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  4. Section 11: Handhelds, Handheld Servers

Section 11: Handhelds, Handheld Servers


The handheld server regulates communication between the handhelds and the database.

Identify HH server and current status (open/ closed).

Identify IP address being used.

Review configure settings tab (inventory policy, Meter entry)

Review upload/download options

Review how to copy log files for support

Review handheld registration and license procedures for new handhelds

The VendMAX Handheld Server is a separate piece of software, which controls the communication between the VendMAX Handheld and the database. The Handheld Server software can run on any computer in your network. Because this software controls all Input/output functions, it is not recommended that you run this on the same machine as the database is installed.

Connectivity – (MC70, MC75 and MC9090 Only)

The Handhelds must know how to find the Handheld Server, and the Handheld Server must know how to find the VendMAX database. The first step is configuring the connection to the database. See ODBC Settings for a discussion on connecting the Handheld Server machine to the database.

To verify that you are running in native mode, (Or Windows CE) simply look on the handheld at the VendMAX login screen.  It should look like the picture below.

The next step is in configuring each handheld. By touching the space directly after the letters ADDR: (See red circle in above picture) on the handheld, the Network Configuration Options menu will appear, as shown below:

The only setting, which should be changed here, is the Host Address. This needs to match the IP address of the computer, which is running the Handheld Server software. If you do not know the IP address, simply run the Handheld Server application, and the IP address will be displayed in the screen footer. Copy this value to each Handheld.


There are three key functions, which you will want to access in the Handheld Server. These can be accessed through the drop-down function menus at the top of the screen.

Configure / Settings

Route Handheld Policy

Calculate Added When Not Pre-Kitting

This will cause the VendMAX handheld to compare the Beginning Inventory number with the PAR level, and automatically fill-in the ADDED quantity if Pre-Kitting is turned off for the POS on the Routes – Main and Points Of Sale – Main pages.

Checksum Bag Numbers

Leave this option unchecked.  A specific customer requested this feature so that they could group certain bag numbers routes.

Driver to Inventory

This will establish when the VendMAX handheld will require the driver to take a physical inventory of the POS.

When Scanning Machines…

If you have placed barcode labels with translations of your machine numbers inside the Vending Machines, the route driver can use those to quickly move to the correct service window on the handheld. This setting will allow you to establish whether you have used POS Codes or Vending Equipment codes when creating the barcodes.

TIP: Vending Equipment Codes are recommended. This way, when a machine is moved, you do not need to change the barcode sticker.

Strictly Enforce Inventories

If this option is checked, the driver cannot leave the POS service without entering an inventory value for each column, when the POS is scheduled for an Inventory service. If this option is not checked, the driver will get a warning message as a reminder, but they can elect not to complete the inventory.

Upload Vend Visits with No Service Required

If the driver has opened the service window for a POS on the handheld, and marked the Vend Visit as “No Service Required”, indicating that they did not service the machine, do you still want VendMAX to upload a Vend Visit record?

Allow Duplicate Bag Numbers

This option should usually be turned off. This will prevent the driver from accidentally recording the same bag number for more than one Vend Visit in the handheld. However, if you are bagging the money from more than one machine in the same bag, you will need to turn this option flag ON.

Strictly Enforce C.O.D Delivery Sales

If this option is checked, the driver will not be able to leave C.O.D.s with ANY balance.

Strictly Enforce Pay Prior on Delivery Sales

If this option is checked, the driver will not be able to leave Pay Prior POSs with a previous balance.

Restrict Zone Transfers to Your Own Truck

If this option is checked, only Zone-to-Zone Orders that are to or from the route driver’s truck will be downloaded to the Handheld. (This option will not affect Warehouse users.)

In addition, you will not be allowed to create a Zone-to-Zone Transfer to or from another driver’s truck. (If you have a Zone-to-Zone Order downloaded to your handheld, however, you will be able to use that to transfer inventory from your truck to another truck or vice versa.)

When Scanning Machines

This will establish which field in VendMAX is used when the barcode scanner is used at the POS level on the handheld.


The handheld uses a Master Parser in order to interpret the data, which is downloaded from a Vending Machine. This entry will establish the directory where VendMAX should find the Master Parser to use in the handheld. The Master Parser is stored in the VendMAX database, and is copied to this directory each time you run the Palm Server.

VendMAX can automatically grab the current price for each column in a POS from the DEX file. Choose the option, which works best for your organization.

Do not change POG price – When the DEX price is different from the planogram (POG) price, the planogram price will remain unchanged.

Automatically change price on POG – When the DEX price is different from the planogram (POG) price; the planogram price will be changed to match the DEX price.

Ask Driver – When the DEX price is different from the planogram (POG) price, the handheld will display a message-asking driver if price is to be changed.


Force entry of meter readings for non-DEX equipment

If this option is turned ON, and the Vending Equipment has its Cash or Vend Meter tuned ON, on the Vending Equipment – Vending Info page, and DEX Type is turned to NONE on the same page, then VendMAX will force the driver to enter a meter reading.

Force entry of meters if dex read was not taken

This option will require the driver to manually enter a meter reading if they cannot get a DEX reading from the machine. This will provide continuity in the Cash Accountability and is a recommended option

Force entry of card cash meter if dex was not taken

If this box is checked, a driver will not be allowed to leave a POS before they enter a card cash value if they have not DEXed the machine.


“Allow editing of price” and “Allow editing of par level for price point” control whether the fields are read-only or not on the new FoodMAX screen on the handheld.

Automatically set non-inventory items to 0

When this selection is set all items in a food machine that are not inventoried will be set to zero.  This setting is not recommended, as it requires a full inventory on every service and collect.

Use reason categories

Reason codes may now be downloaded to the handheld to allow selection on OCS entries on the handheld.

Before the reasons codes can be used on the handheld they must be downloaded through the palm server.

Check the box on the palm server to download the Reason code to the handheld.

Hide out of service products

Use this checkbox to hide out of service products from product drop lists on the handheld.

If a planogram selection contains a product, which is marked out of service, the out of service product description will be displayed on the handheld planogram.  

Settings – Uploading

When Uploading, Auto post…

These settings will determine whether VendMAX will automatically POST the transactions, which are uploaded during a sync. These should usually be set ON. However, by default, the Physical Inventory transaction is OFF. This is to allow a review of the Inventory before committing it as correct. See Posting Physical Inventories for a better explanation of this process.

Settings – Downloading

CE Modules

This entry will establish the location of the VendMAX/DeliveryMAX CE modules which will be used for each handheld. Each time a handheld syncs, VendMAX/DeliveryMAX checks the version number of each module in the handheld against the version number of the same module in this directory. If a newer version is found, it will automatically upgrade the VendMAX/DeliveryMAX software on the CE handheld.


If, for some reason, you want to force the Handheld to upload the current release, which is contained in this directory, you can check the box below. This option would be required if you need to go back a version for some reason. Products

When this box is checked, information about your products will only be transferred to the Palm when the information has changed. Checking this box will reduce the amount of time it takes to synchronize your handhelds, as less data will be transferred when product information has not changed.

Automatic Route Date Settings

Cutoff Time

When a handheld is sync’d, VendMAX will automatically pull the Route Schedule for the next day. This feature works from the 24-hour clock. By default, if the handheld is sync’d at 11:00pm on 1/1/02, then it will pick up the route schedule for 1/2/02. However, some route operations work strange hours, and would require a different result.

This time should be set to a time when you know no one will be servicing equipment. If that is midnight, then the default will work, but if some of your drivers begin at 11:00pm, then you may need to use 10:00pm.

Include Saturday / Sunday

When a Handheld syncs on Friday, should it default to pick up Monday’s schedule?  Alternatively, do you want the default to be Saturday or Sunday, or both? Remember that you can override the Upload Date for a handheld. The default set here will affect all handhelds.

Service Orders

VendMAX will automatically generate Service Orders every 5 minutes, but these orders are ’Locked’ when downloaded to a Handheld or printed for loading. If you would like the information uploaded from the day’s route activity to affect the existing Service Orders, check this box.

Settings – Database Connection

Database Connection

Login automatically using saved settings

If you always log the handheld server into the same database connection, you should check this box. This will eliminate the need to specify the database ODBC name, user name and password when launching the VendMAX Handheld Server.

Number of Sync Log Files to Display

When running the Server Logs, the opening window will display the number of log files shown here. If this number is too high, it will take a lot of time to access this function. If it is too low, you will not be able to find the handheld sync of interest. A good default is twice the number of handhelds that you use in your operation.

Settings – Delivery


Allow Editing of Price

This option will allow you to establish Price Editing Rules for your Delivery Accounts.

Allow editing after Signature

This option allows the driver to edit the invoice after the customer has signed for the invoice.

Force all uploaded sale dates to the same day

When this option is checked, all Sale Dates will be changed to the date of the first sale on the handheld. The time stamps as originally set in the sale will stay the same. (For example, if you have a sale for 7/10 and a sale for 7/11, it sets both sale dates to the 7/10 and keeps the original time stamp for each sale.)

Products Screen Default Edit Field

In a Delivery POS, the cursor will automatically be set to this field when you switch between products or add a new product.

Options are

Quantity on Hand

Sold (Delivered Today)

Presell (Ordered Today)


Title to Be Printed on Invoices

Allows a text title to be printed on HH invoices

Settings – Debug


Log Vended and Cold Food Information

Logs detailed data information for Vending and Cold Food POS’s in the handheld log file for each sync of the handheld. This should be unchecked.

Log Delivery Information

Logs detailed data information for Delivery POS is in the handheld log file for each sync of the handheld.  This should be unchecked.

Log Dex Data Information

Logs detailed Dex information in the handheld log file for each sync of the handheld.  This should be unchecked.

Log SQL Statements

The option is used to assist support personnel in diagnosing issues in the sync process.  This should be unchecked.


Communication Delay

This option should be set to zero and not changed unless directed by a Streamware Support Representative.

Legacy Download

This should be checked.

Upgrade Only

Streamware Technical Support should only use this.  <This should NOT be checked>.

Allow Multiple Sessions per User

This should only be checked if you would be having multiple sessions of the HandheldServer running on your desktop.  This option should really only be checked if directed by a Streamware Support Representative to do so.

Reset Handheld After Sync

This should be unchecked.

Settings – Security

Require Password for Machine Admin

If this box is checked then the Admin Password must be entered to access Machine Admin functions from either the Point of Sale or the Administration screen.

Admin Password

Enter a password that can be used on the Handheld whenever the Handheld requires it. The default password will remain available.

Require Password for IP Change

If this box is checked then a password must be entered to change the IP address on the handheld.  This will protect drivers from accidently clicking into the IP field and changing the value.  If the IP address is wrong, the handheld cannot sync.  Adding this security, will keep the IP address secure.

IP Password

Enter a password that can be used on the Handheld in order to change the IP address. The default password will remain available.

Require Password to edit par

If this box is checked then a password must be entered to edit the par value from either the Point of Sale or the Administration screen.

Edit par Password

Enter a password that can be used on the handheld in order to change par levels. The default password will remain available.

Tools / Server Logs

Server Logs

The Handheld Server is a multi-threaded application, meaning that it is capable of controlling the syncing of an unlimited number of handhelds at the same time. Therefore, the Server Logs will help sort out the detailed communication descriptions of each handheld independently.

When the Logs are opened, the Files Tab shows a list of recent handheld syncs. The number of files shown in this list can be set in the Configure Settings screen.

To select one of these items simply click on Tools | View Server Logs, then click on the desired log filename it and then select the “View Log” tab, all of the detail about that sync will be displayed. This will include all communication between the Handheld and the database.

These logs can be very useful when trying to troubleshoot a failed sync. If you want to copy the data from this window to another Windows document, a function button is provided to “Copy to Clipboard”.

Column Names


This is the name of the handheld user in which the handheld was configured for.  You can find this name as a valid handheld user in VendMAX under Administration | Employees and Users.


This is the route description of the synchronized route.  You can find this description under Master Files | Routes


This is the time the synchronization took place.  The synchronization process will date and time stamp each time the handheld is synchronized.


This log file name is created each time a handheld is synchronized.  The actual log files can usually be found on the VendMAX server located at C:\Program Files\Streamware\VendMax\palmserver\Log.

Successful Sync’s and Errors during Sync

Row highlighted in RED

If a row is highlighted in red that lets you know that there was an error during the data transfer and the handheld more than likely needs to synchronize again after the error has been corrected.  In the example below the message 06/24/08 13:21:47 – @@Error 🙁 GARY) Error Reading Data: The virtual circuit was reset by the remote side executing a “hard” or “abortive” close.  Means that there had been an interruption in the communications whether it was caused by a network failure or simply someone took the handheld out of the cradle during the synchronization process.  Generally, on this type of error, simply clear the handheld and try to redo the ‘Full Sync’ process. Here can be many types of errors caused by many different reasons.  The best course of action if a failed sync occurs is to undock the unit then perform a reset or warm boot on the handheld and try to resynchronize the unit.  If it fails, again you will need to contact Streamware Technical Support.

Updated on December 21, 2021

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