Requirements

What browsers are supported with QuickFlora POS?

We currently fully support Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 10 (in compatibility mode under the tools menu). Firefox is also a good choice and the only choice if you are on a MAC-OSX.

We don’t support Apple Safari or Chrome or Opera at this time but we are aware of some shops that use them with very few issues.

QuickFlora PC Setup Guidelines for Network Administrators as of Oct-2016

Below is the checklist of what is needed to run QuickFlora optimally on a PC with Internet Explorer or Firefox browser. (Safari, Opera and Chrome are not fully supported at this time). You should already have a firewall and network in place properly configured to provide internet service to all the PC’s on your network.

Each PC on the network should ideally be less than two years old and have a minimum of 4GB of ram and preferably more if possible. The less programs you have on your PC’s (other than QuickFlora) the less headaches you will have long term. Windows 7 will work fine. Minimum processor speed should be a Pentium 2.0 Ghz or faster. Atom processors are NOT recommended.

  1. Run Speed Test via http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest and email upload / download results to QuickFlora. You should have a minimum network speed of 3Mbs download and 500Kbs upload. Your latency speed should be under 100ms. If not contact your internet service provider and ask them to upgrade the speed. Verizon FIOS is highly recommended (if available in your area). You should also consider having a back up broadband provider in case your main provider goes down. We suggest a fast “primary” line on the front end with a DSL/Cable/FIOS or T1 back up line on the back end if possible.
  2.  If you already have or planning to install a VOIP phone system/trunk you should find out if you can use it for data and use that as a back up service.
  3. Install Antivirus Software on all PCs (AVG Free will suffice). Recommended is TrendMicro brand. We also have a hosted solution provider that can manage this for all your PC’s on your network for $10/month per PC that is highly recommended if you don’t wish to deal with antivirus issues. Please note that we are not responsible for any PC’s with virus issues.
  4. Install Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 on every PC computer. Verify you can print a test sample Adobe PDF file on each PC to make sure its working properly before you attempt to configure the QuickFlora printer settings and profiles.
  5.  Install your printer drivers for your specific printer that will be used to print “Work Tickets” on every computer and make sure printer name is the same on every computer on the network.  Verify you can print to your printer directly BEFORE setting up QuickFlora Printer configurations.
  6. Install your printer drivers for your specific “Card Printer” on every computer and make sure printer name is the same across every computer on the network. Verify you can print to your printer directly BEFORE setting up QuickFlora Printer configurations.
  7. Disable Popup Blocker for https://secure.quickflora.com
  8. Add https://secure.quickflora.com to trusted sites list.
  9.  Set ActiveX (Internet Explorer Addons) security settings as follows for “Trusted Sites.”
  10. Add your provided direct URL for QuickFlora to the homepage tab for all order entry PC’s.
  11. Add your provided direct URL for all POS register PC’s IF your are using the POS module.
  12. Add your website address to the homepage tab on all PC’s IF your are using our website module.
  13. Run Windows Updates and install all updates. You should also turn windows automatic updates “off” so that it does not install anything automatically. You must run windows in “compatibility mode” under “Tools” option on the top menu.
  14. Lock down network but make sure Quickflora.com still has the ability to install ActiveX controls as necessary. Make sure users can not install or uninstall programs or change security settings on individual PC’s.  You can (and should) run a third party Network Compliance Software to lock down all your PC’s if you wish.
  15. If using the POS module, for any POS terminal, the terminal ID must be visible when the Active X controls are properly set up.  And the printer driver for the POS receipt printers have to be installed on that specific terminal. You should be able to print a test page through Windows on the receipt printer to verify it is properly connected BEFORE setting up the QuickFlora Printer Configurations under System Set Up.
  16.  When everything is wired locally, please send us a network diagram for our records that shows all PC’s, printers, routers, hubs, switches and servers.
  17. Please note, POS receipt printers can not be shared on a network in any way. Each PC running the POS module must have its own receipt printer.
  18. Please verify the PC has the latest version of Java installed. (1.5 or higher) You can download the latest version at:

 http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

 

General Information about Networks and PC’s

Speed Test — About Speed

Here's some more information to help you understand your speed test results.

There are a lot of things that factor into how fast QuickFlora runs at your store. 

  1. Your PC (how new, how much memory, how many other programs are installed on it)
  2. Your Local Broadband Speed (DSL, Cable, FIOS, T1) Download and upload speeds, backbones, networks, latency, ping times, and DNS servers.
  3. QuickFlora Application itself (which gets faster by itself each and every month).

Download

Download is a measure of how fast your connection delivers content to your computer or local area network.

Upload

Upload is the measure of how fast content is delivered from your computer or local area network to others on the Internet.

For businesses or power-users, download and upload speed should match or at least be very close. This is important for applications like VoIP, on-line gaming and other interactive programs. Upload speed is even more important if you are operating a server at your location. If achieving optimal upload speed is a concern, consider Ethernet, T1 or SDSL services.

Kbps


Kbps transfer rate = kilobit per second transfer rate. There are 8 bits in a byte, so we would divide kbps by 8 to get KB/sec transfer rate.

Transfer Rate

Transfer rate is speed at which data can be transmitted between devices. This is sometimes referred to as throughput. As files to download become increasingly larger, the highest data transfer rate is most desirable.

Latency

In a network, latency, a synonym for delay, is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. In some usages, latency is measured by sending a packet that is returned to the sender and the round-trip time is considered the latency. Low latency is extremely important for businesses and power-users.

Best Practices for Network Security

First, it is important to realize that this article is in no way intended to provide a comprehensive, all-inclusive solution to security problems for networks. This article is meant to serve only as a minimum foundation for setting up security for a network. It is important to always consult a local Microsoft Network Engineer or other certified technician for a full and complete review of any security configuration.

Second, understand that there is no such thing as an absolutely secure system; there are only different levels of security in a network. Time and time again hackers have proved that nothing can be totally secure, but nevertheless it is still important to take a few simple steps toward protecting local networks from unwanted access.

A useful analogy for understanding computer security is securing a house. One would not think that simply installing doors in a house would be enough to keep it secure. At the very least, the doors would need locks. Often even simple locks are insufficient, and deadbolts are required for greater security. A greater level of security and protection would include alarm systems that sound an alert and notify the authorities. All these are considered good security practices, but the fact still remains that a determined intruder can smash a window with a hammer in order to gain access.

Now, consider a few misconceptions about network security. First, no Windows Operating systems are truly secure. They can be accessed by anyone who can gain access to your network, either physically or via the Internet. All PC’s running QuickFlora must be behind a firewall. No operating system was designed to be secure on an open network. Security is simply not integrated into their basic file systems. Any knowledgeable computer user can gain access to a Windows PC in under ten minutes if it is not secured behind a firewall. Second, network access to any computer means that it can be compromised. It only takes a matter of a few hours, perhaps only a few minutes or seconds, for an expert to compromise an improperly secured computer system with nothing more than network access to that system. Finally, direct physical access to a computer is the equivalent of the hammer in the house analogy. Even the most elaborate, robust network security system is of little value if a thief can walk into an office and steal a computer and all the data it contains.

Feeling a little vulnerable? Consider some common, basic level, security vulnerabilities and precautions:

  1. Firewall: If a computer is connected to the Internet, it needs a firewall. A firewall is simply device that controls what services and applications which are allowed to communicate between the Internet and a local network. All network activity and traffic must pass through a specific numbered connection between the computer and the network. These connections are called ports. For example: web pages run on port 80, email runs on port 25, and Microsoft SQL database servers run on 1433 and 1434. Think of a firewall as the wall around a castle, with doors (or ports) that only let certain people (or network traffic) in or out, while preventing unauthorized traffic from passing through. By default, most firewalls have all but port 25 and 80 closed. Most firewalls can be configured to allow or deny access to any given port.

    In addition, most users configure their firewall to run Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT is a simple concept that provides minimal protection to computers on a network. Each computer that is connected to the Internet is assigned a unique computer number called an IP address. This number allows other computers and routers to communicate across the Internet without information being lost or given to the wrong computer. NAT hides computers from the outside world by using a network's outside IP number, and then issuing internal private IP numbers to computers inside the network. These private IP numbers cannot be seen from outside the network, so to outside systems the entire local network will appear to act as a single computer with a single address.

    For example, a computer inside the network requests something outside the network, such as a web page on the Internet. This request is sent first to the firewall, which then sends the request out to the Internet. The web server on the Internet receives the request (which now appears to originate from the firewall rather than the local computer), processes it, and sends it back to the firewall. The firewall then sends the request back into the local network and to the appropriate computer. The web server knows nothing about the local computer and local network, as it only communicated with the firewall. Therefore, as far as the Internet is concerned, the local computer does not exist, only the firewall exists. Think of NAT as a guard at the door who relays messages to and from the inside of the fortress, but remains the sole representative of the castle inhabitants, regardless of how many inhabitants there may be.
  2.  Controlled Physical Access: Controlling physical access to the computer itself is the second most important aspect of network security, even if a local network is not connected to the Internet, and especially if a computer is running Windows. On a Windows computer, anyone who has direct physical access to that computer will have unlimited access to all the data files on that computer. Usernames and Passwords are of no value on these systems, since the login procedure can be easily circumvented, and even the Built-in screen saver with a password does not offer any real access protection. Additionally, it is important to remember that computers are relatively small and portable, and can be easily stolen or damaged. Never allow a computer holding sensitive data to be vulnerable to physical theft. Simple, inexpensive measures such as key and chain lock systems can provide powerful deterrents.
  3. Secure Operating Systems: Windows XP Pro and Vista are considered to be secure operating systems. Usernames and passwords are mandatory on these operating systems. Access to data, functions, and applications can be limited to specific users, with each user identified by a unique login name and password. When sharing data or resources on one of these systems, it is possible to limit access to only specific users or groups of users. Although it can be very convenient, sharing folders or files to everyone is very insecure, as it allows any computer or user on the network to access those shared files or folders. Passwords should always be at least 7 characters long, and should never be words that appear in a dictionary. Ideally, they should also include numerals and special characters, in addition to containing a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters. For example, the password “blessed” meets the 7 character rule, but is in the dictionary. A password such as "bL@ss&d" would be much more secure because it is not in the dictionary and it includes unusual characters. These measures make this password thousands of times harder to crack than a simple word. However it is important to always remember passwords, since it can be difficult or even impossible to access a system if the password has been forgotten. One trick that is useful in remembering your password is to use simple sentences such as i_crossed_the_street_today$. As you can see it is easy to remember, but meets all our criteria for a good password, over 7 characters and unusual characters and because it is ran together, not in the dictionary.
  4. Backups: Not mandatory for QuickFlora as they are performed on our servers, but you should do a back up of all your data every week at minimum, and every day if it makes you feel better. Regular, carefully planned backups are one of the best, and most important, security measures. Data loss caused by theft, viruses, worms, or hardware failure is always bad, but the damage can be mitigated by having a good, reliable backup system is in place. Backups to tape, CD or any removable data can countless hours and dollars in an emergency.
  5. Viruses: Computer viruses are one of the most potentially destructive security attacks. Virus protection programs are an absolute must in any network where computers are accessing the Internet, CDs, floppy disks, or emails. Yes, even email! Email is the number one carrier of viruses. While text-based email cannot carry viruses, attachments and html messages with redirects can. The most common entry point of viruses in networks is an attachment to an email. No matter how secure the network is, if someone receives an email that has an executable attachment (such as a file ending in .exe) that contains a virus, and opens that attachment, the virus will infect the computer. At that point, it is the virus protection software’s responsibility to detect the virus, then delete it or place it in quarantine. There are many virus protection software makers on the market both Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition (http://www.symantec.com/) and McAfee Security (http://mcafee.com) are ones that are considered industry standards. Note: Firewalls are not adequate protection against viruses, since many viruses can masquerade as legitimate programs!
  6.  Wireless Access: If an office deploys a wireless networking solution, they should be sure to activate the manufacturer's built-in encryption and security measures. All wireless solutions should utilize some level of encryption. Most utilize a protocol called "Wired Equivalent Privacy" (WEP). The better wireless access points utilize "Temporal Key Integrity Protocol" (TKIP).  WEP uses a static encryption key set, where TKIP uses a dynamically assigned encryption key set. The bottom line for most users is that WEP is good enough for current HIPAA security standards (as of 02/02/2003), but TKIP is a much better security solution. Neglecting to use wireless encryption can allow anyone with a laptop or handheld computer and a wireless network card to walk within range start using a network just as if they had plugged into a wired data port in the office.
  7. System Maintenance: Computers and their software are created by fallible humans, and therefore inevitably contain inherent flaws. This is a fact that will never change. Microsoft is trying to stay one step ahead of these flaws with the Windows update site: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com. This site provides a list of what updates are available for the Windows operating system, and provides an easy way to download and install them. In addition, users who are running Microsoft products such as MSDE and SQL Server may find these two sites helpful http://www.microsoft.com/security and http://www.microsoft.com/sql.

 

In summary, having a firewall in place, using a secure operating system, using complex passwords, limiting physical access, having a comprehensive backup strategy, using virus protection, enabling encryption on wireless solutions, and keeping systems up-to-date with the latest patches and service packs all form the foundation on which to build a secure and reliable network.