8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2016 11:39 PM by bigtom

    FileMaker Go printing of receipts.

    iconomydk

      Dear FileMaker Friends.

       

      We have created a hosted POS (Point of Sale) solution running on the FileMaker platform. No problems on Mac or Windows (so far).

       

      But, on iOS - ONE BIG ISSUE – PRINT !

       

      Has any of you found or built an easy and reliable solution for printing receipts with variable length from FileMaker Go ?

      (Our goals are. Easy setup, and minimal user-clicks to get the print.)

       

      To me this is an obvious market for the FileMaker platform.

       

       

      Until now we have tried:

       

      Zebra imz320 printers together with MobiPrint

      Using the solution described here: http://www.colibrisolutions.com/2014/08/26/mobile-printing-with-filemaker-go-13-and-mobi-print-–-demo/

      It works, but it is a bit slow and a lot of things can go wrong with all the settings you have to make. And I do not like the fact, that the user leaves FileMaker during the print process.

       

      Brother RJ-3150, which is an Airprint compatible receipt printer. But until now we haven’t succeeded in getting the PageSetup to work correctly.

       

       

      Best regards

       

      Lars Heise

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
          Rysky

          Hello Lars,

           

          Yes we are happy to have built an easy and reliable solution for printing receipts from FileMaker Go. This solution is called PassPRNT and it is provided by Star Micronics and available on our bluetooth receipt printers. "PassPRNT links with Star's POS and portable printers to enable printing using Star's unique URL scheme based printing method, and the PassPRNT companion app. Its easy-to-use integration allows users to print from any FileMaker Go™ project, native, or web-based application."

           

          I would love to hear more about your point of sale application and see how Star can best assist you with your integration.

           

          Feel free to contact me anytime.


          Regards,

          Sky Rys

          Product Integration Coordinator

          Star Micronics

          srys@starmicronics.com

          • 2. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
            bigtom

            Lars,

             

            Variable length....have not tried that yet. Printing in iOS is a pain all together. There are two basic solutions:

             

            1. Have a pass-through app like the ones you have seen.

             

            2. Use a FMP client to handle the printing for you.

             

            I have been using an FMP client robot for a long time to handle all of out FMGo printing and it works great. I am using the Brother QL720-NW to print labels. I also have various other non-AirPrint printers/scanners that work from FMGo without any big interaction from the user. iOS print dialogs are a really bad user experience. I also did not like the idea of having to manage a second app installed on the devices. Usually you need one app per printer and your printer selection gets limited to certain models and manufacturers. There is also a cost either way. Just depends on what you want to do and how.

             

            I went into some detail about this in a few topics in the past. I will try to look them up if you need it.

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
              iconomydk

              Bigtom

               

              Thank you very much your input.

               

              I think I read some earlier posts regarding this "Robot" way of printing, and I like the idea. However not for a vertical solution for small shops. Maybe the bigger shops :-)

               

               

              FileMaker Go - such a great product, with so limited printing possibilities - what a shame !

              • 4. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
                iconomydk

                Sounds very interesting.

                 

                Will dig deeper into it, and write you directly.

                 

                Has any of you tried this product ?

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
                  eoin

                  I use Star Micronics Tsp 100 Lan printers with integrated (add on) wireless access points. While not supported by AirPrint we use a small Lan plugin Lantronix Print Server to get these printers to show in the AirPrint dialogue. Pretty straight forward, about a 10 second delay from print to print output.

                   

                  I also use some Brother RJ-4040 for direct AirPrint support. Quicker to print, portable, battery or mains power.

                   

                  iOS9 has added a print preview which further slows down the already cumbersome AirPrint dialogues. I am seriously re-thinking the suitability of native iOS AirPrint and am planing to implement Bigtom's methodology of a robot printer.

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
                    Rysky

                    We finally released a receipt printer (TSP100iiiW) that has built in wireless connectivity. No longer do you need the WiFi Power Pack I believe you're referring to. This printer is the most affordable on the market. If you would like the Product Sheet feel free to email me.

                     

                    I should note, the lag you speak of is most likely caused by the amount of hops for the print job to reach the printer. If you could eliminate that server you may decrease the print time.

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
                      eoin

                      Rysky, yes, I have a dozen or so of those TSP100 Lan + Wifi around the plant. The problem is specific to FMGo's print script calls which can only call the native iOS AirPrint printing routine.

                      No AirPrinters = no printing unless other methods are used such as Print Servers or Robot FMP machines.

                      FMGo URL calls to other iOS apps and back to FMGo are possible but they break the flow and feel of continuity of the FMGo app running.

                      There is a definite need for AirPrint enabled thermal receipt/label printers. In the mean time I have used the TSP100 very successfully for the past 2-3 years. It is the specific change in the latest iOS9's print dialogue which now insists in rendering the print output in a print preview ... all of which takes time and breaks that wonderful slick interface we have designed .... yes regardless of printer ... printing in FMGo sucks!.

                      If I am looking for more TSPs I will check out the TSP100iiW, thanks for the heads up.

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Go printing of receipts.
                        bigtom

                        eoin wrote:

                        .... yes regardless of printer ... printing in FMGo sucks!.

                        This about sums it up.

                         

                         

                        With the planned future of Apple's iOS app interaction we might see FMGo be able to use the pass through apps without leaving FMGo and that will be a great thing.

                         

                        Using a robot is good for any size shop as long as it ads value. Cost me a low end MacMini and one FM client license. Over 3 years the cost spread out is not bad at all. For the cost I get fast super smooth printing that users cannot mess up because they have zero interaction with the settings. I went this route because of the print issues I had in FMP and the benefit was it works great with Go as well. I was super excited when I could put a document in a scanner and have seamless document scan/management from an iPad. I did not even need it until I had it available.

                         

                        It may not be the best vertical solution but shops should come to terms with the fact that they may need a print server of some sort. If they are hosting FMS locally the client could run on the FMS box but it is not a best practice.

                         

                        Which way you go depends on your solution or your clients. Neverthess less these are the options right now.