I am looking at integrating barcoding into our warehouse. I would like to barcode our products as the enter the warehouse using a label printer, as well as barcoding the Purchase Order, Sales Order etc. for accurate recall. I have seen a few posts regarding barcoding and I was hoping that I could get some more opinions. I see that some ppl prefer to just use a barcode font, and others prefer to use a 3rd party package of some sort. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both options? Thanks.
It depends on how general you want your solution to be. If you are coding for a stable, predictable environment, you may get by just fine with Windows compatible fonts, especially if they are fonts designed for your specific printer(s). If you are creating software which will be used in a variety of environments, I believe you are better off using a third-party bar code printing solution. The other factor relates to the formats you must generate. Many of the third party solutions are party of a label design package, most of which include templates for common label formats. If you are going to be barcoding a number of different label formats, it may be much more cost effective to have a set of tools expressly created for that effort and to have templates ready-made. Finally, there are some situations where the recipient of the labels requires that the format of the labels they receive are certified before they will accept them. Some of these firms also levy large fines on vendors for sending any out-of-spec labels. Some third-party products provided pre-certified label formats; some may even guarantee their formats against being out-of-spec. So if your barcodes are on a couple of simple documents, are for internal use, and you can control what printers are used, then Windows fonts and C/AL code may work just fine and be cheaper. If you have many formats, or critical applications or are creating an application to be distributed, I recommend use of a reputable third party label design and printing package. In truly critical applications, you may want to consider use of barcode verification hardware as well. I would like to note that the choice of media and printer can also be an important factor in the success of your barcode application as well.