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Special considerations when working with barcode data

If you work with barcode data with your TracerPlus project, there are a few considerations you should be aware of. This article applies to the following use cases:

  • Using a keyboard wedge to scan barcode data on appropriately equipped devices and one or more of the following:
    • Using barcode validation rules based on barcode type
    • Using SmartForm rules that apply to barcode data

If you don’t work with barcode data in the aforementioned way, you don’t have to worry about these considerations, although it may be helpful for future projects where you may be working in such a scenario. These considerations DO NOT affect scanning barcodes through the camera scanner on Android, or through hardware level scanning on Motorola devices or Janam devices using the Motorola scan engine.

The problem

The keyboard wedge is the bridge between the scanning hardware and TracerPlus. When you activate the scanner, the keyboard wedge will receive the scanned data and send it to TracerPlus, as keyboard data. This is no different than if you had inputted the data by hand, using the physical or touch keyboard on the device. For this reason, TracerPlus does not see the scanning action as a “barcode scanning” action, it just looks like you typed data into the field. This explains why your SmartForm rules won’t work when you apply them for barcode data. By sending keyboard data to the field, the keyboard wedge has negated the “barcode scan” action.

Barcodes come in many different formats, and for TracerPlus to validate the format, it must do so immediately after the data is scanned. With hardware scanners, such as those on Motorola and Janam devices (with Motorola scanner engines), the scanning firmware is fully integrated with TracerPlus such that TracerPlus can detect the barcode format from the hardware, as this is an integrated feature of the hardware scanner. On Android, the camera scanner can decode and detect the barcode format, and in more or less the same way, TracerPlus can correctly validate the barcode format. Unfortunately since the keyboard wedge sends keyboard data, the special information that accompanies a real barcode scan to notify TracerPlus of the barcode format, simply does not exist. This explains why your barcode validations, related to barcode type, would not work when using a keyboard wedge.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there is no workaround in such a scenario. You should be aware that when using a keyboard wedge, you cannot use SmartForm rules tied to barcode scanning, or enabling validation based on barcode format.


Here is a list of devices, their manufacturers, and their OS's that are natively supported by TracerPlus: https://support.tracerplus.com/article/347-devices-natively-supported-by-tracerplus-version-10

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  1. Fahim Ali (Migrated deleted Agent)

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