is there any hardware that connects to ERPnext by that i mean to the database which allow to print the barcode + item price on a label to fix it on the item ? i’m talking in the case of using POS system.
Maybe have a look at this previous forum thread…
This is a little different from what you are asking about but it does get to the heart of printing barcode labels directly from the ERPNext application. In the case of the link above, it is using a custom print format to handle the job and the full text of the custom script is posted for you to play with on your own system.
You may need to do a little work to learn how to use the ZPL (Zebra Programming Language) to implement a solution. However by reading through the link it also appears that you could do the same thing with almost any printer programming language that you may already be familiar with in your past experiences.
I thinks it is worth investigating if you are serious about NOT using some other middle-ware application to handle the printer. Most of the middle-ware solutions require a license fee for each connected printer.
Hope this helps…
Please share back here if you find a way to use the information to make your own solution.
If you get really stumped and cannot get it figured out, you might be able to find a developer to write you a simple application that periodically dumps the Item data to a CSV file that can then be used by one of the 3rd party barcode printing programs. The 3rd party programs have some pretty simple-to-use application generators that allow you to print labels based on information it can lookup in the CSV files. The 3rd party programs are not cheap, but it is a way to get things to work.
In the past, I have contacted developers from the list maintained by the erpnext/frappe team on their website. I had one write such an application for me to generate the CSV files every 15 minutes and then used a program called BarTender to make the printing application and handle the printers. All of this will cost you money. Trying to figure out the usage of the information in the above link I posted, is the free alternative and an exercise in learning at the same time.
I’m not quite sure this is what i need because i know there are some print labeling printers that allows a connection to a database in order to print barcode + item price as you can see the label in any shop , but does erpnext support this feature? or the printer does support the feature?that’s what i’m trying to say , i need help from this side because it’s important to have the barcode+ item price on the item in a shop using POS, not quite sure if i explained it better.
If yes and anyone know any printer names related to this subject , i would appreciate any product name for this purpose
Printers that are advertised to be able to access the database and print the fields for you are actually regular printers that may have some internal ability to save and execute some simple code. The printer is then bundled with a label designer program that runs on the PC to design the layout and helps it connect to a simple database (usually CSV file or other flat file format).
For example: Zebra desktop printers use ZPL (Zebra Programming Language) to handle the layout and other various printing instructions to get the information on the label.
Then, for an additional fee you can purchase the ZBI (Zebra Basic Interpreter) license and load it into the printer firmware to be able to write and execute some software for handling inbound data and organizing it into tables inside the printer itself for feeding and manipulating the data.
Those printers and their associated software almost never come with the applications pre-written for you. They just supply the tools for you to be able to do it yourself (or pay a developer to do it).
PROs of this process:
- You don’t have to learn complex language (it’s just BASIC) to get something working
- The label layout tools come in free versions and are very easy visual tools to use
CONS of this process:
- If something happens to the printer, your automation dies with it since the data handling program is internal to the printer firmware.
- Setting up a replacement printer means having to order the ZBI kit and waiting for it to arrive before you can program another printer with the BASIC program. The ZBI license it tied to the printer hardware. This delays your ability to get back online quickly.
Alternatively, if you learn a little bit about using the custom print format features in ERPNext, then you can do the data handling in the application and all you have to do is write the ZPL to get the information on the label the exact way you want it to look.
BONUS - If you dig around on the Zebra website you can find the link to download the free version of their label designer program. It is called “Zebra Designer” and if you get the non-pro version it is free to use. This program will allow you to layout the label exactly the way you want it to appear complete with the barcode type and fonts. All barcode fonts and text fonts are built into the firmware of the printer already, you just need to know what codes to use to get them to print. Once your label is designed, just use the “print to file” option and the resulting file will be the ZPL code you drop into the custom print format in ERPNext. The only modifications you might have to do is for any variables you define to hold the data, but that would only be with really complex label formats.
NOTE: Some versions of Zebra Designer disable the “print-to-file” option. To get around this I have just used a second laptop to play the part of the printer and connected it with a null-modem cable. Then by running a free data capture program on the 2nd PC and printing from the first one, you get the same ZPL file in the capture. The beauty of all of this is that the Zebra printers use plain text language to do everything!
Ultimately, the ERPNext custom print format method appears to be the best solution.
PROs of this:
- Any ZPL compatible printer can be dropped into place if one happens to die
- No 3rd party stuff to contend with if something changes in ERPNext
- Aside from buying the printer, it’s all free.
CONs of this:
- Having to learn a bit about how to make ERPNExt custom print formats
You have to do a bunch more digging into the actual advertising of those do-it-all printers you see on the market. They are not always telling you the whole truth and if you buy into it without being aware of all the backend work to be done, it can be and expensive mistake. I noticed this mostly with Citizen, Cognitive, and Wasp branded printers but even a little with the Zebras.
The less you have to learn to get your end result the faster you can achieve your goals.
Hope this helps, and as always - Your mileage may vary…
Thank you so much for reply @bkm, the whole explanation helped a lot! Appreciate your help !
Glad to be of help.
I have been doing custom barcode labeling for over a decade. mainly for hospital patient applications and industrial inventory services.
I only discovered this new custom format ability a week agog myself when I read the thread I linked for you. I already have many 3rd party solutions interfaced with ERPNext in many of my client sites and now I will be looking to retire them as they upgrade to v12 ERPNext so I can get them all on printing direct form ERPNext.
yeah this would be way better being part of the system itself instead of using third parties , way better for management and for future updates.