A barcode can be termed as a code that consists of a series of vertical bars of variable width. These are scanned by a reader which is called a barcode screener. The code is printed by the barcode printer. The code is attached on consumer product packages. This is done for identification of an item for a computer which provides the price and registers inventory information.
Many symbologies are being used for the barcode system. A symbol here can be an equivalent to a language. Definite technical advantages are there for certain types of symbologies. Symbology can be defined as the mapping between the messages and barcodes. Barcode printers are used for printing the label of the barcode. The data on the label has to be read and mapped by the scanner. Certain factors have to be taken into consideration while choosing a symbology. Some of them have been included here.
Many symbologies have certain limitations on the number of characters that can be encoded. Universal Product Code (UPC) is only numeric bar code and should contain 11 digits. Further, the value of these digits have to be determined by the grocery industry committee. It has to be appropriate while choosing symbology because use of such only numeric symbol may also become limitation. Code 128 is considered as the most flexible one having the full (128-character) ASCII set.
The barcodes should share some common standard barcodes between different vendors. The UPC symbology has certain standards committee. The manufacturer and product codes for over one million products are to be assigned by the committee. Suppose that an industry committee created a standard code that has to be used. Then any company or store should be making use of the standard code even if it has some limitations.
Different number of characters in a given space are to be encoded by each symbology. Certain barcodes like Interleaved 2 or 5 which are numeric-only barcodes can encode many numbers in a given space than the symbology such as Code 128. For some scanners especially wands are built for particular density. The density of the symbol should be matching with the scanner that is to be used.
Some barcodes are more inherently readable than others. It is considered that Code 128 is one of the most readable code. The most readable code has to be selected while choosing the symbology. Care should also be taken that a proper reading system is also used for the particular symbology and has to be tested once.
Symbologies having more readability are considered to be more durable. Certain tests have to be performed often, in order to check if the equipment can still read the codes.
The codes should be in such a way that the companies or clients you do business with should understand and accept the symbology. Using symbologies that are already in use is mostly advised whenever possible.