Simple barcode readers become smart input devices with scanTX. This enhances efficiency, prevents incorrect input and makes life easier for the operator.
Unlike intelligent mobile data acquisition devices with their own operating system, barcode readers (or barcode hand scanners) such as the Honeywell Xenon 1902 are normally used like a keyboard to enter data in SAP: Scanned barcodes are processed in the SAP transaction like typed text. This applies to simple wireless scanners and those connected with a cable. Some beep or have flashing lights, and some even have a display for one to four lines.
Such scanners are used for simple, repetitive processes that do not require menu navigation, e.g. setting the status of manufacturing jobs, confirming transport jobs, compiling serial numbers or confirming dispatches incl. goods issue posting. The simple data acquisition processes can be combined with complex dialogs on a PC. For example, in addition to the keyboard and mouse, the SAP user has a cordless scanner as an additional input device at the packaging station and has to sometimes leave the PC with the scanner.
This can lead to several problems:
1.) The cursor has to be positioned correctly. Otherwise it is easy to accidentally scan the wrong field or even the wrong application. The operator often does not notice this until a visual inspection. And then he has to waste time figuring out when the erroneous scanning started – and then start the process over again.
2.) Aborted postings, incorrect input (e.g. when checking format or status in SAP) or even simple delays due to postings in SAP can be detected as long as the operator can see the screen. The standard setting of the confirmation beep on the scanner means that scanning was successful; it does not confirm that the posting was successful.
3.) Processing can occur only in the foreground on the SAP GUI, which is not always desired. When scanning e.g. delivery notes to confirm receipt of goods, posting in the background would suffice, with a beep and/or flashing light confirming the successful posting.
These problems can be solved with scanTX. scanTX links the hand scanner to an SAP system. There are two options available:
A.) SAP GUI access: scanTX controls the SAP GUI. scanTX can open specified transactions itself and/or enter scanned codes in a defined field (or multiple defined fields). The operator’s SAP GUI session is “remote controlled” by scanTX. scanTX can complete the posting or leave the transaction open for additional manual processing.
B.) Call transaction in the background via RFC: scanTX transmits the data directly to the SAP system and posts the transactions in the background (like a batch input session).
In both cases the scanned data is entered in a specified place in the SAP input mask. The posting result – meaning the SAP message success / warning / error – can be processed (as long as the scanner support the host acknowledgment procedure). For example, an error indication can cause a red lamp to light up in the scanner (depending on the type of scanner). The scanner is stopped during the posting and cannot scan again until it is enabled by receiving the indication from the SAP system. Structured codes can be read (e.g. longer QR codes) and the individual data distributed to different Dynpro fields (evaluation applying regular expressions is also an option). This allows a scanned code to be divided into different fields by separators or fixed field lengths.
scanTX runs on all common Microsoft Windows PCs or servers (e.g. Win 8.1 or Win 10)
The software be can installed as a Windows service that runs in the background for the version call transaction. Multiple scanners can be connected by USB or TCP/IP, depending in the model. An associated action can be assigned to each scanner.
The desired input steps are recorded for the SAP GUI (SAP scripting) as well as for the call transaction method (batch input process). The input is either simulated in the SAP system using a batch input recorder (transaction SHDB) and recorded then imported into the scanTX program, or the recorder in the SAP GUI scripting is used. The variable value of the scanner input can then be marked in the overview of the SAP Dynpro fields and then replaced with the scanned text string during scanning. This method requires no programming or configuration in the SAP system; only an SAP user account for processing and access to the system is needed.
Different number combinations can be used to call up postings in the SAP system and then trigger various actions by checking with regular expressions. It takes only a few minutes to install scanTX on the Windows PC. So a smart, reliable hand scanner-SAP connection can be achieved quickly and inexpensively.
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