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Restaurant Apps with The Table Tap

Cyber Sprocket Labs started a fun and exciting relationship that is the perfect cross section of two of our favorite things, programming and beer.    While we’ve worked on many exciting projects over the years, this is definitely in the top two.  None of our esteemed programmers ever thought they’d be working on an application that facilitates the delivery of beer directly to the consumer.  Yet, that is exactly what they are doing.

The Table Tap provides a unique and innovate new service to bars and restaurants anywhere in the world.   This service puts full service beer taps within the consumer’s reach, literally.    A computer controlled interface with up to 4 beer taps is installed directly in the table.    A quick swipe of an RFID card activates the taps and allows the customer to pour their own beer, as much or as little as they’d like.

Cyber Sprocket has been instrumental in the helping Jeff Libby bring his concept to the next level.  By providing technical support both during and after the installation he has been able to speed up his deployment cycle, increasing revenue.   We have also provided extensive programming services to update the business manager, hostess, and system administrator interfaces.    During our first few months working on the project we’ve also been tasked with several new additions to the software, the newest of which is enabling direct table-to-table chat using the system’s built in color LCD displays.

Like we said, a very fun and exciting project that has taken our technology services to places we never expected.   Thanks Jeff, we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship as your one-of-a-kind solution takes off!

Technical Overview

Services Provided

  • Web Application Programming
  • Database Design
  • Database Maintenance
  • Network Support
  • Device Interface Programming
  • System Configuration and Installation
  • Technical Support
  • Customer Support

Platform Details

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Data Schema Documentation Tool : SchemaSpy

A topic that came up today is that the 3DChat game database does not really have a reference schema.  It used to, in the early stages of the Admin Panel repository, but was eventually phased out and replaced with a combination of PDFs and PNGs generated from a Visio document.

There is an issue of usefulness here, with two sides to consider.

1. As a developer, I prefer to have a text, written, SQL schema to work with and refer to.  Something I can feed directly into my local database engine.  When I have questions about what a column is used for, or how tables relate, this is where I look first and where I expect to see the explanations.

2. However, I may be a developer, but not a developer who deals directly with the schema above.  Consider 3DChat in particular. Our game database schema was in a Git repository that Golem Labs would never use.  It is much easier from their point-of-view to have an external (outside of the repo) schema to serve as their reference.  This is ultimately why the schema went onto Google docs like it did.

I think both of these are valid.  One problem that comes up—however—is that when it comes time to update the schema, we waste time doing the work twice, in two different ways.

So in the back of my head I had thought that surely there was some way to automatically generate diagrams and documentation from an SQL schema.  When the subject came up again today, some searching led me to the program SchemaSpy:

http://schemaspy.sourceforge.net/

It is a Java program that connects directly to your database and spits out a lot of information and diagrams.  To demonstrate, I ran the program on the staging Social Engine database.

You run SchemaSpy from the command line:
java -jar schemaSpy.jar -t dbType -db dbName [-s schema] -u user [-p password] -o outputDir

You can see the results here:
http://eric.cybersprocket.com/se-schema/

I am going to mess around some more with this over the weekend, but already I think this could be a viable tool to let developers like myself continue to maintain text-based schemata for reference, while being able to generate documentation that can be put elsewhere for other interested parties who don’t/can’t dig into the code directly.