Freedom Release 3 was developed to fulfill two important mandates. First, to update the database back end underlying Freedom and thus remain current and state-of-the-art in our platform. Second, to increase the functionality and performance of the program by utilizing well thought-out customer suggestions and feedback. Following is a summary of the main features added in the Release 3 version of Freedom.
Freedom now utilizes the Microsoft SQL Server database for its back end. This is an industry standard product that is very fast, robust, fault-tolerant, and scalable. Smaller companies generally find the free SQL Express edition to be more than adequate, but as they grow or have additional requirements, there is a well-defined upgrade path with plenty of database capability.
Third Party Software Integration
Freedom now supports enhanced direct integration with third-party software such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and the like. This bypasses the typical exporting / importing steps, and instead allows direct connection to the live Freedom data (via a security layer). Examples of where this has been utilized include sophisticated user-modifiable pivot tables in Excel with results based on live data, and real-time shipping/production progress displayed on big-screen TV’s. The possibilities are endless.
Freedom’s public API makes internal functionality accessible to developers to use in adding site-specific capabilities, or in making external connections to Freedom. This allows developers to write custom software using Freedom components as building blocks, providing ready-made, mature functionality and data accessibility. The API follows the standard RESTful architecture protocols. We will continue to add endpoints over time and as user needs dictate.
Improved functionality allows manual entry of non-standard sizes ("34x78" for example). Freedom "understands" the custom size that is entered and uses this to determine the next larger standard size. It then uses this standard size for calculating commissions, etc., and for preparing production reports. The manually entered size will print on all documentation.
Improved Reporting Capability
Production Reports can now be created or customized for everything from one individual Part, to all Parts in a Part Category, to Parts across several Categories. This production report utility allows you to assign parts to a wide variety of production and inventory/purchasing reports. There are also reports that consolidate all the major components in a bed onto one line.
The "Quick Reports" feature greatly improves on the flexibility of reporting in Freedom R3. This feature enables the user to use Structured Query Language (SQL) to query the freedom database to create custom, ad-hoc reports. It even supports run-time parameters (such as date ranges, for example), and user-defined titles. These report definitions can be saved for re-use later.
Standard Shipping Container Label Support
If your customer(s) require SSCC-18 shipping labels (also known as UCC-128 labels) on each piece, you can now print them automatically on your Thermal Transfer printer. These are 4" by 6" format labels with an industry-standard format and layout.