Desktop and Small Scale Fabrication Will Change the Supply Chain and Manufacturing

Desktop and Small Scale Fabrication Will Change the Supply Chain and Manufacturing

I have recently been experimenting with my X-Carve CNC router and 3-d Printer realizing that manufacturing and the supply chain will change drastically as these technologies mature.  You can see some of my experimenting here:

I have a feeling that this decentralized fabrication could really disrupt traditional manufacturing.  Where the “scarcity economy” will no longer be relevant when you can make anything you want from recycled feed stock through 3d printers, wet printers (for meds, food, etc.), and other fabrication devices.  If you covet a shirt that someone else has, just take a scan of it and print it.  No need for going to the store or even Amazon for that matter.

You may say that someone needs to supply the 3d printers.  Well, even printers today are often made with parts that were printed on a 3d printer.  Just like robots can fix and build other robots, 3d printers can print new printers.

If we, the consumer, can start to manufacture the products we now buy from others, what will happen to the actual manufacturers?  What happens to the Mattel Toys or Lego who makes billions off of selling plastic toys that can easily be printed in ones own home?  (NOTE:  I used to work for Mattel in the early 90’s)  Will there be a compensation model for the R&D work that these companies typically spend a fortune to create and protect.  Could it become just like the music industry, where they fought and litigated against kids making mp3 equivalents of mix tapes?

Or maybe products will just be licenses that are paid for but then manufacturing is done locally?  Or will it evolve into something more like an open source sharing economy?  Where individuals create, share, barter, and sell their ideas with each other without the need of monolithic corporations?

In the 90’s, we saw the internet as a democratization of information, communication, and commerce.  Where small entities and individuals could operate without a lot of central control.  But eventually large companies rose out of that and dominated (Facebook, Google, Amazon).  Maybe there will be someone who figures out how to capitalize on this and become the Facebook in the world of home-fabrication.

All I know is that this is an exciting time for someone who likes to make things.  I don’t know how this will affect the economy of tomorrow.  What I am hoping is that this decentralized model of manufacturing continues, giving us all more control over what we consume.

Attention Catalina Customers using PayflowPro (Update required by June 30th)

Attention Catalina Customers using PayflowPro (Update required by June 30th)

Effective June 30th, 2017 Paypal will move their systems to require TLS1.2 for all transactions.

More info:

This means that if you are using payflowpro for creditcard or check processing with any Catalina Technology Application (OrderCentral, SalesCentral or AccountCentral) you might be in need of an updated build.  If your system is not updated, credit card transactions on your system may start to fail effective June 30th.

If you require an update for your Catalina ecommerce, online payment, or order entry systems, please contact us

Sales Central:  Web based order management for Dynamics SL

Sales Central: Web based order management for Dynamics SL

There are times when you just cant get RDP/Terminal server access to your servers to access the Dynamics SL thick client.  Like when you are on a tablet or remote.  That is where Catalina’s Sales Central for Dynamics SL comes into play.  This allows you to access Dynamics SL Order Management, Customer Management, Inventory, and other modules through a cross-browser, mobile-enabled solution.

Sales Central allows you to do the following

  • Take orders from your desktop, laptop, tablet, and even phone
  • Search, view, edit, and create sales orders
  • Search, view, edit, and create customers
  • View inventory and availability
  • Take credit cards
  • Customize to suit your needs

Below is a demo we did at one of our webinars that does a brief walk-through of Sales Central.  If you have further questions or would like to have a more in-depth demo, please contact us at

Cloud Printing and Mail from

Cloud Printing and Mail from

Last week I showed a demo on how you could print invoices, checks, etc. automatically From Dynamics SL to our professional cloud based printing and mailing solution. (See Dynamics SL demo here)  Since the Catalina solution isn’t specific to what feeds it, this post is how you can do the same thing through  I will be showing other ERP’s and how we can do the same thing over the next few weeks (Dynamics GP and CRM, Intacct, Excel spreadsheets, SQL queries, and others)

Even today, in the highly connected world, we are still faced with customers, vendors, employees, sales opportunities, and others either requiring or preferring printed communications like invoices, checks, etc.  We have been able to automate a lot of things, but exporting data, merging it, printing it, stuffing into envelopes, and mailing it can still be quite a laborious and costly process.  This is where Catalina’s cloud-based printing and mailing solution can come in to automate the integration process and outsource the printing and mailing portion.

Here is a brief demo on how this can work with  Not only does this demo show you how you can have cloud based printing and mailing of your invoice and other documents, but also how you can integrate with Nodus’ PayLink payment processing solution that allows your customers to quickly pay their invoices online through a PCI compliant payment solution.

We will be posting other demos and tutorials on how you can add this to your ERP, CRM, helpdesk, or other back-office system.

Cloud Based Printing and Postage for your ERP or CRM for Sending Invoices, Checks, and more!

Many of us still have customers, vendors, employees, etc. who require printed invoices, checks, letters, or other documents to be mailed to them.  This is a hassle to do.  Extracting and formatting the data, mail-merging, printing, folding, stuffing envelopes, postage, and mailing takes time and costs money.

Catalina Technologies’ Cloud based printing and mailing solution automates this process and merges data from your ERP, CRM, helpdesk, or other system and prints and mails these documents for you.


How does this work?  We merge your data into a customizable template, print it, and mail it.  All on the Cloud!  It is just that simple!

(NOTE:  You can jump to the end of this post to see a demo of this in action!)

Data Integration

To make life easier, you want your ERP, helpdesk, CRM, or other system to automatically feed the cloud printing and postage so that you don’t have to do manual steps to get your data out of your back office, merged, printed, and mailed.  Catalina Technology has a full set of integration tools that allows you to integrate from most ERP’s, CRM systems, Helpdesk, or SQL Query, Excel spreadsheet, CSV, etc.  Catalina also has a front-end to Quick Query that allows you to define Quick Query filter definitions that can have custom mapping rules.  These Quick Query filter definitions can then be saved and scheduled as automated jobs.

QuickQuery Output

  • Dynamics SL, GP, and CRM
  • Any SQL Query
  • Excel spreadsheets
  • .CSV files
  • You can call our API from your system
  • Custom integration


Templating is an important part of a printing solution.  This allows you to be able to customize how data is merged into the output document to any format you want.

invoice template

These can then be printed as:

  • Invoices
  • Letters
  • Postcards
  • Holiday cards
  • Checks
  • Anything you would normally send to a customer, vendor, employee, business associate, etc!


Here is a quick demo we did on one of our recent webinars showing how we can receive data from Dynamics SL, merge it into invoices, and then send it out to be printed and mailed to your customers.

For more inforamtion contact Catalina Technology:

3D Modeling Gardens

OK, this isn’t a normal Catalina post about programming and how to integrate things.  This is one of our side projects in gardening.  One of the things that we are very passionate about is local farming and trying to figure out how to create economical farming that produces high nutritional value food, reduce water usage (we are in Southern California), and get food to people who need it.

I used Sketchup to design a simple rain gutter garden (Inspired by Larry Hall and the great folks at the Rain Gutter Grow System Page on Facebook Link to Group Page)

If you want the file I did to create this model, you can download it here: Link for Sketchup file for rain gutter garden

If you don’t know what Sketchup is, you should.  It is a great 3D tool that helps you design and explain ideas and designs to others with a simple to use interface.  You can see more here Sketchup Website.

Here is the actual system in action:

Creating SL Sales Orders and having SL automatically handle pricing for Catalina’s SOAP based API for Dynamics SL

Creating SL Sales Orders and having SL automatically handle pricing for Catalina’s SOAP based API for Dynamics SL

There are many times where you want to be able to import sales orders into Dynamics SL and have SL automatically price the order items for you (instead of you manually setting it).  This is easy to do in REST, because you can omit fields like CurySlsPrice and then the RESTful API will see that as a null and then ask SL to price for you.  But SOAP isn’t as simple since passing nulls isn’t as easy.

We have a simple way of handling this by a secret number.  Yes, I said that right.  We use a secret number (-999876 to be exact).  This is a very unlikely number to ever have a price set as in SL.  So, if you set the sales price of a line item to -999876, the Catalina API will then ask SL to automatically price it for you.  If you pass any other number, the Catalina API will use that number for pricing override.

Here is an example: (NOTE:  see the setting of the orderItems array, both the CurySlsPrice and CuryCost is getting set to -999876.  This tells the Catalina API that it is to use the SL sales price for the customer and follow all pricing rules setup against the customer, price class, quantity ordered, etc.

// Test placing an order with the bare minimum
ctDynamicsSL.orders.order oOrder = new ctDynamicsSL.orders.order
 SOTypeID = "SO", // set your order type (must be a valid soTypeID)
 CustID = "C300", // which customer are you creating an order for (must be a valid CustID)
 ShipViaID = "BEST", // how are you shipping it (ust be a valid shipViaID)
 ShiptoID = "DEFAULT", // Which ShipToID for the customer are you shipping to (must be a valid shipto address for the customer)
 AdminHold = true, // for kicks, we are going to put it on admin hold

// create an array of orderItems with the bare minimum (this allows SL to price)
List<ctDynamicsSL.orders.orderItem> orderItems = new List<ctDynamicsSL.orders.orderItem>();
orderItems.Add(new ctDynamicsSL.orders.orderItem
 InvtID = "0RCRANK", // which invtID are you sending this to? (must be a valid InvtID)
 CurySlsPrice = -999876, // -999876 is a secret number that will tell the web services to allow SL to price the item
 CuryCost = -999876, // if you want to price this yourself, just put in the amount you want to price
 Taxable = 1
oOrder.orderItems = orderItems.ToArray();

// lets place the order using placeOrder()
var placedOrder = OrderService.placeOrder(oOrder);

// if there is a value in the errorString property of the returned object, then there was an error
if(placedOrder.errorString.Trim() != "")
 Console.WriteLine("An Error Occurred: " + placedOrder.errorString.Trim());
 Console.WriteLine("Order Created: " + placedOrder.OrdNbr);

You can see the full example on GitHub here: