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Parsing datamatrix barcodes

Posted on 2011-09-30
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I am writing an application for a client that needs to parse the data in a datamatrix bar code into the SKU, batch/serial number and expiry date. Most of the items are pharmaceutical in nature.

Is there a central resource that publishes the format of the data that is encoded in datamatrix bar codes or does each manufacturer do its own thing and must I work out the formatting for each manufacturer's items?

I was hoping that when I know the manufacturer ID I can then extract the product code, batch number (or serial number) and the expiry date in a reasonably consistent fashion.
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Question by:mdspencer
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Expert Comment

by:TommySzalapski
ID: 36892467
You can purchase the standard from the ISO here
http://webstore.ansi.org/RecordDetail.aspx?sku=ISO%2fIEC+16022%3a2006
Looks a bit expensive to me (255 USD)
Plus it will be very technical and won't tell you which of the possible formats your manufacturers use.
If you go here: http://www.racoindustries.com/barcodegenerator/2d/datamatrix.aspx you can play around with the barcode generator and get an idea of how it works.
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by:TommySzalapski
ID: 36892520
It is up to the manufacturer how they format the data in the code and there are several formats to choose from http://www.machinevisiononline.org/vision-resources-details.cfm/Machine-Vision-Online/Data-Matrix-Sets-the-Standard-for-Identification/content_id/1975
You are going to have to get the data from each manufacturer, but it's likely that most of them will just tell you how they have it set up and may even have it published somewhere.

I was hoping that when I know the manufacturer ID I can then extract the product code, batch number (or serial number) and the expiry date in a reasonably consistent fashion.
Yes. That will certainly be the case.
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TommySzalapski earned 1000 total points
ID: 36892523
As long as you mean consistant for that particular manufacturer.
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Author Comment

by:mdspencer
ID: 36904920
Hi. Thanks for your responses. It is not quite what I am looking for but I think that you have answered the question indirectly so thanks for your time. It would appear that each manufacturer will format the data in whatever way suits them.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mdspencer
ID: 36904925
As per my last note...
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Expert Comment

by:TommySzalapski
ID: 36905155
It would appear that each manufacturer will format the data in whatever way suits them.
Yes. That was exactly my point. I'm sorry if that was not clear.
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