COMPMNGR Support for Barcoded Tickets and Passes

For purposes of this discussion, a ticket is a slip of paper (or cardboard or stick-on label) that admits any one person to one session or meal. A pass is a slip of paper (or cardboard or stick-on label) that admits one particular person to several sessions and/or meals.

COMPMNGR support for barcoded tickets and passes has two elements. The first element is a set of three COMPMNGR built-in features that allow you to print barcoded tickets and passes and/or to export a file containing information about the tickets and passes. The second element is a standalone computer program named BarcodeScanner.exe that is run on a separate computer connected to a barcode scanner and that is used to check whether tickets or passes are valid to admit the holder to an event such as a competition session or meal. The BarcodeScanner program is packaged with the COMPMNGR setup program and is unpacked when you install the latest version of COMPMNGR. It is up to you to copy the program to the computer to which your barcode scanner device is attached. The BarcodeScanner program is a very simple program that does only two things. It periodically imports the ticket/pass information file, which may change from time-to-time as more tickets/passes are sold, and it captures the output of the barcode scanner so as to compare it with the ticket/pass information to determine whether to flash a green 'valid admission' signal.

The three barcode support features built into COMPMNGR are accessed by clicking main menu 'Miscellaneous' then 'BarcodeScanner support'. The first feature is submenu item 'Print tickets/passes'. When you click on this you are asked whether you want to print tickets or passes. If you elect to print tickets a menu of items for which tickets are sold pops up for you to select one or more, then a preview of pages of tickets (similar to COMPMNGR's preview of mail labels) is displayed. The preview allows you to adjust the ticket and page layout to fit your printer, then print the pages. If you elect to print passes a menu of persons who have bought packages pops up for you to select one or more, then a preview of pages much like the ticket preview page pops up for you to adjust the ticket and page layout to fit your printer and print the pages. The second barcode support feature is for use if you do not want to use COMPMNGR to print your tickets/passes but rather want to provide the ticket/pass information to a third party to do the printing for you. The menu item is 'Create/view tickets/passes barcode report file. This feature requires you to make the same selections you would were you using COMPMNGR to print your tickets/passes but then saves the information in a text file and optionally allows you to view/print the file.

The third barcode support feature built into COMPMNGR is accessed by clicking submenu item 'Export ticket specification file for BarcodeScanner program import'. When you click on the item a menu pops up for you to select the session or meal for which you want the BarcodeScanner program, running on a separate computer (not the COMPMNGR computer), to check for valid admission. After you make the selection COMPMNGR creates a file named BarcodeScannerData.tlf that can be imported into the BarcodeScanner program. You will then be asked whether you want COMPMNGR to automatically update the file when the information changes. The automatic update is useful if the barcode scanner computer is networked with the COMPMNGR computer being used to record ticket/pass purchases so it can access the information file directly rather than having to transfer the file via a USB drive.