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a card barcode reader system

not sure how to make it work

4:36 pm on Nov 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am not sure if I am asking in a right forum, but since its about hardware so here I go,

I want to make a discount-card for my clients, similar to a debit/credit card. When they buy, we can swap their card on our counter to collect,

1 - clientID or some hint by which I can identify the client's unique record in my system.

2 - a prompt or something by which I can enter the amount of his shopping value, date and time then. So I can keep a record of his purchases

3 - a prompt on which I can mention discount percentage e.g 5% or 10% to count his discount and store it as well. This step can be skipped as I can do it manually.

In the above the most important is first 2 steps because I want to keep a record on which date he paid how much.

I am very good at PHP-MySQL and I can make a application for it, the bit where I am caught is how does this card barcode reading works? and how the swap will send data to my application. or I need to hire somebody for custome coding in VB or .Net etc?

any input is highly appreciated.
9:31 pm on Jan 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It is actually not that complicated.

All bar code readers do is read data from the bar code itself and transfer it as a POST.

Create a form(html) with one field on it(input type="text"). Click inside the field(or make it Autofocus with JS). Then Read barcode with the device. The form will be Autosubmited with the value encoded into barcode.

Catch the value on the server-side(PHP), from there sky is the limit. There are libraries that will generate Barcore for you(barcode -think of it as a font readable by machine). There is a Google Java library that generates barcodes(free).

Hope this helps.
3:37 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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This simply sounds like a loyalty/frequent shopper/affinity card system. Instead of reinventing the wheel have you looked for an off-the-shelf solution?

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