BarTender Gremlins

Migrated our servers into the cloud this weekend and we’re experiencing some interesting issues with BarTender.
Epicor will generate the *.BT file to the proper folder, Commander will pick it up and change it to *.BTP, and then… nothing. The printer doesn’t do anything and nothing shows in the “See what’s printing” dialog. No errors on the printer.
However, if I go into the folder and switch the file back to a *.BT–Commander will pick it up again, flip the extension, and then it will print from the printer. WTF?
After that, it will print for a time, then go back to not until I play with the extensions in the folder.
Has anyone seen this?

I have tested it with printers installed on the same server (Azure cloud) as BarTender.
I have tested it with printers installed on a local printer server.
Both result in the same.

BarTender v10 SR4, Windows Server 2016.

I had a similar issue with Bartender not printing the label even though the BT file was changed to BTP. I think it might be a delay/latency issue, but not sure if it is. What I end up doing is create the BT file into a staging folder and then have the BT files move from that staging folder to the folder that Bartender pick up. Seems to had fixed the issue. Try having your BT file into another folder, manually copy to the folder bartender picks up, and see if they all print? If they do, then you can try doing similar to what I did by creating a staging folder, and in your customization or batch script, move the files from the staging folder to the BT folder.

Do you have different results if you run Commander as a Service vs Application?

Are you setting the print quantity via /C=# in the BT file? If so is there any chance you sometimes set it to 0?

What moves it from the staging folder to the scanned folder?
Were they located on the same server?

This is hard to test. It always seems to print if I manually do it.

Running it as an application seems to work more consistently.

The files I have looked at have a quantity of 1 or more.

What’s best practice with BarTender?
Would it make more sense to have Commander running on a local server that picks up a local folder?
Right now, Epicor writes to a server folder and Commander is running on that server, but has to send it to a printer that’s a few states over.

At the end of my customization after it generate the BT file, I look at a the staging folder for file(s) with extension “bt” and move it to the folder that Bartender picks up. They are both on the same server, just that the BT file gets created in the staging folder first and then move after creation. Not sure if you’re issue is the same as mine, but from what you described seemed similar and this seemed to had worked for me. It just baffles me as well that even though the BT file changed to BTP, it does not print. However, with my testing, I created the BT file into another folder. Copy those BT files into the scanned folder, and they all print. So that’s how I came up with that workaround by creating the BT file in a staging folder and at the end of the customization, it copied the BT file to the Bartender scanned folder. After this, it seemed to had worked.

Sounds like you need to get @hkeric.wci on this! :wink:


Do you suppose that Commander processes it before Epicor is finished writing to it?
Though, I wouldn’t think that it would be possible for Commander to change the extension while Epicor has a write lock on it… :thinking:

Out of curiousity, is the printer licensed and installed as administrator on the server running bartender?

Commander is garbage :slight_smile: Can you upgrade to BT2016 and get Integrations, seems to be really solid thus far

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Didn’t want to throw too many variables into the server migration, so we were sticking with the same version. It doesn’t seem like Commander is choking; it processes the file, it just doesn’t always end up going to the printer.

BarTender being the least complex one itll upgrade itself if you have a Key… But I wonder if you have to change it from Realtime in the setting to Polling and set an Interval – I think I saw a setting like that in Commander and say Interval at 3000ms.

I did try having it poll at 2000ms for a bit with no change.

Hmm… Epicor usually doesnt lock it, I think I had my Anti-Virus lock it at one point, make sure if you do have any security scanner perhaps exclude that dir or file-type from being scanned?

We don’t have an AV scanning that folder.

I flipped Commander back to our old server and it works right as rain. :expressionless:
It must be some combination of Server 2016 and the printers?

Upgrade it :slight_smile: The easiest upgrade you will ever do. Heck BarTender 2016 or 2019 will even let you import your Commander File and it’ll convert it to Integrations. It will remove/install everything for you – you just have to have the 2016 or 2019 Key from CAM.

I always had issues with Commander, the Integrations Platform seems to be more solid, FAST too – prints instantly.


Are the clients affected by the upgrade?

Also… My CAM won’t respond to me. :sleepy: I gave him a signed quote for a printer increase last week.

The Print Stations will only be affected if you Design a new Label in 2016, it wont be able to read the new format… So you can upgrade – just dont modify any Labels until you fix the Computer Clients. Its backwards compatible, just not forwards compatible.

So by the time you need to modify a Label I am guessing within 30 days, by then you should have your clients upgraded :slight_smile: But its the same – the BT installer will take care of upgrade for you and import all your settings and users settings.

Plus if you hit any snags ill do TeamViewer with you. Also you can install BT2016 and BT10.4 side-by-side as long as they are on diffs servers if you want to experiment. You can install BT2016 on your new server, as long as you got the new Key. While leaving the 10.4 around on old server for a bit.

You can install BT2019 or 16 full as Trial for Testing, it is Fully Functional, it just has a watermark.