Handheld scanner terminal.

Author: i.sharp@pcisystems.co.uk (Iain Sharp)

We are looking to put a small part of our app onto a handheld barcode scanner. The specifications are that it should accept a barcode and feed the number to the app, and then be able to accept a typed number and accept the data. This will be in fixed communication with the server.  We are currently running 9.6, and the deadline is so close I don't think I've time to migrate to 10 (Mobile).  So, does anyone have experience of using a handheld barcode scanner with Uniface? If so could you recommend a particular one or even an operating system?  Regards,  Iain

12 Comments

  1. I know of a customer that used to use one that would function as a VT-100 terminal, running a small Uniface character mode application on the server. Not very high tech, but effective.


    Author: Theo Neeskens (tneeskens@itblockz.nl)
  2. Our customer currently has a scanner running Windows CE with an application on it that behaves very much like that is what it is doing.  Can you run a VT character mode application from a Windows uniface server? 


    Author: Iain Sharp (i.sharp@pcisystems.co.uk)
  3. Iain, you can use Uniface 9.7 and mobile, at this time the functionality is identical.  If you can't get to 9.7 in the timeframes, then I would take a look at just deploying that particular functionality in 9.7 (so two runtimes), and integrate with webservices, or just at the data layer.  If you want look at a more technical integration, I'd contact your account rep and ask if they can connect you with the US based customer called Rohrer, they gave a really interesting presentation at this years US conference, and they are are using barcodes scanners, so could share experiences both from a development and also a hardware perspective. 


    Author: Adrian Gosbell (adrian.gosbell@synapse-i.jp)
  4. I think they were on VMS. According to the PAM it is not supported to run Character Mode applications on Windows. And you would also need a VT emulator on your Windows CE.   But for a mobile app you would not need to migrate your existing Uniface code immediately. Just build a seperate thing next to in using Uniface 9.7 or 10.


    Author: Theo Neeskens (tneeskens@itblockz.nl)
  5. Which puts me back to the question of "Anyone know of a handheld Android (IOs?) scanner with keyboard input which is verified to run UNiface mobile?". 


    Author: Iain Sharp (i.sharp@pcisystems.co.uk)
  6. Uniface Mobile apps are hybrid apps. The built app it essentially a web browser with selected plugins compiled into it, that points to a specified web page (Uniface DSP).   The Uniface Mobile solution already comes with a Barcode plugin. You select it in the properties of you Application Shell for your Mobile App, and it will be built into your app by Buildozer. You make your app start a Uniface DSP. In the DSP you program the field to enter the text data, and you also put in JavaScript for the API of the Barcode plugin.   If you don't need anything from the improved Uniface JavaScript API you can make your DSP in 9.6. Using 9.7 only for generating the App.   No very specific device needed. Most Android or iOS phones will do. See PAM for Mobile.


    Author: Theo Neeskens (tneeskens@itblockz.nl)
  7. Wow, been looking, there are so few barcode scanner devices with a keyboard for ease of input running Android or IOS. Most of those that do exist seem to be running Android 4.1 which does not appear to be supported by Uniface Mobile.  Everything, but everything, out there with the right form factor is running Windows CE 6.  We have found ONE which seems to be running the right OS.  So, again, before we commit actual resources to this, does anyone have experience of running a client on a handheld device (possibly windows CE) with an integrated keyboard, (28 key is fine), and if so, what language did you use to solve the problem? 


    Author: Iain Sharp (i.sharp@pcisystems.co.uk)
  8. I would be very wary of starting a new project on CE 6.0; it is currently in extended support and due to be end-of-life in 18 months. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Embedded_CE_6.0  Looking at the devices that are currently available, it seems that these scanners are going the same way as the personal devices and moving to soft keyboards. If not having a physical keyboard would be an option then there are many devices available to choose from.


    Author: Mike Taylor (michael.taylor@uniface.com)
  9. We have decided the costs of installing Mobile for one handheld device are too steep.  Since we already knew c# well enough to cope, we have found a free IDE and written the very simple code required to talk to our uniface web-service from a windows mobile handheld.  We may, you are correct, have cause to revisit this in a few years when the hardware fails, but it'll hold for now. What we needed was a solution inside a two week time span, and this gives us one. 


    Author: Iain Sharp (i.sharp@pcisystems.co.uk)
  10. Iain Sharp said We have decided the costs of installing Mobile for one handheld device are too steep.  Since we already knew c# well enough to cope, we have found a free IDE and written the very simple code required to talk to our uniface web-service from a windows mobile handheld.  We may, you are correct, have cause to revisit this in a few years when the hardware fails, but it'll hold for now. What we needed was a solution inside a two week time span, and this gives us one.   

    I've only just arrived on the forum, hence the late reply. If you're a C# developer, then take a look at Xamarin. Using Xamarin you can write an app which can talk to all the device sensors/scanner etc. (it hooks into the OS at the API level). We're a Xamarin Premier Partner - and have good barcode scanning experience. If you want pointers, do get in touch. This solution will, of course, not be a Uniface app on the device. You'll need to communicate back to your back-end Uniface application via a web service (for example).


    Author: James Lavery (james.lavery@microsec.co.uk)
  11. Hi Iain, FYI: one of our customers has recently done a successful Uniface 9.7 Mobile PoC with this handheld scanner. Please contact me if you'd want to know more. Cheers, Arjen


    Author: Arjen van Vliet (arjen.van.vliet@uniface.com)
  12. HI Arjen,  I was shown a working prototype by Jason, but as I said upthread

    Iain Sharp said We have decided the costs of installing Mobile for one handheld device are too steep.   

    The licencing for the one device was more than we charge for an entire system, rendering the project utterly moot before technical considerations such as the lack of a numeric keypad could be considered.... 


    Author: Iain Sharp (i.sharp@pcisystems.co.uk)