
section of this manual).
Real-Time Inventory, originally developed for a directed-
study project at Salem State College, Salem, MA, is now share-ware.
At present, registration allows the tax rate to be changed (the rate
will be enclosed with the key file) -- the default rate is 5%.
Future versions of Real-Time Inventory will include such features as
sale items, discounts, etc., which will only be accessible if the
program is registered.
Should you find the program useful, and plan to use it either for
personal or business use, please fill out the enclosed registration
form (RTI.FRM), along with a check for $50 and mail to:
46 Buena Vista Ave
Salem, MA 01970-1042.
You will then receive your personalized registration key, with a fixed
tax rate that you choose (a tax rate program will be written to allow
registered users to change the tax rate, if enough people are interested.).
The author of this program (Real-Time Inventory) makes no
warranties, either implied or explicit, and will not be held
responsible for any damage, either to hardware or software, on
your system as a result of using Real-Time Inventory.
Thank-you once again for trying Real-Time Inventory!
Although the program has been thoroughly tested, there may still be
a bug or two lurking around, which, if discovered, will be fixed.
Please inform me of all bugs either by:
- Postal Mail
- CompUServe (73030,446)
- GEnie (D.DEVOE1)
- The Witch City BBS [(508) 745-1689]
- Voice [(508) 744-3322]
Thank-you once again for your support!