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Oracle Mobile Supply Chain Applications User's Guide
Release 12.1
Part Number E13465-04
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Using Barcode Identifiers

This appendix covers the following topics:

Overview of Barcode Identifiers in Mobile Supply Chain Applications

Data Identifiers are used extensively for the purpose of identifying the type of data that is embedded within a barcode. A DI usually consists of one to three characters prepended to the data that is encoded in the barcode. For instance, a DI for Part Number might be P+. If the part number that were encoded in a given barcode were AS54888 then the barcode would encode the value P+AS54888 to indicate that the barcode is for a Part Number and that Part Number is AS54888.

DIs are useful in reducing error caused by scanning the wrong barcode into a field on a mobile device. They are also helpful because they allow fields to be scanned out of order and values to be placed into the appropriate fields.

Oracle DI Functionality

Oracle Mobile Applications provides DI support for recognition of barcodes containing DIs and out-of-order scanning.

Field Recognition

Oracle Mobile Applications will recognize a DI that is included in a barcode and validate that DI with the field that the value is being scanned into. Depending on whether the DI is flagged to be required, a failed DI validation could result in an error message to the user.

Each field on the mobile applications can be assigned one or more DIs to be validated against. In addition, each field may be optionally be flagged to require a DI. If a DI is required, a barcode that is scanned into this field must have one of the DIs assigned to that field. If no DI is found the mobile user will receive an error message. If a DI is not required, Oracle will validate against a DI if it is found, but if no DI is found, the entire value of the barcode will be inserted into that field.

Out of Order Scanning

Oracle also supports Out-of-Order scanning through DIs. If a field is scanned containing a DI that corresponds to a field other than the field that the cursor is currently on, the value of that barcode will be entered into the appropriate field. The user can then continue and scan the barcode corresponding to the current field, or scan another DI identified barcode out of order.

The value that is inserted into the Out-of-Order field will be validated against when the user navigates through that field. Because Oracle's field level validation generally depends on previous fields for validation to occur, the user must continue on the normal path of navigation through that field to complete the transaction.

For instance, if a user is performing a Miscellaneous Issue of material using a mobile device, the user may first scan the Part Number being issued. That scan could be validated against a DI of P+ for the part number. The next scan is a barcode with the value Q+10. Oracle determines that there is a field on the current page that uses Q+ as a DI. Consequently, the value 10 is placed into the quantity field. The user must then scan the Subinventory and Locator that the material is being issued out of. Then the user navigates through the quantity field and the quantity is validated against the available quantity in the Subinventory and Locator scanned earlier.

Oracle Mobile Applications DI Flow

The following diagram displays the entire flow behind Oracle DI support. When a barcode is scanned, the mobile device pre-ends an ASCII control character (the Data Stream Indicator) to the data transmitted to the server. Oracle Mobile Server recognizes the Data Stream Indicator and searches for a recognizable Data Field Unidentified in the barcode data. A DI is recognized as being assigned to a field on the current page. The value from the barcode is extracted and inserted into the field represented by the DI.

Necessary Elements for DI Support

To support DI, the mobile device being used must support automatically pre-pending an arbitrary character to any scanned entry. All the mobile devices that are certified for use with Oracle Mobile Applications are required to support this functionality. Setting up the mobile device to enable DI support is discussed in the next section.

The Oracle Mobile Server must be configured properly as well to support DI scanning.

Finally, the specific Oracle Application being used through the mobile device must properly support DI functionality. Oracle Mobile Supply Chain Applications (Inventory Management segment) and Oracle Warehouse Management currently provide full support for DI functionality. Check with the specific product User's Guide if you are unsure as to whether DIs are supported.

Setup for DI Support

The setup to enable DI support involves three steps. The mobile device must be configured to pre-pend an ASCII control character to every scan. The Mobile Server must be configured to recognize the proper ASCII control character as indicating a scanned entry. Finally, the Applications must be set up to recognize DIs for each field on the mobile forms.

Hardware Setup

The first step in configuring DI support is to configure the mobile device such to prebend the Data Stream Indicator to every scan. The Data Stream Indicator should be an ASCII control character (non-printable character). All the devices that are certified with Oracle Mobile Applications support this type of configuration. Most scanners can be configured by scanning configuration barcodes, navigating to a configuration menu through the device keypad, or by using a remote configuration tool.

The default Data Stream Indicator is ASCII 28 – File Separator. Unless there is a reason why this ASCII control character cannot be used, it should be used as the Data Stream Indicator. However, any ASCII control character may be used as the Data Stream Indicator except for Backspace (8), Horizontal Tab (9), Line Feed (10), Vertical Tab (11), Form Feed (12), Carriage Return (13), Shift Out (14), Shift In (15) or Escape (27).

Mobile Server Setup

After the device has been configured to prebend the Data Stream Indicator, the mobile server must be configured to recognize the appropriate Data Stream Indicator. Each device configuration can have a different Data Stream Indicator to support the varying capabilities of different mobile devices. The configuration setting is located in the device configuration file. The default device configuration setting (default_key.ini) that ships with the mobile server has the Data Stream Indicator set to the default: ASCII 28.

The character that the device prepends to scanned entry must match with the entry in the.ini file for the device configuration being used in order for DIs to be fully supported.

Applications Setup

DI information is stored in the same place that the field labels for the mobile forms are stored – the AK Dictionary. This is the same place that changes can be made to the field labels that show up on the mobile forms if larger, smaller, or more descriptive field labels are required. To access the AK Dictionary, you must log onto Oracle Applications on the desktop and access the responsibility AK Developer. Contact your system administrator if this responsibility is not assigned to your user.

Navigating the AK Dictionary

Once within the AK Developer Responsibility, DIs may be registered at two different levels – the Attributes level or the Region Items level. Region Items are basically Attributes that have been assigned to a Region. DIs registered at the Region Items level take precedence over DIs registered at the Attribute level.

To register DIs at the Attributes level, you may navigate to the Define Attributes form. From that form, the entries for each of the fields that show up on the mobile forms can be accessed. Attributes can be queried by the Attribute Name or the Label. The DI string should be entered in the field called “Default Varchar2 Value See below for details on the format of the DI string.

To register DIs at the Region Items level, you must know the Resource Table that is used by the specific mobile application being used (for Oracle Inventory and WMS it is INVRESOURCETABLE). The Resource Table can be queried up in the Region form the Define Regions form. For instance, to query up the Oracle Inventory Resource Table, you would query on Region ID = INVRESOURCETABLE.

Once the appropriate Resource Table has been found, you can click on the Region Items button. On the Region Items form, you can view all the AK Region Items that are being used for mobile applications from that Resource Table. Locate the field that corresponds to the proper field on the mobile page, and enter the DI string into the field called “Default Varchar2 Value.

Entering the DI String

The DI String should be entered into the field called “Default Varchar2 Value either on the Attributes level, or the Region Items level. The text that should be entered into this field should be in the following format:

DI=Q+,q+,Q,q REQ=N

The above text indicates that four DIs may be used for this field: the characters Q+, q+, Q, and q. It also indicates that a DI is not required for this field. To make a DI required for a field, use the text “REQ=Y after the DI list.

DIs should be listed in the order they should be validated against.

Note: Be careful to include DIs that are subsets of other DIs after the original DI. For example, if the DI Q were listed before the DI Q+ and a barcode was scanned using the DI Q+, the Q would be removed from the barcode, but the + would remain as part of the field value and an error would occur.

Oracle Mobile Applications comes seeded with various industry standard DIs to make the implementation process easier.