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With a programmable barcode scanner, you can improve your App's performance!

BarcodeGuy's barcode scanners can all be customized as a programmable custom scanner.



The BarcodeGuy SP2100 can be used as a Programmable Custom Scanner, when integrated into your application's code via our free SDK. Even though its small size and common use as a bluetooth keyboard for barcode data entry might lead you to believe the BarcodeGuy SP2100 is just another computer or smart phone peripheral, that perception is far from the total story! One of the most important features of BarcodeGuy SP2100 is the fact that you can control it using the SDK and your application program running on the host device.

While the traditional definition of a programmable barcode scanner most often includes the ability to run a program on the scanner that takes action when a barcode is scanned: it prompts the operator, uses the barcode data to perform lookups and validation updates a database, operating on the collected barcode data is generally accepted as the "programmable" portion of the definition. Against that framework, a SP2100 paired via bluetooth to a host device via HID doesn't technically fit this definition because the barcode scanner is not doing the processing, nor is it directing the user after the scan. However, with a HID connection the fact that the SP2100 can be configured to read only certain barcode types, can format the barcode data before being sent to the host, can add suffixes, prefixes and a time stamp to the barcode data on transmission, blurs the conclusion that it isn't a programmable custom scanner. The SP2100 can be programmed in HID mode. That programming is most likely custom to the application. So technically, the BarcodeGuy SP2100 can be classified as a programmable custom scanner in its common usage as a HID bluetooth keyboard.

When connected via MFi or SPP to the host device, the SP2100's communication protocols must be controlled by an application running on the host. The scanned barcode data isn't automatically sent to the keyboard buffer of the host device but must be pulled from a connected COM port and operated on. Once pulled, the operation may simply be sent the characters to the keyboard buffer, making them show up at the flashing cursor. More often, the barcode data is used by the application program to perform tasks transparent to the user except when the final results of the scan are being displayed. For example, imagine that the first screen of the App that is red with text that prompts the user to scan an ID badge barcode to login. The screen has no input or text box to allow keyed entry. The barcode on the badge is a 2-dimensional barcode with 3 delimited fields: a decryption key, a user name and a password. For simplicity, assume the operator scans the correct barcode. The App pulls the barcode characters from the COM port, parses the 3 fields into individual variables, uses the decryption key to decrypt the user name and password and looks them up in a master database to verify they are valid and allow the user to continue. If the results of the operation failed, the user would be prompted to scan the correct barcode again.

The example of above is the simplest use of the SDK and its use to make program operations after the scan of the barcode makes the case again that the scanner isn't a programmable custom barcode scanner. However, the real power of using the SDK is that once you're controlling the communications with the scanner, you can also control the scanner setup variables like if and when a barcode scan is allowed, what types of barcodes are allowed, the activation of the buzzer or vibrator and most importantly, what appears on the screen of the SP2100. You see, in normal mode (HID, SPP or MFi) the barcode decoder operated independently of the communications, displaying the barcode data after a successful scan. However, using the SDK, you can change this behavior. Let's expand on the example above for more detail.

The first screen of the App is exactly the same, but in addition, the display of the SP2100 displays "Scan Badge Barcode". If the operator tries to scan any barcode other than a PDF417 the scan is refused, the buzzer sounds a high tone and three low tones and the display is changed to read "WRONG BARCODE", "Scan Badge Barcode". If the operator scans a valid barcode and but the lookup fails, the user feedback options are tailored to the rejection. If the validation succeeds, the operator can be prompted with 3 short high beeps and the display can be changed to display "Login Successful" for 2 seconds followed by what needs to be done next. Controlling the scanner in this manner makes it a programmable custom scanner and makes it a more powerful input device over a HID connected bluetooth keyboard replacement.

To see the BarcodeGuy working as a programmable custom scanner, see our Developers Page.

And just let us know if you have any questions. We'll do our best to explain how using the BarcodeGuy SP2100 as a programmable custom scanner can improve the s peed and accuracy of your data collection application.

Programmable Custom Scanner



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