The GS1 DataBar barcode symbology is the latest barcode type for space-constrained
identification from GS1, formerly
EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, Inc. DataBar barcodes
have been utilized to solve many problems in POS, grocery and healthcare,
where items are too small to allow for traditional barcode types, or
where additional information needs to be encoded such as product weight, expiration
dates, country of origin or serial numbers. DataBar is also the only
barcode symbology approved by GS1 to
GTIN-14 numbers in all retail checkout systems
after January 1, 2010 and is required by the Joint Industry Coupon Committee
(JICC) to be used for
GS1 renamed the RSS Symbology
to GS1 DataBar to avoid confusion with popular RSS XML Feed technology. The new name does not change the standard,
however, and any documentation that refers to RSS Symbology is the same
as GS1 DataBar. GS1 also recently
renamed several barcode standards based on Code 128, such
as EAN-128 and UCC-128, to GS1-128.
UPC to DataBar POS Barcode Comparison
The following is a comparison of a UPC-A barcode encoding the
GTIN-12 data "123456789012" with DataBar barcodes encoding the
same data for use in POS systems. The GTIN-12 is
converted to GTIN-14 by adding zeros to the beginning of the
number. The below DataBar Expanded Stacked barcode encodes the 14-digit GTIN and "Sell by Date" in about the same space as a standard UPC symbol.
The DataBar Expanded Stacked barcode may also be sized to consume less space.
Table1. UPC to DataBar POS Comparison.
DataBar Expanded Stacked
GTIN + Sell
by Date; 4 Segments:
In all DataBar barcode types, the first
13 digits of the GTIN-14 may be encoded with the required
(AI) of 01 and a non-visible DataBar check-digit. The last digit of
the GTIN-14 is a MOD 10 check-digit, which is not actually encoded in
the DataBar symbology. If the full 14-digit GTIN is needed after reading
the symbol, it may be generated with a
GS1 DataBar (previously RSS-14), also known as GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional
is capable of encoding up to 20,000,000,000,000 (20 trillion) values. This
symbol was approved for use in POS environments after January 1, 2010.
A linkage flag determines if there is a Composite 2D barcode
associated with the barcode. The encoder selects either a "1" (true)
or "0" (false) value as the first character in the barcode based
on the IsComposite encoder property and should
not be included in the DataToEncode.
The next 14 characters in GS1 DataBar are the 13 data characters
plus a MOD 10 check-digit. The check-digit is not actually encoded
in the barcode, but should be
included as part of the DataToEncode property. If the check-digit is not known,
a zero may be used.
If less than 14 characters are entered in the DataToEncode property,
zeroes are padded to the front after the linkage flag. Non-numeric
characters are stripped from the DataToEncode property.
GS1 DataBar Stacked (RSS-14
Stacked)barcodes have the same data characteristics as GS1 DataBar. The data to encode is split
in half and encoded as a split-level barcode, and this format is used if
the width of the barcode is an issue.
The height of the top row
of the GS1 DataBar Stacked barcode is 5 times the X dimension, and the
height of the bottom row is 7 times the X dimension. The
Font Package contains a stacked font that is an exact match for
these specifications. The barcode contains a separator pattern which contains
no data and has a height equal to one X dimension. Because the GS1 DataBar
cannot be scanned omni-directionally, it is not approved for use in
all POS systems.
GS1 DataBar Stacked
Omnidirectional (RSS-14 Stacked Omnidirectional) barcodes have
the same data characteristics as GS1 DataBar.
This symbol was approved for use in POS environments after January 1, 2010.
The data to encode
is separated to create a split-level barcode, and the height of each row
is ascertained from the bar height property of the control. The barcode
contains a separator pattern which contains no data and has a height
equal to 3 times the X dimension. The IDAutomation
Font Package contains a stacked font named DataBar 34 for this specific purpose.
GS1 DataBar Limited (RSS-14
Limited) barcodes have the same data characteristics as the GS1 DataBar barcode,
although it may only
include values up to 4,000,000,000,000 (4 trillion).
is specifically designed to be read by wands and handheld laser scanners, and
cannot be read efficiently by omni-directional scanners. The sample
below is encoding the data 15012345678907:
GS1 DataBar Expanded (RSS-14 Expanded) is a variable
length, expanded version of the DataBar barcode symbology which is
capable of encoding the 14-digit GTIN, and additional data such as
expiration dates, country of origin and serial numbers - up to 74
numeric or 41 alphabetic characters.
Omni-directional is not normally
part of the title of this symbology, even though it is omni-directional
and approved for POS use after 1-1-2010. This symbology does allow for
the linkage flag, which determines if there is a 2D composite barcode
associated with the linear barcode. This symbology may be used in a
variety of ways, and has specific encoding methods for particular
(AI's) and encodes data more efficiently for certain AI combinations.
AI's must be entered manually to ensure the proper encoding method is used.
When using this barcode symbology with IDAutomation products,
parentheses must be placed around each AI as in the examples below.
Specific AI formats are optimized to create the most efficient barcode.
The following is a table of optimized AI combinations:
Data containing AI's -- (01) and (3103); Example: (01)90012345678908(3103)001750
Data containing AI's -- (01) and either (3202) or (3203); Example:
Data containing AI's -- (01) and (392x) where x ranges from
1 to 3 Example: (01)90012345678908(3922)795
Data containing AI's -- (01) and (393x) where x ranges from
1 to 3 Example: (01)90012345678908(3932)0401234
Data containing AI's -- (01) and either (310x) or (320x) where
x ranges from 1 to 9 and either AI's (11) or (13) or (15) or (17);
GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked
Omni-directional (RSS-14 Expanded Stacked Omni-directional)
has the same data characteristics as GS1 DataBar Expanded, but
it may be stacked to decrease width and increase height.
type of DataBar barcode is commonly used for
coupons, and can encode additional data in POS environments
such as the
expiration date, product weight, country of origin and serial numbers.
A DataBar Expanded barcode symbol is stacked by changing the Segments property
to a low, even value, such as 4 or 6. The number of segments chosen may
produce 2 or more rows. The IDAutomation
Font Package contains a stacked DataBar 34 font for this specific purpose. This symbol is omni-directional
and approved for POS use after January 1, 2010, even when stacked.
Fig. 7. 4-Segment DataBar Expanded Stacked Barcode Encoding GTIN, Weight and
Sell By Date "(01)98898765432106(3202)012345(15)991231":
DataBar Barcode Image
Generator is a stand-alone application that creates barcode image
files for PhotoShop, Quark, CorelDraw and others for printing or display and is compatible with
DataBar Coupon barcode specifications.
IDAutomation offers the following hand-held DataBar Barcode Scanners:
IDAutomation USB Barcode Scanner with DataBar offers superior performance
at an affordable price, and reads GS1 DataBar-14, DataBar Limited, DataBar Expanded, DataBar
Expanded Stacked, DataBar Truncated, UPC, EAN, other common barcodes