General Barcode and Access

Hi,
I have done some research on the web regarding Barcoding and MS Access.

One thing I can't seem to get my head around, or find an answer for is this;
How does the data from the scanner get into the database?

If using a wireless scanner in a warehouse and I want to send data to the database, do I  need to have a form open on the workstation that would accept the data scanned?

Similarly, if people are scanning products on the shop floor, would that not need a different form open?

I currently handle all stock movements and stock levels by action queries and vba behind input forms. But my boss is willing to pay for scanners if I can just get my head around the sequence of events needed.

As always any advice, or pointers to relevant articles is welcome.

Thanks
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Stephen ByromWarehouse/ShippingAsked:
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Connect With a Mentor Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Most scanners you'll use with Access just substitute for the keyboard (they're often known as "keyboard wedge" scanners). Basically you place your cursor in control on the form (a textbox, combo, etc) and then scan the barcode. The scanner will just pop that information into the control. From there, it's up to you, since as far as Access is concerned it's no different than a user typing on a keyboard or using a mouse.

If you're going to use the scanner for multiple purposes, then you'll have to have dedicated resources for that - i.e. ScannerA is tied to WorkstationB, and that is used for Shipping. ScannerB is tied to WorkstationX, and that's use for Receiving, and so on. In thatt scenario, WorkstationB would be running your Access app, and would have the form open that you need to fill for Shipping, and WorkstationX would have the form open for Receiving.

This can be tricky, of course, since it's hard to determine the proper sequence of events for your processes. For example, when you're scanning in received items, do you ALWAYS want to scan one item, and then enter a new record? Or do you want to scan one item and have the user enter more data, then scan a new item? Most of the time the scanners would be used in close proximity to the workstation, since Access is an event driven program, and it needs user interaction to determine the next steps. It's possible to make the forms respond to certain interactions, of course, but be sure to consider the ramifications of unattended scanner input.

There are other types of scanners that can do quite a bit more, and most of those come with APIs that can be used to grab data from the scan and do something with it. In most cases, those can be used with Access as well, but you'd be wise to speak with the company first to make sure.
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mbizupConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If your scanner supports batch mode operations, you do not need to have a form open while the inventory personnel are performing the scans.  In fact, depending on your scanner, you might not even need to be in range of your computer.

An inventory specialist can walk the shop floor scanning inventory, and the scanner will store the scans.

Once done, you can open a text file, database, or any other place to input the data, and 'send' the data in bulk to your computer.  That send might require scanning a separate special barcode which tells the scanner to send data, placing the scanner in a cradle attached to your computer, or may automatically happen when you bring the scanner within range of the computer.  This again depends on your specific scanner and its settings.

Getting the data into your database can be done in a variety of methods as well.  For example, if you have sent your batch data to a text file or a memo field in your database, you would use VBA to parse the data into individual barcodes and apply them as needed.

There are third party utilities out there to facilitate this as well (companies dedicated to selling scanners likely will have such utilities available).
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Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)Connect With a Mentor Commented:
this will depend on the type of scanner you are using.. see if this article helps
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Stephen ByromWarehouse/ShippingAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the input.
We have dedicated Wi-Fi throughout the site and my intention was to get wireless scanners so that trained personnel could scan at their respective locations and then 'send' the data back to the database. I have found some "Wedge" type software from TEC-IT, namely the TWedge, which seems to fit the bill, so I guess it's down to the scanner and probably batch-type. I also presume a separate table would be needed to capture the scanned data which would clear when the data has been "pushed" to the respective tables relevant to what was scanned.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
I also presume a separate table would be needed to capture the scanned data which would clear when the data has been "pushed" to the respective tables relevant to what was scanned.
That's generally a good idea. It allows you to validate your data before it hits the live table, at the expense of potentially "stale" data, depending on how often you process the staging table.
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Stephen ByromWarehouse/ShippingAuthor Commented:
Thanks again to all for the input
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