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Thread: Lianja App with OpenSource Barcode Scanner

  1. #1
    Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Germany
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    Lianja App with OpenSource Barcode Scanner

    Hi,
    has anyone experience with building an app with a Borcode Scanner.
    I am thinking of developing a small app for a inventory system.
    Any suggestions for a good OpenSource Barcode Scanner?
    Jens

  2. #2
    Hello Jens, did you ever connect the scanner to your application?
    Thanks,

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2012
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    Rome - Italy
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    Hi Jens,
    if you use a PC, or a Windows tablet you can use a USB Barcode Scanner.
    This work as a keyboard.. you read the barcode and the scanner type the char/number like a keyboard.

    if you want to use an Android system.. reading the barcode with the camera.. I do not know.. :-)

    ciao
    Fabio

  4. #4
    Lianja MVP
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Croatia, Zagreb
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    1,124
    Hi joseluis,

    Take a look at Fabio's solution here: http://www.lianja.com/community/show...nswers-Barcode

    Josip

  5. #5
    Lianja MVP
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Berea, KY, USA
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    2,119
    Heres a rundown on scanners:

    1) using a device's camera is ok for infrequent use, in good lighting conditions. Not suitable for doing inventory which has to done quickly.
    2) usb scanners come in two varieties: lcd and laser. Laser is faster, better in variable lighting conditions. They can be integrated into PhoneGap (through PhoneGap plugins) and Electron (through node.js plugins) applications. The downside is that you have now 2 devices to carry around: one for shooting the barcode, and another to enter quantity. That said, voice recognition is good enough now (at least on most devices) to consider using that for quantity input (using a headset mic with noise cancelling).
    3) The standard in the industry is the Worth Data tricoder. Available in various models, the essence of it is built-in ability to grab a barcode and then, on the integrated numeric keypad, input the quantity. Once a section is done, the data can be uploaded (in a variety of ways -- but the keyboard wedge way is old-school and problematic). This guarantees that the user will be able to go as fast as they need to.

    The second option has advantages (being able to validate barcodes, or even barcodes by location, at the time of scanning). What you will need to have a concern about is ability of the app to keep up with an experienced inventory taker. If one is in a warehouse with 20,000 skus (some of our customers have more than that), there is no time to be wasted when doing inventory.

    hth,

    Hank

  6. #6
    Hank is right, the user experience is the first thing to consider. If this is an app that will be used quite often, laser scanners, form-factor, wireless connectivity for real time operation, and ruggedness are very important. Most of these users think of these devices as "tools", not technology, and expect them to be as easy to use and reliable as a hammer or wrench. I have struggled with using VFP with devices from Symbol, Motorola, Zebra,...ect. Since Windows cannot run on these small devices, VFP was out. Instead I have used proprietary COM server software from Wavelike and it has performed as required. Of course, it is wireless and is used in situations where real time is required, like order picking. It is also antiquated and on maintenance only with no updates expected. Recently finished an iOS app that allows an iPod/iPhone to operate as a wireless portable terminal with an attached "sled" that houses the barcode scanner. These are the devices you see at the Apple Stores and are made by Infinite Peripherals with model name Linea Pro. This gives a reasonably rugged device and if you do break the screen, a new iPod is about $200.

    I think now, with Lianja, you could easily do this with Phonegap. I see that a Linea Pro Plugin is available for Phonegap. Most scanner apps are really very simple when you look at them closely and the Lianja philosophy is also along the lines of one-app one-function. This would give you a wireless, real time solution, and although an inventory app doesn't usually immediately update counts, imagine what else you could do with direct connectivity to the database. Hmmm...using an iPhone could allow outside the building connectivity - think delivery scanning...I needed to provide a nicer, newer interface so I did this in Xcode, but believe me Lianja would have been much easier and I think you could build the same interface as I did, probably better! The only disadvantage to this solution is that the "real" barcode terminals have touchscreens that can respond to a gloved hand, something important in some applications.

    I try to monitor frequently, so if you encounter barcode problems (generating, encoding, selecting,...) just post and I can at least let you know what NOT to do as I have learned through my mistakes!

    Now, I am going to need to take some time and experiment with oData and Xcode Swift.....

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