Most Epson receipt printers work with Bookmanager and allow logo and barcode printing. Samsung receipt printers use Epson drivers and components, so can be considered identical to Epson in functionality. Many Star receipt printers can work with Bookmanager, but will be unable to print logos or barcodes. We always recommend a thermal receipt printer, as they do not require ink and typically print faster.
Since computers see scanners as keyboards that type really fast, most laser barcode scanners can be programmed to work with Bookmanager. The programming of unsupported scanners is up to the user. Scanners must output the following:
That is a tilde symbol (~) plus the product number plus a return/new line character.
Bookmanager only works with 2-inch Cognitive and Zebra brand label printers. 4-inch Cognitive and Zebra label printers will not work, nor will any other brand of label printer. As for labels, Bookmanager has developed our own proprietary thermal removable label. Techincally, any rolled thermal label that is 2.25"/57mm wide x 7/8"/22mm tall will work in these label printers, but pre-existing stores comment that non-Bookmanager brand labels have issues with their adhesives, removability, and shelf life. We were unable to find an "off the shelf" brand of labels that satisfied the particular needs of the bookseller. Our labels easily remove without the need of a tool, do not leave behind residue or damage books when removed, but will stay adhered for years. Labels were designed and tested in our bookstore, where we label 100% of our new, remainder, and gift product. We needed a label that was quick and easy to remove to make our periodic overstock returns efficient.
Most retail grade cash drawers connect to a receipt printer, and not the computer itself. Therefore, if your cash drawer can connect to your receipt printer, and your receipt printer is compatible with Bookmanager, then the drawer will also be supported. Cash drawers that connect wirelessly or directly to the computer via USB are not supported. Our recommended receipt printers all use a CD-101A Multipro cable to connect to a cash drawer.
Figuring out which computers are best for store use can be tough, as there are just so many choices. It's like buying a car... there is much to consider depending on what you plan on using them for. Bookmanager will run fine on any Windows based system. Any real power or special features will depend on what else you want to do with that computer.
With laptops, make sure you choose one that has a full keyboard with a number pad and dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys. Typically, those are only found on 15" or larger laptops. You need a full keyboard because Bookmanager uses the PgDn, PgUp, Home, End, Delete, and F1 - F9 keys extensively. On smaller laptops, access to those keys usually requires you to hold down a Function/Fn key first, which is cumbersome when you need to tap the PgDn and PgUp keys about a thousand times a day. You can get away with a number pad that can be toggled to PgDn and PgUp with the NUM LOCK key, as long as that number pad lists the PgDn and PgUp keys as alternatives. For existing laptops that are missing instant access to these fundamental keys, we suggest buying an external bluetooth full keyboard.
Touch screens are not enabled or necessary in Bookmanager, so you don't want or need a touch screen system. They are more expensive and can be costly to repair.
1 Bookmanager is stable and runs "fine" on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, but due to Microsoft's lapse in support for these legacy operating systems, we strongly advise against using these versions of Windows. Mainly, security and driver updates are no longer being released, leaving Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 users open to malicious attacks, and general reliability with third party programs such as web browsers is degrading over time. Windows 8.1 is technically still supported by Microsoft until January 10, 2023, but it's a bad operating system, so don't use it.
Bookmanager is a 32-bit Windows based program, and does not have an Apple Mac OS X or Linux version. Bookmanager has been used successfully in a few Mac based setups, where OS X is configured with either a partitioned hard drive running a Windows OS (BootCamp), or with Windows emulation software (Parallels). That said, we cannot guarantee full functionality on a Mac system, and highly recommend against this setup.
2 Although Windows 10 / 11 Home supports remote desktop connection, those Home versions can only act as a client. That means you can't initiate a remote connection from the Home edition. In contrast, with Windows 10 / 11 Pro, your PC can act as the host as well as the client for remote desktop connection. Many users want to work from home, and the way to do so is through a remote desktop connection. Pro also features more stable networking and future releases / updates to Windows 10 Home may limit networking altogther.
3 Bookmanager runs very fast with little processing power and memory. That said, the more memory you have, the faster it will run, and the better its web-based components will perform. Internet browsers are major RAM hogs, so having over 8 GB of RAM will really improve your website experience and efficiency. That said, over 16 GB RAM won't provide noticeable improvements.
4 The Bookmanager software only requires 50 MB of hard drive space to install. Your data and our Pubstock feed is what makes it bigger, but a general rule of thumb is as follows: 1 GB for small stores, 2 GB for medium stores, and 3+ GB for larger operations or multistore users. As for hard drive type, PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drives (SSD) are inexpensive and extremely fast, allowing your computer to boot in seconds. SATA Solid State Drives are also fast (but not as fast as the recommended option), but are really only needed when storage above 1TB is required. The long-standing SATA HDD (hard disk drive) is your slowest option. Since Bookmanager does not require much disk space, you should always opt for a smaller SSD over a larger HDD.
5 The Webstore, Tiltelink, Pubtstock, Stock Checker, remote backups, emailing, texting, online gift cards, electronic ordering and invoicing, and many more features require internet. We also strongly recommend that multi-station (more than one computer running Bookmanager) set ups be configured with wired networks, and not Wifi. A few seconds lapse of your Wifi network, which happens from time to time, can cause your networked stations to close. Simple operations like stock checking and offsite sales can be done with a wireless connection, but a point-of-sale or receiving station must be hardwired into the network using an ethernet cable for robust stability and improved speed. The best Wifi connection can't compete with a hardwired ethernet connection, especially when it comes to local networking (Bookmanager's environment).
6 Our optional, but highly recommended hardware utilizes USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports. If a station has a scanner, receipt printer, and label printer attached, it will need three free USB ports (or a USB hub) for those devices, along with a few more for your mouse, keyboard, and/or desktop printer.
7 A server edition of Windows is not required or recommended for Bookmanager if you have 20 or less workstations. We call the main file server station in Bookmanager the "server", just as a convenient term and reference. But, any Windows 11 Pro computer can act as the server. A Windows Server Edition would be required for setups with over 20 workstations, or if you need multiple instances of remote desktop into the server station. Most stores who want multiple instances of remote desktop, but have under 20 stations, should instead buy very inexpensive computers just for remote use. Even for multiple instances of remote desktop, this route is usually cheaper than a server edition of Windows (about $2000 min for the edition, plus $1000+ for the computer itself). For example, you could buy 3 small-form bare bones PCs (no monitors needed) for $1200 and still be unde half what a server edition of Windows would cost.
Due to development time and cost, Bookmanager has only integrated with a few payment processors, and we are currently not looking to expand the list. To be clear, an integrated payment processor is a qualifty of life feature, and not mandatory. Integrated payment processing means that staff do not need to hand-type sale amounts or even credit card details into a device. Instead, those details along with response data is passed seemlessly between Bookmanager and the processor. This eliminates human error, and removes the need to reconcile credit/debit card transactions at the end of a day. An integrated processor can also improve online order/webstore efficiency, as staff do not need to manually type credit card numbers into a physical device.
For US stores only, Clearent provides fully integrated, fast payment processing on various modern and feature-heavy devices. Their technical and after-hours support is quick and thorough. The following Clearent payment devices integrate with Bookmanager:
You can visit go2.clearent.com/bookmanager to initiate an account with Clearent or to get rate quotes. Clearent typically meets or beats your current rates, so have those handy (if applicable).
For Canadian stores only, Chase Paymentech provides semi-integrated payment processing on two specific devices:
Coming soon! This option will first be offered to Canadian users in 2023 as an alternative to Chase. The Global devices are fully integrated, and offer more features and better customer support than Chase.