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Bar Code Newbie Question


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I am working on a project where we assign mail batches to our processors and then send the batches out to the processors. We put a date sent on each of the mail batches. The user wants to be able to put a barcode on each mail batch that will enable them to use a barcode scanner to check the mail batches back in when the processors are finished with them. Each mail batch has a unique identifier field so that shouldn't be a problem. I don't have any experience with barcodes & FMP so I am not sure how this works. We are using FMP 5.5 on a PC. Ideally the user would like to use a PDA scanner and scan in all of the finished mail batches. She then wants to go back and sync up with the "main" DB to check in all of the mail batches. When the user scans the barcode, I need to assign a checked in date to that mail batch.

From what I have read on here, FM Mobile 2 does not work well with bar code scanners and JFile with FMSync only work with Macs. I am not sure what else to try. Does anyone have any ideas for what I should try using? Is this going to be a huge task to get this to work?

Thanks,

John

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John:

First, why a PDA solution? I've got two clients using loads of barcodes with FMP, and even though PDA solutions sounded good in a lot of ways, they opted for barcode guns attached directly to their computers, and the material had to move to the scanner, rather than the other way around. The great thing about this is that the data is entered directly into the system, rather than waiting for someone to hotsync (or worse, forget to hotsync) a PDA.

Check out Julie Streietelmeier's info page on PDA DBs at:

http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/databases-review.html

You may end up having to use Pendragon Forms or Satellite Forms, which means essentially developing your own Palm application, or look at TracerPlus, which (I think) will talk to a PC. I had a client who wanted a custom Palm-PC database, and ended up having to deal with Microsoft Access... luckily, the contract dissolved on me.

-Stanley

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John:

I responded to your other posting without realizing you were the same person as in this thread. I think you've saved yourself a ton of headaches by avoiding using the PDA. As I wrote in the other post, the HHP 3800 will do that, and will sit in a stand (the one it comes with is really just a holster though) but has a trigger. It comes with a fairly simple programming manual (you program it by scanning in barcodes from the manual) and the guys at HHP are really helpful with that stuff.

I'd suggest you go to Totalbarcode.com or posdirect.com and check out what's available. I've dealt with both places and they're pretty useful there too.

-Stanley

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  • 5 months later...

Hello gang!

Stanely..if you don't mind me jumping on this thread smile.gif

Exuse my uneducated question but can you suggest any scanners that will match HHP 3800 model but also be "cordless"?

I have seen some "warehouse-rugged" scaners but they all seem to require a 'connection' (cordless or not) to a PC, while PDA approach seems to be full of faluts.

Is there a product (much like what FedEx/UPS guys use) where a warehouse manager can just walk arround and scan items and then "hotsynch or dump" the data into FM?

The reson for this being is that our warehouse is multileved and require some "monkey positions" just to get to the items and handeling a laptop at the same time is a bit of a problem.

My goal is to basically eliminate use of a PC (data collection) before ALL the items are scanned. (Inventory Recount)

the "item IDs" are 13 characters in format of [ABCD11-1111e-FG] if it makes any difference..

I applogise if I have posted a "rediculus" blush.gif question but I really have no experience with barcodes...

Many thanx for the advice!

Take care!

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Leb I Sol:

Excellent "fugitive" gif.

There are tons of handheld/wireless barcode scanners out there which fit the "warehouse-rugged" bill, but the real question is going to be getting the data from the device into FileMaker. You really may want to look into the PDA method - the Symbol 1700/1800 series is very rugged and some versions have wireless connectivity. I was working on a system for someone last autumn, but they gave up during the research phase, after changing their minds about absolutely everything they could and eating up the budget in the process, but the Symbol 1700 I was using was a thrill. It's a Palm-based PDA that is "ruggedized" and has a scanner built into it. The method I was looking into involved syncing the 1700 just like any other PDA, so I'm not sure what difference it would make if the thing is on a wireless connection.

I can't remember the software I was looking at using, but there were some scanning apps for the Palm platform that were built for the 1700/1800 series which would get the data into FileMaker. I know I'm being a bit vague, but when the project collapsed I mailed all the research data to the client & deleted the job's bookmark folder out of disgust, so I don't have anything on hand to look up. The info in my first post in this thread is a good start, though.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you need any more info & maybe my brain will work better - it's 10 pm on a Friday here, and I'm about to head out to a pub, so my mind is elsewhere.

-Stanley

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Stanley!

No no this is good info, I am also looking to find a solution that will:

-quickly(barcode) do a phisical inventory recount

- and next level is to attempt to make "mobile" versions of Inventory DB although file size is an issue

so perhaps re-looking into PDA is the way to go. I will keep diging and see how "willing" (read how much $) my users are.

and most definetly your other posts have geared me into right direction...now comes the time to count our coins!

Many thanx!

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Leb i Sol:

Another thing I forgot to mention is that the Symbol 1700/1800 series can be found on eBay quite a bit. When I was researching this system last year I saw a batch of 8 PDAs and a pair of quad rackmount charge/sync units which went for $750, which is a fine bargain. Just be sure to do your research, as there are a number of slightly different versions of the product line, although they all have the barcode ability...

-Stanley

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  • 2 years later...

This topic is 6423 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

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