What do I need to know about the 6.7 Beta release of Altiris Barcode Solution?
Altiris® Barcode Solution™ 6.7
Altiris Barcode Solution integrates information directly into the Notification Server Database via a barcode device, so that data input errors, accounting irregularities, and redundancies are virtually eliminated. Any conflicts are reported on and can be resolved easily. Key features of Barcode Solution 6.7 include:
- Wireless operation and synchronization for the barcode device.
- Conflict resolution on the Notification Server with the ability to view and resolve conflicts by batch or individual resource.
- Delta synchronization that only uploads and downloads changed or new data, significantly reducing bandwidth use.
- Licensing enhancements include an option to release licenses not in immediate use. Barcode Solution now uses Barcode Solution licenses instead of Altiris Asset Management licenses, reducing cost.
By leveraging barcode technology, Barcode Solution gives you a simpler, more accurate way of gathering and verifying information in the field. Inventory that is used at a specific location is visible to the warehouse, which can be used to prepare replacements or place orders. This gives a more accurate picture of stock availability, saving hours in time.
Assets that cannot be automatically discovered through network connections can be easily tracked within the enterprise application. Asset data can be downloaded to a barcode device, taken to the asset location, and verified. New asset data can also be collected while in the field. All data is synchronized with Altiris Asset Management Solution.
Barcode Solution 6.7 directly installs over Barcode Solution 6.5, 6.6 SP1 and SP2. You do not need to uninstall Barcode Solution 6.5 before installing Barcode Solution 6.7.
- Altiris Notification Server 6.0 SP3 KB 27859
- Altiris Asset Management Solution 6.5
- For a full list of supported hardware, operating systems and Microsoft ActiveSync, see the Altiris Barcode Solution 6.7 Product Guide.
Where to Download
You can download many released versions of Altiris products from http://www.altiris.com/Download.aspx. You can also install Altiris Solutions directly from the Solution Center in the Altiris Console. You can download beta versions of Altiris products from http://beta.altiris.com.
You must manually update the Upload Verification checkbox after upgrade
After upgrade from Barcode Solution 6.6 to 6.7, the administrator must update the Upload Verification checkbox in the Available Functions tab of the Synchronization Profiles page, because the Global Verification checkbox from 6.6 cannot be carried forward to the new profile setting automatically, and thus must be updated manually.
Managed computers may be caught in an upgrade loop
After upgrading a server from Barcode Solution 6.6 to 6.7, you will be prompted to upgrade any related managed computers from version 6.6 to 6.7. The managed computers may then be caught in an upgrade loop. To work around this issue, do the following:
Improvements for this release include the following new features:
Upload from Scanner and Download to Scanner pages have been replaced by Manage Handheld Device
This new page incorporates all the functionality of Upload from Scanner and Download to Scanner in one page. Instead of downloading and uploading data separately, it is all handled in the single synchronization process. The Manage Handheld Device page is also used to initially install Barcode Manager on the host computer, and Barcoder on the barcode device.
"Update last Barcode scanned" field
When performing a console scan, you can now choose to enable or disable this option in all pages in the Tasks > Barcode > Scanning folder (pages include Assign Barcode, Quick Scan, Receiving, and Search).
Upload information per profile
Individual user profiles are now used to determine how data is uploaded to the Notification Server. When setting up each profile in the Altiris console, you can specify how each profile uploads data. Example: If you want to monitor any changes to data made by certain users, specify that their data and changes sit in a queue awaiting administrator or manager approval. If you want certain users' changes and data to automatically be uploaded without a review, specify to "Automatically accept downloads" from trusted user profiles.
If you have upgraded from a previous version of Barcode Solution, the "Automatically accept downloads" setting will be maintained for all profiles. After upgrade you can change these settings if required.
The Upload Barcode console page is now called "Assign Barcode"
The functionality of the page has not changed.
New receiving template for assets with no barcode
A new receiving template has been created so you can create an asset without a barcode. The template provides for a serial number, and you can add a barcode later. The template is found in the menu on the barcode device.
Console scanning requires verification
When using a barcode device (Example: A keyboard wedge) attached to a computer to directly scan in changes to assets, verification is is activated by default on barcode user profiles. Pending changes will then be found in the Upload Verification page in the Altiris Console.
Delta synchronization from barcode devices is active by default
All data synchronization with a barcode device (either downloading or uploading) is now delta by default. A delta sync only uploads or downloads changed or new data, saving time and bandwidth. Synchronization is affected by profiles, so that if you change the profile you are using, you will have to do an initial full download.
Manufacturer and Model now included in quick scan
You can now add Manufacturer and Model information in a quick scan. Example: If you are receiving 50 Dell laptops of the same make and model, enter manufacturer and model data once and it will be set for all 50 laptops.
Search now includes Serial Number and System Number
Previously, the Asset search feature (now known simply as "Search") only searched for the barcode field when searching by scanning. Search now searches the barcode, serial number, name, and system number fields.
Specify which default and custom resource types and associations to download to a barcode device
You can now specify which associations and resource types to download/synchronize to the barcode device, including custom resource types. Any required resource types and associations are automatically selected and cannot be unchecked. Suggested resource types and associations are selected but can be unchecked prior to download. Required and suggested items are determined by profile.
Multi-row data classes are now supported by the barcode device
You can now view and update data classes with multiple rows (either default or custom), on the barcode device.
Select individual assets on the Synchronization profile page
Previously, you could only add a collection of assets to a barcode profile when configuring a download profile. You can now add individual assets as well through the Resources tab.
Multiple associations are now supported by the barcode device
Previously, only one to one resource associations were supported by the barcode device. One to many type resource associations are now supported. Example: An asset is associated with an owner, and by extension, associated to the owner's cost center. This information will be processed in a synchronization.
Barcode download profile page enhancements
The user interface of download profile pages has been enhanced. Previously it was a single page with all available options listed. It is now divided into tabs including Collections, Data Classes, Resources, Available Functions, and Asset Types. The options available in Resources and Asset Types are new to profiles whereas the options in the other tabs were available in previous releases of Barcode Solution. Resources lets you choose individual or groups of resources to add to a profile, and Asset Types lets you choose what Asset Types to add to a profile.
You can now access different profiles for different tasks and considerations. Example: Geographical considerations or organizational structures.
Handheld and console pages have been enhanced to improve consistency
Handheld and console/server pages have been reworked to be more consistent with each other.
Each barcode device consumes a user license, as does each managed computer using Barcode Solution console pages. A major change to the way licensing works in this release is Barcode Solution now uses Barcode Solution licenses, instead of Altiris Asset Management Solution licenses. Also, a new licensing configuration page (found at Configuration > Solutions Settings > Assets and Inventory > Barcode Solution > License Usage), lists all barcode devices consuming a license, with information on when the license was last used. If a device has been idle, you can simply delete it from the list to free up its license for another device. If a barcode device does not have an assigned license it will not be able to upload or download data.
Additional barcode devices are now supported
The following barcode devices can now also be used with Barcode Solution:
Hewlett Packard HX2795
Hewlett Packard HW6920
Hewlett Packard HW6940
Socket CF RFID Reader-Scan Card 6P
Warning appears before downloading more data than can be accepted
When attempting to download more data than can be accepted into your barcode device, a warning will appear with the option to reduce the amount of data or continue with the download regardless. Recommended memory ratios for barcode devices and resources are listed in the product help guide.
The "Asset Search" page has been renamed to "Search"
When using the Search page, any type of resource that you have rights to may appear in the results.
A warning appears if Socket is running on the barcode device
The application, Socket, has been known to cause problems when running Barcode Solution. If Socket is detected running on your barcode device, a warning will appear telling you that Barcode Solution will automatically shut down Socket before continuing.
The Barcode at the top of a template is editable
Barcodes visible at the top of templates on the barcode device (Example: Asset Scan, Receiving, and so on) can be edited. This then allows you to directly edit barcodes for scanned assets.
Microsoft Vista and Vista sync are supported in this release
New RFID Audit template
A new RFID Audit template is included in the menu on the barcode device. The RFID Audit returns a list of all RFID tags that have been scanned. Any tags that have been scanned multiple times are only reported once. When you synchronize, the following RFID data is sent to the Notification Server:
- RFID tag identifier
- Time of scan
- User who performed the scan
- User profile
- The last scan performed on a tag (in the event of multiple scans)
WM6 is supported in this release
This platform is now supported.
The location selector closes during scanning
If you scan a location, the selector window will close so that you cannot change locations mid-scan. Changing location mid-scan can cause problems.
A new Conflict Resolution page has been added to the Tasks tab of the Altiris Console under Tasks > Barcode > Manage Changes > Conflict Management. If any conflicting data is detected in the Notification Server it will appear in this page. You can view and resolve conflicts by batch, or by individual resource.
The following are unresolved issues in this release.
Audit dataclass conflict can be ignoredThe Resource Details page may indicate a value or conflict highlight for the hidden Audit dataclass (guid = 57beb323-f925-4689-872f-1bf3aa3f7632). Where the highlight is shown, it is for informational purposes only, and is visible as a single blue or red line on the General tab of a resource. This dataclass is used by the system for tracking purposes and need not be considered when resolving resource conflicts.
Do not tap a toolbar button to validate data on a barcode deviceWhen tapping a toolbar button that navigates away from a form with data-validated fields, entering an invalid value in a field and clicking the toolbar button twice will still commit the requested action. Users should click elsewhere on the form to validate the data in the field first, before clicking a toolbar button.
Direct scan focus is lost when moving from the Serial Number field to the Barcode field.
Direct Scan focus may not be gained correctly under WM5 when using the "Assign Barcode" template on a barcode device. No other templates are affected. Direct scan focus is lost when moving from the Serial Number field to the Barcode field. You should tap away from the Barcode field then tap back on it to regain control focus and hence direct scan focus.
Barcode device user interface selector does not close automatically when scanning to populate fieldsWhen using the barcode scan function to populate a field (Example: Location), the selector UI does not close. The scanned location will highlight but you must click OK to apply the selection. If the selector is not open, scanning will automatically populate the location as expected.
Warning message can be ignored
After installing Altiris Barcoder on PPC 2003 SE, the following message is displayed: "The program you have installed may not display properly because it was designed for a previous version of Windows Mobile software." Simply click OK to this message and the program will install and run normally on the device.
"Unknown Publisher" dialog must be accepted upon installation
When installing Barcoder, an "Unknown Publisher" dialog may be displayed for Microsoft SQL Mobile 2005.cab, Altiris Barcoder 6.7.cab and Symbol Managed Class Libraries.cab. This warning should be accepted to allow product installation to continue. The product will operate normally following installation of these components.
The Conflict Management and Upload Verification pages do not display resource names
Resource names are not currently displayed in the Resource Details page when viewing resources in a batch via the Conflict Management or Upload Verification pages. Conflicts between resource names will therefore not be shown. You can view resource names via the following methods:
Canceling synchronization functions may return you to the Barcode device menu
After tapping Cancel for the "Upload Only" or "Synchronize" synchronization functions on the handheld, you may be immediately returned to the Barcode device menu in BMAppHost.exe. No data will be lost as a result of this exception, and the program may be restarted to return to normal operation.
The Additional Resources control is still visible but has been superseded
The Additional Resources control on the Manage Handheld Device task page is not in use but has been left on the page for compatibility reasons. This control has been superseded by the Resources tab in Synchronization Profiles, which provides identical functionality.
Regional settings on the barcode device, Altiris web server and SQL server must be identical
For Synchronization and Batch Acceptance functionality to operate, the regional settings (Locale) on the handheld device, Altiris web server, and SQL Server database must match.
Warning message appears when using custom controls
When using a Dell Axim X50v ROM image for Windows Mobile 2003 SE Version 4.21.1088 build 14222.214.171.124, you may encounter a warning dialog saying "Click OK to continue loading this page", when Barcoder renders a user interface that contains custom controls such as toolbar tabs or picker dialogs. You should update to the latest ROM image build for the X50v to correct this issue.
The Assign Barcode work flow does not work as expected
When using Assign Barcode work flow on a barcode device, focus is not automatically moved to the next field when scanning a barcode or serial number. You should scan the serial number into the Serial Number field, tap on the Barcode field to select it, scan the barcode into the Barcode field, then click Apply and tap on the Serial Number field again to repeat the work flow.
The Cancel button does not close the "Waiting for ActiveSync" dialog
When you click on "Install Handheld Application / Initiate Handheld Synchronization" and no barcode device is connected, a dialog appears saying "Waiting for ActiveSync…". To close this dialog, click on the "X" button on the top right corner of the window, as the Cancel button will not close the window in this case.
Cost Center Ownership and Ownership Details dataclasses cannot be synchronized with the barcode device
These dataclasses can only be viewed and edited from the Altiris Console.
Cost items are not validated while editing a resource
Adding cost items under the "Accounting Information" tab while editing a resource does not perform a validation check. You must ensure that all information, including currency information, is provided. If the information is not provided, the error "Unable to Accept Batch" will appear while trying to accept the batch under Upload Verification.
Exceeding license count generates a failed login message
If you exceed the Barcode Solution license count due to the number of devices connecting, you will receive an error message stating "Login Failed, Please check your credentials", even if your credentials are correct. If you receive a login failed message when correct login information is provided, check the Altiris Log to determine if the cause was an exceeded license count.
The picker dialog may display incorrect type values
This behavior may occur after performing multiple synchronizations without restarting the barcode device application (Symantec Altiris Barcoder). Example: You select a location picker dialog and it displays a list of owners instead of locations. To work around this behavior, restart the application.
Altiris product documentation is available in Microsoft* HTML Help (.chm) and Adobe Acrobat* (.pdf) formats. To view Altiris product documentation in .pdf format, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
By default, documentation files are installed in the following directory on the Altiris® Notification Server™ computer:
C:\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\Help.
The following documentation is provided:
Altiris Information Resources
|Source||What Information it Includes||Location|
|Altiris Documentation||Information about new features, update instructions, and known issues for each release. Includes Altiris formal documentation such as release notes, help, reference guides, best practice articles, and technical reference articles.||http://www.altiris.com/support/documentation|
|Altiris Knowledgebase||Comprehensive collection of articles, incidents, and issues for Altiris solutions.||http://kb.altiris.com/|
an online magazine for Altiris users
|Best practices, tips and tricks, and articles for users of Altiris solutions.||http://www.altiris.com/juice|
|Online Forums||Forums for Altiris solutions and suites.||http://forums.altiris.com/|
|03/06/2008||Posted for Release.|
|01/18/2008||Beta draft complete.|