Updated: November 4, 2020 7:28am

RP Companion App

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The RP Companion app allows employees to use ordinary iOS devices like iPads to record PI counts or do price checks. This frees retailers from having to rent or purchase expensive wireless barcode scanners.
The RP Companion app has three tools:

  • Dashboard
  • Physical Inventory
  • Price Scanner

Dashboard
The Dashboard includes sales reports for the current day with the ability to toggle the reports to the current week (Sun-Sat). The Dashboard provides a high-level snapshot of sales activity.
Physical Inventory
The Physical Inventory tool enables employees to scan barcodes and enter PI counts using the iOS device's built-in camera. This is a tremendous money-saver for retailers.  When the employee is finished making scans, they sync the data back to Prism. Once the data is back in Prism, the employee can review the resulting good scans and bad.
Price Scanner
The Price Scanner enables employees to scan barcodes to look up prices (or other item information). Employees can use the built-in camera in the iOS device, or enter filter information to search for items. The Price Scanner is especially useful for doing price checks on the sales floor and for providing general customer assistance, again without the need for an expensive wireless barcode scanner. Each request searches the server's inventory and pulls all matching items. This will display the item's details (including price) with a link to view related inventory items.
The remainder of this topic explains how to:

  • Download and install the App
  • Go through the onboarding process
  • Work with the Dashboard
  • Work with the PI
  • Work with the Price Scanner

Download the RP Companion App
You can download the RP Companion App in the following places:

  • Via a link in the main RP Prism app's Settings area
  • Apple and iTunes Stores (iTunes account required)
  1. Navigate to the Apple App Store or iTunes Store.
  2. Type RP Prism in the Search field.
  3. Select the RP Companion product. Wait for the install to complete.

Download companion app

 

Download RP Companion from Prism App Settings Area
Another way to install the RP Companion app is via a link in the RP Prism app. In the main RP Prism app, tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen to go to Settings. At the bottom of the Settings screen is a setting marked Download Prism Companion App. Tap the link to start the install process.

Onboarding
1.    When you launch the app for the first time you are prompted to go through the onboarding process. Tap the Start button. Welcome_screen
2.    Enter the name of your server (FQDN or IP Address).add server

3.    Enter 8080 for the Port. This will enable the app to communicate with the Prism server via the Prism Proxy. Tap Next. add port

4.    On the next screen, indicate whether you are using SSL. Click Don't Use SSL.Enable_ssl

5.    Next, test the connection.Test connection

6.    If the test is successful, you will see the success screen.

Log in to the RP Companion App
Log in to the app using your Prism username and password. After you enter your username/password, tap the Done button to hide the keyboard, and then tap Login.

Login Screen Elements

Element Description
Username Enter your username to connect to Prism. Required to login.
Password Enter your password to connect to Prism. Required to login.
Remember Me Tap Remember Me to have the App remember their username and password for future logins
Login Tapping will attempt to login to the user's Prism server
Work Offline Tapping will forgo login and allow the user to access the app offline.
Server Details Lists the user's default prism server information.

Sample RP Companion Login Screen:

Companion login screen


Enable/Disable SSL Setting
If you are not using SSL, then you may have to confirm the SSL settings before logging in. From the Login screen, click the gear icon to go to the Server Settings screen. Select your server, and if the SSL setting is on, tap it to turn it off. If you are not using SSL, but the SSL setting is on in Settings, then you will be prompted to install the certificate when logging in. (see screenshot)
install ssl


On first load, the Dashboard is displayed. At the bottom of the screen are buttons to navigate among the Dashboard, PI Tracker, and Price Scanner.
 
Dashboard
The Dashboard shows a set of sales reports that provide an overview of:

  • Top Selling Style: Displays style information for top-selling styles
  • Top Selling Item: Displays item information for top-selling items
  • Sales Performance: Donut chart representing employee sales performance
  • Items Sold per Hour: Line chart representing number of items sold per hour.

Employees can toggle between Today and This Week to view daily/weekly sales data.
Sample Dashboard
sample dashboard


Dashboard elements

Element Description
Settings Tapping will take user to Settings View
Login Settings If user is logged in, gives link to log out and vice versa
Date Range Allows user to toggle between today's sales data and current week's sales data
Top Selling Style Displays the following information for the top selling item style: Image, Description, # Sold
Top Selling Item Displays the following information for the top selling item: Image, Description, # Sold, Attribute, Size, # in Stock
Sales Performance Displays a pie chart representing employee sales performance (sum of sales per employee). Includes top two employees and then "other"
Items sold per hour Displays a line chart representing the # of items sold per hour


PI Tracker
The PI Tracker tool enables employees to record item scans using the cameras built in to their iOS devices. This frees retailers from having to rent or purchase expensive wireless scanners. If an employee has an iOS device with the app installed, the employee can record PI counts.
You first need to create a PI Sheet on the store's Prism server. The PI Sheet is not required for the App to work, but the resulting scans must be synced with or imported into a PI Sheet on the Prism server to complete the process.
Basic Steps for the Physical Inventory Tracker (Prism connection)

  1. Log in to Prism server.
  2. Access Physical Inventory tool.
  3. Create a new Session by loading it from Prism.
  4. Perform inventory scans.
  5. Export Session by syncing with Prism via Internet, email, or Dropbox.

Basic Steps for the Physical Inventory Tracker (offline)

  1. Access Physical Inventory tool.
  2. Create a new Session manually.
  3. Perform inventory scans.
  4. Export Session to CSV.
  5. Move file to Prism Server and import to Prism.

Session Screen
When you access the PI Tracker, you will see a list of existing physical inventory sessions. If you click a PI Session, you will see the existing scans for that session. If you want to start a new session, see the next section.
 
New PI Session
To create a new session, tap the add button ("+") on the toolbar. A prompt asks you to either load data from Retail Pro or start a new session.
 

Option Description
Load from Retail Pro If a valid PI Sheet is found on the Prism server, the sheet with its inventory is imported into the session.
Create New Starts a new PI sheet. The user can then enter scans for the sheet.
When creating a new session, all fields will be blank by default whereas the fields would be populated by any existing values when viewing an existing session.


New Session Fields

Field Description
Session Title User can enter a custom title for the Session. If no title is entered, default becomes "[Date] Session" where [Date] is the current date
User User can enter their name to assign the Session to themselves. Not required
Subsidiary User can enter the Prism subsidiary number. Not required
Store # User can enter their Prism store number. Not required
Retail Pro version Select the version of Retail Pro being used (Prism or V9).

 

Working with a Session
When a user taps on a session in the PI Tracker section or the session is loaded after it was created, they will be taken to the Session view. The Session view displays a listing of all items that have been scanned for this session. You can see the item's identifier, scanned quantity, and a thumbnail, if available.
Session Screen Elements

Element Description
List of scanned items The table contains rows of Items with values for: Description 1, Identifier (UPC/ALU), Scan quantity. Tapping on a row will open Item View
Options button Tap button to display options: View Session Details, View Inventory, View Sync History
Export Displays a list of export options: Sync with Retail Pro, Email CSV, and Send to Dropbox. See Exporting Session Data
Sorting Menu. Sorting options: Description, Quantity, Date Added. Sorting toggles between ascending and descending
Camera Scanner. Tapping button opens Camera Scanner
Manual Entry Tapping button opens empty item form to manually add an items scans


Item View
Tap an item to display the Item View, which contains a form with the following fields: Description, Description 2, UPC, ALU, Department, Attribute, Size, Count and Store Quantity. The view will also display a thumbnail of the first image for the item which can be tapped on to enlarge and scroll through additional images. If it is a scanned item, the user can tap "-" and "+" buttons to update the scan quantity of the item. If the item was manually entered and/or has no inventory match, the rest of the fields may be edited, but if there is a link to the inventory, no other fields may be edited. The item can be deleted if it is a scanned/session item.
 
Item View Elements

Element Description
Image Placeholder If images found for the item, the first image will display here. When taped, the image will enlarge and can be swiped to view additional images
Scan Count. Can be controlled by surrounding buttons or user can tap on field to manual edit the value. 1 if new item; the current scan count if existing item
Scan Count Increment/Decrement. Tapping will increment the Scan Count field.
Description 1. For a new item, you can enter item's Description 1, Description 2, UPC (or ALU), Department, Attribute, and Size
Save. Tap to save Item


Connecting a Session to a PI Sheet
If you created a session manually, you can still link the Session to a PI Sheet afterwards.
From the Session view, tap the Export Session button.  
Select the Sync with Retail Pro option.
 
Since the session is not yet connected to a PI Sheet on the Prism server, the user will be asked if they wish to connect the PI Sheet to the session. If they are currently logged into to Prism, they will be able to connect, otherwise they will be told to login.
 
If the user opts to connect the PI Sheet, the App will import all PI Sheet details and inventory. If the session has scanned items, it will attempt to link all items to the new inventory items. If two scanned items are found to match a single inventory item, they will be merged together (if one item was scanned by UPC and another by ALU and both match a single inventory item). Once the PI Sheet has been imported and connected, the scans will be synced with the PI Sheet on the Prism server.
Scanning Barcodes
There are three methods for scanning; manual entry, camera scanning and hardware scanning. Once the camera view displays the app will start scanning for barcodes. When the camera's viewport passes over and can read a barcode, the item will be listed. If a hardware device is attached it will be able to scan at any time if the device has been enabled in settings.
Scanning Barcodes with the Camera
To use the device's camera to scan barcodes, tap the camera button from the Session view.
The scanning options include:
•    Flash on/off - toggles the device's flash light if available.
•    Single mode / Continuous mode - toggles between two scan modes. Single opens Item view for each newly scanned item; continuous allows continuous scanning without opening Item view.
When the camera view opens the scanner will automatically start scanning for barcodes. When a barcode is discovered, the App will add the scan. Barcodes are limited to being discovered within the specified frame.
Scanning Barcodes with External Device
If you will be using an external device for scans, you need to configure the device in the app's Settings area. When a device is enabled, the App will be on alert for the device to be connected and perform scans. If a device is connected, a message will be shown on the bottom toolbar of the session view.
•    When a barcode is scanned, the scan data is decrypted, and leading zeroes are removed (Retail Pro does not use leading zeroes for UPCs)
•    If a previously scanned item's identifier matches the new scan, the quantity is incremented
•    If no previous scan is found, check if there is an inventory item with a matching identifier. If so, add the inventory item to the Session and set the scan quantity to 1.
•    If multiple scanned items or inventory items are found for either step above, a view will display to provide the user with the option to select which item to use.
Access settings for barcode scanner devices
PI Inventory View
The PI Inventory View displays a search form to search for Inventory Items. After a search is performed, the matching results are displayed.

Exporting Session Data
Active sessions may be exported either by syncing back to Retail Pro or exporting a CSV file that contains the scan data. From a Session view, tap the Export Session button to display the export options:

  • Email CSV will pop up an email window which will allow the user to send the CSV as an attachment to their desired email address(es). The device must have the mail app configured for the email window to display and work.
  • Send to Dropbox will display a login to Dropbox to obtain authorization to post content to the user's Dropbox account. After authorized, the App will post a CSV file containing all scan data in the user's Dropbox under the following location: /Apps/[App Name]/[Session Name].csv
  • Sync with Retail Pro will require the user to be logged in. The app will attempt to post all the scan data to the connected PI Sheet. If the Session is not connected to a PI Sheet, it will prompt the user to find an active PI Sheet and connect. Doing this will import the PI Sheet's inventory to the Session and link all items. All transactions will display in a log to the user.

Export Session Options
export PI options

 

Sync PI Sheet with Retail Pro 9
When you are finished scanning items and entering counts, the data needs to be synced with Retail Pro 9. When syncing data, there is a choice of adding the scans to an existing sheet or replacing the scans on an existing sheet.

Sync with retail pro

Price Scanner
When a user wants to find the price of an item in their store they can do so by using the Price Scanner tool. The Price Scanner first requires users to login to their Prism Server to access their inventory. Once connected, the Price Scanner allows users to scan barcodes, manually enter barcodes and do an advanced inventory search to get the information for a specific inventory item. Each request searches the server's inventory and pulls all matching items.
Using the Price Scanner
1.    Login to the Prism server.
2.    Access Price Scanner tool.
3.    Tap the Camera icon to scan a barcode.  Tap the Manual Entry icon to display a list of fields to use to look up the item  
4.    View resulting item to get price.

Search for Items
Tap the Manual Entry icon.   
A form for entering search criteria is displayed. Tap in the desired field. For example, to look up by UPC, tap in the UPC field. When you tap in a field, a keyboard is displayed. Type the UPC or other identifying information. When you have finished entering lookup criteria, tap Done.
After you click Done, the Done link changes to Search. When you tap "Search", the app performs a search on the user's store inventory via the Prism API. If no results are found, then the user is notified, otherwise a new view is displayed to list all results. search pi inventory
 


Tap the item to display a detailed view of the item's information. To go back, click Search Results.
Item View contains a form with the following fields: Description 1, Description 2, UPC, ALU, Active Price, Department, Attribute, Size, Store Quantity, Image. At the bottom is a link to find Related Items (items in the same style as the current item). Related items will be displayed in a new table view. You can tap the image to enlarge the image and swipe to view additional item pictures (if available and depending on app settings).

Related Items
From the Price Scanner Item View users can reach the Related Items view by tapping the appropriate button. Related Items are items linked to the current Inventory item's style and will display in a table. You can tap on any of the items to display the item in Item View.
related items

 


Scanner View
The Price Scanner View displays a list of the 10 most recently scanned items (if any items have been scanned since launching the app).  Tapping on a recently scanned item will display the item's Item View. The items will display the following fields: Description 1, Size, Price, Thumbnail.

Scanning Barcodes with Camera
From the Price Scanner tool, a user can tap on the Camera button to start camera scanning. The scanning options include:
•    Flash on/off - toggles the device's flash light if available
•    Single mode / Continuous mode - toggles between two scan modes. Single opens Item view for each newly scanned item; continuous allows continuous scanning without opening Item view.
When the camera view opens the scanner will automatically start scanning for barcodes. Barcodes will be limited to being discovered within the specified frame on the screen.
Scanning Barcodes with External Device
You can enable device scanning through the App settings. When a device is enabled, the App will be on alert for the device to be connected and perform scans. If a device is connected, a message will be shown on the bottom toolbar of the Price Scanner view to state so. The message will be removed when the device is disconnected. Device scans will be recognized while in the Price Scanner view and the camera view.
When a barcode is scanned it goes through a cleaning process to decrypt the scan data and remove leading zeroes (because Retail Pro does not use leading zeroes for UPCs). The following process is then performed to add the scan to the Session:

  • Check if a previously scanned item's identifier matches the new scan. If so, the previously found item will move up in the list of recent scans
  • If no previous scan found, the matching item is added to the recent scans list
  • If multiple scanned items or inventory items are found for either step above, a view will display to provide the user with the option to select which item to use.


Preferences & Settings
On both the login screen and on the Dashboard, you will see a gear icon.
If you tap the gear icon on the login screen, you are taken to the Server Settings screen
If you tap the gear icon on the Dashboard, you are taken to the general settings screen. On the general Settings screen, there is a "Retail Pro Servers" link. This link will take you to the same Server Settings screen that is access from the login screen.
Refer to the following table for a description of the Settings

Element Description
Define Servers Allow user to configure up to 10 Prism servers (server name, port, default username and default password) to use to connect to Prism.
Automatically login Enable automatic login when default username and default password are set for the default server.
Infinea Barcode Scanners Enable use of Infinea barcode scanners.
Captuvo Barcode Scanners Enable use of Captuvo barcode scanners.
User Format You can configure the format of dates displayed in the app.
Time Format You can configure the format of times displayed in the app.
Item Identifier Field You can define the identifier field to use while generating a CSV file to export (UPC or ALU).
Export Field Length You can define the length of the item identifier field on exports for RP9 sessions.
Sync with Retail Pro Action Allow user to define the default action for syncing PI Sessions with Prism: Always Ask, Append Counts, Overwrite Counts
Image Loading Allow user to define whether the app should load all images for items or just the first

 

Sample Settings for Barcode scanners

Settings

Server Settings
In the lower-right corner of the login screen is a gear icon. Tap the icon to display the Server Settings screen. A list of the current servers is displayed. If you change server settings, be sure to tap Save Settings and then Test Connection.
Tap a server in the list and then make any needed changes in the form. Tap the "X" to close when finished.
 

Element Description
Current Server Displays the user's default server information. Not selectable.
Server Listing Displays 10 rows for server configurations and values for saved configurations.
Server Enter the Prism server name.
Port User can enter Port to connect to server over
Enable SSL User can enable/disable SSL use when connecting to Prism
Default Server User can enable/disable the configuration to be the default server
Test Connection Performs connection test to verify server
Save Server Saves the server configuration.
Clear Server Clears the server configuration

 

Sample Server Settings

Sample server settings

Updating the RP Companion App
From time to time, an updated version of the app may be available. If an update is available, you will see a notice in the App Store. Click Install Now to start the update. The update may take a few minutes. When the update is completed, click the Home button on the device. A message explains that further action is needed. Tap Continue.