I have something to confess and an apology at the same time. Last year the folks from IDAutomation approached me for some help to show our common customers how they could use the new java barcode package that they had developed. I agreed and then promptly got caught up in all sorts of other projects. More than a year later I have finally come up with a solution - its been gnawing away at me for all this time. Apologies to the IDAUtomation folks especially Brant.
So what is the package and what does it do? Im not going to get into detail here, you can check those out on the IDAutomation web site, suffice to say its a set of java APIs that generate a barcode font image that can then be embedded in a document. Not just the simpler or 'linear' fonts such as Code39, Code128, etc oh no! They also provide a package for the 2D barcodes such as PDF417 and the tougher and more beguiling (from a human eye perspective, Maxicode format. There is not a barcode font file in sight, its a small, neat and perfectly formed (well almost, I'll get to that later) java library that will generate a gif or jpeg image of the data you want encoded.
How do you go about using it? well first up its not free but the download is, so you can try it out and see if it fits. They have the java libraries to generate an image but you can also set the whole thing up as a servlet so the solution can be used across your intranet. For this article Im just going to cover the java class approach, saving the servlet for another time (not another year's wait I promise)
To use it, I have employed the BIP extension framework - no tough rules to adhere to and I introduced the framework back in September 2007 with a couple of followup posts here and here on some more real world examples.
Not to build too much anticipation but, Im going to split the blog entry here - long entries are tiresome to read at the best of times and reading me, blathering on for page after page is not fun ... so my wife tells me :0)
Until tomorrow ... adieu!