New Development

In the works…

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.

Administrative Applications

There are now several administrative functions on the demo pages. PubAssist users will recognize the following introductory resources. However, there are now several new resources, including a new pledge application to be included on this web site.

  1. Contacts
  2. Titles
  3. Royalty Specifications (actually, any liability specifications associated with a title)
  4. 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. The framework has recently undergone a serious re-design that has streamlined the code considerably.

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?

Background

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.

Next Steps

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.

Conclusion

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.

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