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filemaker - barcode, scanner

i currently use Filemaker Pro version 8.5 Advanced for computer and software asset inventory.  i would lilke to use this program to add more asssets the company has.  my first idea is to get barcodes and a reader and scan everything.  However i am not familiar at all with the way that works.  it would be great to have the compatibility with the data base i currently have with the scanner.  is this possible?  does anyone use filemaker with a barcode.  If not what scanner and program do you all recommend for computers software, furniture ect.
1 Solution
I recommand no program at all but it depends what safety you need about barcodes.
Some are free, 3of9 most of the time, but they include no security check, no checksum and so on, so errors may happen. In practise they are used in situations where you just want to avoid manual data entry, and can check data entered against a table containing possible expressions like a goods list.
If you need more sophisticated codes like c128, there is an excellent filemaker plug-in from IDAutomation with which you can generate almost everything on the market. they also supply fonts to go with it which must be installed on every fm client to use barcodes.
About the scanner, any reader which simulates a keyboard can do the job: fmaker will receive data as if you would type the data string yourself. I use to use readers from worthington http://www.pcbarcode.co.uk/
they are based in Ireland for European customers, but have other offices. good service, nice people to talk to, among the cheapest. They have USB devices, but for compatibility reasons with old PCs I had in my previous place, I always found easier to use them with an adapter to insert in between keyboard and PC, no driver pb this way even with an old w98 PC. Also to me mentionned, laser readers are more expensive, but can read from far, they work as guns while cheaper CCD scanners work as a scanner with must be close to the label to read. In certain industrial environments like a workshop, a stockroom, a gun able to read a label at the top a of crate may be very useful. there may be cheaper devices also now, as I did not check this area since 2004.
If you intend to use complex codes like c128, etc... allow a period of time for learning as this is is not an area where you can improvise; there again the IDAutomation site is very helpful compared to others, they provide the barcode background to go along with the barcode plug-ings they sell for virtually all dev languages (therefore you can also use them in visual basic, etc...)
But start with a simple 3of9font, and a basic scanner to see how it works.

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