Let's say for a moment that you're a small business trader that needs to be able to receive payments both over the Internet and as point-of-sale transactions. You need a way to be able to handle expenses, manage accounts receivable and generally keep track of your cashflow. You probably even need a way to handle checks (or maybe you receive cheques if you live outside North America!). If only there were a payments framework that provided all these services. If only they had a WPF interface so that your customers were impressed by the sophisticated system you had!

Introducing IP Commerce, with their Payments as a Secure Service (PASS) offering for Windows Vista, built of course on top of the Windows Presentation Foundation. PASS unites a group of partners - including the likes of Chase and PayPal - to provide an integrated service for small businesses to perform all the capabilities mentioned above. The core application is a free download; it includes a basic Cash Management Center and the Commerce Center, both of which are built with WPF. To create the charting component, they used ChartFX - a new WPF-based graphing control from SoftwareFX.

The application has some useful features - for example, the included sidebar gadget can be set up to let you know whenever you receive a payment via PayPal. It also uses aspects of WPF well; for example, the screenshot of the Cash Management Center demonstrates the use of data templates with a ListBox that contains thumbnails of the individual reports.

For a deeper introduction to the scenario behind the PASS application, you can check out this online demo.