Ready to talk about inventory feature a bit.

Suggestions and discussion about upcoming features in future BeerTools Pro releases.

Date of Purchase Field under My Ingredients DB

Postby a_daley » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:10 am

If possible it would be very useful to keep track of the date of purchase of most items - but things like hops and yeast are just an example...
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Re: Ready to talk about inventory feature a bit.

Postby jeff » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:58 am

slothrob wrote:
jeff wrote: More features are planned, such as drag-n-drop of recipes on the "My Ingredients" folder to convert entire recipes to inventory items.

Is this an attempt to distinguish between recipes and "sessions"?
Or a way of removing a recipe's ingredients from inventory?


Dragging a recipe onto the My Ingredients folder would automatically create the corresponding ingredient records in the DB if these did not already exist, and add their quantities to the inventory amounts if desired.

Especially in the case of recipes obtained from other users, recipe ingredients can become out of sync with the ingredients stored in the DB. Each ingredient has a unique ID that serves to link recipe copies with DB originals. As each user builds a collection of personal ingredients, IDs are assigned in sequence. Thus, the ingredient IDs will differ from user to user.

Without an automated process, synchronizing shared recipes with personal ingredients can be a tedious and error prone process. The proposed feature of dragging a recipe onto the My Ingredients folder is intended to make this process transparent. Along with an ID, ingredients are given checksums. BTP will compare the checksums of recipe ingredients with those in the DB to "relink" them. If a match cannot be found, BTP will create new entries to correspond with the recipe.

To deduct recipes from inventory, the shopping list window can be used; and in the future, this will be a task that can be performed with a right-click menu choice or by deleting a recipe from the planned recipe folder.

Sound reasonable?
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Inventory

Postby slothrob » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:27 am

I see. Sounds pretty slick.

I've heard that this inventory/recipe agreement is an annoyance for a lot of ProMash users, so it would be a good one to deal with as painlessly as possible.

I think the use of the Planned folder makes sense for me. The only reason I mentioned the Theoretical Made Folder is because of issues ProMash users have had with losing the Recipe/Session distinction. It seems to me that BTP allows the user to create folders to organize their recipes/sessions in any way that works for them, instead of forcing them into a box. That's fine for me, as I can easily make a "Made" folder if that's what I want.
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Re: Inventory

Postby jeff » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:18 am

slothrob wrote:I see. Sounds pretty slick.

I've heard that this inventory/recipe agreement is an annoyance for a lot of ProMash users, so it would be a good one to deal with as painlessly as possible.

I think the use of the Planned folder makes sense for me. The only reason I mentioned the Theoretical Made Folder is because of issues ProMash users have had with losing the Recipe/Session distinction. It seems to me that BTP allows the user to create folders to organize their recipes/sessions in any way that works for them, instead of forcing them into a box. That's fine for me, as I can easily make a "Made" folder if that's what I want.


I think a "Made" or "Completed" folder is something that I will give thought to. Seems like a simple enough option for deducting inventory. Another option is to have a folder called "Deduct From Inventory" that is just a recipe drop box for doing quick ingredient deductions. The folder would not necessarily hold any recipes so to speak; just perform the deduction task. I don't know, just rambling :roll:
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Re: Inventory

Postby slothrob » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:24 pm

jeff wrote:I don't know, just rambling :roll:

Then my job here is done... :lol:
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Postby Bobby_M » Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:06 pm

I finally got to play more with 1.5.3 and I see the planned folder.

I also see that any recipe in this folder will show up as a recipe item in the shopping list window.

I can't quite figure out distinction between planned and assembled in that shopping list though. Is it that planned recipes won't affect the inventory but assembled ones will?

The concept that I'm envisioning is segmenting the recipe folders into draft, planned, and brewed where no recipe may exist in more than one folder. If you drag a receipe that contains items in inventory from draft into planned, it should subtract inventory immediately. If you drag it back, it should add those back to inventory. If you drag it from planned to brewed, it doesn't affect inventory but gets it off the shopping list window completely. (digression: a slick feature would be to have planned recipes show up red in the browser when it features ingredients that are NOT in inventory. This would trigger a visit to the shopping list window and a trip to the LHBS).

If that's not reasonable, I'll back up to higher level requirement. There should be an intuitive way to affect inventory and have it reversible. Of course, I had already thrown out the idea of having a "deducted from inventory" check box in the main recipe window (and maybe in the browser) so that checking it will affect inventory, unchecking it will put items back. What are the possible gotchas here?
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Postby jeff » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:07 pm

Bobby_M wrote:The concept that I'm envisioning is segmenting the recipe folders into draft, planned, and brewed where no recipe may exist in more than one folder. If you drag a receipe that contains items in inventory from draft into planned, it should subtract inventory immediately. If you drag it back, it should add those back to inventory. If you drag it from planned to brewed, it doesn't affect inventory but gets it off the shopping list window completely.


I think that what you are describing is similar to what is in place but with different nomenclature. I think your idea of "Draft" is how "Planned" is being used right now. Anything dragged into planned is not subtracted from inventory, but displayed in the shopping list as ingredients that are needed for all the batches that you are planning to make. The "Assemble" column reflects the batches that you want to make (assemble ingredients for) and this is the column used to generate the shopping list. The ingredients are actually subtracted from inventory when the "Deduct" button is used.

What I think you are desiring is a temporary way to alter the inventory amounts in the ingredients list as based on the recipes you plan to make. I will give this more thought. It may make sense to add another column to the "My Ingredients" list that shows the "Planned" deductions, without actually modifying the DB. Reversing inventory amounts after writing them to the DB is something that I want to avoid.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Postby Brant » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:03 am

Bobby_M wrote:This guy had it right.

Hey, I thought that quote you posted sounded familiar to me. ;)

jeff wrote:What I think you are desiring is a temporary way to alter the inventory amounts in the ingredients list as based on the recipes you plan to make. I will give this more thought. It may make sense to add another column to the "My Ingredients" list that shows the "Planned" deductions, without actually modifying the DB. Reversing inventory amounts after writing them to the DB is something that I want to avoid.

I finally got a chance to play with deducting from the inventory this morning. Last weekend was the tedious task of weighing my grain buckets to populate the inventory (my inventory spreadsheet was waaaaay out of date). After inputting my roughly 400 pounds across 28 types of grains, I want to be very careful about keeping my inventory data accurate. The Planned folder combined with the Shopping List works nicely, if not quite intuitively, for deducting inventory. But without a way to undo the deductions later, the smart approach is for me to wait until after I brew to click the Deduct button, in case brew day plans get changed at the last minute. And here is the problem: I might forget to Deduct later, and worse, I might forget that I have already deducted the recipe and double-Deduct it later. The fact is that often days go by before I get around to updating BTP to reflect my actual brew day, so forgetting would be pretty easy. As far as I can tell, there is no way to look at a brewed recipe and know whether I have already deducted its ingredients from the inventory.

So, unless I'm missing something that is already there, I think there needs to be some record in the recipe that indicates that I have already deducted it from the inventory.

And I still think that a recipe file's ingredients should be locked after deducting, because any later changes to the recipe will make the inventory inaccurate. But to avoid painting the user in a corner, that would require a way to un-Deduct (and therefore unlock) a recipe later, which for some reason you find unappealing. That is too bad, because without it, that same "Final" concept that I didn't like in ProMash has been carried over into BTP.

But just so it's clear, I very much appreciate the new inventory feature! Having my inventory in my brewing software instead of a separate spreadsheet will help ensure that my records don't get out-of-date again. As long as I work out a process that I will follow, it will work just fine for me. I'm just trying to make sure we think about the hidden traps that we can fall into, so that either the software can remove them, or we'll at least know to step around them.
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