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how to use a USB Barcode Scanner with MS Access 2007

Posted on 2011-10-13
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I have an Acess 2007 database setup as a POS application. I want to add a scanner for sales and stock functions. I would prefer not to use a keyboard wedge interface as it will accept scans at anytime possipbly spraying keystrokes all over the place. There are lots of USB scanners available but I don't know how to interface to it using VBA in Access.

Does anyone know how this would work? Is there a standard software interface for USB scanners or will it vary from device to device? Would it trigger a form event?
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Question by:rgss
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 1000 total points
ID: 36967804
Have you selected a barcode scanner to use? Most of them will come with instructions for integrating with various platforms, and while many of them won't specifically mention Access, most of the time their VB6 code will work.

You'll almost certainly have to go through their API or SDK to work with this, unless they've provided you with an activex control to work with (and even then, ActiveX controls designed for use with other COM-compliant platforms may misbehave in Access).

In most cases, your application would either (a) include a reference to their API/SDK, which could then be used to work with your data and forms, or (b) an ActiveX control, which would provide you with the same basic functionality. In essence, the API/SDK or ActiveX control would communicate with the scanner, and then "report" back to you the results of that communication, generally by raising events (for example, the API might have a "ScanCompleted" event, which would be triggered when a valid barcode was scanned). Your code would then react to that ScanCompleted event, and would take action based on that.

I'm not sure how the links from hello_everybody would help, as they're just links to the idautomation site for their barcode fonts, not scanners, and the dbforums link is for a keyboard-wedge device, which you said you didn't want to use.
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by:RichNH
RichNH earned 1000 total points
ID: 37002075
The USB barcode scanners I've worked with just act as alternate keyboards.  Put the cursor in the text box you want to populate and instead of typeing the data in using the keyboard, scan it in using the scanner.  It works in any application.
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