A couple of years ago I helped a client take their operation from a paper and file based operation to a computer based operation. When I say paper and file I mean they were still using typewriters and processing membership renewal cards by hand. When meant updating user data by hand in two different locations for over 6,000 members. I was shocked that there were people still doing this.
So once we created their database membership application we looked at membership cards. At the time they were typing cards and laminating them by hand for each member each year. The amount of time spent on this one task was staggering. So I purchased a couple of ID card printers and a batch of hard ID cards. Everything was great except that they had to enter the info manually each time.
Today I’m looking at ID Card Workshop. ID Card Workshop would have solved my problem. It allows you to design ID cards and even connect to a data source ( SQL, Access, Excel). This is the feature I like the most. My client’s data is stored in a custom mySQL database and I do a scheduled export of basic user information which I import into a SQL Server database. Now I can use ID Card Workshop to connect to this database and have a live connection to user data for ID Cards.
When looking at ID Card Workshop I first tried to connect to an Access database. This worked great. Next was to try the SQL connection. I had a hiccup only because I don’t read instructions. Once I actually looked at the instructions, I realized what I was doing wrong. I then connected with no problem.
I used one of the built in templates as a starting point. The template included a bar code which is a requirement for the client. I then tweaked the look and it looked great. Next, I had to test the printing. I selected the “Record Seeker” option. I was then able to choose what field to search by and the search data. This was easy and super fast. ID Card Workshop worked flawlessly and I was creating cards in no time.
ID Card Workshop won me over by being easy to use, consistent in it’s user interface, and dependable when it comes to searching for data. My next task after I publish this article is to email my old client and tell them about ID Card Workshop. Head over to ID Card Workshop for more details.
ID Card Workshop Features:
- Professional ID Card Design – Multi layer designer lets you insert images, 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes, text, vectors, and images. Includes several templates.
- Membership Management – Three steps: Enrollment, Records Manager and Records Seeker. Enrollment allows you to easily input membership records and take photos via webcam. With Records Manager you can edit, delete or modify records. Find records with Records Seeker by searching. Includes barcode scanner compatibility that allows you to verify cards on-site.
- Variety of Templates – Built in templates for most common card sizes.
- Support for Webcams, digital cameras, and scanners – Lets you capture photos and images to use directly in the designer.
- Database Support – Supports MS Access, SQL, and MS Excel data sources.
- Wide Range of Printer Support – Supports professional ID Card printer and consumer level laser/inkjet printers.
- Magnetic Stripe Encoding – Includes support for magnetic stripes for use with compatible printers.