WMS Scanners with NAS

In our US warehouse, we’re using a Navision 3.70A SQL database. In this warehouse we use Symbol scanners (with a built-in PDA (Pocket PC)). We have an application running on these scanners for all the warehouse processes (put-aways, pickings, movements, etc). This application communicates with Navision through a NAS server. This works fine, no problems at this moment. This application is nothing more then an interface between Navision and the scanner. On the PDA screen of the scanner we show for example updated information about the pickings that they working on. Basically it works like this: I made a new ‘single instance’ codeunit with a number of functions for every type of scanning message. I have an “automation” variable in this codeunit with an event that receives the messages from the scanner and another event that sends messages to the scanner. Every message that I receive in the ‘receive-event’ is processed by the right functions in that codeunit and after processing I ‘reply’ with the requested data to the scanner. I run this codeunit from the NAS handler trigger in Codeunit 1, all other code in this Nas handler trigger is removed (put it comment) As I said this works fine in our ‘one company’ warehouse. In a few weeks we want to start with the same setup in our main warehouse: same scanners, software, …). The differences are: - Navision 3.60 SQL database (Clients are on 3.70). - In this warehouse we have more then one Navision company. At this moment we have 5 companies in that database that need to work with these scanners. In one part of the warehouse the WMS people work most of the time in one company. In the other part of the warehouse the WMS people work in different Navision companies or switch between companies frequently. I know that a NAS server is related to one company. Am I correct that I have to buy a NAS for every company or is there a ‘workaround’ that makes it possible to change the company in the NAS setup on the fly. Are there other ‘complications’ that I can expect in this setup. Thanks in advance Dany

Hello Dany, Yes you would need one NAS per company. But there is a workaround for only using one NAS : In your ReceiveEvent function perform a CHANGECOMPANY (this would switch the transactions to a given company on the fly based on the company information specificied in the incoming stream of data sent by the Pocket PC) As far as complication are concerned with using one NAS Session would be performances … Imagine this scenario : You’ve got 2 pocket PC per warehouses (10 messages) which invoke the ReceiveMessage in Navision then your users might wait a little longer for their messages to be processed. I would suggest you to do some benchmarking, try to send a few messages at the same time from the 5 WareHouses and check what the performances are like … Personally I would go with 5 NAS, just for not being annoyed with performance issue. Good luck the project! Best Regards, Tarek

If you haven’t seen it already you might want to check out the ADCS add on from Lanham & Associates. It adds a bunch of new features and makes the work flow much smoother. www.lanhamassoc.com

We’ve got ADCS. Using it on just one company, but we can’t get acceptable performance on more than 2 users. Table locking issues are suspected. Use is to pick orders - we see scans lost, 20-30s delay, etc from scanning one line to displaying the next, on a handheld scanner attached via a wireless network.

Chris- We had this problem with ADCS initially as well. We had 3 Teklogix access points and one Netgear. When users where in range of the Teklogix and Netgear access points nearest each other they had problems. Although both were configured the same (ID, channel, etc.) they somehow interfered with each other. We replaced the Netgear with another Teklogix antenna and that took care of the problem. Hey! On this subject does anyone out there have any idea what caused this incompatibility? It would be nice to know for future troubleshooting.

We use 3 Cisco antennas in our warehouse in Atlanta. They all have an IP address from the DHCP server and work on different channels. There are 11 different channels (around 2.2xx GHz) in the Cisco setup program. All antennas are on a different channel to make sure that there is no ‘interference’ between the antennas. When they are on the same channel, it’s impossible to ping (from the RF scanner) to the Navision server. I’m not an expert on networking and IP configuration, but it was like all antennas were fighting with each other to send a signal to the server. The result was that there was no signal send to the server. I’ve set Antenna 1 on Ch 1, 2 on ch 6 and antenna 3 on Ch 11 to make sure that they use a different channel without any overlap. Now they work as expected and the performance (scanners to Navision and back) is excellent.

Hi Dale, This is a question about the software you used on your Symbol scanner. Has your company programmed this software ? Or do you use an existing add-on ? I’m looking for the same software. I want to use our pocket pc (with build-in scanner) to do some inventory tasks in the warehouse. Now we are using citrix, but it’s to difficult for some users. Specifications for the software : * Application on the pocket pc : only a presentation program, every scan/input should be send directly to the nas and waits for the results. * All business logic in navison. * Interfacing with a NAS server (We have several companies in one database, but at startup the user has to select the right company !). * Pocket Pc-Software has to be very easy to change to our needs by our internal IT department. Questions : * Do you communicate with MSMQ or via sockets ? * Do you have problems if the scanner goes in an area without coverage ? How does the program respond ? What if the user comes back in an covered area. Can the user work further ? Thanks in advance, Best regards, Nico (If everybody else knows a solution or an example, feel free to respond)

Now we are using citrix, but it’s to difficult for some users NV, Why is Citrix difficult for some users??

Hi, Why is citrix so difficult ? Citrix is not so difficult, but “citrix on a pocket pc” has some small difficulties : For example : * If the user wants to change to another company, he has to go into the menu “File- Companies - Open”. That’s not the ideal solution on a pocket pc. We want to program it on a special screen, but we can’t switch programmaticaly from a company to another company (= a global changecompany) * Parameters from the command line (like company, …) are not used. The application starts always with the parameters from the zup file. * Messages (dialog, error) comes in the middle of the screen (PC screen). * in some areas we have some network problems, which multiple sessions for one user as result. * It’s not possible to control the scanner. It’s not possible to enable/disable the scanner * … ( Our solution is for people on the yard, it has to be robust and clear, without to have a very good knowledge of computers). Best regards, Nico

I’m using a Dell axim with a 640x480 display (landscape), and it is usable (if the TS cleint is also 640x480), but really needs an external keyboard to do stuff, and that sort of defeats the purpose… We were just trying it out for warehouse use, but it is not good. For now we are just using notebooks, untill we can sort out the issues that you mention here.

We are attempting to use Symbol Pocket PC via Terminal Server. The screen size is very small and difficult to use on the Pocket PC. Does anyone have any experience using this technology combination? Thanks