Jump to content

Barcode checkout system

This topic is 6665 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Recommended Posts


I am currently maintaining a large inventory of Xray films that I would like to 1) track in Filemaker, and 2) possibly do so via a barcode scanner.

Each newly-received film needs to be entered into FMP in order to log and track the inventory. This part I can do seemingly without problems. FYI, there are multiple films per patient per visit, and each film has a different name (Lateral, AP, etc.).

The films have to be checked in and out, as they are frequently sent for review. I envision this being a situation whereby the film's previously-generated barcode is scanned, logging the date of check-out, then scanned again once received back in, logging the date of check-in.

I understand that there are FMP solutions available that would create the actual barcode, which I would print onto labels and attach to each unique xray. I am assuming that such a solution can be integrated into the inventory tracking db. Where I go from there I am unsure, in terms of how to set up the db to accommodate the actual scanning and check-in/check-out system (scripts, etc.).

The solution I found was Brian Dunning's "Barcode Basis" file, which looks like a great mechanism for generating the barcodes.

Could anyone advise how to proceed with the actual db integration with a scanner, etc.?

I'm sorry, I know this is a huge question, but any direction would be most appreciated. :

Many thanks!

Julia Talley

Abbott Spine

Austin, TX

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Barcoding is much simpler than it first appears. I've done a number of solutions involving barcodes, and it can really simplify and speed your office procedures.

With FileMaker, all you need to do your barcoding is the following:

1. A barcode reader which is compatible with your computer and operating system. Most USB readers work with most computers, so really you've got tons of choice. I use HHP 3800 series scanners for all my solutions, as they work with both Macs and Windows boxes, and I need cross-platform functionality.

2. A barcode font. There are a number of free Code 39 fonts out there - I use the 3of9 font - and, again, it's just a matter of getting a font which works with your computer.

3. The rest of the work is in scripting the two key processes - , the first is the assigning & printing of barcodes, and the second is scanning barcodes to reach the correct record(s).

The key to acheiving #3 is to understand that a barcode reader is an input device, just like a keyboard, and that when you scan in a barcode, you are scanning data into a field. Usually this data takes the form of the serial number of a record. So your procedure, in a nutshell, is as follows:

1. Create an individual record for an individual x-ray. Have an auto-entered serial number, starting with a very high number (such as 1,000,000), and incrementing by 1. The number is high so that all the barcodes will have an equal length.

2. When the record has been created, have a label printer print out a label with the serial number field in it, formatted to print in your barcode font. You can put other information on the label, too, such as other organizational data, patient name, x-ray name or type, etc.

3. Stick the label on the x-ray.

Now you've got a barcoded x-ray.

To check an x-ray out, you'd have a script which would take you to "Find" mode and put the cursor into the serial number field. Then you can scan the barcode, and it will find the record with that serial number. Pretty simple.

There are a number of complications to this whole thing, such as ensuring that the barcode reader puts an "enter" at the end of its scans (to automatically do the "Find"), scripting which layout you want to be in each step of the way, etc. You can also put pre-amble and post-amble information in the barcode itself.

There are loads of threads in the BarCode forum about these things, and feel free to dig through them for ideas, and for information on the various readers, fonts and label printers that are available. Also, feel free to come back and ask any questions that come to mind. There are a number of bar code experts here on the Forums, so you'll get plenty of advice.

Good luck.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Thank you so much for the information, this is very helpful. One question I have, is it very difficult to integrate the "hit enter" piece of the puzzle? I'm gathering that this can be difficult, but am wondering if the 3of9 font can actually put a barcode symbol for 'enter' at the end so that this is automated. Do you know if this is possible?

many thanks,


Link to comment
Share on other sites


You're best off having the barcode reader supply the "enter", as it is usually a programmable choice, especially as the "enter" is so useful in FileMaker, to continue a script, to exit a field, etc.

You can also trigger scripts (the first ten viewable scripts, with keyboard shortcuts) via barcodes, which is handy too.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is 6665 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.