OT our shipping software is finally finished

Matthias Rebbe matthias_livecode_150811 at m-r-d.de
Wed Oct 3 18:33:47 EDT 2018


with a little proud i am happy to say that after many weeks of "blood, sweat and tears" i´ve finally finished our Windows software for DHL and Trans-o-flex shipments. This software is used by our own and replaces a 3rd party software. There are several reasons, why we decided to replace the software.

These are the main features:
By entering the invoice number the software fetches the corresponding shipping address and some other additional information like cash on delivery amount (if applicable) from the database of our ERP software and creates a shipping label, which then is printed onto a thermal printer. 

For Trans-o-Flex the shipping labels (including a 1D barcode 2of5 interleaved and  a qrCode) are completely built with the app. 
The qrCode is created with a slightly modified version of the Livecode qrCode library. The modified library allows to specify the version number the created qrCode should have. This is important, as the carrier Trans-o-Flex only allows version 14 qrCodes for their shipping labels. The original LC library selects the version according to the data the qrCode contains. If you are interested in the modified library, you´ll find it here <https://quality.livecode.com/show_bug.cgi?id=21428>  I´ve attached it to “bug” report 21428.

The 1D barcode is created with a 3rd party Windows SDK from Tec-It <https://www.tec-it.com/en/software/barcode-software/tbarcode/overview/Default.aspx>.
Currently the SDK is called from a .vbs script.The .vbs file is created dynamically. The future plan is to create a widget which calls the SDK. But due to my lack of knowledge about widget i had to choose the .vbs way for now.

After successful printing, the shipping data is stored into a database. At the end of the day, the shipping data of all parcels and pallets is exported from database to an XML file, which is then uploaded to the sftp server of the shipment carrier. The tracking number of each shipment, the according invoice and customer number are exported also to our web server. This allows our customers to query the tracking numbers by entering their invoice and customer number. The software allows also the export a PDF of all shipments of a day.

I´ve uploaded 3 screenshots of the app if you´re interested. Please don´t laugh about the user interface. The design does not match the current Windows design nor is it state of the art. Our users wanted it simple and “readable” and no small buttons or text. 

https://mr.on-rev.com/menu.png <https://mr.on-rev.com/menu.png>
https://mr.on-rev.com/shipping.png <https://mr.on-rev.com/shipping.png>
https://mr.on-rev.com/label.png <https://mr.on-rev.com/label.png>

This is by far the most extensive app i´ve created with Livecode so far and i am really happy that it was finally approved by Trans-o-Flex.


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