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daveinc

POS TouchScreen Cash Register

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Hi folks,

I am working on a POS system and was wondering if any of you had run into the same frustrations with FileMaker that I have. First off, using a touchscreen to enter dollar amounts. Ideally, I would like FM to imitate a standard cash register by NOT requiring the entry of the decimal point. I can accomplish this with scripting and a calculated field quite easily, but it is WAY TOO SLOW!! If you touch the buttons in rapid succession, FM can't keep up. I have seen seasoned users type on these touchscreens very quickly, so this simply won't do. I can enter the numbers using a 3rd party virtual keyboard, the entry is then as quick as the fingers but the calculated field showing the decimal point does not update until you tab or exit the record. Has anyone found a way to do this where the decimal point is either permanent or appears as necessary without being dog slow(no scripting)? The rest of the solution is coming along great so I'd hate to abandon FM over this seemingly minor issue, but all the other solutions I've seen developed with other tools have this type of cash register interface and I've already had complaints from clients. Thanks in advance for any ideas. I have other issues as well but will save them for a later post.

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Dave out of curiosity have you tried this with FMP 9?

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Not yet. I am working with what the client has installed. I was going to try 9 and see if things were different, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Why do you ask?

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Is your virtual key pad a grid of buttons with a script attached?

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Yes, a grid of buttons using scripts that append each number to the field when the button is pressed, it is too slow. I also have a 3rd party virtual keyboard that is non-FM that works great for entering the numbers, but does not allow me to have the automatic decimal point, so I have to tab or exit the record to show the dollar amount with the decimal point in a calculated field.

Edited by Guest

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I wonder if there is a way to create an number pad in a web viewer with a java script or JQuery item then have the data entered be set into a field?

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Dave, could you post some small example file showing your current approach? It would be easier to see the problem that way.

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Here is a quick POS data entry keypad that I did in 10 minutes. Speed seems OK to me. Can you compare it to what you're doing?

POS_touchpad.zip

Edited by Guest

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Jesse,

What you created is virtually identical to what I did in FM. Click any button in rapid succession, and FM will miss some clicks. It's just a fact of using scripts I guess. The people using this solution are in a very fast paced environment and I just don't want them cursing the thing after they become fast on it. You'll know what I mean if you ever watched a bank teller work their number pad, they enter this stuff at machine gun speed once it becomes ingrained in their physical makeup. Thanks for taking the time to try and help out!!

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Ocean,

You can use Jesse's example to see what I mean. If you click any of the buttons in rapid succession, FM will miss some clicks. It's difficult to simulate a whole set of fingers with a mouse so you have to test by clicking a single button in rapid succession. If you click 5 times quickly, you might get 4 numbers,or maybe 3, but rarely 5 unless you slow down a bit. You know how quick people get on number pads, and missing numbers just won't cut it.

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Strange - I was not able to reproduce this problem, no matter how quickly I click the buttons. What hardware are you running your system on? I'm on a 2.16GHz MacBook Pro.

It would be possible to build something in Flash or Java that runs in a web viewer. If you're interested in doing that, let me know. You could also check with Todd Geist or Fusion Reactor, they're doing similar stuff.

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It happens whether I run it on an old machine or a new one with tons of ram. It's possible it's a windows issue or an FMP 7 issue(that's the software they have). That's beside the point anyway. I hate to tell people they need brand new hardware or software unless I absolutely have to, as that just erodes the budget for the solution. I guess I was hoping for a plug-in or something along those lines that would skip the scripts. thanks for the responses!

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Just to validate your experience, I tired it and it skips a few clicks when I went really fast.

I was using FMP 8.5 on a suped up Vista machine.

I'd be inclined to guess it's the processing speed of FMP engine due to the use of scripts. I even re-wrote a script that didn't use parameters thinking this might make a difference, but got the same solution.

Use the approach - It's not a bug, it's a feature! Consider this a built in govenor that slows the user down to avoid user error if they get too fast and sloppy!

Or - change input devices to include a keypad and skip the scripting... not what youre going for though I know, but ergonomically, fingers taping on a solid surface without tactile feedback isn't conducive to productivity over long extended periods of time - otherwise - typists keyboards would be solid touch screens instead of buttons that move and provide feedback.... Just trying to make lemons out of lemonade..

Edited by Guest

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How about ditching the scripts and making number pad as buttons with a single command on each button?

Must admit I set by double-click speed to maximum and couldn't get it to fail.

iMac 2.16 Core 2 Duo

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Also note that the set field script did not have a commit record statement.

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Here is a quick POS data entry keypad that I did in 10 minutes. Speed seems OK to me. Can you compare it to what you're doing?

Hi, I'm wondering why you wouldn't just use "Digits entered/100" as the calculation instead of the long calculation you have in there?

Thanks, Phil

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