With Tracker 8, field personnel can use a smart phone, tablet or computer to find and order the tools, equipment and supplies they need. No installation is required (unless you want to read barcodes with a smart phone): your data lives in the cloud and the interface runs on any device with a modern browser.

Tracker 8 was designed for mid-sized to large construction companies that want to assign tools and equipment to jobs, employees, trucks and storage sites. Report customization and barcoding (with phone and tablet cameras, stationary and portable barcode readers) are built into the system.

  • Stationary barcode readers, which are attached to a computer, smart phone or tablet via cable, radio or bluetooth, are less expensive than portable readers. Attached to a computer, they work well if everything in your warehouse passes through a single door or across a single counter. Attached to a smart phone or tablet, they're portable but you have to deal with 2 pieces of hardware. Many different stationary readers can be used with Tracker 8. With computers, we recommend the stationary reader pictured below. The bluetooth scanners we recommend with smart phones and tablets are similar.

  • If you need to collect large amounts of data while away from your computer, you need a battery-powered, portable barcode reader that can scan items as they’re loaded or unloaded from a truck or delivered to a job site. The portable reader pictured below has been programmed to work with Tracker 8. Others could be used, but custom programming would be required.

  • Barcode label software is integrated with Tracker 8. You can print your labels in-house or use pre-printed labels.

Tracker 8 Lite is ideal for smaller organizations that need to track 195 or fewer items.

Optional, extra-cost modules can be added to Tracker 8 (but not to Tracker 8 Lite) at any time, without re-entering data.

Supplies and Small Tools. Track less-expensive items like hand tools and supplies. Kits, containers, and order points.

Billing. Tool management software that turns your tool room into a profit center. Automatically processes tool and equipment sale and rental rates as items are checked out, including job discounts and rental caps.

Repair and Maintenance. Track repair histories and costs, set up preventive maintenance schedules that alert you when maintenance is due.

Multi-user. Allows more than one person to run Tracker 8 at the same time. Differentiates between editing and view-only users. Editing users can add and edit data. View-only users can find and order items but cannot otherwise add or edit data.

Contact us if you ...

  • Would like to schedule a live, over-the-internet demonstration.
  • Want to try Tracker 8 'live' (we'll give you a temporary demo account).
  • Have questions. Tracker 8 is very flexible and offers lots of options. We can quickly steer you in the right direction.

Tracker 8 is a complete re-write of Tracker 7 but is based on the same concepts. If you're used to Tracker 7, Tracker 8 will feel familiar.

Tracker 8 runs in the cloud. Field personnel can use a smart phone, tablet or computer to find and order the tools, equipment and supplies they need. That said, if you've used Tracker 7 you'll probably run Tracker 8 on a computer. The images in this tutorial are, therefore, from a computer. If you'd like to see images from a smart phone, check out the Tracker 8 help overview.

After you sign in, the main menu appears across the top.

Tracker 8 menu

The first 2 icons are Find and add to cart and Fast add to cart. When you assign items in Tracker 8, you add them to your cart then order them, just like you would if you were ordering from an online store.

Find and add to cart was designed for people who use the Tracker occasionally and aren't real familiar with their organization's item numbers and descriptions. If you want your field people to be able to find or order items, they'll probably use this screen.

  • Click the Find and add to cart icon in the main menu.

  • Mobile find order default search screen

  • You'll probably see this search window. Fill in part of a description and/or job or site number then click OK.

  • Find and add to cart screen on a computer
  • Find and add to cart displays data in levels. In this example, descriptions are at the top level. The number to the right of each description is the number of items with that description that match the current search. We've clicked the plus sign to the left of 'compressor' to drill down to the second, assignment level, then the plus sign to the left of 'Job: 1 job 1' to open the third, item level.
  • Click the cart icon at any level to add an item to your cart. If, for example, you want a generator but don't care where it comes from or which generator is sent, click the cart at the description level (this is what your field people are most-likely to do). If you want to take an item from a specific assignment, click at the assignment level. If you want a specific item, click at the item level.

Fast add to cart was designed for people who use the Tracker often and are familiar with their organization's item numbers and descriptions. If you're upgrading from Tracker 7, that probably describes you.

  • Click in the main menu to open the Fast add to cart screen.

  • Fast add on a computer

  • Optionally, click the Fast add to cart from button and enter the assignment your items are coming from. This limits the search to items at that assignment and speeds things up, especially if you're using a barcode reader.
  • Type at least 3 characters from the beginning, middle, or end of an item number, description or cross reference (like a barcode number) in the search field. If the characters you typed have one and only one match, that item will be added to the cart (with its current assignment and quantity on hand) and the search field cleared. Otherwise, a list of matching items will drop down.

  • Fast add dropdown on a computer

  • Items are listed with their current assignments and the quantity on hand at that assignment. If no assignment is listed, the item hasn't been assigned yet.
  • Type more characters into the search field to refine your search or click an item to add it to the cart (with its current assignment and quantity on hand) and close the list. To close the list without clicking an item, click on the right-hand side of the search field or press ESC on your keyboard.

The Tracker cart is like the cart in an online store: items added to the cart can be edited or deleted before you place your order.

  • Click the Cart icon in the main menu.

  • Cart with task list

  • Click Cart task and pick a task, for example, Assign to job.

  • Cart with job list

  • Cart task changes to Assign to job and the dropdown to its right changes to --choose a job--.
  • The date in the upper right corner defaults to today but can be edited.
  • Add items to, edit items in or delete items from the grid, for example, changing the quantity ordered (click the Edit icon in the grid menu to edit).
  • Optionally, enter a note in the lower left.

  • If you see a Place Order button at the bottom right, click it to record your order. If you see Actions, click it and a menu with 2 choices (Place Order and Ship) will appear.
  • Placing an order in Tracker 8 is like ordering from an online merchant, who packs and ships your order. Shipping means you're moving items (you might be a warehouseman picking items for a job or a foreman sending items from one job to another). In Tracker 7, items are usually shipped immediately.
  • Your organization's Tracker manager can give different users different capabilities. Some field users, for example, might be allowed to find items but not to order or ship them. Others might be allowed to place orders but not ship.
After you place or ship an order, the Orders screen opens. The Orders screen lists orders and the items in those orders. Use it to review order status, print shipping tags and purchase orders and, if you're in a warehouse, fulfill orders placed by field users.

Grid with subgrid

You can return to the Orders screen later (to check, for example, your order's status) by clicking the Data icon in the main menu then Orders - assignments.. We'll use a different screen, though, to show you how Tracker 8 grids work. Click the Data icon then Jobs to display the Jobs screen.

Jobs grid address info view

Data is displayed in grids, as in Tracker 7. Click the Add icon in the upper right corner of the grid to add a record, Edit to edit and Delete to delete (delete more than one record at a time by checking the boxes at the left of the records you want to delete then clicking the Delete icon.

In Tracker 7, when you add or edit an record, you have to save it before you can add or edit another. In Tracker 8, clicking the Add or Edit icon puts you in edit mode, where you can add and edit as many records as you like before saving. In edit mode, the icons in the upper right corner of the grid change.

Grid menu when editing

You still have the Add icon but also have Save and Cancel icons (Cancel undoes any changes you've made since your last save).

Click the Search icon to display the search menu.

Grid menu when editing

A quick search is like Tracker 7's simple search: you can only search one column at a time. But in Tracker 8, the quick search isn't limited to 'starts with.'

Jobs grid quick search operator menu

Also in the search menu:

  • Jobs with items assigned and not idle are complex searches. Tracker 8's complex searches are similar to Tracker 7's. Both can search more than one column at a time. But Tracker 8 adds several new features, including the ability to search other tables. The 'jobs with items assigned' search, for example, looks in the item assignments table to see whether items are assigned to a job.
  • Click Edit searches to add and edit complex searches.
  • Use Default search to specify a search you want run automatically when a screen is first opened.

Jobs default search

The default search can be set at the system, organization, or user level. You'll see these same 3 levels in reports, sorts and views.

  • System-level defaults are set by Waterwheel. You can't alter that default but can over-ride it by specifying an organization or user default.
  • Organization-level defaults are set by your Tracker 8 organization manager and effect everyone in your organization.
  • You can set your own user-level defaults. They effect you, only.

Click the Tools icon to display the tools menu then Views to display the Views sub-menu.

Jobs grid address info view

A view is a selection of columns or fields. Tracker 7 lets you customize your views, but you can only have one view per table. In Tracker 8, you can have several views of the same table, each with different columns set up in a different sequence. And, unlike Tracker 7, you can include columns from other tables and set up views with sub-grids, like this one.

Jobs grid item assignments view

The current view, complex search (if any) and complex sort (also if any) are displayed above each grid, on the right.

Also in the tools menu:

  • You can sort a grid in Tracker 7 or 8 by clicking on a column heading. But you're sorting by just one column. Tracker 7 supports some multi-column, complex searches in reports (for example, inventory sorted by location then id) but not in grids. Tracker 8 lets you create and edit multi-column sorts in both.
  • You can attach as many files as you like to a record: maps, contracts, electronic documents of all kinds.

Click the Reports icon in the grid menu to see the reports menu.

Jobs grid reports menu

  • Tracker 7 reports are separate from and different than the grids seen on-screen. Most Tracker 8 reports display what you see in a grid: the columns in the current view, the rows that are displayed (which can be the result of a search), sorted in the order you've chosen. Print displays that data in a window from which it can be printed.
  • Most Tracker 7 reports can be only exported as tab-delimited files. In Tracker 8, Export CSV, Export tab delimited, Export Excel, Export PDF convert the on-screen data to the format you select.
  • If you want to email a Tracker 7 report, you need to print and scan it or print it as a PDF then attach it to an email. In Tracker 8, Email brings up an email form. A PDF version of the report is attached automatically when you click send.
  • Some Tracker 8 reports serve specific purposes (like Barcode labels, which prints your job numbers as barcodes).
  • Tracker 7 offers report customization as an extra-cost module. Report customization in Tracker 8 is a standard feature. If you want to change the columns in a report, change your view. If you want to change the order your data is sorted, change your sort. If you want to group data or do some arithmetic in the report (for example, sum up the numbers in a column), click Edit reports ....


  • Tracker 8 will feel familiar to Tracker 7 users. The concepts and interfaces are similar.
  • We've written a program that upgrades Tracker 7 data to Tracker 8 formats. Unless your data is non-standard or unexpectedly-complex, we can upgrade it quickly and generally don't charge for data upgrades.
  • Tracker 7 barcode scanners will continue working with Tracker 8.


  • Waterwheel plans to support Tracker 7 thru at least December 31, 2020 (but cannot guarantee that new versions of Windows will support Visual Foxpro 6, in which Tracker 7 is built).
  • Tracker 8's core has been well-tested (one customer has used it for real since July 2016, a second since January 2017). But we're still adding features, some of which are new or nearly-new.


  • If you're currently paying Tracker 7 software maintenance and technical support fees, you may upgrade to Tracker 8 whenever you like. There's no additional license fee and, unless your data is non-standard or unexpectedly-complex, no data upgrade fee.
  • If you're not currently paying Tracker 7 software maintenance and technical support fees, you need to renew before upgrading to Tracker 8 or a more-recent version of Tracker 7. Renewals start on the day you ask for them, Waterwheel doesn't back-charge.
  • Waterwheel will continue charging current Tracker 7 support and maintenance fees thru at least December 31, 2019, whether you upgrade to Tracker 8 or stay with Tracker 7.

  • We'll charge Tracker 7 license and support fees for any modules you add after upgrading EXCEPT view-only licenses.
  • Tracker 8's view only license is much-more capable than Tracker 7's and is one of the primary benefits of the new system: among other things, field users with view-only licenses can search for and order items on a smart phone or tablet.
  • When a Tracker 7 customer with the employees module upgrades to Tracker 8, we'll include 1 view-only license for every multi-user, editing license they already have. Otherwise, we'll charge 10% of your annual software maintenance and technical support fee per view-only license, per year. For example, a user with a single-user Tracker 7 system that includes the supplies and small tools module would be charged $322.20 per year for software maintenance and technical support. If that user added 1 view-only Tracker 8 license, we'd add 10% ($32.22) to that user's annual fee (total $354.42).
  • Several users can share a license. Waterwheel counts the number of people who have actually signed in, not the number of people who CAN sign in.

  • Tracker 7 Lite customers may upgrade to Tracker 8 Lite after paying the annual Tracker 8 Lite fee.

  • These prices and policies were updated December 7, 2017, are in US dollars and are subject to change without notice.


Contact us to discuss the upgrade process and schedule training sessions. We'll set up a Tracker 8 account you can use to learn the system.

We generally recommend cutting over from Tracker 7 to 8 without an interim period. But in some cases (for example, if you're importing or exporting data from an accounting system), we may recommend an interim period during which we can set up and test Tracker 8 in your environment.

We've written a program that identifies issues that must be addressed before Tracker 7 data can be upgraded. Click here to download upgrade_check.exe, save it in your Tracker 7 data folder, run it (when Tracker 7 isn't running) then fix any issues the program identifies, which can include ...

  • Descriptions whose IDs have different values in the Tracker 7 UNIQUE, RETURNS and VEHICLE fields (delete the mis-matches from inventory, give them a different description or contact us to discuss other solutions)
  • IDs with blank descriptions (delete from inventory or enter a description)
  • Begin dates in history before January 1, 1980 or after January 1, 2020 (delete from history or fix the date)
  • IDs assigned to inactive jobs and vendors and non-existent storage sites and employees (delete from inventory or re-assign to an active location)
  • Unprocessed pick tickets and work orders (delete or process)
  • Employees, jobs, storage sites or vendors with no name.

The suggestions below are recommended but optional.

If you've used Tracker 7 for several years, you probably have old transaction history, jobs, employees and other data you never look at (if you think you might look at it, keep a copy of tracker 7, as suggested below).

  • In the Tracker 7 jobs and vendors screens, uncheck the ACTIVE column in the jobs and vendors you don't want upgraded.
  • in the Tracker 7 storage sites and employees screens, delete the storage sites and employees you don't want upgraded.
  • Transaction history at inactive jobs and vendors and deleted storage sites and employees won't be upgraded. IDs currently assigned to those location need to be deleted from inventory or re-assigned to active locations. If you need help identifying those IDs, re-run upgrade_check.exe.

Descriptions are much-more important in Tracker 8 than in Tracker 7. There's a lot you can do to make them work better.

  • If you use different descriptions for identical items (for example, STEP LADDER and STEPLADDER), edit your Tracker 7 inventory so identical items have identical descriptions.
  • Descriptions work best when they identify a reasonably-small group of similar or identical items. If your descriptions are too specific, they may only describe one item (for example, PICKUP 1/2 TON is probably better than 1/2 TON 2015 CHEVY PICKUP).
  • Include words people use when asking for an item and exclude the rest (if people mention size when asking for an item, include it in the description; if size isn't mentioned, leave it out).
  • Start descriptions with the most generic term then get more-and-more specific (for example, LADDER STEP 8 FT instead of 8 FT STEP LADDER) and your items will group naturally when sorted by description.

Over time, Tracker 7 data can become inconsistent. It's worth checking ...

  • Your rates, if you're using the billing system, to make sure identical items have identical rates.
  • The inventory and/or job codept field, if you're using either, to make sure you're using that field consistently.
  • Your timberline data (the fields to check vary with the way you've set up your Timberline options).

While you can do a physical count and update quantities after upgrading, doing so before gives you an opportunity to check your data and catch inconsistencies.

Finally ...

  • If you're using the Tracker 7 billing system, run a period-end bill for the most-recent month.
  • While running Tracker 7, click the Utilities menu then Backup and rebuild.
  • Zip up your data files and email them to Waterwheel. If you're cutting over to Tracker 8 without an interim period, stop using Tracker 7. We'll upgrade your data, load it in the cloud and email you sign-in credentials.
  • Keep a copy of Tracker 7 on your computer for at least a year after upgrading so you can look up data you didn't upgrade.

Tracker 7

Tracker 8


typical users

office and warehouse personnel

office, warehouse and field personnel


field users can use mobile devices to search for and order items



on each computer

no installation necessary, cloud-based, runs in a browser


on-site server installation possible but not offered initially


internet access

possible with utilities like terminal server or citrix

standard, runs over the internet


mobile devices

not supported

specialized screens for mobile devices


designed to be used by field personnel for searches, orders



employees (optional, extra cost)

employees (included, no extra cost)


custom reports (optional, extra cost)

custom reports (included, no extra cost)


portable barcode download (optional, extra cost)

portable barcode download (included, no extra cost)


supplies & small tools (optional, extra cost)

supplies & small tools (optional, extra cost)


billing (optional, extra cost)

billing (optional, extra cost)


repair & maintenance (optional, extra cost)

repair & maintenance (optional, extra cost, available Spring 2017)



one-time license + annual support fees

monthly or annual use fees, no up-front license fees


free lite version

low-cost lite version


no charge for view-only users

charge for view-only users




mouse & menu on a computer

works best if the user knows his organization's IDs

different screen for different users


works reasonably-well if the user knows descriptions

one for those who know their organization's IDs or descriptions


another for those who don't: utilizes a familiar 'add to cart' approach


supports separate barcode #s, no other cross-references

unlimited cross-references, e.g., barcode #s, manufacturer #s


touchscreen on a mobile device

not supported

specialized screens for mobile device users


stationary barcode on a computer

supported, data checked when entered



doesn't support separate barcode #s

supports separate barcode #s


portable barcode on a computer

supported, data not checked until uploaded



barcoding on a mobile device

not suppported

supported, data checked when entered



grids in Tracker 7

similar concept, different name ('views') in Tracker 8


very limited organization-wide setup

designed for organization-wide setup


user customization

each user can have a different grid for the same data

each user can have any number of views of the same data


column widths can be changed but changes aren't saved

column widths can be changed, changes can be saved


organization managers can set up one default grid per table

can set up one default and any number of alternative views


all subsequent changes are user-by-user

subsequent changes can be by group or user


organization managers can change default, re-assign users, etc.


table-to-sub-table grids/views

not supported



fields from other tables

cannot be added by users to grids

can be added by users to grids


can be added to reports




quick 1-column searches



1-column search operator (e.g., 'starts with') can't be changed

users can pick from a list of operators


complex searches can be saved

complex searches must be saved


can only search for data in the table being used

can search for data in related tables


organization manager can't pre-define complex searches

organization managers can define any number of complex searches for all users in his organization


users can add additional user-specific complex searches


no default search

organization managers can define default searches for each view


users can over-ride that with a user-defined default



click a column heading to sort ascending, again to sort descending



complex sorts (2+ columns) not supported

any number of complex sorts can be created and saved


can include data from related tables in sorts


organization managers can define any number of complex sorts


users can add additional user-specific complex sorts


default sorts system-defined, users can't change

organization managers can define default sorts for each view


users can over-ride that with a user-defined default



search results can be passed from a grid to a report



customizing a grid doesn't change reports

reports generally replicate the columns displayed in a view


changing the sort in a grid doesn't change reports

reports generally replicate the sort order in a view



items automatically-assigned to default storage when added

items not automatically-assigned


categories assigned by item

categories (renamed for clarity and extended) assigned by description


unique (including vehicles)

vehicles, equipment and expensive tools


not unique

inexpensive tools


not unique not normally returned

consumables, serialized consumables and intangibles



rates assigned by item

rates assigned by group


difficult to undo period-end bills and re-run bills for previous periods

easy to undo period-end bills and re-run bills for previous periods


hourly billing from meter entries, only

hourly billing from meter entries or clock time




user passwords

optional if employees module on



security levels

pre-defined, hard-coded

pre-defined by group, i.e., more fine-grained


field-level security

organization managers can exclude fields from grids

organization managers can define field access by group



database, language, interface: Visual FoxPro 6

database: postgreSQL


no longer supported by Microsoft but common

language: javascript


Windows only

development environment: servoy


interface: jQuery, jQuery mobile, slickgrid


all open-source


all operate on multiple operating systems: Windows, Linux, etc.

Updated August 24, 2017
In US dollars
Subject to change without notice

Tracker 8 pricing for new customers consists of monthly or annual fees payable in advance (upgrade pricing for Tracker 7 customers is described in Upgrading from Tracker 7 to 8). Monthly fees must be paid automatically by credit card. Annual fees (5% discount) may be paid by credit card or check. You can stop using the Tracker any time you like but Waterwheel will not refund fees previously paid.

Tracker 8 pricing differentiates between editing and view-only users. Editing users can add and edit data. View-only users can order items but cannot otherwise add or edit data.

Waterwheel counts the number of people who have signed in, not the number who CAN sign in. Any number of people in your organization can have Tracker 8 user id's and passwords but the number who can sign in at the same time is limited to the number you're paying for. If, for example, you're paying for 1 editing user, only 1 editing user can sign in at a time.

Tracker 8 editing user fees

editing user 1

each additional editing user

base system



* optional modules












Tracker 8 view-only user fees

view-only users 1 thru 10, each

each additional view-only user

base system



* optional modules












* All users in an organization must license the same optional modules.

Tracker 8 fees include access to the most current Tracker 8 release; technical support by email or, when we're available, phone (we're normally available during California business hours); most over-the-web training and simple data imports.

Tracker 8 fees do not include complex data imports or custom coding (for which we charge $50 per quarter-hour), on-site training (for which we charge $150 per hour plus travel expenses) or barcode training (for which we charge $150 per hour).

Tracker 8 Lite

The annual fee for Tracker 8 Lite is $195, payable in advance by credit card or check. You can stop using Tracker 8 Lite any time you like but Waterwheel will not refund fees previously paid.

Tracker 8 Lite is limited to 195 items and 1 editing user. The optional supplies, billing and repair modules are not available.

Tracker 8 Lite fees include access to the most current Tracker 8 Lite release but do not include technical support, complex data imports, custom coding or training. We reserve the right to charge Tracker 8 Lite customers $50 per quarter-hour for technical support and over-the-web training.

Barcode hardware

portable Worth Data LT5001H TriCoder with integrated laser scanner, usb cable and handle


portable Worth Data LT5001 TriCoder with integrated laser scanner and usb cable but without handle


portable reader programming and shipping, each




stationary LZ360-USB laser scanner with usb cable


stationary LZ400RF 2-way radio laser scanner including 1 base station and usb cable