Batch Automation Follow

0
Avatar
Legacy Poster

Hi All,
Just upgraded to 9.4 sp3, and was enjoying the description of the Batch Maker. Sounds exactly like what I have wanted to do for a long time... print multiple documents, using multiple label formats, to multiple destinations, without having to make up multiple trigger files!!

Only thing is, I want to automate the process, just like commander does.

Currently, if I want to accomplish the 'multiple' thing, I have to create separate trigger files, with different specs for label format and printer destination.

If I want to 'collate' the output of these 3 labels, I get into a bigger jam.

Let's say I have 5 sales orders. Each sales order needs 10 of label A, 6 of label B, and 2 of label C. Label A and label B come from the Zebra printer, and label C comes from the HP 4050 laser printer. I want to get 10 label A's and 6 label B's for sales order 1, then the same for sales order 2, etc. To accomplish this, I must make 11 trigger files, as follows...

SO 1, label A, format A, printer zebra
SO 1, label B, format B, printer zebra
SO 2, label A, format A, printer zebra
SO 2, label B, format B, printer zebra
etc.
SO 1 - 5, label C, format C, printer Laserjet

I also have to build in delays between each of the trigger files, else Bartender can not guarantee that they will be picked up in creation order. If they get picked up out of order, the sort falls apart.

Doesn't sound too bad for 5 sales orders... but, we can process 3000-4000 orders a day. At a 1 second delay, that is over an hours worth of delays. Not really productive.

My goal would be to create the batch file, as described in 9.4, but submit the batch file to be picked up by Commander, so that the entire process would be automated.

Any ideas or suggestions how to take advantage of the new batch maker to make this happen? Maybe there is a way to create the batch file, then send a blank trigger file to commander, which would, in turn, execute bartender running the batch print mode? Seems like a roundabout way to get there, but might be doable.

tia,
ron

7 comments

0
Avatar
Ian Cummings
Moderator
Comment actions Permalink

If you create a batch file in Batch Maker, save it to file and then open the .btbat file in a text editor like Notepad, then you will see that what is created is really BarTender XML Script.

*Note that BTXML is an Enterprise Automation edition feature.

Therefore the solution to your problem is to use BTXML in the contents of your trigger files. This allows you to produce a sequence of print jobs of the same or different labels/printers from the one trigger event.

Commander Script (Automation edition feature) has similar capabilities, but is less flexible and is not as powerful.

Take a look at the BarTender Help system under the "Automating BarTender" topic for a full reference on BTXML.
0
Avatar
Ian Cummings
Moderator
Comment actions Permalink

A quick example from the BarTender Help system:


You can send more than one print job within a single BTXML file or string. To do this, include a <Command> section for each print job you want to send.

The following example sends 3 print jobs (3 different <Command> sections) to the printer. Each job opens a different label, prints 5 copies and closes the format without saving it.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<XMLScript Version="2.0">
<Command Name="Job1">
<Print>
<Format CloseAtEndOfJob="true">Label1.btw</Format>
<PrintSetup>
<IdenticalCopiesOfLabel>5</IdenticalCopiesOfLabel>
</PrintSetup>
</Print>
</Command>
<Command Name="Job2">
<Print>
<Format CloseAtEndOfJob="true">Label2.btw</Format>
<PrintSetup>
<IdenticalCopiesOfLabel>5</IdenticalCopiesOfLabel>
</PrintSetup>
</Print>
</Command>
<Command Name="Job3">
<Print>
<Format CloseAtEndOfJob="true">Label3.btw</Format>
<PrintSetup>
<IdenticalCopiesOfLabel>5</IdenticalCopiesOfLabel>
</PrintSetup>
</Print>
</Command>
</XMLScript>
0
Avatar
Legacy Poster
Comment actions Permalink

Hi Ian,
This is GREAT.

Have not read the documentation on XML... kinda thought it was just a different way to skin the same cat... but I will now!

This will open up a completely new way for me to approach production.

thanx for the info,
ron
0
Avatar
Legacy Poster
Comment actions Permalink

[quote name='Ian C - Seagull Support' timestamp='1316512680' post='647']
If you create a batch file in Batch Maker, save it to file and then open the .btbat file in a text editor like Notepad, then you will see that what is created is really BarTender XML Script.

*Note that BTXML is an Enterprise Automation edition feature.

Therefore the solution to your problem is to use BTXML in the contents of your trigger files. This allows you to produce a sequence of print jobs of the same or different labels/printers from the one trigger event.

Commander Script (Automation edition feature) has similar capabilities, but is less flexible and is not as powerful.

Take a look at the BarTender Help system under the "Automating BarTender" topic for a full reference on BTXML.
[/quote]

So you use the
/XMLScript="..."
as the last command tag in the trigger file -- with your XML in double quotes. How do you have to accomodate the various double-quote marks that will be in that XML ?
Change them to single quotes in the XML? 'Escape' them in some manner?

Neal
0
Avatar
Ian Cummings
Moderator
Comment actions Permalink

If you're using the Commander utility then only the XML script itself is needed in the trigger file. The command used in the task is the "BarTender XML Script" command. Note that if you don't have the Enterprise Automation edition this command option won't be visible.

To show What I mean, I've attached a screenshot.
0
Avatar
Legacy Poster
Comment actions Permalink

[quote name='Ian C - Seagull Support' timestamp='1321634366' post='1084']
If you're using the Commander utility then only the XML script itself is needed in the trigger file. The command used in the task is the "BarTender XML Script" command. Note that if you don't have the Enterprise Automation edition this command option won't be visible.

To show What I mean, I've attached a screenshot.
[/quote]

I am not getting the XML scripting options -- and I'm confused regarding what version I have. Mine says "Edition: Enterprise (3 Printers)" / "Version: 9.2 SR2".
I don't see that edition listed on your web pages (the edition comparison list "Enterprise Automation", "Automation", "Professional", and "Basic". I'm puzzled...

Neal
0
Avatar
Ian Cummings
Moderator
Comment actions Permalink

As of v9.30 onwards we renamed the Enterprise editions to be Automation (which was Enterprise) and Enterprise Automation (which was Enterprise Print Server) dropping RFID Enterprise altogether. Note that the RFID functionality is available in both Automation editions.

Unfortunately for you, the XML Script capability is an Enterprise Print Server (now Enterprise Automation) feature only. If you wish to use XML Script, you will need to upgrade the edition to the highest. Contact sales for your region for further details.

http://www.seagullscientific.com/aspx/contact_us.aspx

The alternative is to use Commander Script which gives similar functionality in terms of printing labels in Commander, but isn't as powerful. There is an example of its use in the below white paper:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/SeagullBarTender/ftp/WhitePapers/WhitePaper_CommanderExamples_English.pdf

Please sign in to leave a comment.