Multiple sites, licensing and reports


I have 6 restaurants. What I would like todo is have them all linked to a central database which runs on a VPS and have the restaurants (vpn) tunnel into them. I can do this already but I would run into licensing issues since the term clearly state I need to buy a licence per restaurant and if I have all sites connected to a central database I can’t do that anymore.

Also I would like the reporting tools expanded to accomodate this situation. I would like to tunnel into the same database from my office and print out reports. This way I can do my bookkeeping daily instead of having to wait till the dossier is sent back to me.

I would not recommend that setup. You are totally relying on your internet connection for this to work.

Yes I know, at all my restaurants we have fiber internet and also backup ADSL and 4G modems as alot of things (EFT being to most important) depend on us having connections.

Hm first let me say that I’m still a newbie in both SambaPOS and SQL Server so I might not really know what I’m talking about. But if your main focus is to ‘daily instead of having to wait till the dossier is sent back to me’, and already got VPS and VPN setup in place then wouldn’t it be less complicate(set-up wise) to do the SQL query route and generate/merge reports from each external databases ?

Also you get to make sure each restaurant get to run locally, so it’s easier to daignose when something breaks (i.e. if the printer stops printing it somepoint, you know it’s not internet related)

Or perhaps you already know that but wants to use SambaPOS reporting features (Or perhaps my idea don’t work) then I’m out of clue XD (replication of all DBs merged into one for reporting purpose at central site, maybe? but does MSSQL even allows that :P?)

It is one licence per DATABASE, if you could successfully run setup in this way the licence would work.
Not sure if emre has t&C to say otherwise but the results would likely be less than ideal.

What is the bottleneck up and down over the sites, ie which has the least bandwidth?
It would likely be the up speed at one of the sites.
I have pretty good fiber here with 60-80Mb down and 17-20Mb Up.
So if my server was here the bottle next would be my up, all the terminals would be limited tothat 17-20Mb up (download to them) SHARED over all terminals!
Compair that to basic local network which would be at least 100Mb if not 1000Mb…
You would soon hit bandwidth bottleneck.

The reliability would also be questionable even with backup, if the server fiber went down that would then drop to what 20Mb ADSL…, and dont forget that if that was for server that would be total bandwidth SHARED for all terminals???

For now I would setup email reports at each site sent to you.
V6 will likely see major works with multi site setups but that is a fair way away yet…

Merging would be very problematic as each site will have its own slightly different setup and more importantly you would get key index clashes with all sorts of things, ticket ids, account transactions, the list goes on.

In short Samba v5 is not equipped for a true multi site setup.
You best solution will be remote access to get report or have samba email you rempots on work period end or something- this has been covered a few times recently.

They might need a connection but they will need very little bandwidth…
The SambaPOS system is suited to a local area network.

You could compare to Sage accounts software.
Their multiple terminal setup/licence works well on local network and even works on VPN HOWEVER running the system remotely via VPN is dog slow on ADSL, slightly better on Fiber but that would be much lower use, think if you had 10 terminals across 4 sites… with a bottle neck of say a 20Mb/s upload at head office thats 2Mb/s per terminal for a system not optomized for it and created for use on a LAN network which now days has a typical speed of 1Gb/s, even if you said 500Mbs thats still 50 per terminal based on 10 terminals which am yet to see on the forum.
My largest installed system was 6 terminals on a local network.

My recommendation, automate report emails or report export to say dropbox and wait for a proper multi-site solution from emre maybe in v6

I can’t seem to find the exact place where it’s stated but I am sure I’ve read Emre saying that he expects people to buy a licence per restaurant even saying that we shouldn’t cheat. VPN would count as cheating in my book.

Our fiber connections are 500Mbit/s, ADSL 100Mbit/s and our 4G modems are 225Mbit/s theoretically but on average we get around 50Mbit/s. Bandwidth won’t be the bottleneck, processing power at the server is more of a concern for me. Also on the very rare occasion both fiber and adsl dropout the connection will fallback to 4G which has a very high latency, I will have to test and see if the latency is acceptable.

Here in NL we get very good and cheap internet but I think you are right when you say a 20MBit/s connection will suffice on a setup where you have max 10 terminals.

I don’t remember saying suffice, I think I said if it did work it would be DOG SLOW :wink:
Personally I wouldn’t want to depend my POS on internet hence would never use a cloud based service.
We have cloud based for our PMS as has its advantages and would work happily on a slower ADSL or even 3G connection plug we have a printed checkin list anyway so at least know which rooms people will be in if worst does happen.But for a POS where even minutes can result in lost earnings and havock local is only way for me.

WTF!!! fair enough,

What are you expecting to be the total number of terminals?

Well you could go for a local database at each site and then replicate those to an offsite VPS. As long as you keep your counters and indexes separated it won’t be too much of a problem. But as you said before the way it’s setup currently it doesn’t allow for that.

I think you’re looking at the bandwidth thing the wrong way. Yes most consumer grade ADSL lines are overbooked 1:25 or even worse in some countries, this means your packets will take longer to arrive at their destination on peak hours but an SQL server isn’t the same as a stream. And yes if you decide to run a stream service (audio/video) on the same line then your QoS goes out the window but I’m pretty confident a decent line will suffice.

Well let me count, 6 restaurants, at my first restaurant (where I am testing all this) I already have 3 terminals and 4 iPad’s running RDP, so that’s 7. Doing some guess work according to size and volume of customers I think I’ll have around 25 to 30 terminals.

The 500mbit lines seem alot (and they are too be honest) but we also run streaming services over them so alot of the bandwidth goes to that.

I think 30 terminals over VPN stype setup will be less than ideal personally.

That being said please share your results testing from first restaurant.

Yeah I think I’ll setup some performance counters tomorrow.

Yes you should purchase a license for each venue. It was not meant to be used in this Manor but nobody really stopping you. We should try and adhere to the rules and support the project with the other end license per venue. However you may talk to Emre about this if you insist on doing it.

We use term 1 license per database to explain it better. It is actually 1 license per venue. (per branch, per location, etc…). However as you connect to a single database single license will work without issues. You can setup your system with single license until you decide to keep going with that setup. Later you can complete missing licenses. You won’t technically activate them but that will help us a lot.

PS: We have some small restaurant chains working with similar setup. That will work fine :wink:


That’s intriguing, all mentions I’ve read said it would be slow but on slower connections…
My comments were based on previous discussions.
What kind of connection have you already got this working with?

I don’t know details a lot as we didn’t setup these systems. If something reported as slow I optimize data access to use as little as possible. Of course it didn’t intended to work like that and some useful stuff like separation by branches, etc does not exists… but I can keep optimizing it if someone can do more than “hey it lags badly” and help me spotting potential issues.

That’s what I was trying to say. With some tweaking it is possible to setup everything correctly but it’s a huge mess, something like branch separation would be very useful and helpful.

That’s not a really nice thing to say. If I am earning money of the backs of other people then those people should earn money too. That’s how it works in this world, that’s what’s fair and that’s how we do business.

I really didn’t mean that in negative tone. I also was not inferring you cheat it. I simply meant go ahead and try it.

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Can I buy 1 license and use it in one computer as “lab” to play around and same license in another computer for real stuff “production”?

Why do you need a license for your [quote=“eadauto, post:17, topic:10865”]

The only thing the lincese does is place a warning at the top of the screen and send warning notices after 500 tickets, where in you can simply use the clear ticket database task to reset this number if this is only for testing and the tickets you create are fake.

No need tl license your testing system. Trial is unrestricted.

Thanks, so I can create my lab environment and at the end export to my production computer and that banner will be gone?