In this blazing-fast DevOps world, pushing Point of Sale software updates out to devices in the field for some retailers often resembles a race toward a red light. That’s because these retailers engage in practices that unnecessarily consume time, and money and ultimately slow the pace of continuous deployment.

Some retailers still engage release teams to plan, debate, and deploy updates, adding numerous resource hours to the process. Some have to custom build a system to push files and run scripts in-store. Others continue to download updates individually from the cloud, register-by-register, drastically increasing download size and thus time, which can be exacerbated by limited network bandwidth. Imagine if that update contains a hotfix to a blocking, critical defect.

JumpMind’s forward-thinking Auto-Update feature removes such impediments for its clients, saving them time and money while ensuring every device and register is up to date with the latest version of the JumpMind Commerce retail commerce platform when stores open business each day. Updates are made swiftly during off hours and without the retailer’s involvement, which is cutting edge for POS in-store deployments.

Say there’s a 30GB update that needs to be installed on 15 registers immediately. If each register initiates the download from the update service, that 30GB update balloons to 450GB, drastically increasing download time. JumpMind’s approach to quick updates relies on only needing to download an update once to a hub that shares it with as many devices, register or mobile, as necessary. And instead of wasting bandwidth by downloading updates from a central service, a staging area is set up in the store so that fixed registers can use the in-store processor for downloads. The in-store service pulls down the update from the cloud and makes it available to each register to apply.

Within the cloud is a JumpMind database that identifies the version of software needed for each store by utilizing install groups. Multiple stores can be configured to groups and pinned to specific merchants to ensure correct versions of software are going to the expected locations. There’s also the capability to wildcard the version for an install group, meaning that group would always get the latest version of the software. When building, pluggable repositories (such as Artifactory), holding lists of versions of the software can be queried to identify available updates. Jobs can be configured to run a check for updates at any specified time interval, but the updates typically occur upon startup of the POS system.

Whenever updates are executed, they are done so intelligently. The update job can identify and reinstall corrupted files, providing nice security. The update job also knows when a store is open or closed so it can restart itself and update during off hours. It also records installed versions and trickles metadata for central monitoring.

Whether it’s a fix to a money-draining bug or the latest money-saving feature, JumpMind’s Auto-Update is the smart, swift route to production.

Author: Ben Crites