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Barcode Scanning with Maximo Everyplace

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Barcode Scanning with Maximo Everyplace

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As the product designer and architect for Maximo Everyplace, I want to pass along the latest product information and answer the common questions that I hear. In case you’re not familiar with Everyplace, it provides the ability to use Maximo on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device. To use it, you need to be on version 7 of Maximo, and at fixpack 7.1.1.7 or higher.

Many people assume that, because there are phone apps that allow them to scan barcodes with their phone's camera, that they'll be able to use this same functionality with Maximo Everyplace. To scan a barcode with your phone's camera, you need a native app that can interpret that barcode and knows what to do with it. Because Everyplace is entirely web-based and doesn't use a native app, it can't use barcodes scanned via the camera -- even if you already have some other app that allows that.

Instead, to get barcode-reading capabilities with Everyplace, you need to have a separate barcode scanner that connects to your phone via Bluetooth (wirelessly). Although this requires the purchase of an additional device (the scanner), the big advantage is that this kind of device is specifically designed for barcode scanning. Although the phone's camera could do it, it's not meant for that, and it's not easy or fast to focus on a barcode and capture it in a readable way (especially if the barcode being scanned isn't in a well lit or easily accessible location). Barcode scanners which are designed specifically for scanning make reading and capturing a barcode very easy, and are preferable for people who have to do a lot of scanning.

 We've been testing two scanners (though I suspect that there are others that will work as well), and have had success. Here's what we've learned with the two devices we've tested so far:

- The Koamtac KDC200i: This scanner worked well with our iPad, and it was easy to switch between entering information on the keyboard and using the scanner. It's very small, which is good for carrying it around in your pocket. The KDC scanner uses a laser scanning light. The device requires the use of a native app, that is available as a free download from Apple's app store (though the scanner itself must be purchased).

- The SocketMobile 7x:  This scanner worked with our iPhone, iPad and Android. Switching between the keyboard and scanner on Android was noteworthy for its ease-of-use. The size of the device lent itself to easy scanning. The Socket Mobile scanner uses an LED scanning light. It requires the download of a native app for Android only (free download from app store; though the scanner itself must be purchased).

 Have you tried other scanners? Are there others you’re hoping we’ll test with in-house?

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