On May 2nd, I received the following email from Tony Toepfer, former Owner of Helios and current Director of Development for ETS/CIT on the Helios Explorer product.
I have got 2 confirmed reports that solar soft is making a pos product so we have taken the steps to make Version 10 propreitary!
Please make sure that you tell clients that you sell Solar soft too that they will be stuck in version 9!
The background of this email, from my perspective, relates to the fact that after Michael Chunn, CEO of Solarsoft, received suggestions over the last few weeks and months that Helios may take steps to stop the success that Solarsoft has been enjoying with their Salon Net product by making a future release of Helios “proprietary”; Michael, had begun discussions with a number of clients and other industry individuals to gather opinions related to Solarsoft providing a Point of Sale module in addition to the current Salon Net Replication System.
Based on the email, and to no ones surprise, Tony became aware of these discussions. Now whether the cart is before the horse or the horse is before the cart the result is the same, based on the email from Tony above, Helios “have taken the steps to make Version 10 propreitary”.
Without knowing exactly what Tony means by proprietary, I believe it is fair to assume, based on the communication received from Tony, that it will involve either the encryption of significant elements of the databases and/or the password protecting of one, some or all of the Helios V10 Databases.
While Solarsoft Management advised me that encryption alone would not prevent Data Replication by the Salon Net System, it would impact some of the secondary benefits that Solarsoft clients receive by utilizing Salon Net.
Since Tony has repeatedly emailed me over the last 3 weeks, directing me to tell clients to whom we sell Solarsoft regarding the non-compatibility of Salon Net and Helios V10, I decided that I would put his mind to rest by making this open post on the topic. Now please understand that statements below are based on Tony’s assessment of non-compatibility, Solarsoft will have more to add once V10 see the light of day:
What would it mean for Helios Users that are also Solarsoft clients:
You “will be stuck in version 9” (the most stable version of Helios since the DOS days of Version 6), until Solarsoft does NOW (based on necessity) create the next generation of POS system for the Tanning Industry. An application that will be based on Database Reliability, Operational Flexibility and utilizing the latest in Development Technologies.
You can rely on Solarsoft Technical Support, with the added assistance of me, Andy Thompson, should you choose to transfer your Technical Support to Solarsoft.
Should you decide at some future date to upgrade to Helios V10, be assured that Solarsoft Management have confirmed for me that there is NOTHING that Salon Net has done or will do to your data that will prevent you from doing this conversion.
Whether a version of Salon Net will be available to operate with V10, that can not be confirmed or denied until V10 is released, but based on Tony’s comments it would seem unlikely.
What does this mean to Helios Users in general that do convert to Version 10:
If the actions that Helios have taken will prevent Salon Net from accessing your databases, then those same actions may have other impacts on you as well.
Most likely this may impact the use of exported Client Names and Addresses for Mail Merges and Direct Mailings.
Furthermore the exporting of EFT data for independent processing may be impacted.
The ability of anyone “other than Helios Technical Support” to assist you with issues related to Helios Databases may be GONE.
This may mean that “RESTORE FROM BACKUP” may become the words of the day.
The MANY clients that I have (of late, using exclusive Solarsoft tools), assisted in salvaging Helios databases may now be left with no alternative and may lose that valuable data that could up to Version 9 in many cases be salvaged (in whole or in part).
The MANY Helios Users that have had custom reporting applications written to provide additional analysis from the valuable information within their databases that Helios reports did not provide – may have to THROW THEM AWAY, in order to use V10.
If significant data is in fact now going to be encrypted within YOUR databases, your ability to ever consider converting to an application competitive to Helios will involve significant re-entry of data, once you “UPGRADE to Version 10”.
So you decide, “stuck in Version 9”, is it a good thing?
A separate issue for you to consider, based on what I have seen to date regarding Version 10. PLEASE test it thoroughly before you decide whether to upgrade once it is released. Also, I suggest that you do that testing on a computer OTHER than the system you are using to run your live copy of V9.
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[ This Message was edited by: Chippp on 2002-05-25 08:19 ][ This Message was edited by: Andy @ ATSO.ca on 2002-05-28 09:10 ]