H2OS Organization






H2OS is organized as a combination of software, hardware, documentation and support.


H2OS is a Windows program, and we strongly recommend a current version and ongoing automatic maintenance. Windows handles operating system chores and provides services such as printing and network connections which are used by application programs such as H2OS.


H2OS itself is built upon a time-tested, mature, relational database management system, and is itself comprised of layers:


- a 'base' layer which handles common services such as the screen layout, database access and services, and systems management operations.


- a 'business' layer, which interacts with the operator to perform the features of the product, such as finding and adding customers, booking jobs, etc.  (See the Features List)


- a 'visual' layer, which handles visual interaction with the operator (screens, messages, commands, menus)  See the H2OS Main Screen




Your H2OS database


Think of your company's database as a collection of computer files. Some of these files are tables (think "spreadsheet"), and others are programs, images, text and other type files


It's important to consider the collection of files as inter-related in that a change to one can require corresponding changes in other files. For example, the records in the jobs table contain pointers to the customer ordering the job. H2OS respects these relationships when making changes. To maintain the integrity of your database it's very important that you do not use software other then H2OS to make changes to your H2OS Database tables.


Some of the tables in the H2OS database are shown below. A full list of tables in your H2OS database is in the Distribution of Files in a LAN environment topic


The H2OS database is stored in the h2os folder  






Your H2OS database contains information (files) about your customers, jobs, scheduling, employees, vehicles, etc. in a collection of tables, each of which are conceptually similar to Excel spreadsheets. These tables are in varying ways related to each other, such as jobs are related to customers, employees to jobs, etc. Your H2OS installation consists of your H2OS database and related files (such as executables, images, text files, etc.)  


These files are stored on your computer and LAN Server in the product's installation (root) folder (typically C:\H2OS) and several sub-folders. The amount of information you store for each is limited to your hardware capacity.


H2OS software features are used to enter, store, manage and use your database for a variety of tasks related to running your business, such as your daily work schedule. As a relational database, H2OS is accessible using the industry-standard SQL language.


The primary H2OS table is your customers table. This table contains information about your customers. The customer's table includes unique customer identifiers which are used to relate your customers to information in other tables, such as your customer jobs history. By "joining" tables using customer ID's, H2OS can display a customer's information along with that customer's job history.


Other files, such as photo images and text files are stored in H2OS sub-folders. For the most part, H2OS itself will manage these files. As part of ongoing maintenance we distribute new and improved copies of these files.




Modularity is key


Modular designs are amenable to orderly growth by definition.


H2OS achieves modularity by virtue of it's screen layout, including tabbed pages arranged in pagesets, a commands system, toolbars and the menu system.


Virtually every design aspect of H2OS contains the notion of modularity. From the menu to the command system, and from the pages to the reports systems, every major component of the prospect has been designed for natural growth. This design allows new features to be added seamlessly. For example, a new tab page becomes available by virtue of being listed on the pages list. Once in the list, the operator can add the page to one of the currently defined pages and the page becomes part of the current pages system.


Similarly, new commands are added to the system by virtue of them appearing on the list of selectable commands when setting up your command buttons.


The menu system cannot be changed by the operator, but if you'll submit your request to us, we will attempt to accommodate.




Evaluating H2OS for your business ..  


Of course we want to wow people with pretty screens and graphics, and we try to do this, but in terms of what's really important for the successful use of your database management system, pretty screens are just one of many considerations.


Your information system must:




Of course these are the very same design goals for database programs costing hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars. Do we compare favorably? Actually - and amazingly - we do.  There are some areas where large systems are stronger, such as security, database size and the number of concurrent users, and you will need to take these considerations into account in your decision, but we think you'll conclude with us that we have created an excellent system for the small business operator..



Enhancement requests


We welcome requests for enhancements by customers and prospective customers. Before submitting your request, please review our ideas and suggestions policy.



A little on the history of H2OS ...  



H2OS began life as a DOS program in 1986, conceived by Jim Cacioli, co-founder of Get It Wet Lawn Sprinklers of Long Island, which has grown over 25 years to provide service for several thousand customers in the Long Island area.


When Windows/2000 and the GUI interface appeared, Jim decided to upgrade the software. He knew which features he wanted to preserve and which he wanted to see in the Windows version. With this shopping list in hand, he researched existing software products to see which, if any, matched his requirements for a reasonable price. He concluded that none were fitting and that the prices were too high.


Around this time, Jim engaged in discussions with Bill Arnold, who had developed an object-oriented software "framework" for relational database programs, to determine the feasibility of adapting Bill's work to accommodate Jim's requirements. Bill has more then 35 years experience developing software for IBM mainframes and Windows PC's.


The discussions proved fruitful and the decision was made to proceed. Development began in 2005 and, a feature at a time, all requirements were met and tested. By 2006 not only had all initial requirements been met, but features, particularly those related to systems management and distribution methodology, were added as well. In February 2009, Version 5 was packaged and released.


See the About Converting Data topic for information on importing existing data in electronic format.



Professional services

Our staff offers professional services based on our considerable real-world experience with businesses like yours.


H2OS has the professional services expertise to help you with:



Regardless of where you are today in adapting database technologies, we may be able to help you advance your use of computers and technology. Consulting, programming and other services are available on request



More work in progress


We are pleased with H2OS Version 5, but we haven't stopped adding and continuously enhancing it's many features. Check the online release notes for the latest changes, and use the Downloads page to check for and install new releases.


And always, we welcome your input.


Note on some historical references: substitute H2OS for the words "LTRSHOP" and "GET IT WET", should you come across these words in this guide. These are historical references



H2OS is not perfect


As you can see in this Guide, we're quick to sing H2OS's praises, and we believe deservedly so. But truth be told, it's not yet perfect. It's also fair to say that no database program is, given the potential of the proposition, but the fact is that "high end" database programs such as SAP and IBM's DB2 are more advanced (and much more expensive!) then H2OS.


If your operational requirements are stringent with little or no room for problems, we recommend you deploy one of the higher-end products.


That said, we're quick to point out that our feature set is very specific for your business and that the program is "fairly well" tested and stable at this point. Yes, you'll occasionally get an "Oops ..." error message screen, but it's getting to be a rare occurrence, and if and when it does happen, you'll experience our highly efficient problem reporting and software maintenance systems. Basically, you click a command to send us most if not all of the information we need to resolved the problem, and often then not, needed software updates can be installed the same day.






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