Developer News #3/19

Build websites only with board tools

With the help of the Content/Contentmenu components it is easy for customers to prepare a simple set of pages to maintain their own content. Of course such a site focuses a little on the online shop 😉 but other tools like a CMS system can be saved.

Contents are stored in the content area – only the short name of the post has to follow a certain pattern to appear in the navigation. Post pages can also be used in the navigation (to be set in the PCG) as before.

In the standard template, the fastest way to go live with a shop, the corresponding components are already provided in the upper area and appear automatically if posts are available.

Posts can be written with the built-in HTML editor or in Wiki syntax. The WebDesigner also keeps a little more influence over the style of the articles written by the customer.

Besides, text modules can be used in another post as variables.

Images proxy

Images in the shop are usually delivered via the built-in proxy. This mainly catches too large images, wrong data and image formats of the stored images.

Now you can – via the configuration of the components – also scale individual dimensions, e.g. using wide narrow banners in the header area of the articles.

More display options

In some places further data elements are provided, e.g. the basic prices in the list view, information about blocked orders or indications for picture errors or article notes. Usually these parts are built in as non-intrusively as possible to avoid interfering with designs. In the standard template, all new features are always included first.

Individual designs therefore sometimes have to be corrected manually. Maybe you have to look into the Trello every now and then.

Meet the team: The Firsching’s

Today Katrin will introduce Charly and Brita.

Hallo, liebe Leut! is the original greeting in the newsletter of the Firsching’s. They approach their customers so directly when it comes to their own delivery business, the Bosshammersch-Hof. In the 22 years of its existence, this company has become a reference in the organic box business and this is thanks to both of them. In a good division of labour they manage a team of meanwhile 50 employees.

Both of them are graduate farmers and decided to open their own family business in Hessen near Marburg. Since their children grew up, they have increased the team at Bosshammersch-Hof.

PCGarden customers also know Charly as he represents the PCG team at trade fairs and within the organisation in particular. He gives advice for PCG and for services related to it. This included training and consulting for an optimal business process in the company, for which Brita and Charly are available, as well as recently also consulting for the shop and social media area. They are so clever!

In Focus: Shopping Cart

We aim to make our internet shops the way customers expect them to be – but a company that delivers regularly can offer even more services. So the shop became a special tool; we would like to introduce some of its modules.

Search an article >> Specify the quantity >> Finally send the order. This is mostly used by online shops and also by us. But the shopping cart component hides a lot of complex processes.

Live content

The shopping cart in our system is somewhat longer-lasting, often it’s already filled at the first visit with the articles from a subscription. And after submitting the order, is still available for changes – until the order deadline. Therefore, it remains for several days – even if it has already been changed by the employees in the company. The system could also have divided assortments into individual articles and thus changed the order items. Occasionally it could even happen that an article is no longer available – this must also be easily noticeable.

Order deadlines

Regarding order deadlines: this is not necessarily the same for all articles. Often some articles need a different deadline because they are supplied by partner companies, for example. This of course depends on the tour on which the order will be delivered. Other articles are blocked for changes, e.g. if it concerns manufactured goods, like meat packages. In such a case, it may also happen that the entire delivery can no longer be cancelled.

Articles, recipes and packs

Assortments – the contents of Aboboxes (subscription boxes) – can be changed (“if planned”) or not available (for future weeks are often not yet planned). If possible, we show this in the shopping cart, grouped according to the assortment.
Recipes or gift packages are other forms of grouped articles that can be ordered either as a package or individually.

Subscriptions

For assortments or single articles subscriptions can be locked – this information appears in the shopping cart. In particular, it is helpful to detect when a new subscription is added to the order or is about to expire. Meanwhile, changes in subscriptions are also possible for future orders.

Minimum order values, maximum quantities

The article quantities can also be changed directly in the shopping cart. As in other places in the shop we’ll pay attention to possible quantity restrictions. Minimum quantities can apply not only to articles, but also to categories. Articles with limited stock won’t remain “blocked” in the shopping cart.

Pre-orders, multiple shopping carts

In order to simplify the task of ordering for the customer, it is also possible to select articles for different dates. During a session, for example, several shopping carts can be created, which are then displayed in the calendar at different dates.

Discount display, vouchers, notes and ordering with one click complete the functions.

Meet the Team: Erhard

It’s Erhard’s turn:

The origins of PC Garden as you know it today have been set as early as 1990 and the actual and large project began with the cultivation planning within organic agriculture. In addition to my work in IT and software development and the management of the employees of PCG, I am a horticulturist who works with heart and soul.

My family and I are based in the Hallertau where enjoy the offspring and the fresh wind that seven grandchildren bring with them. This also makes us aware of how important local political commitment is so that the region continues to be worth living in. For example, I am actively involved in the local energy revolution. Furthermore, we do not only offer vegetables in the farm shop and by delivery service, but also workplaces to support people with disabilities as well as a kindergarten.

I’m celebrating a special birthday soon. This is a great opportunity to take a retrospective view, happy with what has grown both professionally and privately. I am aware of challenges and they occupy me. Looking ahead, I’d like to express the wish and the intention to keep on working with fun and energy for the region and the further development of our common project. Yes, and great-grandchildren would also be nice 🙂

Tools for employees

Mainly for regular appointments in the office and planning everyday life of your company, you can activate reminders, notes and tasks in the PC Garden. All functions can be found in the basic modules under “Tools”.

Under “Tasks” there are time-controlled messages to the dear colleague who works with a very specific module and should be reminded of an important point. Or maybe a task that requires a protocol, e.g. the protocol for the cold store.
“Appointments” and “Notes” can be differentiated between general and private appointments.

So everything will be well organized, even if someone is on vacation or sick, or if several employees work together on a task. The advantage of this electronic reminder is also that no wind can blow it away from the desk.

Tour optimization with PCG

The navigation module of PC Gärtner is designed to place the customers who will be supplied on a day in a meaningful order. In addition, it is a necessary requirement to use the Driver App.

The sequence can differ from the correct sorting for all active addresses of a tour. This is due to the elimination of customers not supplied this time, so a different sequence can be shorter or faster on this day.
Therefore an optimal sequence for the existing orders can be determined in the navigation module. Experience has shown that this avoids unnecessarily driven kilometres and/or a significant time saving.

The module must be used after the order deadline and before packing begins (or after printing evaluations sorted according to sequence).
The orders to be packed are sorted in the correct sequence for the delivery run and thus appear sorted both in the packing station module and in all corresponding evaluations.

Tip: When loading directly into the delivery vehicle, the packing sequence at the packing centre should be set to “Pack backwards”.

More information can be found in the documentation platform (after login; in German only).

Direct invoices and delivery notes mails in the new shop

In the new shop system, PDF invoices and delivery notes have been available for customers, and if they are requested in the personal settings, an email with an attached file is sent shortly afterwards. Improving communication with the customers, paper can be completely discarded.

New online shop with standard template

The standard template for the online shops of model Shop2016 is now available. Similar to the previous Amperhof model, it is easy to integrate into websites, but now uses modern technologies and is responsive, adaptative to different screen sizes. In addition, customers benefit from a multitude of new functions.

Although the configuration of the components in the web pages – unlike an individually built shop – cannot be changed, the style (colours etc.) can be customized by web designers. For ambitious users there is also a style editor, so it’s possible to make your first attempts at the design.

The conversion from the previously used standard template is already possible in a few hours.  The new possibilities of the article display and the menu control need some training,

(By now, only in German) Information about different shop models is available and about the standard template Shop2016. We have prepared instructions (after login) for users and web designers and are happy to support you with the change.

Responsive

Phishermen’s Friend: AI

The publication of the private data of celebrities should be a good reminder to us of the intentions we all had at the turn of the year. But not that motivated me to write this article, but some phishing mails I probably got from you. Also you are prominent!

Me, prominent? Nobody wants anything from me.

I’m afraid that’s thought too briefly. In almost everything that goes through your mailboxes or Facebook messages, there is also information about others – and if it is only the email address. Many of you readers also look after customers – the protection of this data is not only a matter of decency, but is also vital for business.

Well, then the bad guy just learns the email addresses of the others. What can he do with it?

Well, he can write her up! The email contained names, was it about orders, was an invoice included? All wonderful points of contact for phishing.

Phishing?

Damit ist -sehr verkürzt- das Ausnehmen von Dummen gemeint.

Uh, me? What does he want when he has phished me off?

Always money in the end. And the phisher needs access to the computer or mobile phone. This of course means access via the network (you don’t need a screen).

Sure, to get to my banking app!

That would be an idea – but it’s rather elaborate and leaves too many traces. It is easier to encrypt the hard disk to extort ransom. But it doesn’t have to be this immediate super disaster – it is obvious to spy out the computer for more email addresses and thus new potential victims. You can install a program that writes passwords of keyboard entries. Hijacked computers can also be rented – for money.

Who rents something like this?

If you want to send a lot of new phishing emails (say a few 10000), and want to do so in a way that the traces are not traceable, you need a lot of computers. It’s better not to attack large institutions with your own computer. Or to get bitcoins calculated…Is your computer sometimes so strangely busy when you’re not doing anything?

Hm, I don’t know. What do I have to do in order not to belong to the stupid ones?

Rule 1: Keep all your software up to date! On all computers or mobile phones! Even computers that are supposedly never connected to the Internet, if there is a network cable or a USB port. If the software doesn’t do this update control itself (like modern browsers or MS-Office) – check it daily.

Rule 2: Never click on email attachments unless you know exactly what will happen. It’s best to only open attachments like pictures or PDF’s.

But I’m already doing that!

Very good. Now rule 3: Don’t trust emails from friends per se! Are there any new attachments? Is there a strange link in it? Ask possibly back. And take the questions of your computer seriously (“Should scripts be executed in this Word document?”)!

Isn’t that an exaggeration?

Maybe, but it can save a lot of trouble. In addition, we will see much more really good fake mails in the future.

So fake emails? Who writes them all?

A computer program, probably even on an already hijacked computer. And it will use the latest trick of the programmers: Artificial intelligence.

Boah!

Well, that sounds a little dramatic. Mostly we mean “machine learning” and that is again just well done statistics and mathematics. To do phishing mails is, so to speak, what you can do especially well with AI: You design 10 variants with the help of the additional information and send them to 10000 victims. The variants that work particularly well are then (automatically) further developed (this is the learning effect)…

..and at some point the result is so perfect that they have me.

That’s it. But if your mail program is well maintained and up to date, it will certainly warn you – the good side hopefully knows the tricks too.

Well, then, three rules, that sounds manageable. Now I am sure.

Rule 4: Stay vigilant and disciplined, be honest about your own mistakes. Computers are better reinstalled when something dubious has happened. This works best with a backup, mainly of the data. On a medium that is not always connected.

Oops, you got me 🙁

Rule 5: Don’t get paranoid, we have to continue doing business, and our customers want to use their computers as well. That’s why it helps to invest 15 minutes every month to find out what’s new in data protection and computer security. And make sure that employees have not forgotten these rules again. And to think about the case of the cases…but that requires the GDPR anyway.

There are not only these 5 rules, of course, but they are some of the most important. Sorry if this all comes across as a bit masterly. But we are all require the Internet to work – and its really not so complicated. – Bob

Meet the team: Rakel

Hi, my name is Rakel, I’m 39 years old and I’ve been part of the PCG team for the last year. After graduating in Tourism I spent more than a decade travelling and working across Europe (Barcelona, Italy, France, Scotland, Finland). When I returned to Spain I met an association of organic farmers. In 2016 we set up a cooperative with online sale of organic boxes in which I managed the invoicing, the warehouse, I organized packing and delivery and I took care of the customer service, using PCG and Ökobox online for a year and a half.

After translating the software into French, I give telephone assistance to French and Hispanic companies that use it.

I live with my children, my cat and my terrapin in Granada, a beautiful city in the south of Spain. In my leisure time I like running, hiking, play with my kids and recently I started skateboarding!