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What is the xTuple REST API?

To answer that question, first we have to answer a few other questions.

What is an Interface?

An Interface is where two things interact. An object's interface is what it presents to the outside world or other objects as the way to interact with it. We incounter interfaces everywhere in the world. A door handle is an interface. You car's stearing wheel is an interface. Writing on a piece of paper with a pen is using an interface. A keyboard, mouse and screen are interfaces to computers.

What is an API?

An API by definition is an Application Programming Interface. Most of the computer applicaitons you work with every day present a User Interface where you can click, type and/or touch things to interact with the application. That interface is for users, people, to interact with the applicaiton. People are not the only things that need to use applications. Other applications may need to use a feature of a different application. Other computers or systems may need to use that feature. An example of this is sending an email. The email client on your phone or computer doesn't actually send emails to other people, it uses an email servers API to send emails.

To make sending emails easy, email servers have defined a standard and implemented and API that conforms to that standard. That allows all kinds of other applications to be able to consistently send email no matter what or where the server is. The email server has an API that any client applications can use. Client applications can be programmed to use that API so they can send emails using that email server.

What is REST?

REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer, which doesn't really tell the average user anything about what REST is. To understand REST, the best analogy is your computer's browser. When you visit a website, you are acessing a web server's API. That API implements a standard called HTTP. REST leverages the HTTP standard to present an API for some application.

So what is the xTuple REST API?

xTuple has build a web server that presents a REST API that client applications can use to interact with the xTuple ERP system. This allows client applications to get data like Products, Customers, Contacts, Addresses, etc. Those client applications can be built to do all kinds of different things with this data. One example of that is the xTupleCommece system. It is a client of the xTuple REST API. xTupleCommerce uses the xTuple REST API to present an eCommerce website to consumers. See the xTuple REST API wiki to learn more about how to use it.

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How are shifts used?

Shifts are used to track employees' weekly hours, including break periods and overtime hours. Shifts get assigned to employees on the employee master record. When employees clock into a shift—or to work orders during their shift—the rules of the shift are applied. The rules of a shift include pre-defined start/end times, break times, labor rate, etc.

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What are some examples of sale types?

Because sale types are user-defined, you can set them up any way you want to. Some examples of sale types might include in-networkout-of-networkretailwholesale, etc. Depending on how granular you want your revenue reporting to be, you can link your sale types to different revenue accounts using the sales account assignment interface.

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Why do items require units?

Items require units for two primary reasons. First, units are needed to fully describe item quantities. For example, it is not enough to say, "We have 25 sodas in stock." You would expect instead to hear, "We have 25 cases of soda in stock." Second, units make it possible for the system to convert items from one unit to another. If you stock items in one unit and sell them in a different unit, then the conversion is only possible if units are assigned in the first place.

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What is a characteristic role?

Characteristic roles define where characteristics can be used. For example, if you want a characteristic to be associated with contact records, you would select the contact role. Item characteristics would require the item role. And so on. Individual characteristics may be associated with multiple roles. The same characteristic might apply to contacts and addresses and opportunities. If you are having trouble finding a characteristic to associate, it's likely the characteristic role isn't defined properly.

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Our xTupleCommerce website is down. What do we do?

If you are hosting your website on your own web server, we suggest you try rebooting your server. If your website is being hosted on the xTuple cloud, please report an incident and we will reboot it for you.

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What is the goal of project accounting?

The Project Accounting add-on package for xTuple is a solution especially designed for professional services companies, non-profit groups who need fund accounting and manufacturers or distributors with advanced project accounting requirements. At the heart of Project Accounting is the concept of the "virtual" General Ledger (G/L) Account. With Project Accounting, virtual G/L Accounts are built dynamically or "on-the-fly" using a combination of existing G/L Account Numbers and the linked Project Name. Transactions flowing from Project-related Sales Orders, Purchase Orders and Work Orders are generally supported by Project Accounting.

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How do I handle deferred revenue?

To handle deferred revenue, enter a cash receipt and specify you want the balance applied as a customer deposit. Doing this will ensure the cash balance is posted to the deferred revenue account, as defined in the receivables account assignments setup.

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Why can't I ship my transfer order?

If you are trying to ship a transfer order but it doesn't appear in the list of orders to be shipped, there's a good chance the transfer order has not been released yet. Transfer orders must be open/released before they can be shipped. To release a transfer order, change its status from unreleased to open.

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How do shipment numbers get generated?

Shipment numbers are generated as soon as you issue stock to shipping for an order. The shipment number is pulled from the shipping configuration panel. During configuration, you define the initial shipment number—and then every shipment automatically increments the base shipping number by one. For example, if your starting shipment number is 60001, the second will be 60002, the third 60003, etc.

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Are opportunity stages required?

Yes, an opportunity stage is required when creating an opportunity. That means you must have opportunity stages defined before you can successfully save an opportunity.

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What API keys and fields are required to use FedEx with xTupleCommerce?

If you want to include FedEx in the list of shipping options for your xTupleCommerce customers, you'll need to acquire API keys from FedEx, for both your production and development environments. Once you have the information and have added the keys to the ERP, the keys will need to be added to the xTupleCommerce website.

Here is an outline of the fields you need for both the production and development keys: 

Production Keys

  • Account Username
  • Account Password
  • Authentication Key
  • Meter Number
  • Account Number
  • Production API Password
  • Production URL

Development Keys

  • Account Username
  • Account Password
  • Test Key
  • Test Key Password
  • Test Account Number
  • Test Meter Number
  • Test URL
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Where are sale types used?

Sale types are used on sales orders to declare the type of sale being made. The sale type might indicate, for example, whether you are selling to a retail customer or a wholesale customer. The sale type you choose can impact how sales revenue is reported. The link between sale types and revenue accounts is made on the sales assignment interface.

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How do I get started with sales analysis?

To get started analyzing your sales performance, follow these steps:

  1. Select a cube
  2. Select a dimension (e.g., customer)
  3. Select a dimension level (e.g., customer name) or drag the level to columns or rows
  4. Select a measure (e.g., amount, booking) or drag the measure to columns or row

You should now see a table of measures organized by the dimension you chose. You can continue selecting dimensions and measures to analyze your data in other ways.

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How do I import data into xTuple?

There are two methods for importing data into the database of xTuple ERP.

  • CSVimp
    First, xTuple offers a free application called CSVimp that is designed to migrate Comma Separated Value (CSV) files into the database for the xTuple Applications (The same tool works for PostBooks®, Standard and Manufacturing Editions). You can download CSVimp from our SourceForge project site. And detailed instructions for using CSVimp are available in our documents section.
  • xTuple API
    The second method is to use the API. The goal of the xTuple Application Programmer Interface (API) is to make migrating data directly into the database much safer and easier than it is going directly into the regular table structure. Our appoach is to allow users to create, access, and update xTuple documents using a special database schema that closely mirrors the graphical user interface (GUI). You can read more about using the API to import data into xTuple ERP in the docs section.
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What's the difference between a context and a source?

When using Qt Linguist for translation work, you will see references to "contexts" and "sources."

  • context is a business object, like the contact screen or the bill of materials screen.

  • source is a specific string of text within a context. For example the “Bill of Materials” context contains 56 sources, including “Print”, “Save”, “Revision Date”, etc.

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How do transfer orders differ from inter-site transfers?

Transfer orders are distinct from inter-site transfers in three primary ways. First, transfer orders allow you to move multiple items all at once between sites—instead of just one item at a time. Second, transfer orders always involve an intermediate transit site, for tracking inventory while it is "in transit." And third, there are reports (i.e., paperwork) associated with transfer orders.

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What are item characteristics?

Item characteristics are used to create additional layers of information about items. For example, let's say you sell toy trucks. You might use item characteristics to define the various options available on your toy trucks—such as paint color or decal kit. Taking the color example, your toy truck characteristics might include "Red," "Green," "Blue," and "Yellow." Item characteristics are useful for reporting purposes. They also play a key role in the assemble-to-order configuration system.

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Can I add PDFs to an item and have them show up on my xTupleCommerce website?

Yes, you can add documents, such as PDFs, to individual items in the same way that you would add images linked to items. Like item images, the PDFs need to be stored on a separate web server, with a unique URL for each PDF. However, the ERP should contain cross references to these PDFs, via their URL.

To enter URLs for PDFs in the ERP, go to the item master for the item in question and follow these steps:

  1. Select the documents tab
  2. Choose the ATTACH button
  3. Next to the "related to" option, choose the "website" option from the list
  4. Enter the URL for the PDF
  5. Specify a name to identify it

The PDF will show up on the product page as a link for the user to view and download.

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Can I manage my item images in the xTupleCommerce website?

Your xTupleCommerce site has the capability of hosting images, PDFs, documents and other media. Once your site is live you can associate these files with Items and Item Groups in the ERP. For instance, you can associate product images with Items in the ERP. Or you can associate Marketing PDFs with Items in the ERP. These images and PDFs will be displayed with the products on the xTupleCommerce site.

If your site is still in the development or testing phases (aka, you are still going to a stage.domain.xtuple.net URL to view your site), we encourage you to use a service such as Cloudinary to host your images and determine URLs.

However, if your xTupleCommerce website has gone live, you can begin using the site to host files and create the URLs needed for the document in the ERP. 

Uploading the files to your xTupleCommerce site :

  1. Go to your xTupleCommerce website and login as a manager or editor. 
  2. Navigate Admin > Content > Files.
  3. Click ADD FILE
  4. Select and upload the image. Typically files must be less than 8MB. 
  5. Click NEXT
  6. Leave the radio button selected for public local files and click NEXT.
  7. Update and fill in the fields for name and file name. The name will show up in the URL path of the image. 
  8. Click SAVE. 
  9. Highlight the path of the image-most recently added files are on the top of the list-and copy.

Associate files with Items or Item Groups in the ERP

  1. Login to your ERP.
  2. Open an Item or Item Group
  3. Go to the documents tab
  4. Click Attach
  5. Choose Web Site from the drop down
  6. Give the file a name in the Name field
  7. Paste the URL into the URL Field
  8. The URL should include your website domain followed by the path that you copied.  
    Example: https://www.yourwebsite.com/files/public/content/media/image.jpg
  9. Click Save 
  10. Save and close the Item and Item Group

Check your work

Navigate to the Item or Item Group where the file should appear on the website

The file should appear. If the file does not appear, you may need to flush the cache on the website.

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Do you have basic project management information?

The topic of project basics is covered in some detail in the manual Managing Projects with xTuple. The book can be read online for free or purchased for download through the xTuple MarketPlace.

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Are employee and user the same thing?

Employee and user are not necessarily the same thing. An employee is a person who works for your company. A user is a person who has an account allowing them to access your xTuple database. There are scenarios where database users would not also be employees. For example, you may give user access to people who are not your employees (e.g., IT consultants). Conversely, there are also scenarios where employees wouldn't need user accounts. For example, you may have employees whose job doesn't require them to use a computer—and so there would be no need for them to have a user account.

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Can I use abbreviations for state names?

Yes, you may abbreviate state names. However, before manually adding a state (or province) you should check whether the state already exists in the database. (Hint: If you enter the country first, the corresponding states, if available, will appear.) For example, the default list of states for the United States uses the standard two-letter abbreviations. New York appears as NY and Virginia appears as VA in the list of U.S. states.

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How do I install pgcrypto?

If you are going to use credit card processing or if you're getting this message ERROR:  function decrypt(bytea, bytea, unknown) does not exist then you need to install pgcrypto. Pgcrypto is a library used for encrypting sensitive data. The pgcrypto software is a popular add-on package included with the PostgreSQL source code distribution. The pgcrypto module is used by our credit card encryption functionality.  Even if you are not processing credit cards, we still recommend that pgcrypto be installed. 

First, we need to locate the pgcrypto.sql file.  One typical path to this is:

/usr/local/pgsql/share/contrib/pgcrypto.sql

If it isn't there you can always search for the file.  You may need to perform the search as root (be patient, this takes a while):

find / | grep pgcrypto.sql

Or if you're on Windows just use the Windows file search.

Once you've located the file the next step is to install it.  The command to install pgcrypto onto your database is:

psql -U mfgadmin NameOfDB < /wherever/the/file/is/pgcrypto.sql 

Or if you prefer using pgAdmin, connect to the database you want to install pgcrypto and open/execute pgcrypto.sql through the SQL Editor.  It is also a good idea to install pgcrypto.sql on the template1 database.

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How do I link a project to a customer?

Projects can be linked to customers using the relationships link on the customer screen. Simply locate the CRM account for the customer and then save the project once you've entered the information. When you link projects and customers you gain the ability to specify special billing rates for customers by project. You can also report on projects by customer.

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