Barcoding: Windows Mobile Data Collector Installation


Overview

Finale Inventory versions, standard and above, include barcode scanner software for Windows Mobile scanners. The scanner software is fully integrated with the web application.

The mobile barcode scanner will operate in what is called "data collector" mode, which means that it is recording what you scan into its own memory. When you bring your scanner back to your desktop computer running the Finale Inventory web-based application, the scanner with "sync" with the web software, in order download the latest lookup tables, pick lists, and the like from the web application, and to upload the scanned transactions from the scanner.

Setting up the scanner to sync requires a few steps to get it going. After you've got it set up, then whenever you sync the scanner with the software you will also have the opportunity to update the scanner software to the latest version, with the click of a button. Thus, while the initial setup process is somewhat involved, once you get it set up then ongoing maintenance is no sweat.

To set up the scanner to sync, the main steps are: (1) Install Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) on your PC to enable your scanner to communicate with your computer; (2) install Finale's data collector browser plug-in to enable the web application to reach out to the scanner and transfer files; and (3) install or update the scanner software directly from the web application.

Install Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC)

The WMDC software may already be installed on your computer. Connect your scanner to your computer via USB. The computer may automatically install device drivers for the scanner, and may automatically install WMDC. Surprisingly, this download process can actually take up to 10 minutes, even with a fast internet connection. Give it time to finish. Then launch WMDC from the programs search bar in Windows. A window should appear that says WMDC, giving you the option to "connect without setting up your device." Select that option, and verify that you see "Connected" with a green check mark at the bottom of the window.

Your computer may come with WMDC already installed, but if it doesn't, you can download it directly from www.microsoft.com for free. Search for "download WMDC" and download the version for your computer. The Windows Vista version also works on later OS versions. Continue with the instructions above, concluding with the WMDC window saying "Connected" with a green check mark.

Install Finale's data collector browser plug-in

Finale Data Collector works with Chrome and Firefox. We've stopped supporting Internet Explorer, but we can support it again if you need it.

Installing browser plug-ins is a little complicated because browser makers don't want people to accidentally download mal-ware software in disguise. Here are the steps for Google Chrome:

  1. From your Finale account, go to "Home > Add-ons & Integrations". Click the actions menu in the upper right and select "Install mobile barcode scanner integration". A window should appear with a link to an msi file. Copy the link and paste it into the URL bar of the browser (just clicking on the link probably won't work).

  2. Download the msi file and run it to install it. The user interface to install software in Chrome is not particularly obvious, and you may also get a warning message saying the plug-in is unrecognized or non-common, which is okay. Once you get the software installed, close the browser and relaunch it.

Install or update the data collector software from the Finale Inventory web application

Now that you have the plug-in installed, the Finale web application can install the latest version of the scanner software on your mobile device. You can also use this process to install the software.

  1. In Finale, go to "Home > Add-ons & Integrations" Click "Data collector." A series of blue buttons should appear for devices and drives connected to your computer. One of them should be your scanner. Click on the sync button for your scanner. If you get an error, verify that your computer is connected to the scanner by opening up the WMDC window and verifying the "Connected" message and green checkmark are showing. Scanners disconnect spuriously, so you may have re-seat your scanner in its dock to get it connected again.

  2. (if you have previously installed the software) Close out of the application by selecting QUIT from the end of the main menu or clicking the Windows "Okay" button at the base of the screen. Remarkably, the Windows "X" button at the base of the screen doesn't actually close the application; it just puts the application in the background, which isn't sufficient. You need to close the application. To verify the application is not still running in the background you may want to open it and explicitly do the QUIT option from the application's main menu.
  3. (after successfully closing the application on the scanner if you've previously installed it) After connecting to the scanner, several more blue buttons appear with options for this particular device. Click "Update data collector to latest version" to download the software to the scanner. The download process takes about two minutes, and you may have to click "continue" in a browser warning dialog to allow the script to continue.
  4. When you get the "Success" message, the software has been downloaded to the scanner. Click the Windows logo icon on the base bar of the scanner to get to the File Explorer or the Programs list. If the version of Windows on your scanner is showing you a desktop with icons, the File Explorer is usually a folder about half way down in the center of the desktop; if you are in a menu, the File Explorer or Programs list is listed by name in the menu. From the File Explorer, navigate to: File Explorer > My device > Application Data > Finale > Data Collector. Or equivalently, from the Programs list, look for the program called "Finale Data Collector" Click that item to run the application! (The application includes some example data for demonstrating and experimentation. The example data will disappear once you update the lookup data; see next step.)

  5. Close the application on the scanner by clicking "Okay" at the base or selecting the QUIT option from the end of the main menu (not the "X" button on the base; see step 2, above). From the same data collector page on Finale ("Home > Add-ons & Integrations > Data collector") click the blue "Update lookup data" button. Give it a minute or so to download you suppliers, committed sales orders and committed purchase orders, and barcode/scankey lookups. Once complete, relaunch the data collector application.

In the future, after installing the software the first time, just repeat step 5 to sync the data to the latest.


Categories: Category_Barcoding


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