GX:Up and Running with Whistle

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Up and Running with Whistle

To say that Whistle system setup is a diverse and involved topic is an understatement. There are many facets to a Whistle System Setup.

  • Database Setup
  • Radio Frequency (RF) System Setup
  • Input Device Setup (Barcode Guns)
  • Operating System Setup
  • Telnet Communications Setup
  • Enterprise Resource System (ERP) Configuration
  • Whistle application setup
  • Multi-warehouse Network Setup

There are simply not enough room in this user’s manual to expound on each of these topics at length. What we provide in this manual is a brief overview of these topics. Use this manual to gain a general understanding of the way an entire Whistle System operates. Advanced User’s and System Administrators will need to refer to our System Installation Library (WSL INS2004 series) for detailed system installation information.

Whistle System Key Concepts

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system

Whistle is designed to expand the benefits of your ERP system. Your ERP system handles many different inventory functions, including handling…

  • Sales orders
  • Production orders
  • Inventory Count
  • Financing
  • Human resources
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service

Whistle is designed to interact with your ERP system to optimize the handling of these functions. Your ERP system may be located in a central network location or, in the case of smaller businesses, on site with the rest of the system.

The Whistle Application

The Whistle Application is responsible for handling all Whistle transactions, including :

  • Processing all Whistle transactions
  • Interacting with the ERP
  • Interacting with the Warehouse database

The Whistle application is usually run on a central warehouse computer. This application is responsible for coordinating all Whistle transactions throughout the warehouse. Whistle must interact with many remote systems to accomplish its tasks. It must communicate with the users of Whistle through the use of their handheld or forklift mounted keyboards and computer screens. It must be able to integrate seamlessly with your ERP. It must have access to the Warehouse database.

Databases – Whistle (Warehouse) and ERP

Both Whistle and your ERP system have large database components with which they interact. These databases store all of your warehouse inventory data, production order, sales order, and pack order information, and much more. These database components must be seamlessly integrated with your ERP application and the Whistle application.

Remote Inventory Devices

Almost all Whistle transactions are performed using remote input/output devices. These include handheld barcode scanners and portable computer terminals. These battery-operated devices are used throughout a warehouse to perform all key Whistle transactions.

Radio Frequency Transmitters

Remote inventory devices connect to the main Whistle Application Server through a wireless radio frequency network. All networks are customized to suit the needs of the warehouse and/or plant. The size of the radio network depends on both plant size and layout. Antennas are strategically placed throughout a warehouse to provide full wireless connectivity throughout the entire building. This wireless grid satisfies the critical need for warehouse employees to be able to access Whistle from any point within the warehouse.

Telnet Application

Remote inventory devices require both (1) a connection to the Whistle application server (radio frequency transmitters) and (2) a device that can transmit the data over the open connection. The Whistle system employs a ‘Telnet’ application to handle this function. A telnet application must be installed on both the application server and all remote inventory devices.

Operating Systems

As mentioned earlier, the main Whistle application is usually located on a central server within the warehouse. Whistle is designed to be able to run on just about any operating system. Our goals are to have Whistle be able to operate on the following operating systems:

  • Windows NT4
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Unix (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux)

Setup Scenarios

What follows are several different diagrams depicting possible Whistle system setups. Please refer to the previous section, ‘Key Concepts’, for information regarding the particular system components.

This first system diagram depicts a completely self-contained Whistle system. All of the system components are located in one location, be it a warehouse, plant, store, office, or other. This setup is most suitable to small companies that may only have one location from which their operations are based. The advantages of this system setup are speed and easy system management. Data is transmitted between components at a faster rate due to the lack of long transmission distances (Wide Area Networks - WANs). The entire Whistle system is easier to administer simply because everything is one place.


This second diagram is similar to the first, except that the ERP system database is remotely located. This situation is common amongst larger companies that have many physical warehouses and plants, but only one centrally located ERP system. In this case the ERP system and Whistle system communicate with each other to synchronize their common pool of data. The main disadvantages of this system are that (1) Whistle - ERP communications can be slow and (2) The ERP system relies on an open functioning network connection to synchronize it's data with Whistle data. The main advantage of this system is the fact that many satellite locations can connect to one central ERP system that manages and synchronizes all enterprise-wide transactions.


This diagram depicts a setup in which both the Whistle system and ERP system databases are located off premises. The Whistle application server communicates with the Whistle database and the ERP database over a network such as a WAN. The setup has the same disadvantage as setup #2, mainly that data transmission times can be long. This system also relies on a functioning external network, one that may be possibly fail and halt all Whistle system operations.


This fourth diagram depicts a fairly complex system, similar to the second system except that there are two Whistle databases. The first is the local one that the system uses to perform all Whistle transactions. The second is the main whistle database that is updated separately as time and transmission speed allow. This setup overcomes the problem of having the functioning Whistle database located off site (and thus long transmission times). Also, if the connection between the Main Whistle database and the application server is lost, Whistle will still function using the local database.