iOS Mobile Printing Breakthrough Using FileMaker Go 13 and Mobi Print

COLIBRI SOLUTIONS worked out a clever way to print from FileMaker Go 13 via Bluetooth to portable printers.  It’s not as straightforward as you would think:

…This solution requires a standalone FileMaker Go solution that prints to a Bluetooth Zebra mobile printer (imz220 or imz320).  As it turns out, this is not as easy to do as one might think.

Introducing Mobi Print

At the outset, we did some discovery and landed on the Mobi Print iOS application from Arrowhead Corporation.  Mobi Print allows users to print PDFs, files from many iOS apps and browsers, and receipt and label formats to a Zebra mobile printer.  The application also accepts URL commands (in “arrowhead://…” format), common in iOS.

As we dug in and started addressing FileMaker printing issues, we learned that Mobi Print would accept printer specific code in ZPL or CPCL printer languages as well as a PDF.  By default, you need to send coded output to a webserver so Mobi Print can grab it for printing. One of the typical ways people use Mobi Print is by creating a template file residing on the printer that accepts variables merged into the template and then printed.

The Challenge

We had several goals for printing to a mobile printer:

– We wanted a direct means of addressing Mobi Print from FileMaker Go with a PDF and printing to a Zebra mobile printer in a way that resembles AirPrint.

– We wanted to design the output within FileMaker layouts (no external templates).

– We needed to be able to print in environments without Internet connectivity.

– We wanted the end user to be unaware of the transaction taking place between the two applications.  They simply click the Print button on the FileMaker layout.

After a quite a bit of experimentation, J Sciarra, with help from Todd Geist and Mobiprint, worked out a solution.  Thanks for sharing!

iOS Mobile Printing Breakthrough Using FileMaker Go 13 and Mobi Print | Colibri Solutions.


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