Transmitting your orders

Setting Up

The Send tool needs additional memory to run and to record your wholesaler’s outcome report. If less than 6,000 bytes are available, you will first be asked to confirm you wish the program to close all other applications automatically. If this releases enough memory, the above dialog box appears. Alternatively, press the System button and resolve the problem by hand.

The dialog box has four fields, described following, any of which you may alter after moving the highlight to the field with Up Arrow or Down Arrow. When ready, press Enter to start the Send tool, or press Esc to cancel.

In the Dial field the cursor has been replaced by a spin box: the two thick arrows indicate you are being asked to choose one from a limited number of choices. Each press of left arrow or right arrow rotates the selection to the next choice. Alternatively, press Tab to reveal all choices:

Use up arrow or down arrow to move the highlight to your choice, then press Enter to return to the main dialog box.

The File(s) fields, Name and Disk, are always pre-set to the current order file. See here if you wish to send a group of separate order files to your wholesaler in a single telephone call, or to send an order file for another wholesaler to this wholesaler instead.

The Signal at end spin box has no effect other than to set your preference for how the Series 3 lets you know it has finished using your telephone: choose chimes, rings or mute (silence).

On the wire

After you close the Send dialog by pressing Enter, when all goes well there is nothing for you to do until the screen shows Done with phone (optionally accompanied by an audible signal at end), as seen here:


Before you reach the above state, the program gives various indications which may help you determine whether you need to intervene:

Press [Esc] Nothing to send
The file(s) you specified in the Send dialog either do not exist or are all empty. The program only attempts to connect to your wholesaler when there is something to send.
Press [Esc] Device does not exist
The Psion 3-Link accessory is not plugged in to the Series 3.
Press [Esc] File or device in use
Another task on the Series 3 has reserved the 3-Link accessory. Shut down that task; if you don't know which it is check that the System button's Special menu remote Link is OFF.
Press [Esc] to cancel order
Shown while disconnection will result in your wholesaler's software discarding the entire order currently on the wire.
Press [Esc] to cancel reply
Shown while disconnection will result in an incomplete outcome report from your wholesaler for the order currently on the wire. The wholesaler's software will continue processing the entire order after any such disconnection.
Press [Esc] Line failure
Disconnection occurred due to some cause external to the Series 3.
Press [Esc] Too many retries
The Series 3 disconnected because eight consecutive attempts to send or receive data failed.
Press [Esc] Inactivity timeout
The Series 3 disconnected because expected data was not received for 16 seconds.
Press [Esc] Done with phone
The Series 3 disconnected because the Send tool has finished.


In the preceding table, disconnection refers to the breaking of contact between the Series 3 program and your wholesaler's software; pressing the Esc key will always force immediate disconnection. The telephone call normally remains engaged until the end that's paying “hangs-up” all its equipment (in this case modem and handset). Many auto-dial modems hang-up automatically when the software disconnects but it's wise to confirm this yourself (pick up your handset and listen). Of course, a manual modem will need switching from Data. The telephone line reverts to speech after your modem hangs-up.

The program's primary objective, in co-operation with your wholesaler's software, is to send every order accurately without loss or duplication. Waiting for the wholesaler's outcome report is a secondary objective which you may cancel if you wish (and so may your wholesaler, for example if the master data base temporarily cannot be interrogated for stock availability). For clarification, the Series 3 gives a pip sound to mark the point beyond which you may disconnect confident that the wholesaler has your order.

The status line

Any communication attempt proceeds through a definable sequence of states, reported by the status line as described in the following table. The final state remains on screen until you escape from the Send tool.

Press modem DATA on hearing far tone or Waiting for local modem
This state exists until the Series 3 detects the “Data Set Ready” (DSR) and “Clear to Send” (CTS) signals from the modem.
The first form appears when the Order program is set up for use with a manual modem. This modem has a switch or button to set it on/off line (usually marked DATA/TALK). If there is also a setting for Originate/Answer you must select Originate (even when your wholesaler has called you). Please select DATA promptly on hearing the steady tone of your wholesaler's modem in your handset.
The second form appears when the Order program is set up for use with an automatic modem. You may not notice it because the modem should be ready almost straight away.
Trying to connect to wholesaler
If this state is not reached, first check your modem has power then pull apart and refit all cabling (including power). The state exists until data is received from your wholesaler's software.
Any command issued to an automatic modem should appear in the framed window, and dialling should be taking place if this was requested. Hang up your handset now (unless your modem has cut it off and you intend to speak to your wholesaler afterwards).
File x.EOE (n lines): Trying to log on
This state confirms you are connected to your wholesaler's software (except that if you are using an automatic modem when your installer set up the Order program for a manual modem then the program will incorrectly sink into this state. Correct with the Access tool and try again). It exists whilst the wholesaler's software is interpreting the “header” data contained in your Series 3 file named x.EOE. If the log on fails you may see in the framed window a brief explanation from the wholesaler (such as “wrong password”).
File x.EOE (n lines): Sending line i
This state confirms that your order x.EOE is now being sent. i should increment by 10 (the blocking factor) until it reaches n.
File x.EOE (n lines): Awaiting reply
This state confirms that all n lines of your order x.EOE have now been sent.
To prevent you inadvertently duplicating this order, the file x.EOE is now cleared ready for you to load your next order to this wholesaler. Subsequently, the View reply tool lets you view this order (under the file name x.BAK).
This state is critical because a disconnection now will prevent the Series 3 from reliably determining whether your wholesaler's software will process or cancel the order. In practice, the Series 3 assumes on balance of probability that the order will get processed but sets up the reply as Outcome unknown. Should this assumption be wrong the order will be lost, so please do not hesitate to ask your wholesaler's staff to check the outcome. The duration of this state is kept as short as conditions allow.
File x.EOE (n lines): Sent OK i checked
This state confirms that your wholesaler now has a complete record of your order x.EOE. Your wholesaler's software is now interrogating the master data base on your behalf for stock availability and has reached line i inclusive. Any shortages so far reported are shown in the framed window (they are also recorded on the Series 3 in file x.BAK for later viewing off-line). The speed at which the stock is checked depends mainly upon speed of access to the master data base; this can vary or even grind to a halt (in which case this state is automatically abandoned).
File x.EOE (n lines): Sent OK, reply OK
This state also confirms that your wholesaler now has a complete record of your order x.EOE. It confirms that the wholesaler's reply is now recorded on the Series 3 in file x.BAK.

Sending a group of orders

The Send dialog box File(s) Name field accepts any file specification typed over the suggested specification. The .EOE suffix will be assumed if you leave it out. To select a group of files you use wildcards within the specification; these are the * and ? characters familiar to PC users and explained in Psion's Series 3 User Guide Chapter 12 Files and disks. For example WELLS* selects all files whose name begins with WELLS (and have suffix .EOE).

When Trying to connect to wholesaler, the Order program takes the Access data (wholesaler name and telephone number) from the order file current when the Send tool was picked; we will call this the Host order file. Each non-empty order file which matches your specification is then sent in turn from the Trying to log on state, after which the Series 3 disconnects. After you close the Send tool, the original Host order file is still the current order. Please note that the Host order is only included in the transmission when it too matches your file specification.

When Trying to logon each individual order, the program compares the order's Wholesaler Name with the Host's. If the names are identical (up to the shorter of the two should their lengths differ) then the Access Code and Password sent are taken from that order file, otherwise they are taken from the Host order file. This feature lets you send an order set up for another wholesaler to the host wholesaler without needing to alter any Access data, and lets you send several orders with different Access data to the host wholesaler.

Retransmitting an order

In exceptional circumstances your wholesaler might ask you to repeat a sent order, if possible. This is indeed possible anytime before you send the next order under the same file name:

Press the letter Y to confirm. This restores the order just as if it had never been sent. You may now review and (though this would not be normal procedure) even edit or add to the order. Retransmit by picking the Send tool under the File menu.

For clarification, please be aware that under these circumstances the current order file is the file x.BAK not x.EOE. Consequently your next order if any in x.EOE will not be altered in any way by anything you do in x.BAK.

If you wish you may revert x.BAK to it's sent state by picking the Undo “undo send” tool under the Edit menu, so long as you haven't altered the order in any way in which case the Edit menu will show (can't undo).

The Psion Archive