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Not quite a barcode but close

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I need to produce a tracking database for part of the local health authority. Initaly it will be a simple database of names and addresses and activitys partaken, This will be manually entered. However they are wanting sometime in the next 12-18 months add the functionality of a swipe card/barcode system so that each patient is issued a card and when they enter the building it is swiped and the database is updated to show who visited when. The same will apply to each activity. This will then be used to produce demographic reports as to who attended when and what facilities they used each time. Any help or recomendations on how to proceed with this would be very gratfully recieved.

Version: v6.x

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The best way to think of barcoding is that the data in a barcode is really no different from data entered with the keyboard, it just gets inputted more quickly.

I've got two clients who use barcodes for pretty much every repetetive task in their shops, from inventory-tracking to library tasks. A few examples:

Each job has a ticket with all the important data on it (Customer, date, etc.) and a single barcode, which is actually the job's serial number in the FileMaker database. As the job moves around the factory, folks are prompted from time to time to scan in the barcode on the ticket (FileMaker enters Find mode & puts the cursor in the Serial_Number field, then pauses for the barcode data) - this makes sure that they are always on the right job in FileMaker.

Various pieces of equipment are also barcoded. When one of these pieces of equipment needs to be used, the computer prompts the user to scan in the barcode, ensuring that they have pulled the right tool from engineering, and aren't about to use an acetylene torch where the job calls for a plasma cutter...

In your case, if you set up your system so that the user is prompted to enter an id number (and you've already got the cursor in the correct field), followed by hitting "Enter," you are ready for the barcode system. When you put the barcodes on the swipe cards, the data there will be the id number, followed by the "Enter" command (which will depend on your platform). Both techniques are the same thing, with the "Enter" being used in order to bump FileMaker out of the pause. Some barcode readers can have the "Enter" programmed in to automatically follow every scan...

Barcoding is really simple, in the end, and there are several people on this Forum who know it backwards and forwards, and who will help you out with each phase.

I'd recommend looking into hardware; once you've figured out what sort of set-up you'd like, I'm sure plenty of folks will be able to chime in with recommendations and experiences.


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  • 1 month later...

In order to get a reliable system for barcodes in filemaker you need to do this

Make sure you get keyboard wedge barcode readers, these need no additional software and just scan straight in.

Use a reliable plug in or font, some barcode fonts don't print correctly on certain printers.

Make sure whoever you buy the kit from has a long term track record with both filemaker and barcodes.




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