1 2 3 Previous Next 35 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2017 1:18 PM by eoin

    Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers

    mcampa0902

      I´m working on a POS solution wich will run on iPads.

      StarMicronics told us all their printers are compatible with iOS using their SDK to build the integration with our solution. But since I´m developing in FM I don´t know how to communicate with these printers. Although I´ve seen videos of Filmaker printing to these printers.

      Another doubt I have is how to design the printinig layout for this solution since the lenght of receipts is variable.

       

      Can anyone help on this?

        • 1. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
          mikebeargie

          The length is not a problem, you just use a regular list view, or sliding objects (IE sliding portal), and limit the width of your layout objects accordingly.

           

          As for the printer, as long as you can print to it from iOS native apps (IE safari, iBooks, etc..), then it should work with FileMaker as well.

          • 2. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
            SecretWeaponLabs

            You will have to connect the Star printer to a Mac or PC and run some version of 3rd party software to make the printer Airprint-compatible.  FileMaker can only print to Airprint compatible printers and Star unfortunately are not.  The SDK includes Objective C code to build the functionality in your own app.

             

            HTH,
            Denis

            • 3. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
              larsheise

              Maybe this product can help - I haven't tested it myself, but would be interested to hear if others have.

               

              http://www.lantronix.com/it-management/xprintserver/xprintserver-supported-printers.php?v=ios&pb=STAR

              • 4. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                mcampa0902

                Thank you.

                 

                It seems this might help for an inmediate solution.

                • 5. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                  kss

                  Hi,

                   

                  I am also looking into a solution to print from Filemaker Go wirelessly into a Star TSP100LAN receipt printer with the Wifi Power Pack module. Since this post dates a little while now, I though I'd ask if anyone has tried printing from a recent version of Filemaker Go and found an easier solution. So far I haven't managed to get an answer from the manufacturer.

                   

                  Alternatively, has anyone tried printing successfully using another printer brand? At this point I am considering returning it ...

                   

                  Thank you

                  • 6. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                    eoin

                    I print to several of these Star TSP100LAN dotted around the plant. I have them set up as wireless clients on the WIFI network and I use the XPRINT server to get them to show up in the native iOS print dialogue in FMGO as available printers. The have proved 100% reliable for the past 2 years. We have used all FMGO versions without problems.

                     

                    I also use a few Brother RJ4040 (must be that specific model not 4030) which can sit on the wifi network and they offer native AirPrint compatibility without the need for the XPRINT Server.

                     

                    However the tally roll for the brother is wider but there is less capacity (length) in those rolls, which means you can not use the much cheaper standard ticket rolls.

                    We tend to use the rolls in the Stars first then when they are about the correct size for the brothers we swap them out.

                    The brother also has the facility to use die cut label rolls for self adhesive label printing.

                     

                    Overall there is a faster printing response from the Brother than the Star, it just takes that few extra seconds for the star printer to begin it's print job.

                    Both are very capable, but the Star is a fixed in situ printer and the brother is totally mobile if you wish, that may influence your decision.

                    • 7. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                      bigtom

                      I use Brother printers and I have them setup to print from a robot FM client. Before this I used Printopia. Couple of reasons why I have this setup:

                       

                      No need to fiddle with air print or Printopia.

                       

                      Very reliable and can allow printing to select printers directly from a script.

                       

                      The iOS print dialog is very cumbersome and this avoids it.

                       

                      The response is not bad. From button tap to print is about 3 seconds and that is faster than it takes to deal with the iOS dialog and airprint. I have an OnTimer script running every .5 seconds looking for print jobs. You can script this to print to the nearest printer based on GPS or specified printers for a user/department or allow the user to select an appropriate printer. IP address can also be used. It has been my experience that removing any chance for the users to make a mistake in the process is the best and this way gets it done.

                       

                      Slight bummer that you need an extra box and a Pro license to do it, but it works great. Allows me to print things for people easily even when I am away.  FM does not make printing easy and iOS adds another level of confusion.

                       

                      It would be nice is FM maybe came with its own print server that could run on FMS single machine. Similar to what the FM Web Engine does. But if people are willing to buy licenses to deal with the lack of printing ability why would they bother?

                      • 8. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                        eoin

                        That is an interesting work around, it would be a great help if you would share the script to see how it's done.

                         

                        For sure the iOS AIRPRINT dialogue which can't be scripted or bypassed in any way adds another level of user interaction. It's so dumb it doesn't even remember the last printer used like it did in iOS6 (IIRC).

                         

                        In my own case, I wanted a mixture of portable wireless tally printers and other wireless printers that could just be plugged in in a location connect to a WIFI and print as needed. I got that with the XPRINT server & Star 100 Lan printers and the Brother RJ4040 on their own

                         

                        I still have some legacy high volume thermal label printers (intermec) we use which are neither iOS AirPrint or Mac compatible, a windows FMP box running as a print server such as you suggest may help overcome the compatibility issues, so any insight on how you have set up your own robot FM client would be very helpful to me.

                        • 9. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                          kss

                          Thank you!

                           

                          Those suggestions are great! Since I already have the StarTSP100LAN I will look into the xPrintServer option. I assume the one that works for you is the Cloud Print edition one, is that right? I need to look into this product, do you still need the Wifi Power pack to connect to it or just the STAR printer + xPrintServer will work?

                           

                          • 10. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                            bigtom

                            eoin

                            Basically I have a table that holds the print records. The print records have a Print::Flag field that is used to decide which report or label is being printed. And a Print::Parameter as usually there is at least one piece of data to reference your report. Then it is a list if If->Else statements that run in a loop starting from the first record to the last. The flag is set to zero so the print records can be deleted later. Or you can save them and keep track of who printed what and how many times. I have no need for that though. If you do that you may want t set a find for Flag > "0" to reduce the time spent in the loop.

                             

                            The print queue on the robot handles all the rest.

                             

                             

                            Show all records

                            Go to first

                            Loop

                            If Print::Flag = "1"

                            Set variable[ $parameter Value:Print::Parameter]

                            Set field [Print::Flag; "0"]

                            GoToLayout (your label layout)

                            Perform Find // find the record or records you need to print using the parameter.

                            Print Setup

                            Print[Your printer and presets always saved and always right]

                            GoToLayout [origial layout]

                            Else

                            If Print::Flag = "2"

                            Set variable[ $parameter Value:Print::Parameter]

                            Set field [Print::Flag; "0"]

                            GoToLayout (your label layout)

                            Perform Find // find the record or records you need to print using the parameter.

                            Print Setup

                            Print[Your printer and presets]

                            GoToLayout [origial layout]

                            //add more If/Else here

                            End If

                            Exit after last

                            End Loop

                             

                             

                            You can have any number of parameters. Just pass them in via script. You can have the client set to launch FMP on startup and automatically login with a print account and go the the Print layout. No monitor really needed. This works pretty well.

                             

                            Then you need an separate script with Install On Timer to run the script every second or whatever you decide.

                            • 11. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                              eoin

                              No, you need the office version which is iOS compatible. The cloud version is geared towards the android and chrome devices.

                               

                              I use the wifi packs on my TSP100Lan because I wouldn't necessarily have a lan cable in situ for where the printer is located. But if you have a lan just connect the TSP100Lan directly to it and configure a fixed IP address. Either option will work with the XprintServer Office edition.

                               

                              I forgot to mention, if you ever go down the road of the Brother RJ4040 you may need to update the firmware to be iOS AirPrint compatible. Out of the box I believe the shipping firmware is a generation behind.

                               

                              Good luck with it, if you have any problems feel free to contact me.  

                              • 12. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                                eoin

                                Cool Tom, thank you so much!

                                • 13. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                                  bigtom

                                  Using this method there is no need for the iOS dialog nor the printer to be compatible with iOS. We have a Dot Matrix printer that is barely compatible with OSX and cannot be networked.

                                  • 14. Re: Printing with Star Micronics POS Printers
                                    bigtom

                                    The button on the device needs to run a script that sets the flag and parameter so the robot can print them, but I thought that might be obvious. If not ...you have it now.

                                    1 2 3 Previous Next