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tk421
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PostSubject: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 09, 2011 11:06 am

Hi All,

I would like to do a little spiel about a computer program that I have been working on, that may be of interest to loose figure collectors here.

Starting to collect mainly loose figures, it took about 1 month before I realised that keeping track of a figure I bought of ebay or something would soon be lost unless recorded. When you get a number of the same figure, its almost impossible to remember details about the figure and the purchase just by looking at it. So I took matters into my own hands...

I call this program C.A.T (Collection Asset Tracker) for lack of a better name. you can think of this program as a libray system for your loose action figures and accessories. This program is written in JAVA and saves your info to a serverless database so there is zero setup once the program is installed.

This program is nearing the Lite Version pending more testing and bug fixing. A big change in the way the application works has been made. The user now has the ability to create and import a database. I have created template databases (Star Wars Vintage, Droids, Ewoks) in a seperate download as I want the program seperate to these presets. This will also open up the gate for use contributed templates, for example if a user creates a complete GI Joe database a template of the database can be submitted to me and can be posted for the community to download.

Here is a basic rundown of the application......


The Main Menu

- Nothing surprising here..
- Help feature when hovering over buttons
- Show selected database details
.- Open database manager.

SW Figure Database Main

The Manage Window

- You can add a new figure to your collection
- Here you can select multiple characters You can click on a figure to edit/view/sell the selected figure details.
- Show sold items.
- Multiple figure selection.

SW Figure Database Manage_figure


The Add Window

- Here you record all the information of the figure.
- When you add the figure a unique ID will show on the screen. At the moment I write this number on the zip lock bag to associate it with its ID.
- Add weapon/accessory to character (Only weapons/accessories that are available to the figure appear.
- Add/Delete Notes and varient info.

SW Figure Database Add_figure


The Edit Window (See add figure image, same layout)

- Here you can edit any details you like about the figure, if you made a mistake once a figure is added, you can change the details.
- Features same as add window.

The Database Manager

- From here you can create a new database and add entries in the database.
- Import a database.
- Add new database.
- Select database.


SW Figure Database Manage_database

Click Here for Database Manager - Add Figure Window
Click Here for Database Manager - Add Manufacture Window
Click Here for Database Manager - Add COO Window
Click Here for Database Manager - Add YearWindow

Basic program flow

SW Figure Database Program_diagram

Features to be added to version 1.0 befire it can become, something something complete..... I have decided currently to split it into a lite version and pro. The Lite version will have all functional features you need to be able to track a loose figure as this is what the original purpose for development. Below are the basic features you can expect in both versions (This may vary).


Lite Version Feature List

  • Add notes or varient. - DONE

  • Finish Add weapon. - DONE

  • Properties Window. Currency Type Selection. - DONE

  • Figure Sold functionality. - DONE

  • Export of a figure or figures. If a figure(s) are sold you can send a file with all the data to the new purchaser so they can simply import it. - FEATURE REMOVED

  • Create your own database and enter new database items. - DONE

  • Create Star Wars Vintage Droids/Ewok's databases - DONE

  • Testing - NEVER ENDING

  • Set up download page + database download TODO


Pro Version Feature List

  • Graphing reports. General Stats

  • Create a print labels. Instead of writing out a figure id you can print off a lable. I'm looking at doing a design similar to the AFA one, but make it more my own with more info on the lable to.

  • Backup your database.

  • Add a MOC/Baggie feature where you can link a card and bubble to a figure.


Any Inquiries about the application please feel free to post or pm me.

Thanks for looking!!!




Last edited by tk421 on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:28 pm; edited 6 times in total
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aussiejames
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 09, 2011 5:49 pm

Have you seen the 'wedge engine' on RS?
Your CAT looks neat & simple enough to use. I wish I had kept far better track of my loose/variant collection.
"I have blurred out the amount I have spent cos if my partner sees the amount she will freaking shoot me." Laughing
Are you planning on selling the programme?
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 09, 2011 9:51 pm

Hi Aussie,

I never really intended on selling it, but I thought of a couple of options. Maybe do a free lite version which would have all of the main features. Also have a pro version (which would cost no more than a scrappy weequay figure) which would have maybe more advanced features and reporting.

I will also need a few people to test the beta version when it is done?

I took a look at the wedge engine, not bad.
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Tank1252
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 09, 2011 11:15 pm

Hey Tim, interesting stuff. I know there's a few people trying to get this sort of thing going. It looks promising.
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Chris_J
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 10, 2011 12:31 am

I had a program similar to that a few years back, cant remember the name (maybe Toy Tracker). This one had it where you could put all the info in on the figure, price you paid, current value, etc. It was a real nice program. If yours will basiclly be the same way, I'd love to get a copy of it for my Joes. Im using a notebook now going by month/year, item, who I got it from, and price I paid. Would you also have it set up for MOC's also? That would be a big winner I think for the carded collectors.
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 10, 2011 1:09 am

Thanks Tank and chris.

The way I'm thinking about handling MOC's and baggie's is as follows......

You add a figure in the same way provided. You then add a card/bag and fill in its details. Then you link the card to a figure.

I feel this way would work well with the database design. This would also help with circumstances if a figure is removed from a card for some unknowen god forsaken reason, you could just unlink the card from the figure. Also for my future plans for V2 this kind of design is needed.

Thoughts?
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Chris_J
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 10, 2011 9:50 am

I think that would work out great for the baggies and MOC's. The way its set up now, it could basiclly be used for anything, even the odd ball stuff from what I was looking at. All any collector of that stuff had to do is put N/A in the weapons part and your good to go. Oh yhea, I'll def want one when you get it done.
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 10, 2011 11:51 am

I have been working on it today and got the add weapons finished, varients to go. Ive had a bitch of a time linking some external libraries, hopefully I'll have that resolved soon.

A couple of other features I want added before are:

- I need to Add is different currancy selection as it is just in AUS dollars atm.
- Be able to delete a figure from the database.

@ Chris_J if your interested in doing some testing it would be most appreciated. Once those features above are done (I have a week of so its very possible this week) I can pm you when its ready?
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Chris_J
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 10, 2011 3:25 pm

Be glad to test it out for you and see how it works. Just let me know when your ready and I'll give it a go.
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Chewie
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 11, 2011 7:07 am

I love it! It looks really good and its something that i would be interested in. As long as there was enough space to write comments on each figure Wink

How long until it is available?
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 11, 2011 8:58 am

FYI just updated the main menu, add, and edit image screens

- Add/Delete accessories is finished.


Thanks Chewie,

A comments field could be in order. Just thinking though I am allowing the user to add varient info similar to the way you add/edit weapon info. Instead of just calling it varient, it could be figure notes/varient so you could just add a note about anything you want like play wear where you bought it. Hmm i'll think this through a little more before I start.

I'm Hoping to have an alpha version for download done by the end of the week for people who want to test.

Cheers

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Chewie
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 7:06 am

Yeah i'd definitely be up for testing it Wink Looking forward to it.
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 10:02 am



The alpha build is currently done atm is very functional with accessories and varients/notes being able to be added. I just want to put an xml parser in so a user can import/export figure details, which would be a very handy feature for buying and selling (I'll be up all night if I have to doing this one!). So say if a figure is sold, the details can be exported/emailed to the new owner which can be simply imported (approved) and saved.

The next thing I would like to add is a sold/remove feature. It became apparent that you don't want to simply delete a record from the database, even though it would make my job a whole lot easier. Instead a figure will be marked as sold, from that you can enter the sale date, price and notes on the sale.

And last but not least I need to work out licensing, obviously this lite version is free, but there still needs to be one as this program wont be open source. This is an area that I have little to no experience in and I can see this being the cause of delay as I will have to research, possibly get legal advice. If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated (I know I'm on the wrong forums for this question, but hey you never know =) ).

I'm happy to see there is interest in this, it keeps you more focused on the goal, as projects like have been knowen to end up in a graveyard of unfinished projects .
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 10:07 am

On another note,

I'll put Chris_J and Chewie on the test list. That should be enough testers for now.

I noticed one is in US and one is in UK, I added a change currency feature in yesterday, not all currencies are in there but the major ones are, I may need to revise later.

Thanks!!
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Chris_J
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 3:07 pm

You can always put for the liscening info in the notes window if that will make it easier. Like in the general info window, the user can always put in if its Palitoy, Meccano, Harbert, etc. For loose figures, its kinda hard to figure out which one it really is unless your inept on all variations of the figures to be able to tell.

As for the currency change, since this is just a test version, dont worry about it until the final version. That way you can have time to work on it while me and Chewie are testing the waters for you.
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 16, 2011 3:12 am

Just doing some general testing now, testing the install on a few different computers so it won't be too much longer now. So far so good though.

The XML export and import wont make it into the test build, but will make it into the lite version.
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Chris_J
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 17, 2011 10:24 pm

Just tested the program out and Im pleased with what I've seen so far. Its going to be easy to use so someone who only knows how to "Bid" and "Pay Now" on a computer, like me, can use it. lol! Overall it looks great and of course there needs to be some tweaking here and there before the final version is complete, but I believe I touched on the major ones with Tim. Overall, its going to be a nice program to keep up with your collection. I know Im looking forward to it, at least then I'll know what I do have. Very Happy
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Tank1252
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 17, 2011 11:25 pm

Good to hear Chris.
Tim, shoot me a copy if you like, i'm happy to run an eye over it. I've tried using a few before (none were used for long - so i guess they were not successful), so i have an idea what i would look for in it.
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 18, 2011 4:56 am

Hi Tank,

Will do. I am making a few changes tonight, and will send you a link hopefully late tonight or first thing in the morning.

Cheers!
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 14, 2011 10:41 pm

Hi All,

I've been very busy continuing working on this program. With an extra special thanks to
Chris_J and Tank1252 for their feedback and debuging and time spent helping me out, and was more than I anticipated (You both are mentioned in the credits). You two have had a big influence in features and structure of the program, so pats on the back!!

The original post has now been updated with new info and images, be sure to check it out!! CAT's Lite features have been completed and I consider it now in the BETA stage. In this stage it is highly unlikely that any new features will be added, its just rigours testing to go! A build for the testers will be available within this week (once I think I have all the bugs out).

It is a race against time to get this finished as I have a baby on the way, but it's looking very promising. However due to this I can't promise the pro version until sometime next year.

Below is a new snippet from from the original post int which the functionality has really extended the program to no end.......

Quote :
This program is nearing the Lite Version pending more testing and bug fixing. A big change in the way the application works has been made. The user now has the ability to create and import a database. I have created template databases (Star Wars Vintage, Droids, Ewoks) in a seperate download as I want the program seperate to these presets. This will also open up the gate for use contributed templates, for example if a user creates a complete GI Joe database a template of the database can be submitted to me and can be posted for the community to download.

Thanks for reading!!
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Rawlin
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16, 2011 5:49 am

I've been looking for something like this, I used to have a mysql server just to be able to have a database, though I lost it.
I'd like to try this out, anyway I can become a beta tester? Smile

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Tank1252
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16, 2011 6:30 am

Send me the beta version when it's ready for testing Tim. Apologies for my lack of input recently. I keep adding it to my diary, & end up having to slide it back a day...& another day, you get the picture! Is the Mac version coming along? (although i'm now back up & running with windows too)
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16, 2011 6:38 am

Hi Tank,

Will do, I haven't had a build worthy to share until now anyways.

The Mac version is on its way, I'm just having trouble with a universal way of finding the users documents folder as soon as Ive worked that out I'll send through the mac version. All writeable files go to the documents folder including databases so its kinda important to work this one out =). The solution I'm using I am told should work cross platform so I don't know what the hell is going on with that.

Everything else it looking good though!

Thanks


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Chris_J
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16, 2011 8:48 am

Looking forward to the new one. Like Tim, I've been busy running around for the last 3 weeks on personal business.
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tk421
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PostSubject: Re: SW Figure Database   SW Figure Database I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 15, 2011 1:43 pm

Hi All,

Just would like to post an update on the progress of CAT.

Usually no activity means the project has entered the graveyard of forgotten projects, however I have recently had a new addition to the familily, a baby boy Jack! Apart from locking and securing my collection so baby hands wont ever get to them, I have been working on CAT a fair bit this month as I have taken some leave from work.

To see the current progress and images visit my website BCS

A member section has been set up so when logged in you can access the members page which hosts the downloads. I chose to create a log in section as I am very curious as to how much activity this program gets.

Also I have decided to enable the print label function in the lite version as I am in a fantastic mood of recent events!

The program will be classed as an "Open BETA" so things still may change and there may be some instability, however I will provide an update if something major is changed/fixed from this version release. Any new feature from this version on will only be available in an update.

Cheers All!! and you will be hearing from me soon when the open beta is done. Should be in a day or so, but don't quote me on that!! My schedule is a bit up in the air atm.

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