Using with Bar Code scanner

Topics: Mobile Client Software Factory
Jun 30, 2006 at 2:14 PM
originally posted by: rwholmes

I am developing an application that will need to read barcodes, then respond to each read. is there anything in the factory that will accomodate this? If not should I then abandon using it and write all myself?

Any thoughts?
Jun 30, 2006 at 11:28 PM
originally posted by: donelodes

I think that it would depend on the purpose of your application. If it's only to read barcodes, maybe you don't need the complexity of the MCSF. But if it has other needs like, security, remote data access, etc., you could provide the barcode reading has a Service.

But this is only my opinion, please someone correct me if I'm wrong :)

Jul 1, 2006 at 7:41 AM
originally posted by: rwholmes

I think I should have explained more. We will be downloading a pick list from the server in xml format for products to take off the shelves in the course of order fulfillment. The user, once having downlaoded the order(s), will scan a tote to asign it to a particular order, then upon finding each product, scanning it then the tote, and finally, hopefully, putting the product they jsut scanned into the tote that was just scanned.

So the issue is to download an xml file from their local machine where the server puts it, scan products, then respond to the scan, and finally send file back to the local machine on synch. for now I am looking at the bar code piece and if the MCSF can accomodate that. If not then maybe best not to use at all and develop outside that framework.
Jul 1, 2006 at 8:08 AM
originally posted by: dcazzulino

I think even in your case you could use some of the application blocks that come with the MCSF, namely, the Disconnected Agent block, as you would probably need to call a webservice to post whatever was read.

You could also use the SubscriptionManager to do the replication work instead of pulling XML from the server.
Jul 1, 2006 at 2:42 PM
originally posted by: rwholmes

Thanks to donelodes and dcazzulino for all your help. The application is a replacement for an existing Palm solution, so will simply read the xml from a location on the local pc, then write one back, so as to cause minimal disruption to existing processes. Can the disconnected agetn read from the local hard drive? Sorry for the ignorance but I see nothing in the HOL's on that.

thanks again.
Jul 1, 2006 at 3:41 PM
originally posted by: dcazzulino

The disconnected agent is about calling web services, so it will probably not help in your scenario.
I'm curious however as to how you get the XML to and from the device...
Jul 4, 2006 at 10:20 AM
originally posted by: rwholmes

My thought is to get the xml file to the device during the ActiveSync process, then once it has been modified to return it to a specific folder on the host machine. The current Palm application does precisely this. This is all fairly new to me so excuse my ignorance on the whole process. One thought I have had is to either use some sort of web service, or a message qeue, but these would require additional changes to the existing processes. The requirement is that a user sits at a machine, selects one or more orders to fulfill, then they get put on the device so that the picker can go to the shelves to retireve the items.

any thoughts of how else to do it without requiring another non trivial project to support it?
Jul 8, 2006 at 9:50 AM
originally posted by: josegallardo

You can sync that file using the "File Synchronization" feature of Active Sync.
Use the synchronization setup wizard, it will creates a folder into the PC to place files and sync them to the device.
The only problem with this is that you will rely in the parthership between the PC and the mobile device. If you want to synchronize distinct files from the same PC with several devices it could be a problem.
Jul 8, 2006 at 10:57 AM
originally posted by: rwholmes


Thanks for the feedback, however that will not work for me for the following two reasons:

1. It is a replacement for an existing Palm application and depends on a workbench type web app that places the files to send to the device in a specific location, and expects the modified xml back in another that is a sybling folder of the first. It is not an option at this time to modify the workbench app.

2. It will be rolled out to approx 1000 stores over the next 12-24 months. Multiple devices wil sync with the same machine.

I have tried by sharing the parent folder of the upload and download folders, but the emulator cannot see that either. I think that the idea of sharing files between the device and the host, other than within the Activesync process, is such a bizarre idea, that the developers of the os and dev tools for Mobile cannot even conceive of anyone wanting to do it. I heard a rumor that someone suggested that idea was fired and banned from MS for life.