running "Access" on the CE 5.0 devices is out as far as I remember. There was a kind of Access in earlier CE devices but that got killed off.
I have used and seen the following methods for using Win CE Heldhelds for data collection in the manner you describe:
1. write a CE Program to collect the and pump the data into some other program later.
2. simply have the devices connected via a virtual Serial port to a computer and have the scanners read by somftwre on the PC, be it Access or one of the tools provided by the Handheld manufacturer/distributor.
3. Some Handhelds come with software to collect the data during the day and then pump the data into a file at the end of the day (or shift) and then an automatic process eats these files and spits them into a database (this approach works great if you are doing SQL Server and can create an Integration Services package to do the reading and writing.) This is an offline solution so you don't have realtime data.
4. Get a wireless lan enabled version of the handheld and use the onboard browser to feed the collected data into the database via a (can be very simple) website.
5. Using a Wireless lan enabled device have a programm on a server talk to the devices via the network, listening for the scanned data.
6. Again using a Wireless LAN enabled device, write a simple CE progamm to talk to a server over a TCP/IP Port where a listener program can process the data.
As you might guess, I tend towards a Wireless LAN (aka WiFi) enabled method. Your decision will be based on your current skillset, your desire for (which?) new skills, and the devices your company can afford to invest in. Quite often, the investment in a Wireless LAN model will pay for itself in development time.
Lastly, look at the available models and the software they come with 8or which can be downloaded from teh supplier/manufacturer) as yu will probably find a solution you can use out-of-the-box, with the right investment...
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