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Data Capture and the SmartForm

 

In this article, we will be going over the various fields and data that can be found within the Data Capture section of your TracerPlus Session. For reference, you may open your own project and open up the Data Capture tab, or see the attached photo for an example.

 

Data Capture

In this part of the article we will be going over the left side of the Data Capture section, so, starting from the Enable NFC scanner option and ending at the RFID Stop GoToControlID field. 

Enable NFC Scanner - What this option does is pretty self-explanatory, when checked it allows all NFC compatible devices which are running your form, to be able to use their NFC reader as a method of input for your form. This option is currently (as of TracerPlus 9.2) only available for Android devices.

Enable barcode scanner - This too is pretty self-explanatory as all it does is enable the barcode scanner as a method of data entry when checked and will disable it when the check mark isn't there. Unlike the other two checkmark boxes, this option is natively available for both Android and Windows Devices alike (Supported devices only). 

Android Scan Window Dimensions - This field, or rather, these two fields are going to determine the read area for the Android's camera when using it to scan barcodes. Increasing the number will cause the camera to be able to read larger sized barcodes. By leaving the settings at 0, a default sized window will appear for general barcode size.

Enable RFID scanner - Checking this box will allow your RFID reading device to use its RFID reader as a method of data entry in your forms. Specific scanners can use RFID, please check your scanner's compatibility before using. 

EPC Tag Format -  This dropdown allows you to set the text format in which your RFID tags are coded, either Hexadecimal or ASCII. Having the wrong setting on this could cause some problems with your scanned data. 

Tag Session - The tag sessions are used for two things, specify how long after a read a tag will respond to another inventory request by a reader, and the second is to allow multiple readers to inventory a tag at the same time. 

Each session has two inventory states: A, and B. When a tag is inventoried by a reader the selected tag session will switch from the default state, A to the inventoried state, B. It will stay in the B state for the EPC defined length of time for that session, and in general will not respond to a reader again for the defined length of time for that session. Here is the list:

Session 0: Instructs the tag to reset the state to A every time it is inventoried. This is required if you want to read the tag numerous times, and is not optimal for inventorying a large number of tags because all of the tags will be responding continuously.

Session 1: Instructs the tag to stay in state B for a maximum of 5 seconds. This will reduce the amount of reads of a single tag as an inventory is in progress.

Session 2 and 3: These two sessions have the same definition. The tag is instructed to stay in the B state for at least 2 seconds. These two sessions are optimal for larger number of tags when you want to keep them 'quiet' after they have responded to the inventory.

 

Flush tags - This determines when the reader will clear its list of scanned tags. Until the list is cleared, the RFID scanner will not read a tag a second time. This can be useful for counting quantities and preventing the possibility of duplicate scans. Setting it to inventory stop will flush the tag list after scan trigger is released, setting it to OnSubmit will flush the tags when the form's data is submitted, and setting it to user will require a manual flush. The tag list that gets flushed is kept within the reader itself, not in the TracerPlus form. 

Scan Stop - This dropdown determines whether the RFID scanner will stop scanning when the trigger is released(TriggerRelease) or when the first tag is read(TagRead). This allows for a more controlled, pinpointed read or a broader read, depending on the choice.

Radio Power - This field determines and sets the power of the RFID reader when used in the form. As the number increases, the power and read range of the RFID scanner increases as well. This may require some trial and error to find just the right power level for your use.

User Memory Bank - Determines the size of writable data that can be written to the scanned tag. This number cannot be set to a higher value than your RFID tag can receive, so please check your RFID tag's specs before setting this value. By default, this field is set to 64.

EPC Memory Bank -  Determines the size of the RFID tag's ID number. This number cannot be set to a higher value than your RFID tag can receive, so please check your RFID tag's specs before setting this value. By default, this field is set to 12.

Read User memory during scan -  Another one of those self-explanatory options. When checked, the RFID scanner will also read the User memory held within the tag, instead of just the tag number. This is only useful for RFID tags which can be/have been written to.

RFID Stop GoToControlID - This field works like how the GoTo Control fields work in the Form Designer. When you set a number in this field, the form will move to the specified ID number when the scan has stopped. So, once the trigger is released or the first tag is read (depending on what you picked in the Scan Stop field) the form will make the active field be the specified ID number automatically, so users don’t have to tap the field themselves. If set to a button, this can activate the button and may be useful for posting tags after a read.

 

SmartForm

In this Section of the article, we will be going over the SmartForm which can be found on the right half of the Data Capture section.

Add - This button is used to add a new rule to the SmartForm.

Remove - This button will remove the selected rule from the SmartForm. You must highlight the entire rule by clicking in the column to the left of the Rule Type column. This will highlight the entire row and you can then remove that rule.

Clear All - This will remove all rules from the SmartForm.

Rule Type - This dropdown consists of seven different options: Barcode Scan Complete, NFC Read Complete, RFID Read Complete, Data Begins With, Data Ends With, Data Contains, and Data Has Length.

Barcode Scan Complete - This option will take barcode data upon a successful scan (regardless of whether the scanner is still scanning for other tags or not) and will output the data to the designated field. Only supported on devices that TracerPlus natively supports the barcode scanner and does not work with wedge software.

NFC Read Complete -  This option will take NFC data upon a successful scan (regardless of whether the scanner is still scanning for other tags or not) and will output the data to the designated field. 

RFID Read Complete -  This option will take RFID data upon a successful scan (regardless of whether the scanner is still scanning for other tags or not) and will output the data to the designated field. This option has special value settings of EPC memory bank and User memory bank, these options determine which bank to check and output to a chosen field.  Only supported on devices that TracerPlus natively supports the RFID scanner and does not work with wedge software.

Data Begins With -  This option, when set, will analyze all incoming data for a specified starting value and will output all matching data to a specified field. This option can be used in conjunction with a read complete rule, or can be used alone.

Data Ends With -  This option, when set, will analyze all incoming data for a specified ending value and will output all matching data to a specified field.  This option can also be used in conjunction with a read complete rule, or can be used alone.

Data Contains -  This option will cause your form to scan incoming data for a specified value and if said data contains that value, the data will be outputted to a specified field.

Data Has Length -  This final choice will scan all incoming data to see if it has a certain length, which is designated by a use inputted value, and data which is found to match these criteria will be outputted to the specified field. This requires a numerical value.

Value - This column determines the limiting factors of the rule Type chosen within its row. Certain Rule Types may require special values, please see the Rule Type section above for more info.

Destination Field -  This column determines which field each row's chosen rule type will output to. So if you pick Data Begins With, Q, and Field 4. Then when data is read that begins with 'Q', it will be sent to field 4. 

Trigger After Scan - This option determines whether the Rule will occur after the scan has completed or not. If left unchecked, any other actions which might tie to that rule will not occur. It is recommended to leave this option checked except when doing a MSS read of RFID tags to a cached grid.

 

Hopefully this helps you better understand the Data Capture section and will help you all make even better forms!

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  1. John Townsend (Migrated deleted Agent)

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