Chapter #1: overview & setup
! IMPORTANT: The following user manual presents and explains the usage and detailed features of:
- MD Vendor System Plugin – Remote Control version 2.0.2
Remote Control plugin add some very interesting features to MD Vendor System:
- Connect the vendor as client (satellite) to another one (server) which will hold the product in its content;
- Connect the vendor as client (satellite) to a product server which will hold the product in its content;
Installing the plugin is very easy and quick: the owner will only have to drop the plugin script inside the vendor and it will be automatically detected and initialized; a message sent on chat will notify the owner of the successful installation. From that moment, the plugin’s specific features will be available through the “Plugin” sub menu present in the vendor’s owner menu.
By clicking on the corresponding ‘Remote Ctrl’ button, the plugin’s specific menu will load, presenting all the available options:
- Client: this buttons is a switch to enable/disable the client mode; by turning it on and performing the connection wizard, the vendor will become a ‘client’ connected to another vendor or product server which will act as ‘server’, hosting the products in its content. More details about this feature in the corresponding chapter.
- Online Setup: this button will load the vendor’s settings page at MD Labs Online Services website, allowing the owner to configure and control the vendor remotely. More details about this feature can be found here.
- Update: this button will search online for plugin’s update and deliver it to the owner, if found.
- Back: this button navigate back to the plugin sub menu.
- Main Menu: this button navigate back to the owner menu.
PLEASE NOTE: the plugin is aimed to expand the vendor’s feature, for this reason MD Vendor System ‘core’ script must always be present inside the vendor to use the plugin.
To uninstall the plugin simply remove it from the vendor’s content and the vendor will automatically update, removing the additional features.
Chapter #2: Setup a client vendor
Client mode is a vendor’s particular working mode where the vendor doesn’t holds the products to sell in its content but connects to another vendor or terminal (‘server’) to retrieve the products. The advantages of this setup are obvious: keeping only one copy of your products inside the ‘server’ vendor will reduce the confusion of multiple copies and simplify the maintenance of your products, while also reducing the time required to setup your vendors; also one ‘server’ vendor can be connected to multiple ‘clients’.
- A client vendor or satellite vendor is an empty vendor, connected to a server; upon purchase, the client requests the server the product’s delivery.
- A server vendor or terminal is a device hosting one or more products and having one or more vendors connected to it as client; the server receives a product delivery request from the client and dispatches the item to the recipient avatar.
As client, a vendor can be connected to two different type of server:
- Vendor as Server: the client is connected to another vendor running MD Vendor System (‘core’) script and the Remote Control Plugin.
- Terminal as Server: the client is connected to terminal acting as product server and running MD Redelivery Terminal & Product Server Script.
! IMPORTANT: version 3.0.0 or above of MD Redelivery Terminal & Product Server Script is required for using the features described below.
TIP: often using a product server instead of a normal vendor as server is a better idea because a device running the MD Redelivery Terminal & Product Server Script can be used for both redelivery terminal and product server, keeping all the products stored in one place and offering both redelivery and product delivery at the same time.
To setup a vendor in client mode, the owner will have to click on the corresponding ‘Client‘ button inside the remote control plugin’s menu, this will start the connection wizard; the procedure to connect a vendor to a server vendor or a server terminal is identical, only targeting a different set of devices. The first step of the setup is picking the type of server to connect to among vendor or terminal.
Once the owner has selected the type of device to connect to will be asked to pick a specific vendor or terminal to use as server (step two), depending on the type of device selected in the previous step; in the following example, the owner picked ‘Vendor’ as type of server so a list of all available vendors is shown:
Once the server has been chosen it is necessary to pick one item inside the server which will be sold through the client (step three):
! IMPORTANT: any client – independently by the type of server which is connected to – will be able to manage only one normal item and/or one fatpack item from the server’s content; demo and multiple items will not be considered.
If no errors occur during the connecting between client and server the owner is taken to the last step of the connection process (step four), where is asked to confirm the connection. In this last dialog there is a summary of the client’s connection parameters:
- server name;
- server region;
- server item to deliver;
There is one more feature on this step that can become very useful during the first setup of a client vendor; the owner can in fact decide if replicate the server’s settings on the newly connect client: the settings include price, discount, group mode and any other option. This feature is very useful because it speeds up the setup of clone vendors in specific situations. As example it can be considered the case of a vendor rezzed at a SL event which has to be set up as client and connected to a server vendor which is on the owner’s mainstore; if the client vendor will have to have the same price as the one already working at the mainstore and also the same options it will only be necessary to click on ‘Apply’ on the client’s connection confirmation dialog during the first setup and all the server’s settings will be immediately applied to the client.
PLEASE NOTE: the server’s settings replication on client is available only when connecting a client to a vendor as server, and not when connecting a client to a product server.
Once this last step is done, the connection is complete and a message will be displayed in the local chat; from that moment the vendor will use the item inside the server’s content as products to sell. As users will buy or gift a product from the client vendor, the connected server will be contacted and will deliver the product purchased to the desired recipient.
On MD Labs Online Services website, a column called ‘Role’ displays, for every vendor, if it is configured as client or server.
When a vendor is set as client, the remote control plugin’s menu will present one additional button:
- Ping Server: this button will trigger a connection test to check if the vendor server is up and reachable. An message is sent to the owner, with the result of the test.
To disable the client mode from a vendor click the ‘Client’ button: the vendor will be disconnected from the server and will start acting like a ‘normal’ vendor.
To better improve the user experience, an effective delivery method has been implemented: as the user purchases the product the transaction is stored, but the item is flagged as ‘delivered’ only once the server successfully receives the deliver request and the product is sent to the receiver. With this method, if some communication issue arises during the connection to the server or during the product’s delivery, the transaction is stored anyway – giving the user the chance to use the redelivery feature – but will stay flagged as ‘not delivered’; the owner is able to check the delivery status of every transaction on the detail page of the corresponding vendor.