bar code label / advanced form design / printing solutions

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We are shopping for a bar code label printing and advanced form design / printing solution that runs on or plays nicely with the AS/400. Main initiatives that are driving this purchase are inventory product labeling and VICs Bill of Lading. Vendors / products that are currently on our radar; JBM Systems OctoTools, Quadrant Software Formtastic Label Module and Formtastic Fusion5, TL Ashford Barcode400 Software, Create!form Intl Create!form, Acom Solutions EZeDocs/400 w EZeDocs/400 eLabels Module and CYBRA MarkMagic Enterprise. Seeking feedback about these vendors / products especially from those who have them implemented. I?m interested in opinions on the ease of use, support, cost / licensing, performance issues, printer issues, intricacies / quirks in the implementation etc. What other vendors we should consider? Currently doing some advanced form printing using overlays but not satisfied with the performance. Some sites are using Loftware for bar code label printing.

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We are currently using T.L. Ashford (Barcode/400). It is really greate. It’s easy to learn and use. The installation was done easily. We are using Zebra S600 printers. Basically we didn’t have any major issue with it. There were a few minor issues with printers, but the T.L. Ashford support team are very Knowledgeable and helpful.

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  • MotekGuy
    Here at Kore Technologies we have been working with BarTender Enterprise from Seagull Scientific (www.seagullscientific.com). The label design tool is very easy to use and very powerful, with the ability to use VBScript to accomodate difficult labeling requirements. BarTender runs on Windows, but is easily interfaced to Unix, Linux, or any other operating system which supports NFS or Samba. With the BarTender Commander running on a Windows machine, it can monitor a directory for trigger files placed there by any other system. When it sees the trigger file, it reads the information (which includes the label format to print and the printer on which to print it), and processes the label. It supports just about any thermal label printer, as well as laser printers. We have successfully integrated BarTender with ERP systems running in Windows Server, HP-UX, etc. If you can write files out from your AS/400 with any networking method (including FTP), then BarTender can work for you. Jeremy Segal Partner, Kore Technologies www.koretech.com
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  • Jwadams
    I have used TL Ashford and have found it to be extremely flexible, easy to integrate with applications and few problems connecting to printers. I've used it with both Datamax and Zebra printers many connected over a wan. I primarily used the green screen design interface which works quite well, but they have GUI design interface as well. For AS400 based barcode labels I would highly recommend it. I have used Seagull's Bartender and commander software in a Windows network environment as well. The label design interface is easy to use and you can link to any most databases. You should be able to link to AS400 database via the client access odbc driver, but I done this. The Commander portion mentioned previously works well but it ties directories to printers so if you have multiple sites/printers you end up with several copies of the label and directories to keep track of. There is an Active X api with this that you can pass the format and printer to that may work better but I haven't used that yet. We have had an issue with the design client when the user is remote to the license server (slow). Loftware is another product you may want to consider, it is similar to Bartender product.
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