Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Which Product is Right For Me?

by Nate Schubert

Last week, we started our first installment of the multi-part Choosing the Right Barcode series which asked the question, "Which Barcode Type is Best?" Now that you have determined which specific barcode type is going to be the right choice for encoding the data you need to encode, you can move on to the next important matter at hand: Which implementation is going to best suit the demands of your business? There are several factors that you need to consider in this area before moving forward.

Which Product is Right For Me?

IDAutomation provides quite a range of products that allow many different types of barcode generation through a variety of applications and operating environments. There are three main types of products that can enable barcode generation, all with their own unique advantages and drawbacks.

  • Fonts must be installed on every machine that will print or generate a barcode from a font. Font encoders must also be used to format the data before the font can be applied, and IDAutomation provides free encoders for our linear barcode fonts for use in many applications like Excel, Word, Crystal Reports, .NET, Java and more. Fonts may be used to print a barcode type from a variety of different environments and applications, but most font packages only include one specific barcode type.
  • Components are used as parts of an application to generate barcodes. Most often, components are used in development environments and require special skills to integrate into existing or custom applications. Where fonts generate one barcode type in many types of applications, components generate a variety of barcode types in just one type of application such as Java, ActiveX, ASP.NET and others.
  • Applications are the easiest to use, and are stand-alone software programs that allow easy barcode image generation, or barcode generation for printing barcodes onto labels. These Windows-compatible applications are generally capable of linking to other applications and databases and have some powerful and useful capabilities beyond.
So, now you have an idea as to whether you need a font package, a component or an application. If you know which application or environment you are using, one of our product integration guides can provide valuable insight in terms of which product is the best fit for you. Any of our software programs are available for demo download so that testing can be done to confirm that the product will work. 

Once your testing has been completed and you are ready to buy, it is time to think about which barcode reader to choose. That question will be the question posed for next week's installment. Look for it soon!

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