If you're a Teklynx software products user who has problems with data corruption (empty cells, scrambled data) when linking to Excel spreadsheets through the Microsoft ODBC Excel driver, the simple, comprehensive solution is DataVerterTM - the revolutionary new Excel spreadsheet data conversion utility from Product Identification & Processing Systems, Inc. (PIPS), a
Teklynx PREMIER Advantage VAR specializing in total labeling solutions.
Increasingly, Teklynx software products users want to improve their production efficiency by printing batches of labels and tags with variable bar code and other fields using data stored in an Excel spreadsheet. Like most such programs, Label Matrix has had to rely on Microsoft's Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) Excel driver to establish the link between the label printing application and the Excel spreadsheet.
Unfortunately, Microsoft ODBC drivers for Excel may not correctly analyze/interpret and accurately return certain data types/values within an Excel spreadsheet. This fact has been all too well documented by
Teklynx's technical support group and has been acknowledged by Microsoft. For a perfunctory explanation from Microsoft, see their Product Support Services page titled Excel ODBC Driver May Determine Wrong Data Type at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q141/2/84.asp.
The Symptoms section of this web page refers to using "a Microsoft Excel worksheet as a data source in Microsoft Query, and [an] attempt to create a join between two fields of seemingly similar data types..." This makes it sound as if it takes some fancy program-ming procedure to elicit the problem. Not so. The fact is, simply linking to an Excel spreadsheet as a data source from
Teklynx's Label Matrix (or other similar WindowsTM bar code label design and printing programs) can result in the problem: the Excel ODBC driver may determine the wrong data type - and deliver corrupted data!
Whatever the application, corrupt data is a disastrous consequence! In a typical bar code label and tag production environment, this ODBC shortcoming has been known to result in the printing of literally thousands of incorrect bar code labels. This tends to happen, for example, when the data is of an alphanumeric format, as in the SKU numbers of consumer goods manufacturers, e.g., 392456SM, 392456MED, 392456LG. Undetected, the use of such labels and tags on goods delivered to the retailer could result in tens of thousands of dollars in retailer charge-backs to the vendor.
The simple, comprehensive solution is DataVerter. But what, exactly, is DataVerter? DataVerter is a Windows utility that evaluates each cell of an Excel spreadsheet and, regardless of its literal data and Excel format flags, transforms it into plain text. We call it PureTextTM or PXTTM format. And text is something ODBC does understand. The original Excel file is left unchanged and the converted data is saved under a new filename (Default: OriginalFileName_PureText.xls).
The remarkable aspect of the PIPS DataVerter utility is that it identifies and correctly interprets virtually all Excel format flags and transforms the data in each cell into a literal text representation. It not only handles Numeric, Currency, Accounting and other common Excel formats, but Date, Fraction, Exponential - even Formula-derived and Custom formats!
Although Teklynx's newer versions of Label Matrix have overcome some of these problems by relying on Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) instead of ODBC, some shortcomings remain. Even OLE may not correctly interpret all of the Excel data format permutations that DataVerter understands and correctly processes.
What to do? Let PIPS be your guide! Whatever your current circumstance, we can advise you on what approach would work best for you. PIPS is one of the foremost
Teklynx PREMIER Advantage VARs and operates a multi-million dollar label and tag service bureau. This means we probably know the day-to-day quirks and some of the hidden powers of the program even better than
Teklynx. In other words, we don't just sell the product - we use it! Everyday. For almost every imaginable application.
Even if your application is one where this ODBC/OLE connectivity problem with Excel does not arise and you are happy with what you have, give PIPS a call anyway. We're recognized experts in bar code industry standards, retail compliance labeling guidelines, label and tag printing systems, bar code print quality verification, data collection and may other areas of automatic identification and data collection (AIDC).
Of course, if you are one of the increasing number of Label Matrix users who is encountering the ODBC Excel data corruption problem, you'll not only want to take advantage of our recognized expertise, you'll want to take full advantage of our special upgrade promotions as well.