What is a GS1 Composite Code?
As the name suggests, the GS1 Composite symbology combines a GS1 system linear symbol and a 2D Composite Component as one symbology. While the two components are separated by a separator pattern, the 2-dimensional component is printed above the linear component.
The linear component encodes the item’s primary identification. The choice of linear component determines the name of the composite symbol, such as an EAN-13 Composite symbol, or a GS1-128 Composite symbol. The linear component can be one of the following:
- A member of the EAN/UPC symbology (EAN-13, EAN-8, UPC-A, or UPC-E)
- A member of the GS1 DataBar family
- A GS1-128 symbol
The adjacent 2D Composite Component encodes supplementary data, such as a batch number and expiration date. The 2D Composite Component (abbreviated as CC) is chosen based on the selected linear component and on the amount of supplementary data to be encoded. The three 2D Composite Components, listed in order of increasing maximum data capacity, are:
- CC-A: a variant of MicroPDF417
- CC-B: a MicroPDF417 symbol with new encoding rules
- CC-C: a PDF417 symbol with new encoding rules. It has the greatest data capacity of the composite symbols, encoding up to 2,361 digits
Three Types of Composite Symbols
Each of the three types of composite symbols A, B, and C have different encoding rules.
CC-A: The 2D component is a variant of MicroPDF417, and the 1D component is UPC-A and EAN-13, EAN-8, UPC-E or GS1 DataBar.
CC-B: The 2D component is a MicroPDF417 symbol with new encoding rules, and the 1D component is UPC-A and EAN-13, EAN-8, UPC-E or GS1 DataBar.
CC-C: The 2D component is a PDF417 symbol with new encoding rules, and the 1D component is a GS1-128 symbol.
What Licenses Read Composite Codes?
To decode the 2D component located at the top, you need to enable GS1 Composite Code in the BarcodeFormatID setting. The results are returned in one concatenated data string. The 1D data and the 2D data will be separated with a delimiter "|", so that you can easily extract the encoded info.
You do not need 1D or PDF417 licenses to read a composite code, and a license of composite code does not enable reading of 1D or PDF417.
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