About this Site

Welcome to the support site for the Sales Manager. This is where we post  This is where we post news about the system, and gather together other support material.

As well as bookmarking this site, users should also make sure that they follow us on our Twitter account @VangSoft. This is where we push out all late breaking news.

Full Chromebook support is here!


After a long wait, Android support has finally arrived on my Chromebook. Chromebooks are lightweight laptops designed mainly for web browsing, but which can also be used offline. They are cheap, light and have long battery lives. They can handle most tasks just as well as any other laptop.

The Sales app is installed on a Chromebook via the Play Store app. If your Chromebook does not have the Play Store app installed, then it probably does not support Android. Google has published an official list of models that come with Android support.

The app can run either in portrait mode, or in full screen mode. In portrait mode, it behaves just as it would on a phone. When maximised, acts like it does on a tablet. Now that Dropbox support as been withdrawn, the Sales app is fully functional on Chromebooks.

Storage Directory

The only problem when running the Sales app on a Chromebook is in locating the storage directory used by the Sales app. The app creates the directory when it is launched, so it is just a question of finding it. Unfortunately it does not appear in the Chromebook Files app, so that means installing an Android file manager app on the Chromebook.

The venerable ES File Manager has become hopelessly bloated, but there are plenty of other apps to choose from. The one that I would recommend is File Manager+. It is meant to be adware, but I have never seen any ads on a Chromebook.

The storage directory will appear as a bottom level directory called Vanguard. This is the way that it appears in all modern Android devices. Note it already contains a subdirectory called images, for storing the product images.

Product Images

Because the storage directory does not appear in the Chromebook Files app, product images have to be moved in two steps:

  1. Download your product images to the Download folder in the Chromebook. They should be visible in the Files app.
  2. Use File Manager+ to move the product images to the storage directory.

Product images for the sample data can be downloaded from the support site. This is a zip file, which when expanded includes a directory called images.


Product Details

Product List

Once the product images have been installed correctly, they will appear on detail screens, but not on product lists. To create the thumbnails for these, go to the SD Card screen, and select the Create Thumbnails option.


  • The Files app shows a low level directory called Download.  File Manager+ shows a directory called Downloads. These are the same thing.
  • The Files app shows a low level directory called Images. This is just a pseudo-directory, that shows every image file on the Chromebook.
  • As mentioned above, the storage directory already contains a subdirectory called images.


Chromebooks will suit many users who currently use tablets, especially if they do a lot of typing.


The author is a big fan of Chromebooks.

iOS Woes

The original problem is as follows:

  1. Dropbox is ending support for its old API.
  2. The new Dropbox API is crap.
  3. I plan to replace Dropbox by iCloud.
  4. I have to release an upgrade to the existing iOS app.
  5. I keep forgetting to do this.

But now there is another problem:

  1. The new iPhone X runs iOS 11.
  2. All new apps have to support iOS 11.
  3. iOS 11 apps need Xcode 9.
  4. Xcode 9.0 requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later.
  5. My current hardware does not support this.

Dropbox may stop working before I can release a replacement.

Dropbox Update


Dropbox is introducing a new version of its API, and the old version is due to be retired. The Android and iOS clients both used the old version, to download product images and to back up the database. Trying to upgrade to the new version has proved problematic:

  1. On the Android client, we were able to upgrade the API, but we could not get it to work properly.
  2. On the iOS client, the new API is implemented in Swift. Our code is written in Objective-C, and we cannot upgrade the API at all.


We decided to revert to using the SD card for storage:

  1. Some devices have an internal SD card, as well as an external one.
  2. Data is stored in the Vanguard folder.
  3. On devices running Android 6.0 and above, the app was using the Download folder. This anomaly will be removed.

Version 5.6.0 will be uploaded later on today.


We will be using the iCloud for data storage. At the moment I am having trouble logging on using my developer account, but this should only be a temporary setback.

The new version should be available next week.


Here are some screenshots of the forthcoming Google Drive feature. I will not be able to make much more progress until I have a better internet service. I am due to change providers on the 19th.

Dropbox and Google Drive

My to do list for Dropbox and Google Drive is as follows:

  1. Drop price of Dropbox for iOS to £0.99 (done).
  2. Add Google Drive to Android app (doing).
  3. Take a break until 19/04/2017.
  4. Add Google Drive to iOS app.
  5. Retire Dropbox for iOS on 08/06/2017.


Recently we have made a number of improvements:

  1. The first page only contains news items.
  2. A couple of bugs in the menu have been fixed.
  3. Graphics elements (icon, logo and header) have been added.
  4. The downloads on the main site  are always listed alphabetically.
  5. Another link to this site  has been added on the main one.
  6. The title is now mixed case.
  7. The About page is now a sticky.
  8. We prettied up the Contact form with some fancy CSS.

Sales app for Chromebook

Dropbox on Chrome OS

I can confirm that the new version of the Dropbox API does not work on a Chromebook. This makes support for Google Drive essential, if the app is tp have any cloud support at all.

Dropbox for iOS

Originally, the only development language that Apple provided for iOS was a proprietary  one called Objective-C. All apps, including the Sales app for iOS, were written in this language. A few years ago, Apple introduced a new language for iOS called Swift. Converting the entire app to Swift was not an option, so it was largely ignored.

The iOS app includes support for Dropbox, using the SDK for the then current API v1. Recently, Dropbox brought out API v2, and said that support for API v1 would cease on 6th June 2017. However, the SDK for API v1 only supports Swift, and not Objective-C. It suggests to use of various bridging tools, but this is not really a viable option.

Because of this, I have chosen to support another cloud platform instead, probably Google Drive. This will be added to the Android app in the first instance, and then carried across to iOS one. It is ironic that Google offers better support for iOS than Dropbox does, but that is the reality of the situation.


Android 5.5.0

Dropbox Login

This release uses the new Dropbox API v2. Hopefully it will fix the intermittent bug whereby the Dropbox login page failed to return to the app.

The new API does not currently provide support for progress meters, but will probably do so in a future release.  In anticipation of this, the code has been left unchanged.

The iOS version of the app will be updated to support the new Dropbox API in the next few days.