5 Factors to Consider when Selecting a Barcode SDK
Building an app that needs the latest in barcode reading technology? Frustrated by invalid output you keep getting from scans of barely legible codes?
You can't always control the quality of the barcodes you're trying to decipher, but you can choose a barcode SDK that consistently produces reliable output regardless of the quality of input it receives.
Here are some of the most important characteristics of a high-performance barcode SDK:
This, of course, is the most important consideration when evaluating barcode readers, yet it can be easy to overlook. Reading barcodes is very simple in theory, but not so straightforward in the real world. Barcodes can be blurred, torn, upside down, even printed in reverse.
These type problems are beyond the control of the reader, but one intelligent approach is to handle the situation in two steps: preprocessing the problematic image, editing as needed (rotation, perspective, etc.) to create a readable black and white image; and calling upon a library of customized algorithms to apply the most relevant solution for common problems such as image blur, missing pixels, etc., to maximize reading accuracy.
For applications where barcodes must be read in large batches, speed is essential. A high performance barcode SDK will be optimized for processing speed and will support multi-threading so you can read barcodes as fast as your hardware allows. To test barcode reader speed, simply run a timed test of 1,000 barcodes from your set of data. This will give you a real-world speed measurement for your specific situation.
Modern barcodes present many challenges to readers. First, there are many types of codes. The most common are classified as either one-dimensional (the familiar vertical UPC, for instance), which is read horizontally, or two-dimensional (QR is a common example), read both horizontally and vertically. Secondly, formats of input pages typically vary from source to source. Will you need your barcode reader to search a full page for all types of codes, or only search certain areas specified by preset coordinates or fields? A quality scanning tool will be able to handle these situations and others, such as the processing of very different source formats.
Ease of integration
SDKs should be flexible enough to integrate seamlessly with an existing application. Can the app easily and quickly access the functionality the SDK offers? Can the developer be confident that each call will return the requested data smoothly and quickly?
As noted earlier, barcode processing doesn't happen in a vacuum. There will always be problems with source data (scanned images), and code types are constantly evolving. Will your vendor help you customize barcode SDK algorithms to optimize accuracy for the specific codes you're reading? In many cases, this fine-tuning is essential to achieve high accuracy in real-world situations where barcodes and images are far from perfect.
How Barcode Xpress Measures Up
Accusoft's Barcode Xpress addresses the barcode reader demands listed above. In just a few lines of code, you can give your application the power to detect, read and write more than 30 different types of barcodes.
Is Barcode Xpress the right solution for you? Download a free evaluation copy and test it with your own barcodes and see how it performs. We constantly test it with the most troublesome barcodes we can find, and that's one reason it's become the most reliable toolkit in the industry.