Emulating a barcode scanner trigger

Posted on 2009-02-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-21
Hello All,

I am developing apps for a Symbol MC9090 barcode scanner (or similar).  I've installed the Symbol/Motorola EMDK (SDK) for .Net 2.0 and the Windows Mobile 5 SDK.  I have loaded one of the sample EMDK apps, CS_BarcodeControlSample1, via VS2008 and have F5ed it to compile it & deploy it to the emulator.  The app's screen displays on the emulator but I have not figured out how to emulate the barcode scanner's trigger.  Thus, no barcodes appear in the target listview.  I expected to be able to manually enter barcode numbers via the emulator's keyboard device.

My question: what good is the emulator if it cannot emulate the trigger?  If I had a real scanner I wouldn't need the emulator.  Thus, how can I develop and test barcode scanner-aware apps without having a real barcode scanner?

Thanks for your time and wisdom.

Question by:woodmark

    Author Comment

    Hmmm, this question must be tougher than I thought.  I assumed other developers had already figured out how to prototype barcode-aware apps for mobile computers (barcode scanners) without having to actually have a barcode scanner, which is the whole point of emulation, right?

    I am still Googling for a solution but thus far, no luck.

    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    well, all I can think of is to create either separate small app that will send some keys (or messages with data)  to your main application or assign some "hotkey" and simulate the scan in your main app

    on real device, there is a driver that does all the job, so you should simulate something similar

    Author Comment

    Alexey, thanks for taking the time to respond.  My query really is tougher than what I thought.  Am I to conclude that it isn't possible to emulate a barcode scanner using the existing Microsoft mobile device SDK and Symbol/Motorola SDK?  I was duped into believing it's possible because when I press F5 within VS2008, the app is compiled and actually deploys & executes on the emulator (a Windows Mobile 5 computer).

    Anyway, so much for emulation.  I'm glad I didn't have to have an IBM 390 when I learned IBM assembler via an emulator.  :)

    Bottom line: it doesn't appear possible to emulate a mobile computer equipped with a barcode scanner, which is beyond my Jethro brain to understand why.

    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    at least, I don't know any simply way of doing it :)

    recent emulators run ARM code, which is fine, but it depends on the vendor to provide specific "hardware emulation", like scanner. I haven't seen anything like that before. If you're up to creating simple driver - you'll get what you want :)

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks again for your time.  Although the answer wasn't what I wanted to hear, I believe you've given me clues on the proper direction I need to go in.

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