In 2008, NEXT decided to work with Microsoft ® and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Conchango to develop a proof of concept for a scalable Web-based kiosk application and says it was immediately impressed with the solution. The development team created a high-performing kiosk application with Windows Presentation Foundation development tools and Windows Communication Foundation. The dynamic, high-performing application not only runs on a kiosk it can also be easily adapted to run consistently on different devices, including mobile phones, computers, or laptops.
Windows Communications Foundation is part of the Microsoft .NET Framework for building and running seamlessly connected systems. It acts as a Web communications infrastructure for the NEXT kiosk solution, providing a connection layer between the user interface and applications that hold the company’s business data, such as stock inventories and billing and account information.
NEXT already uses the Microsoft Windows Point of Service environment—Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS) on its store POS systems and by deploying it on the kiosk NEXT can reap the benefits associated with managing a single environment across all its store client systems.
WEPOS provides a standardised Windows based environment including full Windows driver capability, features such as Internet Explorer, Media Player, Remote Desktop Connection and support for enterprise management tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007. WEPOS also provides full support for the .NET Framework, with the most recent version Windows Embedded POS Ready supporting the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, and delivers a fully managed code implementation of the retail UPOS standard, a retailer driven initiative which effectively delivers plug and play for retail peripherals.
Windows Presentation Foundation is also part of the .NET framework. It includes a range of tools to help development teams create dynamic, high-performing, and engaging user interfaces. With Presentation Foundation, employees can blend different content types—including documents and animated content—seamlessly.
The development team created a number of functions and features for the NEXT kiosk that make full use of the integration between business data, platform, and the user interface—for example:
Part 1: Kiosk Demo Overview
Part 2: Kiosk Demo Browsing
Part 3: Kiosk Demo Search & Save
Part 4: Kiosk Demo Transaction
Full information at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/dd744909.aspx.