User eNotes - March 2021

Presidents Comments

Rod Hatcher
ALERE is an ERP system that remains reliably stable in a software world where every week we see market pressure for the “next big thing.” Frequently, that “thing” starts life with an acronym composed of two to three letters. I have lost track of the number of times I have had to resort to Wikipedia to see just what some new article is talking about and how it might be relevant to ALERE! Upon investigation I discover the “next big thing” is something we have been doing for years in a much easier manner!

What we have learned, and what we practice at TIW, is that there is real value to deliberately developing a product that does not require our users to re-learn it each time a new version is released.

Over the course of thirty plus years, the ALERE menu interface has only changed three times to evolve to its present ribbon-based system. This approach limits a user’s learning curve to improved functionality and new modules that they may choose to add. One of my favorite quotes is from a customer who said, “The software works for me. I don’t work for the software.”

ALERE HTML Manual Updates

Today’s ALERE manual consists of tens of thousands of HTML and image files, including a huge number of hyperlinks both within and without. Consequently, it is regularly revised to reflect new product versions, add new information that is found to be of use, and to correct errors that are reported. The updated HTML manual is made available on the Downloads page of the TIW web site.
Manual Info Screen
You can check to see if you have the latest version of the manual by opening the one you have and looking on the Introduction page where the version and date are displayed. If the one on the Downloads page has a newer date, then you can download it to the ALERE program directory on your server.

Selecting the HTML Manual on Work Stations checkbox on the ALERE Company Defaults screen Options tab will automatically update it on the local work stations upon starting the package.

Credit card processing is accomplished in ALERE through a link to the gateway. As a leading payment gateway, is trusted by more than 430,000 merchants, handling more than 1 billion transactions and $149 billion in payments every year. is in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Credit card transactions are smoothly incorporated in ALERE as part of the payment process. This includes invoice payments, prepayment, pre-authorization, and refunds.
ALERE's Screen
Payments will be automatically processed through Authorize.Net when a credit card is used. Prepayments are recorded and will be automatically applied when the invoice is released from the sales order. Pre-authorizations will be automatically processed through Authorize.Net when an invoice is released from the sales order. Credit Card refunds are handled through Bank Transactions. In all cases, a merchant receipt will be emailed to the account holder. A warning message will be displayed if there any errors encountered.

A company must sign up with Authorize.Net before activating it within ALERE. The last four digits of the credit card are encrypted and retained by ALERE.

Website News

We recently had a phone call concerning the inability to download files from our web site. A quick check showed no problems so we asked the caller which browser they were using. The answer was Google Chrome. Indeed, Chrome was acting strangely when trying to access PDF and ZIP files. A test of Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox showed that they acted normally.
Almighty Chrome
It did not take long to uncover that, sometime in the recent past, a Google update to Chrome had barred the browser from downloading files with an http prefix, when initially addressed from within an ssl secured (https) site. All of this is in spite of a side wide server enforced redirect to https on the TIW website. To add to the issue, unfortunately there was no failure message. The issue was just an invisible refusal by Chrome to download the file. As a result the TIW website, PDF, and ZIP file links have been reviewed and uniformly changed to https.

By–the-way, a recent change to Mozilla Firefox settings now defaults to automatically initiating a download on PDF, and similar, files. If you would like to simply view the contents of a PDF file, this can be a real inconvenience! However, within the security settings of Firefox you can select how the browser handles different file types: Download, View, or Choose.

Technical Seminars - Your Source of Training

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, TIW is currently only offering custom training at this time.

Custom training offers a client driven, focused training approach which addresses the specific needs of your organization. At the same time it doubles as process consulting time, which can help to improve your organizational efficiency.

The one on one training may also be used to provide employees with recurrent training, which will assist them in making the most of both ALERE’s core and newest features. Alternatively, training may be scheduled as a comprehensive overview to familiarize new additions to your staff with the capabilities of ALERE.

Session require a two hours minimum commitment and may run for a maximum of four hours per day.

Schedule your company’s session by calling Chris at 610-258-5161 x105.

TIW’s online training resources are available 24/7 on demand through our website
TIW Technology, Inc. | Phone: 610.258.5161 | Fax: 610.258.6217