How to output from BIP to bar code printer

jolly

Reputable Poster
Hi All,

I'm talking SATO, Zebra and the like printers, that receive a label format as a plain text markup package... not talking about using a custom font to render a barcode on a PDF document.

The problem with BIP is that the output options are not usable - these printers cannot accept PDF or Excel formats.

There is an eText output option, but again, not very useful as (I believe) it won't cater to non-printing characters required in SATO markups and it won't cater to multi line outputs in a convenient fashion. The template is also quite obscure to look at maintain.

All quite frustrating as it's quite easy to get the data generated in the UBE and therefore in the XML, and an RTF template markup (minus non printable characters) is also easy to create, so the resulting PDF looks exactly as we need in a simple TXT format.

In the documentation I see vague references to using XSL transformations to output to txt but can't find any hard evidence that this will be useful for this applicaiton.

I am starting to think that the approach could be to just have BIP output to a simple PDF and then write something custom (wanted to avoid this) to pinch the PDF file from the BIP repository, and do a PDF->TXT conversion before chucking it to the printer. Zebra ZPL runs on printable ASCII only but SATO use EXC, STX, ETX etc so would also need a post process to convert some sort of escape notation into the actual ASCII characters.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I'm looking at you, Justin and Daniel!

Cheers
JohnO
 

jolly

Reputable Poster
I'll take that as a 'no' then!

Oracle really do need to add an output type "TEXT" to BIP, and optionally a TEXT template type. This would add a nice consistent flat file creation facility that would be much easier than eText, and allow bank files, general flat files and barcode/html generation and other outputs in text format to be generated.

eText and XSL templates are way too hard to develop and maintain and a giant step backwards from actual WYSIWYG templates such as RTF and Excel. IMHO, of course.
 

jolly

Reputable Poster
Yep - because it offers a very convenient way to implement user maintainable templates for the barcode labels. At the moment, you need to write C code (ER too painful for string handling) to assemble the label markups and merge in the variable data. That's inconvenient for changes as it requires developers and package builds.

If BIP had plain text output you could just have a generic UBE to output all the variables and a set of versions templates for the different label formats.

Cheers
JohnO
 

jolly

Reputable Poster
But you would need someone well versed in BIP and (ZPL or other language) for the markup? So it is a trade-off for sure. While looking around I found this attachment, looks like at least Zebra has a possible solution? Here's the link: It looks like if you output to a specific print queue, this might work? It's not my area of expertise, so I am guessing: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...z4HIAg&usg=AFQjCNEIyoiWHZcEJ569VyMKLVIElbG0hQ

Yep - always a trade-off. In our case, we have ZPL/SATO skills within the customer but not C skills.

Now... I can sort of see how eText templates could do what we need, albeit in a somewhat abstract fashion. But what I can't yet see is where the result of an eText report job ends up. Does it just end up as a flat ASCII text file somewhere that can be accessed by a JDE process to push it to a printer?

By the way, that Zebra connector does like like a "proper" solution but I also need to support SATO :-/
 

SL922

Active Member
Yep - always a trade-off. In our case, we have ZPL/SATO skills within the customer but not C skills.

Now... I can sort of see how eText templates could do what we need, albeit in a somewhat abstract fashion. But what I can't yet see is where the result of an eText report job ends up. Does it just end up as a flat ASCII text file somewhere that can be accessed by a JDE process to push it to a printer?

By the way, that Zebra connector does like like a "proper" solution but I also need to support SATO :-/

We are using Zebra S4M printer for BIP Output and would like to know if there is any solution for Print Immediate.
Thanks to share your expertise
 
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