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I need a inventory with barcode solution example


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TereLavin:

Barcode inventory examples may be tough to come across, because barcoding is fairly platform-specific. I've got a couple of clients who use barcodes for job-tracking (and a bit of specialized inventory) and I'd be glad to help, but the systems are proprietary so I can't share the files out.

Ultimately, thought, if you just think of the barcode reader as though it is a keyboard-substitute, which can enter data and trigger scripts, you soon realize that barcoding doesn't change much, except the way data is entered.

-Stanley

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As Stanley mentioned, the important thing to realize with bar code scanning is that it's just an alternative to a keyboard.

Some new things have to be taken into account though, like ensuring that the user scans into the right field. You might want to have only 1 field on a bar code scanning layout that allows entry (often a global field).

You can program a bar code scanner to hit a key combination after every scan, in order to activate one of your scripts, but in the end, it's really just replacing the need for a person to type in a number manually and hit a button.

Bar code printing is another story. One important thing to realize, which some people don't understand, is that bar codes simply represent a number. When a store scans a bar code, it has to look up the number in its database to determine description and price - that information is not magically hidden in the bars.

To print a bar code, it's just a matter of generating the item number, and encoding it using a bar code font or other utility. For a general purpose bar code you might use a simple bar code font like Code 39, which allows you to encode letters, numbers, and some symbols.

For retail, you'll want to use a UPC font. There's some information about UPC fonts on my web site, at http://www.storeos.com/onsite/pos/upc/ including how to make your own store-specific bar codes without having to worry about using numbers belonging to another product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tere:

The right scanner depends on what you intend to do with it. I have two clients who use hand-held scanners in an industrial-type environment, so I got them the HHP 3800 scanner. You can throw it against the wall and it keeps working. In fact, two have been the victims of "industrial sabotage" and have survived and kept on working.

One thing you'll want to look into is which manufacturer helps out when you run into a wall as far as programming is concerned - this can be an issue when you get to dealing with having a scanner enter "cmd" or "ctrl" keys to run scripts, etc... Best to ask around before taking what can be an expensive plunge.

-Stanley

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  • 2 weeks later...

What I've done is to program the barcode scanner to type the Enter key (numeric keyboard) as the "postamble" (after the barcode goes in).* Then you just put FileMaker into a controlled Loop. So it pauses, the barcode goes in, the Enter key fires, your script continues, doing whatever, then going back into the Loop.

You need a button to Start the Loop and one to End it. All buttons must Halt the current script, or else you're stuck in a Loop if they don't hit the Stop button.

All scripts must test for a "flag," which you set to 1 when you start the loop. If the flag exists, the script clears it, then Halts (with maybe a warning). The flag can also be used to show visually that the loop is running.

*I had a bit of trouble with the barcode scanner doing the Enter key. It would not do it correctly. I called the vendor, Worth Data (Santa Cruz, CA) http://www.barcodehq.com and we eventually confirmed that it was wrong. They had been trying to do something including the Option/Alt key and it messed up the Enter key.

So I sent back the scanner and they reprogrammed it. Now it works fine. They were quite friendly about it. This was just a couple weeks ago. I don't know if this means they'll fix all their new scanners, or whether they just fixed mine; or whether they'll fix yours if you call them. Apparently very few applications use the Enter key like that.

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  • 5 months later...

Symbol technologies make barcode scanners that are easy programmed to have any pre and post barcode characters sent after scanning. There are limitless things you could do with this, from scanning thousands of bacodes a day (my lab does about 2k barcoded tubes a day when processing samples) to inventorying supplies. Very simple to impliment.

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