Barcode scanning

Asset Lifecycle Manager includes barcode scanning support for handheld devices running the Windows Mobile 5 operating system. With the barcode scanning feature and a supported device, you can:

System requirements

Barcode scanning has the following system requirements:

Installing the barcode software on handhelds

The barcode scanning software is contained in a CAB file on your Asset Lifecycle Manager server in this folder:

The main CAB file, LANDesk Barcode Scanner.PPC500.CAB, installs the scanner with English language support. If you want the scanner software in another language, install the main CAB file and then the CAB file for the language you want.

The language prefix descriptions are:

To install the software, sync LANDesk Barcode Scanner.PPC500.CAB and a language CAB (if necessary) to your handheld, and then run LANDesk Barcode Scanner.PPC500.CAB and the language CAB.

Configuring the barcode software

You can launch the main barcode executable from the start menu or from:

The scanner won't work without a network connection to the Asset Lifecycle Management Server. Once the scanner launches for the first time you must configure it.

Below is the configuration screen with the Save button circled.

To configure the scanner
  1. Launch the scanner if it isn't already running.
  2. Click the Configuration button.
  3. Enter the ALM server name.
  4. Enter the User name and Password. These credentials must be an Active Directory user with at least read rights in ALM and a scope that includes the necessary assets.
  5. Click the Save button.

You can also configure scanner logging in this screen:

To configure scanner logging
  1. Launch the scanner if it isn't already running.
  2. Click the Configuration button.
  3. Click the Logging button.
  4. Check Enable application logging if you want it and select the log level.
  5. Check Enable diagnostic logging if you want it and check what you want logged.
  6. Click the Save button.
  7. Do a soft reset to activate logging.

After you configure the barcode scanner for the first time, it downloads the list of available locations from the Asset Lifecycle Manager database. If the asset is currently in the handheld user's scope, the handheld user can change the asset's location to any available location.

Using the barcode scanner to change the location of assets by scanning asset tags or serial numbers

Once you've configured the barcode software on the handheld, you can start using it to update the location of assets by scanning asset tags or serial numbers. The barcode scanner does this in batches that are called inventory sets. An inventory set is one session's worth of scanning. The scanner doesn't send each scan to the server as it happens. Instead, the scanner collects scan data until you're ready to submit it all at once. The user creates an inventory set that contains the location that the user wants to move the assets to, and then scans in all the devices that should be updated with this location.

Once all the devices are scanned in, the user submits the inventory set to the ALM server which updates the location for all the assets in the ALM database. The purpose of this feature is to keep the location information for assets up to date. The IT administrator can periodically scan assets and update their location to keep this location information up to date. Assets can often be moved to new locations without the IT administrator knowing. When the barcode email and exception reports are enabled, the IT administrator can also receive email updates with a list of assets that have changed location and the IT assets that were scanned that do not exist in the ALM database.

Keep in mind that the barcode scanner only searches for existing asset records based on two fields: the asset tag and the serial number. These two fields are defaults on an asset form. The barcode scanner matches the first occurrence of a matching asset. If there are duplicates, only the first occurrence will get updated.

This is the asset entry screen:

To scan asset tags or serial numbers
  1. Launch the scanner if it isn't already running.
  2. Click the Manage inventory button.
  3. Click the New inventory set button.
  4. Enter a Name for the inventory set.
  5. Select a Location. This is the list of locations provided by the Asset Lifecycle Manager server.
  6. Enter a Date.
  7. Click the Save button.
  8. Click the Edit inventory set button.
  9. You're now ready to scan assets. You can either press the physical scan button on the handheld or you can manually type in the alphanumeric asset tag or serial number.
  10. Once you've scanned the assets you want in the inventory set, click the Save button.
  11. Click the Send inventory set button to send the set to the Asset Lifecycle Management server.

Using the barcode scanner to view asset records

You can use the barcode scanner to view the information for asset records.

To search for individual asset records
  1. Launch the scanner if it isn't already running.
  2. Click the Find asset button.
  3. Scan or enter the barcode you want to search for.
  4. If there's a match, fields from the asset that are populated with data will be displayed (we do not display data from the table control or multi-contact controls on the asset).
  5. Click Close when you're done looking at the record.

This is a sample asset record:

Sending an e-mail with barcode scan status and exception reports

You can configure Asset Lifecycle Manager to send an e-mail for each inventory set. The e-mail template you select determines the e-mail content. We recommend you use the "Barcode exceptions" e-mail template, which includes the following information:

To configure the inventory set status e-mail address
  1. Click Tools > Settings.
  2. Click the Barcode tab.
  3. Check the Send e-mail box.
  4. Choose an e-mail template. There is an e-mail template created for barcode exceptions. Expand the system folder, select Barcode exceptions. This template contains links to the barcode exception reports.
  5. Choose the Active Directory contacts that you want to receive the e-mail.