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using hardware(barcode reader, smartcards) with web applications

Hi
I have developed a web application for my client sometime back. Now the client requires some added functionality.
The client requires barcode reader support for the inventory control module and is also planning to implement smartcard for the employees which he wants to integrate in this applications too.
Now, the user interface for this application in question is webpages accessed thru browser.

Now the question:
How do I access the barcode readers or smartcard readers since these are webpages?

Any help is welcome.
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maXXXeE
Asked:
maXXXeE
2 Solutions
 
sm394Commented:
based on my test if you connect barcode reader with usb port and place cursor in input text field it will through barcode data in this input field
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OriNetworksCommented:
usb barcode scanners act as a regular USB keyboard. any characters it scans will be sent like it is being sent from a keyboard so no additional change is necessary. As far as smart cards, i'm not too sure how this would work since i'm not familiar with smart card technology but you may want to call the smart card manufacturer and ask how it can be integrated. Manufacturers usually provide sample code or even ActiveX controls that provide functionality.
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maXXXeEAuthor Commented:
hi, thanks for the comments.

Now coming to smart card readers,  what in your opinion is the best way to ensure that smart card access works across browsers.
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twcadminCommented:
This would be limited to the functionality of the software or code that the manufacturer supplies you with.
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maXXXeEAuthor Commented:
so, does it mean that if the manufacturer only has an activex object I can only run this in IE?
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OriNetworksCommented:
Just so you don't think i disappeared, I will comment. I honestly don't know how smart card readers would integrate into a web application. The only thing i can thing of would again be an activex control. This would either be supplied by the manufacturer or I guess you would be able to make your own control if the manufacturer had any kind of documentation you could build off of i guess. Sorry i'm no help on this one, but a USB barcode scanner would certainly work without anything additional.
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