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getting data from offline barcode collector into web application

We have a customer in need for a new in-house application. Taking all things into consideration, web application seems the way to go. However, they also use bar code scanners - online (connected into PS2 port and therefore acting basically as keyboards) and offline (bar code data collector) which can be connected to PC at any point in time.

How to read those bar codes into web application? Basically, what needs to be done are the same operations as with online scanners, but more than one time.

Any ideas, how to do it? Java applet, flash, ActiveX or something different?

Scanners are Datalogic Forumula 732e and Metrologic Scanpal. Web application will be JEE running on BEA Weblogic.

Final note: English is not my first language, so apologies for that.
kristj Send private email
Friday, March 16, 2007
Assuming the offline barcode reader can dump all the codes it has read/collected to a CSV or other formatted file, you could provide a means to upload the file to the web server, parse it and do what ever needs to be done with the data.
TownDrunk Send private email
Friday, March 16, 2007
For the online version: you can tell most (all?) barcode readers to emit a sequence of characters before emitting the actual barcode value. If they're in a webapp you could watch for that sequence of characters with JavaScript and then move the focus to the relevant data entry field, which will then capture the barcode data.

NB: I did this for an app nearly 10 years ago and it worked fine, but I haven't used it since.
Chris Winters Send private email
Friday, March 16, 2007
Every bar code scanner I've seen works like a USB or serial keyboard. Press the scan button and the barcode number is typed by the thing, just like it is coming from a keyboard.
Friday, March 16, 2007
If the offline reader can dump into the keyboard port (I've used some that actually can only communicate via a serial interface), the first thing I'd try is to dump it into a <textarea> on a simple HTML form and post it to my server script.  That would take about ten minutes.  There are a lot of circumstances under which I wouldn't need to do any more than that.
Robert Rossney Send private email
Friday, March 16, 2007
To expand what Chris Winters said, you can also program scanners to put text into the stream AFTER the data they read.  The effect is:

<Barcode scanner here! Here's some data:>


<barcode scanner done>
Karl Perry Send private email
Saturday, March 17, 2007

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