2D Barcodes Cracked ...
By Tim Dexter-Oracle on Jun 28, 2006
A few weeks back I wrote about the barcode encoding solution thats now available for use with XML Publisher for advanced barcode encoding calculations prior to applying the bar code font to the output. I found some time to take a look at some of the 2D barcodes and their requirements for encoding and rendering. Once you have the encoding class set up in your environment its pretty simple to add the 2D barcode encoding code.
XML Publisher does not yet license fonts for ... they're coming, although no 2D barcodes. So I have been working with the PDF417 and Data Matrix fonts available from IDAutomation, along with the fonts they also provide neat java classes to do all the encoding you need. Its just a case of making their classes available in your environment and calling them in your encoding class. Then with a neat trick in your RTF template et voila you can have funky 2D barcodes in your output.
Step 1: Get the barcodes and encoding classes
So you'll need to license the fonts from the vendor, in this example I worked with the sample fonts available from the IDAutomation site.
PDF417 Font - http://www.advancemeants.com/downloads/IDAutomation_PDF417FontEncoderDEMO.zip - you'll get a zip file with the font and java class plus a bunch of other useful integration tools. All you need is the PDF417Encoder.class and the IDAutomationPDF417nX.ttf font from the AdditionalFonts.zip where 'X' is the X to Y ratio of the font shape, 3 is the standard.
This is explained better on the web site, http://www.idautomation.com/fonts/pdf417/faq.html#Specifications
Step 2: Update your XMLP encoding class
Now you need to add the encoding code to your encoding class, take a look at our entry from a while back on Advanced Barcode Support.
In the encoder class we created we import the font vendors encoding class and add an entry for the pdf417 font
and create a pdf417 method that just calls the class provided by the font vendor:
public static final String pdf417( String DataToEncode )
PDF417Encoder pdfe = new PDF417Encoder();
return ( pdfe.fontEncode(DataToEncode) );
Compile and deploy to the server as normal.
Step 3: Use the font in your template
Install your font into the <<WINDOWS_HOME>>/fonts directory and fire up MSWord. Create your template and for the data that you wish to use the barcode for:
(a) Use a formfield or raw text
where ITEM_DESCRIPTION is the data to be encoded
PDF417 is the name of the encoding method to be used
XMLPBarVendor is the name of our encoder
(b) Mark the formfield or text with the PDF417 font
Now save your template and deploy.
Now when you run the template the data will be encoded and the font applied.
I have uploaded a sample encoding class and template to help you out.
The same process can be applied to the Datamatrix barcode to generate that output. We had a customer test the result of the PDF417 and Datamatrix barcodes and their 2D barcode hardware read the resulting barcodes perfectly.