These demonstration pages represent a new development platform for features of Publishers’ Assistant. These features are being implemented in a platform that uses your browser as the portal to the application. That means you can run the application from any multiple devices using the browser of your choice.
Note that you will receive a security certificate warning when you view the demo pages. The certificate is self generated for test.pubassist.com. So, your browser is not likely to recognize it, and will complain. You should be able to navigate to the site using the “Advanced” options on the warning page. You can also download and install the certificate so you don’t receive that warning in the future.
As of this posting, there are 4 basic administrative applications to manage the following resources…
- Royalty Specifications (actually any liability specifications associated with a title)
- Ledger Transactions
Note that not all fields from the PubAssist database have been included. These applications are really for demonstration purposes. However, fields can be added and field (accordion) groupings can be modified very easily.
Each application allows you to browse the data, add new data, and edit or delete an existing record. The interaction is quite different from the legacy PubAssist, but I think you’ll pick it up quickly. And the interaction should be very consistent across resources, since each is based on an underlying framework.
That framework is what has taken considerable time in development. For those who might care, the framework is developed in a typical LAMP stack using PHP and MariaDb. The framework also implements a RESTful API, so there are more services available than meets the eye.
It may interest you to know that the first application was for managing contacts. That seems essential to almost any application. It took months, because I was actually developing the framework. The second application was for managing titles. That took a matter of hours. The Liability Spec’s application was the first to integrate data from multiple resources. So that took some time and the creation of a significant new component. The Ledger application was done in an hour or so–though it has added some complications due to the sheer volume of transactions that are typically stored in the ledger. The point is that new admin applications can be assembled fairly quickly. These four are just the first. And they are important to creating the royalty calculation module.
Transferring Existing Data
Finally, getting data from their originating Foxpro database into the new MariaDb database was a challenge. There are not many tools available, and the one that I found cost $10,000! In the end, I decided to make use of that REST API I built and have been quite pleased with the results. In one of my later runs, I transferred some 28,000 records in about 8.5 minutes. (That’s with a lot of I/O to a log file for debugging purposes, so I’m sure I can improve on that considerably.) But this metric still represents nearly 3300 transactions per minute! How fast can you type?
The development effort to date is meant to fill in around other software tools that are available in this development platform. The following illustration is an attempt to convey how these tools can work together.
In the illustration above, modules in green blocks represent off-the-shelf tools that are available from other sources. Many of these tools are free to use. Those listed in the diagram are only suggestions, but represent tools that I am aware of and actively looking at. Those in the magenta blocks are the areas of focus for PubAssist development.
I am focusing on providing functions that are unique to PubAssist. I’ve put together a flexible and scaleable architecture. New administrative functions can be developed in short order. It seems that next steps should focus on porting sales data into the application and making use of the liability specifications to actually generate financial transactions–such as royalties. A number of our users are using WordPress with WooCommerce. Both of these feature a REST API. That should allow sales data to be captured for the purposes of generating royalties.
I’m posting these functions because I think it’s time to show that something real has been happening with Publishers’ Assistant. Further development, however, will require funding. So, stay tuned in to help set priorities and participate in this new development venture. For now, check out the new applications. Don’t worry about changing the data. It is intended for testing purposes.