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Streaming Barcode Server for IIS Tutorial

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Overview

The IDAutomation Streaming Barcode Server for IIS adds barcode generation capability to Microsoft Windows Server 2000 and greater. These barcodes are streamed to Internet web browsers without saving temp images on the server. The barcode is created in an application as a dynamic IMG tag and is modified from parameters passed. After installation, the barcode server can generate barcodes via the web in any application and on any operating system as a dynamic IMG tag. If a barcode scanner is not available for testing, consider these hand-held barcode scanner kits.

Installation

This product tutorial outlines installation for the Linear Streaming Barcode Server for IIS. If installing GS1 DataBar or Linear + 2D versions, please consider the difference in file names.

  1. From the IIS Management Console, determine which Virtual Directory (or Application) the streaming barcode component will generate images from. The Virtual Directory (or Application) is mapped to a physical directory that will be part of the URL used to acquire the barcode. If you are creating a separate Virtual Directory to generate barcodes, use the directory name "idautomation".
  2. Within the IIS Management Console, ensure the Virtual Directory (or Application) is set up to run aspx scripts for dynamic content.
    For Windows Server 2003, right click on the Virtual Directory and choose properties. In the Virtual Directory folder, ensure Execute Permissions are set to Scripts Only.
    For Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012, add the ASP.NET IIS Role Service from Server Manager.
  3. Extract all files from the IDAutomation_LinearASPSetup.zip package, which will contain the following files:
     
    File Name Virtual Directory Copy to GAC
    IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx idautomation\  
    LinearStreamCS.dll idautomation\bin\  
    IDAutomation.LinearServerControl.dll idautomation\bin\ Yes (if necessary)

  4. Copy files ending in aspx to the root of the Virtual Directory. This file will be accessed to generate barcodes.
    NOTE: In Windows Server 2008 and above, including Windows Server 2012, the Virtual Directory must also be an application. If this is not the case, right-click on the Virtual Directory and choose Convert to Application.
    The Virtual Directory converted to an application
  5. If it does not already exist, create a folder in the Virtual Directory named "bin" and copy files ending in dll to that directory.
  6. To verify the project is working correctly, view the streaming page in the browser from the local machine; for example:
    http://localhost/idautomation/IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx
  7. If the barcode does not appear, try placing IDAutomationLinearServerControl.dll in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) and restart IIS. Some configurations of IIS on Windows Server 2003 and greater require the server control files to reside in the GAC. This may be performed by opening two instances of Windows Explorer. In one, choose the files ending in ServerControl.dll (ex: IDAutomationLinearServerControl.dll). In the other, navigate to C:\Windows\Assembly and copy the files into the Assembly folder. Explorer must be used to copy the files from one window to the other. If problems are encountered, refer to Microsoft documentation about copying files into the GAC.
  8. The barcode may now be created in another application as an IMG tag from parameters passed; for example:
    <img src="http://yourserver.com/idautomation/IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx?barcode=123456789012&H=1.7"/>

Streaming Barcode Implementation

Parameters in the URL of streaming barcode products determine the data that is encoded as well as other properties. To transition from the examples provided, replace http://www.bcgen.com/demo/linear-dbgs.aspx with the unique URL of your streaming barcode generation product.

Following are some implementation examples:

ASP

  • <HTML><P>This web page uses ASP code to create a barcode.<P>
    <% @ LANGUAGE = VBScript %> <% BarcodeData = "123456789012" %>
    <img src="<%="http://www.bcgen.com/demo/linear-dbgs.aspx?D=" & BarcodeData %>"
    </P></body></HTML>

HTML

  • The following code generates a Code 39 barcode in HTML as an IMG tag that is 2 CM tall with the check character disabled:
    <img src="http://www.bcgen.com/demo/linear-dbgs.aspx?D=123456789012&H=2&S=0&CC=F"/>

PHP

  • <html><body><p>This web page uses PHP code to create a barcode.</p>
    <?php $BarcodeData = "123456789012"; ?><p>
    <img src="http://www.yourwebserver/idautomation-code128.php?D=<?php echo $BarcodeData ?>">		
    </p></body></html> 

Reporting Applications

JavaScript and Web Applications

  • Barcodes may be dynamically generated and displayed as demonstrated on the IDAutomation Software Return Form which uses JavaScript to create a printable page displaying barcodes used to automate data entry. Within the JavaScript function, the order number is encoded in the symbol with the following code:
    message += "<img src='http://www.bcgen.com/demo/linear-dbgs.aspx?D="
    message += document.form1.orderNum.value;

Barcode Parameters and Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise.

General Barcode Properties for all Symbologies

Parameters used in the Java Barcode Package, Hosted Barcode Generator Service and the Streaming Barcode Server for IIS are also compatible with this product. All parameters are uppercase; true and false parameter values should be specified as either "T" or "F."
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
Apply Tilde PT F When True in Code 128 with the Auto character set, the format ~??? may be used to specify the ASCII code of the character to be encoded and several other ApplyTilde Barcode Options are enabled.
Background Color BGC White The color of the canvas background
Bar Color BC Black The color of the barcode.
Bar Height BH 1 The height of the barcode in centimeters (CM). 2.54 CM equals one inch.
Caption Above CA Null When text appears in this property, it is displayed in the margin above the symbol.
Caption Below CB Null When text appears in this property, it is displayed in the margin below the symbol.
Caption Top Font CTF Arial The font type used for top caption.
Caption Bottom Font CBF Arial The font type used for bottom caption.
Caption Font Color CFC Black The font color used for captions.
Caption Top Color CTC Black The font color used for top caption.
Caption Bottom Color CBC Black The font color used for bottom caption.
Caption Font Size CFS 10 The size of the font used in captions.
Caption Top Size CTS 10 The size of the font used in top caption.
Caption Bottom Size CBS 10 The size of the font used in bottom caption.
Caption Top Alignment CTA Center The alignment of the top caption. Valid values are: Near, Center, and Far.
Caption Bottom Alignment CBA Center The alignment of the bottom caption. Valid values are: Near, Center, and Far.
Check Character CC T Automatically adds the check digit to the barcode when true. The check digit is required for all symbologies except Code 39, Industrial 2 of 5 and Codabar. When using symbologies that do not require the check digit, the check digit may be disabled.
Check Character in Text CT F Check Character in Text automatically adds the check digit that is encoded in the barcode to the human readable text that is displayed when true.
DataToEncode D 123456789012 The data that is to be encoded in the barcode symbol.
Image Type I GIF The type of image to be created; JPEG, GIF, and 1BMP(One Bit Per Pixel) are supported.
Left Margin LM 0.2 The space of the left margin in centimeters.
Narrow to Wide Ratio N 2.0 The narrow to wide ratio of symbologies that only contain narrow and wide bars such as Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5 and MSI. Common values are 2, 2.5 and 3.
Orientation O 0 Orientation indicates the orientation of the barcode. Valid values are 0, 90, 180 and 270.
Resolution IR 96 The resolution of the image measured in dots per inch (DPI).
ShowText ST T When true, the human readable text will be displayed with the barcode.
Text Above TA F When TA and ST are both true, the human-readable text is placed above the barcode.
Top Margin TM 0.2 The top margin in centimeters.
XDimension in CM X 0.03 The width in centimeters of the narrow bars. The X dimension should be increased if the barcode scanner being used does not dependably decode the symbol. The X dimension may only be adjusted in increments of .03cm (12mils) unless ImageResolution is increased.
XDimension in MILS M 12 The width in mils (1/1000 of an inch) of the narrow bars. The X dimension should be increased if the barcode scanner used does not dependably decode the symbol.

Linear-Specific Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise.
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
BearerBar Horizontal BBH 0 The width of the horizontal bearer bars as a multiple of the XDimension; valid options are 0-10.
BearerBar Vertical BBV 0 The width of the vertical bearer bars as a multiple of the XDimension; valid options are 0-10.
Character Grouping CG 0 Determines the number of characters between spaces in the text interpretation of the data encoded in the barcode. Supported values are 0 (which disables grouping), 3, 4 and 5.
Code 128 Set CS 0 The set of characters to be used for Code 128. Valid values are: Auto, A, B or C. Valid streaming parameter values are: Auto=0, A=1, B=2 or C=3.
Font F Times New Roman The font type used for human readable text.
Font Color FC Black The font color used for human readable text.
Font Size FS 10 The font size used for human readable text.
SymbologyID S Code128 A number that selects the symbology or barcode type.
0=Code 39
1=Code 39 ASCII
2=Interleaved 2 of 5
3=Code 11
4=Codabar
5=MSI
6=UPC-A
7=Industrial 2 of 5
8=Matrix 2 of 5
9=Code 93
10=EAN-13
11=EAN-8
12=UPC-E
13=Code 128
14=Planet
15=Postnet
16=Telepen
18=IntelligentMail
Text Margin EM 0.03 Sets the distance between the symbol and the text in centimeters.
White Bar Increase WI 0 A decimal percentage value that increases the white space between bars to improve readability. For example, a value of .25 increases the white space by 25%. Common values are .10, .15, .20 and .25. *

Data Matrix-Specific Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise.
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
Process Tilde PT T When set to "F", the tilde "~" functionality will not be processed. As explained in the Data Matrix FAQ, the tilde is used for GS1-DataMatrix and encoding ASCII codes.
Encoding Mode MODE 3 The Encoding Mode for data being encoded. Valid parameters are 0=ASCII, 1=C40, 2=TEXT and 3=BASE256. To encode GS1-DataMatrix, ensure MODE is set to "0".
Preferred Format PFMT 0 Sets the preferred format represented by a number; valid values are from 1 (10X10) to 24 (144X144) and from 25 (8X18) to 30 (16X48); the default value of '0' is used for automatic formatting. If the component needs more space to create the symbol, this property will be ignored.
X Dimension X 0.06 The width in centimeters of the squares that make up the symbol. This value may need to be increased if the scanner cannot read symbols with small X dimensions. When working with a 2D barcode scanner, this value may be decreased to create a smaller symbol.

PDF417-Specific Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise. PDF417 FAQ
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
ApplyTilde PT T When true, the format ~??? may be used to specify the ASCII code of the character to be encoded. Commonly used ASCII codes are ~009, which is a tab function, and ~013, which is a return function.
PDFErrorCorrectionLevel ECL 0 The Reed Solomon error correction level encoded in the symbol. More error correction creates a larger symbol that can withstand more damage. The default setting of 0 performs automatic selection.
MacroPDFEnable MAE F When true, indicates that this barcode is part of a MacroPDF sequence.
MacroPDFFileID MAF 0 Assigns a file ID to the MacroPDF barcode. Each barcode in the MacroPDF sequence must have the same file id assigned to it. Valid options are 0-899.
MacroPDFSegmentIndex MAS F The index number of each MacroPDF symbol must have a unique segment index, starting at zero and incrementing thereafter by one.
MacroPDFLastSegment MAL F When true, indicates that this is the final barcode in the MacroPDF sequence.
PDFColumns COL 0 The number of data columns in the PDF417 barcode. When this is left at zero (0) the control will automatically adjust this parameter internally.
PDFMode MODE Binary The mode of compaction used to encode data in the symbol. When set to "Text," a smaller symbol may be created. Text mode encodes all characters on the US keyboard plus returns and tabs.
PDFRows ROWS 0 Sets the number of rows. It is recommended to leave this property at 0, the default.
Truncated TRN F A truncated PDF417 symbol is more area efficient than normal PDF417. When true, the right hand side of the PDF417 is removed or truncated.
XtoYRatio XYR 3 The X multiple height of individual cells; default = 3.

MaxiCode-Specific Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise.
Name Parameter Default Description
When using Maxicode in modes 2 or 3 for UPS and other transportation applications, the Service Class, Country Code and Zip Code must be included in the DataToEncode (D Parameter) as defined in the MaxiCode FAQ.
ApplyTilde PT T When true, the format ~ddd may be used to specify the ASCII code of the character to be encoded as explained in the MaxiCode FAQ. A setting of "False" will disable ApplyTilde.
EncodingMode M Mode2 The mode of compression and encoding used in the symbol. Modes 2 and 3 are designed for use in the transport industry. Mode 4 encodes up to 93 characters or 138 digits. Mode 5 encodes up to 77 characters and provides more error correction capabilities than mode 4. Mode 6 indicates that the symbol encodes a message used to program a reader system (scanner).

Aztec-Specific Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise.
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
Process Tilde PT F When true, the tilde (~) will be processed and the format ~d??? may be used to specify the ASCII code of the character to be encoded. For example, "AZTEC~d009CODE" encodes "AZTEC  <TAB>  CODE."
Error Correction Level ECL 0 The Reed Solomon error correction level encoded in the symbol, specified as a value from 1 to 99. More error correction creates a larger symbol that can withstand more damage. The default setting of 0 performs automatic selection, which is usually a value of 23.
MessageAppend MA na Specifies the message appended across multiple symbols. Only valid if NumberOfSymbols is greater than 1.
NumberOfSymbols NS 1 Invokes MessageAppend across symbols.
ReaderInitialization RI F Adds the reader initialization symbol to the barcode for older scanners, which require it.
X Dimension X 0.06 The width in centimeters of the squares that make up the symbol. This value may need to be increased if the scanner cannot read symbols with small X dimensions. When working with a 2D barcode scanner, this value may be decreased to create a smaller symbol.

QR Code-Specific Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise.
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
Process Tilde PT F When set to "True," the format ~d??? may be used to specify the ASCII code of the character to be encoded. Commonly used ASCII codes are ~d009, which is a tab function and ~d013, which is a return function.
EncodingMode MODE B The mode of compaction used to encode data in the symbol.
Valid values are "B"(Byte),"A"(Alphanumeric), and "N"(Numeric) mode.
Version V 0 Sets the size of the symbol with valid values from 1 (21X21) to 40 (177X177). A default value of "0" is used for automatic formatting.
Error Correction Level ECL M The error correction level encoded in the symbol. Valid values are L, M, Q, H. Higher error correction creates a larger symbol that can withstand more damage.
X Dimension X 0.06 The width in centimeters of the squares that make up the symbol. This value may need to be increased if the scanner cannot read symbols with small X dimensions. When working with a 2D barcode scanner, this value may be decreased to create a smaller symbol.

DataBar, Composite and MicroPDF417 Barcode Properties

IDAutomation recommends using default values for all properties, unless requirements dictate otherwise. MicroPDF417 Properties
Property Name Parameter Default Property Description
Process Tilde PT F When set to "True," the format ~d??? may be used to specify the ASCII code of the character to be encoded. Commonly used ASCII codes are ~d009, which is a tab function and ~d013, which is a return function.
CompositeData CD Null The composite data to be encoded above the linear barcode; however, not applicable when using PDF417 or MicroPDF417.
ExpandedStackedSegments SG 22 Number of segments in a DataBar Expanded symbol. A low, even number such as 4 or 6 creates a stacked symbol.
IncludeAIinHRText AI True When true, the implied AI is displayed in the human-readable text. DataBar-14 contains an implied AI of (01).
IncludeLinkageFlagin
HRText
L False When true, the Linkage Flag for the barcode is displayed in the human readable text. The linkage flag determines if there is a 2D composite barcode to go along with the linear DataBar barcode.
PDFErrorCorrectionLevel ECL 0 The Reed Solomon error correction level encoded in the symbol. More error correction creates a larger symbol that can withstand more damage. The default setting of 0 performs automatic selection.
PDFColumns COL 3 The number of data columns in the PDF417 barcode. The default is 3 and the maximum is 30.
PDFMode MODE Text The mode of compaction used to encode data in the symbol. When set to "Text," a smaller symbol may be created. Text mode encodes all characters on a US keyboard, plus returns and tabs.
SymbologyID S 1 or DATABAR This is the type of symbology to be used. When using DataBar (RSS), the data must be formatted according to the GS1 DataBar & Composite FAQ.
0=CODE128
1=DATABAR
2=DATABAREXPANDED
3=DATABARLIMITED
4=DATABARSTACKED
5=DATABAROMNI
6=DATABARTRUNCATED
7=EAN13
8=EAN8
9=MICROPDF417
10=PDF417
11=UPCA
12=UPCE
Text Margin EM 0.03 Sets the distance between the symbol and the text in centimeters.
XtoYRatio XYR 0.06 The X multiple height of individual cells; the acceptable range is 2 to 5.

Additional properties may be changed in code if necessary when implementing Streaming Mode for ASP.NET Project Integration.

Barcode Image Resolution

The default resolution generated barcode images is 96 DPI which allows the image to be displayed properly in a web browser although it may be necessary to increase the resolution of the image for printing purposes. This can be easily accomplished in Server Control Mode by changing the ImageResolution property. Increasing the resolution in Streaming Mode can cause the image to display proportionally larger in the browser. To resolve this issue in Streaming Mode, the size of the image may be reduced or expanded using HTML.

Technical Support Issues

Free product support may be obtained by reviewing the knowledgebase articles that are documented below and by searching resolved public forum threads. Priority phone, email and forum support is also provided within 30 days of purchase. Additional phone, email and forum support is provided with an active Priority Support and Upgrade Subscription.

Common Support Issues for Streaming Barcode Server for IIS

Creating a Virtual Directory in Windows 2000 Server

  • Using Windows Explorer, create a physical directory below the website directory that will be part of the URL. Example: c:\Inetpub\wwwroot\IDAutomation
  • Open Internet Information Services or Information Services Manager (IIS). This tool can be found under Administrative Tools.
  • Right-click Default Web site and choose New - Virtual Directory.
  • Click Next on the Welcome screen of the Virtual Directory Creation Wizard.
  • Enter an Alias name that maps a physical directory that will be part of the URL. Example: http://www.mydomain.com/IDAutomation.
  • Choose Next and Browse to the physical directory created earlier.
  • Select the physical directory, choose Next to grant the default permissions and click Finish.
  • NOTE: In Windows Server 2008 and above, including Windows Server 2012, the Virtual Directory must also be an application in IIS. If this is not the case, right-click on the Virtual Directory and choose Convert to Application.

Error - "Server Error in Application" Runtime Error:

  • The error may look similar to this:
    Server Error in '/' Application.
    Runtime Error

    Description: An application error occurred on the server.
    Details: To enable the details...
    <! -- Web.Config Configuration File -->
  • This error is generated when IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx is not executed from a virtual directory under IIS with the ability to run applications. In Windows Server 2008 and above, including Windows Server 2012, the Virtual Directory must also be an application in IIS. If this is not the case, right-click on the Virtual Directory and choose Convert to Application.

Error - "Server Error in Application" Parser Error:

  • The error may look similar to this:
    Server Error in '/' Application.
    Parser Error

    Description: An error occurred during the parsing of a resource required to service this request. Please review the following specific parse error details and modify the source file appropriately.
    Parser Error Message:
    File or assembly name IDAutomation.LinearServerControl, or one of its dependencies, was not found.
  • If this error is received in ASP.NET Project Integration, a reference to the server control DLL was not found. Add a reference to the IDAutomation Server Control in the project. For example: Right Click on References, Choose Browse and select the server control DLL.

ASP.NET Project Barcode Integration

When a Developer License is purchased with a signed Source Code Agreement, the ASP.NET solution of streaming DLLs can be provided for custom integration, modification and code-behind in ASP.NET. When using products other than the linear version in this example, the difference in file names should be considered.

  1. Extract all files from the package.
  2. After the files are extracted, additional ZIP files will be found in the destination directory. Extract all files from the zip ending in CS as the IDAutomation_StreamingLinear_CS.zip is used for a C# project.
  3. Locate the image generating web page .aspx file from the extracted files. Copy this file and all associated files to the ASP.NET project directory. The image generating ASP.NET page for the linear control is IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx and its associated files are IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx.resx and IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx.cs.
  4. Copy the appropriate Server Control DLL file to the ASP.NET project directory. In this example, IDAutomation.linearservercontrol.dll is copied.
  5. Add a reference to the IDAutomation Server Control in the project. For example: Right-Click on References, choose Browse and select the server control DLL.
  6. Add the IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx file to the ASP.NET project by right-clicking the name of the project in Solution Explorer and selecting Add Existing Item. The following graphic illustrates the reference to the DLL and the image generating web page aspx file in a solution.
    Reference To The DLL and Image Generating Web Page aspx File in a Solution
  7. Rebuild the solution or project.
  8. To verify the project is working correctly, view the actual streaming aspx page in the browser. Example: http://localhost/WebApplication1/IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx
  9. Choose the method that will update properties of the barcode:

Dynamic IMG Tag Method:

  • The following demonstrates how to pass parameters to the streaming barcode generator from a URL.
    <img src="IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx?barcode=0123456789012&S=0&H=1.5"/>
    IDAutomation provides examples of creating barcodes in this way with JavaScript and Crystal Reports.

Code-Behind Method:

  • To implement code-behind using Visual Studio .NET, reference the sample project included in the ZIP file and the LinearStreamCS.csproj file. Add the image tag referencing the image generating aspx page, which was added to the project, to the aspx page that needs to display the barcode image. Example:
    <img src="IDAutomationStreamingLinear.aspx"/>
    The Page_Load event for the image generating .aspx page may be changed to hard-code specific values for the image that is to be displayed.

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