LightSpeed 3.5 – A First Look

Today, the long awaited version 3.5 of LightSpeed was released. Of course, I downloaded and installed it immediately… effectively submitting myself as an unofficial guinea pig for the Xsilva (er, LightSpeed) development team. In case the rest of you are understandably gun shy, I’ve taken it upon myself to test this release out myself and offer my feedback publicly. Here are some of the highlights and major points of the release…

It's a new and improved login screen!

It’s a new login screen!

It may not seem like much but this is exciting to me. The new look is invigorating and hints that there are new fun things waiting for me inside. The most notable of which can be found without even logging in… the Servers button now pops up an editable menu of recent and available servers! Let me say that again… ‘editable’! This is a first, people! It also tells you which server is currently selected which, as someone who connects to a lot of different servers, I’m very happy about.

A new System Preference window!

Same old stuff in a different format but with one major addition… in preparation for the onslaught of Third Party applications that will no doubt flood the market in short order, you can now control your server’s access to such things in this window.

API Compatibility

This has been a long time coming. The API will allow guys like me to write custom applications that ‘plug in’ to LightSpeed. I’m very excited about this and I’ve already filed my official papers to get access to this tool.

Mac OS Lion Support

Yes, we knew this was on it’s way… Xsilva sent out an email recently warning us not to upgrade to Lion until this came out. Hopefully they won’t run into any bugs the way that Daylite did.

Magento vs. Web Store

Magento Support

LightSpeed will now connect to Magento. It’s unclear at this point what this integration entails but we’ll see.

Ingenico 6580 TITAN

Support for PIN-debit and credit card processing via the Ingenico i6580 Titan debit terminal

This is exciting as well but not so much for Canadian owners who still can’t process credit cards within LightSpeed… yet… but this is a good omen with it’s debit card support, this is a good sign of things to come.

Added the Enlightenment POS theme

POS Themes

Users may now select a theme for the POS screen. This is cool but I wonder how many people will know to use it. And can we make our own themes? What about the ‘look’ of LightSpeed being defined by the POS screen? By allowing this screen to be altered in it’s appearance, aren’t they diluting one of the main recognizable elements of the software?

Change for cash payments can now be displayed at the end of transaction via a new option in POS Setup

Hooray! This was a big deal for some of my clients and I’ll be happy to tell them that this is resolved.

Conclusion

This is a major release for Xsilva and we’ve waited patiently for some of these features while others were pleasant surprises. The big ones are under the hood, such as the API and Lion support, but I’m still very excited to see this kind of progress from the Xsilva team.

More details to come as I work with each of the above elements. Stay tuned.

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