How to Choose a Barcode Reader SDK

choose barcode reader sdk

If you’re tasked with implementing barcode technology for an application, you’re likely to have a lot of questions and requirements. This post provides a practical look at some key considerations. It addresses common questions and requirements developers might have when considering a barcode reader SDK.

The Importance of Barcode Scanning Accuracy

Unreadable barcodes are eventually inevitable. But, with the right barcode SDK, there are features you can implement to avoid them as much as possible. Depending on your scenario, you might get images with low quality. So, you may need an SDK that can handle optimal resolution and low resolution barcodes just as well. Also, being able to handle barcodes that are speckled, skewed, eroded or have other damage is important. A good SDK will provide image pre-processing techniques to handle such scenarios and maximize the accuracy of damaged or low-quality barcodes.

Be sure to also look for an SDK that can provide powerful pre-processing to account for other unwanted artifacts or hinderances. These can include dealing with barcodes lacking pixel density or binarization.

Barcode Reading Speed

There are tempting open source solutions available for creating barcode readers, such as ZXing. However, for most business cases, it is simply not up to the task. After extensive testing, we found ZXing performs badly when users need to detect multiple barcodes, which is often needed in busy organizations.

For good decoding speed, the SDK should allow developers to specify barcode locations. This could be identifying where on a page a barcode will be or how many barcodes will be on a page. If the SDK can determine where and how many barcodes to scan, it can eliminate looking in places where a barcode will not be. Thus, overall barcode reading speed is increased.

A reputable commercial barcode SDK vendor will provide you with a mechanism to test the speed of their SDK. So, be sure you’re able to do this before committing. You can also read more about factors that affect barcode decoding speeds here.

SDK Flexibility and Versatility

Ultimately, you will also need an SDK that can do what you need today and tomorrow. This means it should have the ability to decode 1D and 2D barcodes. It should also allow decoding from popular sources, such as images, PDF files, or cameras.

You’ll want to verify that the SDK can work across platforms. You should ensure it can work with a desktop application you might create in .NET or with popular web browsers if using a web-based approach. Today, you can’t ignore mobile applications either. So, consider whether the SDK can capture and scan barcodes from smartphone cameras and webcams, whether a photo or a camera live video stream.

We touched on the importance of being able to customize where on a page a barcode reader should scan. In addition to zonal scan capabilities, a good SDK will also let developers set page numbers to scan. This should include allowing a single barcode scan per page or multi-code scans across single or multiple pages.

Go here to see some examples of potential scan settings a commercial barcode reader SDK should offer.

SDK Integration

The SDK you choose should also be easy to integrate into your application. Thus, it should support key APIs such as C, C++, .NET, and JavaScript, and 32-bit or 64-bit environments. It should also support widely used programming languages, such as C#, VB.NET, Java, C++, VBScript, JavaScript, Python, Perl, Ruby, Swift, Objective-C, and so on.

It’s sometimes also unavoidable that you will need technical support. So, be sure the SDK vendor provides multiple avenues for getting in touch. It’s all too common nowadays to send people to a knowledge base first and then email with a response days or weeks later. So, be sure your vendor of choice also offers more immediate technical support options, such as chat and phone support.

Finally, consider how often your SDK vendor is updating its solutions. The features you need in an SDK today might be different later. So, if your vendor isn’t active in improving its products, they may not later support a new feature you need down the road.

Trial Opportunities

Nothing allows you to see just how good an SDK and its vendor is than doing a trial. So, be sure to check out the Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK opportunities for a trial or online demo.

If you have any additional questions, not addressed here, please contact us.

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