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How to set up and use a Barcode scanner with EZOfficeInventory mobile app

EZOfficeInvetory comes with a Barocde and QR Code scanning functionality. It uses your phone/tablet’s camera. So there’s no need to invest in an external scanner.

However, if you have devices that are hooked up to terminals for self service, and you’d rather use an external barocde scanner, EZOfficeInventory does support this option.

To configure EZOfficeInventory:
1) From Settings -> Add Ons, enable ‘Barcode Reader / Hardware Integration’.
2) Also check the option for ‘Enable lookup based on time delay of input, useful for quick scans.’
3) Save the settings

To configure your scanner:
1) Make sure that the scanner is HID and can interact directly with your device as an input. The scanner connection with your phone/tablet can be based off of bluetooth
2) Open a notepad/document and scan an EZOfficeInventory generated barocde. It should appear on the notepad.
3) Make sure that there is not line break with the input. This means that if you scan the same barcode twice, it should enter in the same line e.g. if the barcode is ABC123, scanning it twice should print:
4) Check if the barcode ABC123 is scanned as:
If this is the case, the scanner is putting Enter/Return after the sequence it’s scanning. Use the scanner’s manual to see how to get rid of the suffix. There should be a barcode in configuration options with a name similar to ‘Suffix Off’. Scanning it should remove the Enter/Return. Do the scanning test with notepad again to see that there are indeed no suffix or prefix with the barcode being scanned.

Using the scanner:
1) Notice the new menu option in the left side menu on your mobile app. It’s called “Use External Scanner”
2) Touch this option to go to the scanning page
3) Scan as many items as you want. You’ll see them being listed on the page.
4) Give a small pause of a second to ensure that the barcode has been read
5) Hit the “Completed” button at the end of the page when done
6) Take actions on the scanned list – Voila!

Tackling the input issue – Getting the keyboard to enter details when the scanner is connected
Once the scanner is connected to your iPad/iPhone/Android Device, it’s treated as a ‘keyboard’ input. This means that the device confuses the scanner with the keyboard. So you won’t be able to use the keyboard along side with the connected scanner. Here are three possible ways that you may have in your scanner to overcome this issue.

1) Keeping the device keyboard on/off barocode label handy: Look for this barcode in the scanner’s configuration guide

Scan this barcode once you’re done scanning. This will enable the device keyboard. Scan it again when you’re about to scan labels, and the control will be shifted from the device keyboard to the bluetooth-connected-scanner.

2) Setting a time out when the scanner is idle: If your scanner doesn’t have the device keyboard on/off option, you can edit the sleep settings to a reasonable low time e.g. 30 seconds. This will disconnect the scanner automatically if it’s idle for 30 seconds. The scanner will be connect back as soon as you press it’s scanning button. This means, you can scan barcodes, hit completed, choose an action, and just pause a little to ensure that 30 seconds have been passed since your last scan, and you’ll then be able to use the device keyboard. When you need to use the scanner again, press it’s scan button, and it will be reconnected. Typically there are beeps and a colored LED indication to show whether the scanner is connected or not.

3) Switching on/off the scanner: If the scanner is specially designed for an iPad/Android Tablet, it should have a button to connect/disconnect the bluetooth. Alternatively, it may have a gesture (long press the main scan button). While the scanner is switched on and connected, scan the barcodes and then switch it off. Use the keyboard now to type in the text if/where/when required.

Posted in: Mobile Application, Scanning

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