Friday, March 28, 2014

New Updates to Barcode Generator Scripts

IDAutomation has released a new update for our family of Barcode Generator Scripts for ASP, ASPX and PHP environments. This latest update resolves a cosmetic issue with the Human Readable Fonts embedded in these products.

IDAutomation Barcode Generator Scripts provide an easy means of streaming dynamic barcodes into internet-connected environments including web pages and applications that can access the internet. One very useful method of integrating these scripts is through SSRS 2012 for linear barcode generation, and this is an excellent alternative to the Barcode CRI that is compatible with SSRS up to 2008.

If you currently own a license to the ASP, ASPX or PHP Barcode Generator Scripts and would like to download this latest version, purchase the Priority Support & Upgrade Subscription today. Or, you can purchase a new license directly from our website.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Inserting Barcodes in Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports is one of the most popular environments in the business market today. Companies across the globe utilize the power of Crystal Reports to generate reports from a multitude of data sources, providing immeasurable insight in terms of business analysis, strategic planning, inventory control and much, much more. Crystal Reports is also one of the most popular environments that businesses integrate barcode technology into. While many barcode technology companies offer fonts or .NET components to meet this need, customers often find these solutions to be cumbersome, complicated and often costly.

In 2010, IDAutomation was able to secure a patent for a special barcode generator object, thus eliminating the need for cumbersome fonts or complicated components. Known as the Native Barcode Generator for Crystal Reports, this totally unique product affords companies the ability to easily add barcode generation capability to reports without installing fonts or any other components. In short, the native barcode generator lives inside the report itself, and travels with the report when being distributed electronically.

IDAutomation has also secured similar patents for generating barcodes in Microsoft Access as well as Oracle Reports, giving customers the freedom to explore a completely new method to generate barcodes without much of the confusion. To learn more about the Native Barcode Generator for Crystal Reports or to watch us demonstrate how you can generate Code 128 barcodes in Crystal Reports using this innovative product, please view the video below.

Monday, February 17, 2014

How to Stream Barcodes into iReport Designer

iReport Designer is an open source report designer that can be used with Jaspersoft Corporation's JasperReports and JasperReports Server. iReports Designer allows users to design complex, sophisticated layouts which can include a range of valuable elements from charts, crosstabs and images as well. One little-known, but very valuable feature is the environment's ability to utilize a dynamic web address to source an image for display onto a report. This is particularly useful in situations where a barcode needs to be displayed on a report for document tracking or automated data entry purposes.

IDAutomation's technical support staff has worked hard to find an easy way to integrate barcode generation capability into iReport Designer, and we are pleased to release our latest tutorial. If iReport Designer is your environment of choice and you have a need to generate linear or 2D barcode images for your reports, we encourage you to test with a demo to use alongside this easy step-by-step tutorial. We also offer free pre-sales technical support, so you can always contact technical support with any questions you may have.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Should Barcodes Be Used on Student ID's?

Student ID from

A customer recently came to us with questions about integrating barcode technology in an elementary school lunch program. Barcodes are an excellent way to cut down on human error, and also great for a first-line defense against theft of important information like numbers, addresses and other data that may otherwise appear on an ID card.

Here is how the lunch program currently works:

  1. Each student is issued an ID card that displays the student's ID number.
  2. The student selects their meal items and brings them to the register where the cafeteria employee enters the items.
  3. The student manually enters their ID number and the debit card associated with the ID number is then charged accordingly.
This seems pretty simple, doesn't it? While this process may look good on it's face, there are glaring inefficiencies, and a lot of room for potential errors.

What if the student forgets their ID card? 

Students are encouraged to memorize their ID number in the event that they forget the card, but they do not always do so. The resulting impact is that cafeteria employees have to spend more time at checkout locating a student's ID number, which can slow down the line and leave students with less time to eat.

A potential solution to this problem is to leave the student ID cards with their teachers instead of with the students themselves. Each teacher would keep the ID cards of the students who go to lunch after their class, and distribute them so that the students will always have their cards. It's possible that some students will find a way to lose their cards between class and lunch, but the likelihood is greatly diminished if the cards are handed out by the teacher on a daily basis and then returned to the teacher after.

What if the wrong ID number is entered? 

Given the high rate of error in elementary school children entering a string of numbers from memory or even a card, it's probable that one student's account may end up being charged for another's lunch. This can also be a problem when students see the ID numbers of their peers and enter them intentionally, instead of their own. This is an inconvenience for both parents as well as for the school, whose employees have to process a refund and charge the correct account. Questions of theft can also come into play under these circumstances.

The best way to minimize the likelihood of human error is to eliminate the opportunity for the error to occur in the first place. This can be done by either adding  a barcode to the existing student ID, or by completely replacing the student ID number with a barcode.

How To Add Barcodes to Student ID Cards

It's easier to add barcodes to your student's ID cards than you think. All you really need are a few important things as outlined below:

Barcode Software To Use

Most student ID numbers are going to be no more than 13 characters. This is good news because the easiest solution is to use Code 39 barcode fonts. Why? Because of it's simple encoding process. The data you want to turn into a barcode must be formatted properly before the font is applied to it, or else your scanner will not recognize the barcode. In the case of Code 39, all you need to do is type an asterisk before and after the data you want to encode. Like this:


Just highlight the above data and then apply the appropriate Code 39 font to it and you've got a readable barcode. Other barcode types that encode larger amounts of data require more complex encoding which is usually done with a special font encoder tool. This makes these other font types less compatible with other programs, especially in comparison to Code 39 which is essentially compatible with any application that can call on a specific font. Simply apply the font to the student ID number when you are creating the student ID card.

Buy the Code 39 Font Advantage Package

Barcode Scanner To Use

IDAutomation USB Bacode Scanners are excellent for reading Code 39 barcodes in a POS environment, even if it's a school cafeteria. If a stand is purchased as well, the scanner can be programmed to continuous mode which means the student need only hold their ID card in front of the scanner and wait for the beep that indicates a successful read without even even touching any POS equipment. This not only cuts out the risk of human error in entering the correct ID number, but also extends the life of POS equipment which is handled much less.

Buy a USB Barcode Scanner

It doesn't take much to increase the efficiency of your elementary school's lunch room, thereby cutting wasteful costs. IDAutomation can provide the necessary products to add barcodes to your student ID's, and to scan them into your cafeteria POS system with relative ease.

Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Classify Medical Devices for FDA's UDI Mandate

Back in September, the Food and Drug Administration announced new labeling requirements for medical devices. Although many manufacturers and other businesses in the medical devices field will have some work to do in preparation of the mandates, it is thought that the inclusion of a unique device identifier (UDI) for each product will be a significant benefit in terms of improving patient safety, maintaining control of inventory and being able to respond quickly to recalls or other problems in the market.

The FDA has established classifications for approximately 1,700 different types of medical devices separated out into 16 specific categories. Further, each devices is assigned to one of three special classes as determined by critical factors including necessary safety measures, effectiveness and intended use. This class assignment determines things like the types of applications required, exemptions, fees and more.So, where does your device fit in? Here are a couple of ways you can find out:

Medical Device Product Classification Database

This is most likely going to be the quickest and easiest way to determine your product's classification. The Product Code Classification Database contains device names and unique product identifier codes assigned to generic device categories. Just enter some key information such as Device, Product Code, Regulation Number and Device Class to locate the correct product classification for your medical device.

Classify a Medical Device Manually

While it may be time consuming, it is certainly possible to manually classify a medical device. This is a much more detailed process that should leave anyone with a great deal more insight into how medical devices are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

No matter how you decide to proceed, you'll find a great starting point at the Overview of Device Regulation. Here you'll find everything you need to become compliant with the FDA's latest regulations for the medical device industry.

IDAutomation provides a variety of barcode fonts and software solutions designed to allow barcode generation in a full range of applications and environments. Our products are fully compatible with the FDA's newest standards for medical devices.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Barcoding: To Stream or Not To Stream?

By now, business owners understand that the best way to increased revenue is to engage customers and make it as easy as possible for them to complete a purchase, stay informed or complete some other goal of value to the business. The Internet has been a phenomenal tool for businesses to connect with consumers and to make the conversion process easier, and barcode technology has certainly played a role. But how?

It goes without saying that barcodes aren't the most exciting technology in the world, but that in no way diminishes their value. Following are some of the most effective uses of barcodes on the customer landscape to date:
  • Membership Reward Programs are popular ways of getting consumers to trade a little personal information for some potentially deep discounts on products or services. Traditional reward programs have offered a key chain tag or plastic card with a barcode that can connect customers to those discounts, while more recent developments technology may allow for an easy "instant membership" image that displays a barcode which can be stored on your mobile device.
  • Order Confirmations are an important part of any purchase process. After all, customers need to know when their purchase is complete. A barcode representation on the invoice receipt is an excellent way to encode valuable information such as order number, product, or even shipping method so that company employees can assist quickly and be proactive in case the customer needs help with an exchange, return or something else.
  • Marketing Promotions are a vital piece of any successful company. Here in the age of Social Media, you not only have to engage your customer base to convert, but you also have to motivate them to engage their social networks and spread the word about your products and services. QR Codes are particularly popular for tracking recipient behavior in marketing promotions both online and off.
There are a lot of different solutions that will allow the display of barcodes on a website or in an email which are two of the most popular methods of delivering information to consumers. One of the simplest methods is by utilizing IDAutomation's Hosted Barcode Generator Service, a cloud-based barcode generator that displays dynamic barcodes based on parameters set forth in a custom URL. This is a cutting-edge SaaS product that is light-weight and powerful enough to handle the needs of the highest order. For more information on how this service can be used, read up on this tutorial or please review the video demonstration below:

Friday, November 01, 2013

The Healthcare Industry's New HIBC UDI Barcode
A UDI HIBC Data Matrix barcode etched onto a pair of surgical scissors

The FDA's new Unique Device Identifier (UDI) system was established on September 24, 2013 in an effort to increase the safety of medical devices in the healthcare industry while also minimizing the costs of sharing the necessary data through a new, publically accessible Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID). This new system will allow the healthcare industry to share information about medical device model, manufacturer, device class, expiration date, manufacture date, production batch, production lot and even unique codes to identify human cells, tissue or cellular and tissue-based products, also known as HCT/P. With compliance dates for some requirements as early as September 24, 2014, medical device manufacturers are working hard to make sure they have the means to generate their required labels as per the appropriate specification.

The Unique Device Identifier, or UDI, is a string of numbers that represents the following:

  • "+" identifier of the HIBC Supplier Data Structure
  • 4 character Labeler Identification Code (LIC)
  • 1 to 18 character Product or Catalog Number (PCN) that is used to identify information about the product including expiration, manufacture date, batch, lot and more.
  • 1-digit Unit of Measure
  • 1-digit Check Character
There are a variety of barcode symbologies that may be used to generate an HBICC, or UDI barcode such as Code 39, Code 128, Data Matrix, Aztec, QR Code and MicroPDF417. Which one your organization decides to go with will depend on a range of factors specific to your industry. IDAutomation offers a variety of products that would allow generation of these important HIBC UDI barcodes for the medical device industry in a variety of environments including Excel, Crystal Reports, Oracle, FileMaker, SSRS, Access and more.