There are any number of bar code scanners that can work with FMP. You can get scanners that work with your computer to input the data from the scanned barcode as though you had typed in text from the keyboard. Many of these scanners can also be programmed to automatically add additional text to what was scanned. You can thus set them up to input the scanned data into the current field and follow it with a tab or enter key character which you can use, (in FMP 10) to trigger a script to process the data you just scanned.
We do have a PSC 6000 plus hand held scanner which I have tried. It puts in the airport and Ethernet ID correctly but... Puts extra character in front of the serial number and puts other characters in with the student lunch ID. Does that mean this scanner is not compatible or can I somehow script it to take these extra characters out?
If possible, I'd check out the scanner manufacturer's technical documentation to see why the extra characters are being entered. It might be possible to turn that "feature" off if it is undesired.
If the number of extra characters is always the same and always in the same postion (always in front in your example), then you can use scripts or calculation fields to remove them.
right(StudentIdField, Length(studentIDFIeld) -1)
would remove a single leading extra character in your student Id's.
It's most likely a matter of programming the scanner.
The scanner should have come with a programming book/manual which will contain a bunch of barcodes.
If you don't have the manual, I'm sure you could find it online.
When you have it, it's simply a matter of either scanning the "system default" barcode, or manually programming the various features to achieve the features you want (ie. what code it scans, prefixes or suffixes such as carriage return or tab, and even stuff such as beep volume and pause between scanning).
It is usually pretty straight forward.
If you can't get that to work, and you think you need to buy a new scanner, I would highly recommend ebay unless you have a good funding body. You can easily pay hundreds of dollars for a scanner, when all you need is a $40 scanner off of ebay.
Got it all to work with your help. thanks