POS Cash Drawer with Internet Explorer?

Discussion in 'ASP General' started by Scott A. Keen, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    I'm getting tasked with writing an ASP application deployed throughout the
    company's intranet where all the workstations will be running Internet
    Explorer 6.0.

    It's a retail business, and some of the workstations are Point-Of-Sale and
    will need to have cash drawers and bar-code scanners.

    The project managers want this as a web-application because of the ease of
    deployment and updates to the other stores. The problem is, I don't know how
    to activate the cash drawers from within IE. Is there any kind of ActiveX
    control which can be plugged into IE to allow control over the cash drawer
    from within IE? We don't have the cash drawers purchased yet, and are
    waiting to find out if anyone makes an ActiveX plug-in control and cash
    drawer which will work from IE.

    Suggestions and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
    Scott A. Keen, Jul 21, 2003
    #1
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  2. Scott A. Keen

    Chris Barber Guest

    Reliability would be horrible.

    Who the heck thought that one up? Let me know what brand the stores are - I
    reckon I could have a big shopping spree coming up!

    You would probably need a custom written browser add-in to be able to do
    anything (unless you run it as a .htc and you could then instantiate local
    side DLL's to do the work). But .... how to get the DLL's to the client
    machines and get them installed - oh the fun we could have messing with
    that!

    Chris.



    "Scott A. Keen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm getting tasked with writing an ASP application deployed throughout the
    > company's intranet where all the workstations will be running Internet
    > Explorer 6.0.
    >
    > It's a retail business, and some of the workstations are Point-Of-Sale and
    > will need to have cash drawers and bar-code scanners.
    >
    > The project managers want this as a web-application because of the ease of
    > deployment and updates to the other stores. The problem is, I don't know

    how
    > to activate the cash drawers from within IE. Is there any kind of ActiveX
    > control which can be plugged into IE to allow control over the cash drawer
    > from within IE? We don't have the cash drawers purchased yet, and are
    > waiting to find out if anyone makes an ActiveX plug-in control and cash
    > drawer which will work from IE.
    >
    > Suggestions and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Scott
    >
    >
     
    Chris Barber, Jul 21, 2003
    #2
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  3. Scott A. Keen

    Chris Barber Guest

    .... PDAs ... good point.

    Cheers,

    Chris.

    "Tom B" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Not much point in using PDA's as Cash Drawers were specifically mentioned.
    >
    > Everything else I agree with. I'm sure you could write a bunch of ActiveX
    > controls to be downloaded and installed on the IE client. But you're
    > probably better off writing an actual application anyway.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "Chris Barber" <> wrote in message
    > news:%...
    > > Still - fraught with issues - not least of all security and the

    potential
    > > for fraud by IE savvy employees.
    > > Believe me - I've fired a few when I used to run bars a few years ago.
    > >
    > > Still - if they can use WinNT for service station internet kiosks and
    > > display screens then I suppose anything is possible. Have you considered
    > > wireless PDA's with bar code scanners on them - my business partner has

    > had
    > > a fair bit oif experience with that stuff. As long as no cash changing

    > hands
    > > then it should be OK.
    > >
    > > Have fun.
    > >
    > > Chris.
    > >
    > > "Scott A. Keen" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > > > LOL! It's in the concept planning stage. It's for a couople of local

    > > health
    > > > clubs which have a low-volume point-of-sale counter for the occasional
    > > > member who wants to buy a bottle of water or a protein bar. Not high

    > > volume
    > > > retail.
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > "Chris Barber" <> wrote in message
    > > > news:...
    > > > > Reliability would be horrible.
    > > > >
    > > > > Who the heck thought that one up? Let me know what brand the stores

    > > are -
    > > > I
    > > > > reckon I could have a big shopping spree coming up!
    > > > >
    > > > > You would probably need a custom written browser add-in to be able

    to
    > do
    > > > > anything (unless you run it as a .htc and you could then instantiate

    > > local
    > > > > side DLL's to do the work). But .... how to get the DLL's to the

    > client
    > > > > machines and get them installed - oh the fun we could have messing

    > with
    > > > > that!
    > > > >
    > > > > Chris.
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > "Scott A. Keen" <> wrote in message
    > > > > news:...
    > > > > > Hi,
    > > > > >
    > > > > > I'm getting tasked with writing an ASP application deployed

    > throughout
    > > > the
    > > > > > company's intranet where all the workstations will be running

    > Internet
    > > > > > Explorer 6.0.
    > > > > >
    > > > > > It's a retail business, and some of the workstations are

    > Point-Of-Sale
    > > > and
    > > > > > will need to have cash drawers and bar-code scanners.
    > > > > >
    > > > > > The project managers want this as a web-application because of the

    > > ease
    > > > of
    > > > > > deployment and updates to the other stores. The problem is, I

    don't
    > > know
    > > > > how
    > > > > > to activate the cash drawers from within IE. Is there any kind of
    > > > ActiveX
    > > > > > control which can be plugged into IE to allow control over the

    cash
    > > > drawer
    > > > > > from within IE? We don't have the cash drawers purchased yet, and

    > are
    > > > > > waiting to find out if anyone makes an ActiveX plug-in control and

    > > cash
    > > > > > drawer which will work from IE.
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Suggestions and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Thanks,
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Scott
    > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    Chris Barber, Jul 21, 2003
    #3
  4. Scott A. Keen

    Tom B Guest

    To control the cash drawer and bar code scanner you'll have to lower the
    security settings on the browser, and have Activex components control them.
    You could use Citrix like Ray suggested, but I suspect that would be pricey
    and has a little bit of upfront configuration.

    If you wrote a fat client application, that gets updated automatically by a
    server, you could have the best of both worlds.

    Just my opinion.
    If your committed to using IE, then you'll just have to bear in mind the
    limitations that are there, and be sure to code around them.


    "Scott A. Keen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > What's the main beef with using IE for the client? Is it that it's too

    much
    > hassle to write ActiveX controls to download to the client? Or is it that
    > savvy users could mess-around with the URL and post bogus data?
    >
    > We're really looking to make a thin-client app, with all the processing

    done
    > by the server. It also makes deployment of updates much easier.
    >
    > I guess we could also write an ActiveDocument that gets loaded as an app
    > inside of an IE web browser. I always thought that sort of thing was kinda
    > kludgy.
    >
    > Really, the goals are:
    > 1) thin client
    > 2) easy deployment
    > 3) works with cash drawer and bar code scanner devices
    >
    > I hope this isn't one of those, "pick any 2 out of 3" deals.
    >
    >
    >
    > "Tom B" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Not much point in using PDA's as Cash Drawers were specifically

    mentioned.
    > >
    > > Everything else I agree with. I'm sure you could write a bunch of

    ActiveX
    > > controls to be downloaded and installed on the IE client. But you're
    > > probably better off writing an actual application anyway.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > "Chris Barber" <> wrote in message
    > > news:%...
    > > > Still - fraught with issues - not least of all security and the

    > potential
    > > > for fraud by IE savvy employees.
    > > > Believe me - I've fired a few when I used to run bars a few years ago.
    > > >
    > > > Still - if they can use WinNT for service station internet kiosks and
    > > > display screens then I suppose anything is possible. Have you

    considered
    > > > wireless PDA's with bar code scanners on them - my business partner

    has
    > > had
    > > > a fair bit oif experience with that stuff. As long as no cash changing

    > > hands
    > > > then it should be OK.
    > > >
    > > > Have fun.
    > > >
    > > > Chris.
    > > >
    > > > "Scott A. Keen" <> wrote in message
    > > > news:...
    > > > > LOL! It's in the concept planning stage. It's for a couople of local
    > > > health
    > > > > clubs which have a low-volume point-of-sale counter for the

    occasional
    > > > > member who wants to buy a bottle of water or a protein bar. Not high
    > > > volume
    > > > > retail.
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > "Chris Barber" <> wrote in message
    > > > > news:...
    > > > > > Reliability would be horrible.
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Who the heck thought that one up? Let me know what brand the

    stores
    > > > are -
    > > > > I
    > > > > > reckon I could have a big shopping spree coming up!
    > > > > >
    > > > > > You would probably need a custom written browser add-in to be able

    > to
    > > do
    > > > > > anything (unless you run it as a .htc and you could then

    instantiate
    > > > local
    > > > > > side DLL's to do the work). But .... how to get the DLL's to the

    > > client
    > > > > > machines and get them installed - oh the fun we could have messing

    > > with
    > > > > > that!
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Chris.
    > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > > > "Scott A. Keen" <> wrote in message
    > > > > > news:...
    > > > > > > Hi,
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > I'm getting tasked with writing an ASP application deployed

    > > throughout
    > > > > the
    > > > > > > company's intranet where all the workstations will be running

    > > Internet
    > > > > > > Explorer 6.0.
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > It's a retail business, and some of the workstations are

    > > Point-Of-Sale
    > > > > and
    > > > > > > will need to have cash drawers and bar-code scanners.
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > The project managers want this as a web-application because of

    the
    > > > ease
    > > > > of
    > > > > > > deployment and updates to the other stores. The problem is, I

    > don't
    > > > know
    > > > > > how
    > > > > > > to activate the cash drawers from within IE. Is there any kind

    of
    > > > > ActiveX
    > > > > > > control which can be plugged into IE to allow control over the

    > cash
    > > > > drawer
    > > > > > > from within IE? We don't have the cash drawers purchased yet,

    and
    > > are
    > > > > > > waiting to find out if anyone makes an ActiveX plug-in control

    and
    > > > cash
    > > > > > > drawer which will work from IE.
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > Suggestions and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > Thanks,
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > Scott
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    Tom B, Jul 21, 2003
    #4
  5. Scott A. Keen

    Jeff Cochran Guest

    On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 13:16:38 -0400, "Scott A. Keen"
    <> wrote:

    >It's a retail business, and some of the workstations are Point-Of-Sale and
    >will need to have cash drawers and bar-code scanners.


    Okay, here's where you're thinking too hard. :)

    Bar code scanners usually are a keyboard wedge type. That means
    anything read by the scanner is simply input the same as if a user
    typed the characters at a keyboard. There's nothing at all special
    about the bar code scanners in terms of IE or your app.

    Cash drawers are also pretty simple. It's usually triggered by a
    command over a serial or parallel port similar to printing. All it
    does is release a latch on the cash drawer, a spring pushes the drawer
    out. Again nothing specific to IE or your app, though you might need
    a control in your app to send the command signal or trigger the
    utility that comes with your cash drawer.

    Call the supplier of your POS hardware and ask for programming specs.
    Tell them what you're doing, they will provide the code to do it.

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Cochran, Jul 22, 2003
    #5
  6. Scott A. Keen

    Ray at Guest

    That's a damn good point, Jeff.

    Ray at work

    "Jeff Cochran" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 13:16:38 -0400, "Scott A. Keen"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >
    > Bar code scanners usually are a keyboard wedge type. That means
    > anything read by the scanner is simply input the same as if a user
    > typed the characters at a keyboard. There's nothing at all special
    > about the bar code scanners in terms of IE or your app.
     
    Ray at, Jul 22, 2003
    #6
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