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code for barcode

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vinay7868
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hiii am just gong to start the coding for barcode generator so can any one help me or guide me how to start and what to do...

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deceptikon
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What kind of barcode? Are you working with an image or text? Are you actually creating a barcode or reading one? Your question is incredibly vague.

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vinay7868
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sorry deceptikon... i am creating barcode for retail store... that is i will stick a barcode to the products...it is like that... first i will generate the barcode myself and then make a reader for it so...i will like to do coding for how to generate a barcode for retail store through vb.net...can you say some thing about it....

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deceptikon
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can you say some thing about it....

Oh the things I can say about it. I've written production software for this exact problem before. ;)

Anyway, is this a real application? Like are you actually going to implement it in a retail store in the real world? Or is this more of an exercise or school project? Because if it's real then you'd be so much better off using existing software and hardware to get the job done:

  1. A barcode sticker printer
  2. Barcode generator software for the printer.
  3. Handheld barcode readers and/or in-counter readers for checkout.
  4. Retail software for inventory lookup.

The barcode part stops after it's scanned because the result will be an inventory item number or UPC/EAN number (most likely the latter). That number is sent to the retail software for lookup and inventory management.

Writing your own VB.NET application to do this would be prohibitively expensive both in terms of development cost and maintenance (not to mention problems caused by bugs and whatnot) compared to the relatively minor cost of purchasing software that already does what you want.

If it's a project that won't be used in the real world then it's much easier to simulate a retail store and its barcoded inventory system.

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vinay7868
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deceptikon see i am developing this software for retail store...fortunately it is my own retail store and...a college project is also been given to us so i think i will work for it for college project and even use in my shop ...so i would implement it if i get success in it....

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vinay7868
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1)Anyway, is this a real application?
--> yes u can understand that it is somewhat real application
2)Like are you actually going to implement it in a retail store in the real world?
-->yes i will in my own shop if it works correctly...
3)Or is this more of an exercise or school project?
-->it is even a college project so i am doing it as 2 in 1 u can understand it...

At last it is even a project and a software for my retail shop..so it will be tough to develop this.... or not...?

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adam_k
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Since you are only asking about the part to print a barcode, no it's not that hard.
But like deceptikon said you should go with the barcode sticker printer. It will solve a lot of problems.

You can print a barcode by installing to your computer a barcode font (ie. google: free 3of9).
With this type of font you can print barcodes out of any application that has a printing functionality and allows you to select fonts (Word, Excel, etc), but in your case you should probably go for Crystal Reports.
For the readers to actually read your barcode you have to enclose the string you're printing in asterisks (). So if you want to print test you write *test and switch font to a barcode one.

That's the deal with 3 of 9, what you print as a barcode is a totally different topic.

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deceptikon
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At last it is even a project and a software for my retail shop..so it will be tough to develop this.... or not...?

Not especially, but I'd strongly recommend doing the school project with an eye toward production but no intention to actually use it as a primary system in your store.

As far as just printing and reading a barcode, adam_k covered the basics nicely. For a real world store you're unlikely to use code 39 (you can download a free font here) unless you're selling something like homemade crafts or the barcode is used for purposes other than inventory management. Retailers selling products created by manufacturers will rely on UPC/EAN barcodes, which is a different symbology from code 39.

The problem with UPC/EAN is that you don't control the barcode values, those are partially selected by the manufacturer and partially assigned by a governing body. Your software must conform to these standards to consume barcodes on products you sell. Further, if you want a UPC/EAN barcode on product that you manufacture, you'd need to register with GS1 to get a unique company code.

That's assuming that you're not generating your own barcodes for internal usage that would ultimately link to the UPC/EAN product in your database. Some retailers do this, but it introduces a not insignificant amount of work in inventorying and preparing product by generating barcodes, putting them in the database, printing stickers, and applying them. I've implemented that process at a company that didn't use barcodes previously and it was a royal pain (in no small part because the stickers kept falling off in a humid environment...).

A production quality application for consuming the barcodes would be triviality itself because you'd use a hardware scanner, so there wouldn't be any VB.NET involved. Likewise, generating and printing the barcodes should be done with existing software and wouldn't involve VB.NET either. Trust me when I say you don't want to write a barcode generator for all but the simplest symbologies. ;)

So your application boils down to an inventory management system rather than a barcoding system. And that complicates things drastically. It also changes your question, so I'll wait for your thoughts on the matter before going into how one might write an inventory management system. ;)

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vinay7868
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well deceptikon i understood that i should use EAN-8/13 barcode and follow all he standards for generating the barcode...but in which language coding is to be done....?i want to start the project as early as possible as i want to submit it in march-2013 so....k

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vinay7868
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hey adam_k what is the crystal reports and should i use that.....?

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deceptikon
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but in which language coding is to be done....?

It's too early to pick the language because you don't seem to have a clear idea of what the project is supposed to accomplish. So far all you appear to understand is that you want barcodes and VB.NET; there's no rationale for introducing barcodes in your store or what they might be used for.

Might I suggest coming up with a few use cases for what happens from start to finish on the retail end? Forget about implementation for now, just see if you can nail down a few requirements beyond "I wanna have barcodes!".

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vinay7868
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so deceptikon its that i should bring the barcodes from outside that is not through coding and just do coding of the inventory....u are saying like this no....?pls reply as fast as possible...k

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adam_k
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99% of products that are purposed to be sold in retail stores have barcodes.
You should utilize these barcodes and their UPCs to recognize item numbers in your system. It will reduce costs (no need for labels or man hours to apply them) and will reduce chances of mistakes (wrong label to wrong product).

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deceptikon
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so deceptikon its that i should bring the barcodes from outside that is not through coding and just do coding of the inventory....u are saying like this no....?

Yes, that's roughly what I was saying.

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vinay7868
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k...thnx adam and deceptikon...for your reply and my 1 doubt is clear then what about the reader iwill get barcode and reader both from the market so i need to only think for the coding and entry of the product...isn't it....?

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vinay7868
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hey pls say any one that which language i should use for coding and now my s/w will be all about to be known as an inventoery management system....isn't it...?

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deceptikon
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Pick any language you're comfortable with. I assume because this thread is in VB.NET that you want to use VB.NET, and that's a perfectly suitable choice. Seriously dude, if you need confirmation from someone else that every little decision you make is okay, this project will take you approximately forever plus one day.

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vinay7868
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ya i will do it in vb.net but can you give bit overview abt it just in small description about it....nd thnks for reply...

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deceptikon
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At this point I've lost interest in helping you because you keep asking essentially the same question and have still shown absolutely zero effort. I suspect nothing will come of this project and as such don't feel like wasting my own time designing it for you.

But one last time before I abandon the thread: Figure out what you want the system to do, then write code that does it. If you don't have any clue how things are supposed to work, writing software to do it is impossible.

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vinay7868
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k...sry deceptikon i will not ask you unnecessary questions from now on and if query in coding than will post a thread....thanks all for reply...once again

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