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Can you tell us where is your DOB value coming from? If this is a non-standard ASCII character set field you need to make sure that the encoding method of the Barcode as well as your decoder can handle the characters you are trying to decode.
So, what language are you encoding and how are you decoding? Hand scanner or the Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms Decoder 7.x or 8.x?
Thanks for your response. DOB value is a text field which user fills in using fillable form. It appears, I just found out, that the datamatrix code generated is encrypted when used in free Adobe reader as we do not have livecycle barcode forms or reader extensions. I wonder what it would cost to get a license.
BTW we are using a handheld scanner for decoding. We are not using Adobe decoder.
So if you are using a hand scanner be absolutely certain that your encoding using an encoding method that your hand scanner can use. By default the encoding method is UTF-8 which can't be read by all hand scanners in particular when you have accented characters.
Just to address the license question. If you are using the free Adobe Reader to fill in fill-and-print PDF documents that use Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms barcodes then you need to license the technology. As you have quickly realized, without the license the barcodes will either be encrypted or will simply gray-out in Reader 8.x and higher.
If you would like to test your forms simply fill-in and print the documents using Adobe Acrobat. The barcode will appear in plain-text.
Thanks very much Lee. I placed a call to Adobe and am waiting in line :) for an account executive to be assigned to talk about licensing. I saw some of your solution notes on the subject and it seems you have pretty good background in this.
HEre is a quick question:
If we license barcode decoder from Adobe does it decode encrypted barcodes? Means do we still need to license barcode forms if we license just barcode decoder?
While waiting I am pondering these questions as we want to explore various options to reduce the cost of this solution and meet our budgets.
The "encryption" mechanism is actually not a feature so no, not even the Adobe Barcoded Forms ES decoder service can decode encrypted barcodes. What you need to do is license the forms you need on a form by-forms basis.
What's the volume and quantity of data on your forms? You can typically save anywhere from $1 to $5 per form in scanning and manual labor costs so budget-wise this is easy technology to prove ROI on.
For our immediate project we are only designing perhaps 2 forms. In terms of end users the quantity is unknown but we expect few hundred to few thousands who would fill the form and submit (by fax or by paper printout). $1 - $5 is very high if we are counting end user filled forms because, say for survey forms, I don't think anyone wants to spend that kind of money (let us say 1000 end users, and, using upper limit of your number, it would cost $5000 to get responses?). I can do this for free using web forms but obviously Adobe forms are more elegant and looks better and that is why we are looking at this technology. But I will wait for Adobe to call and perhaps revisit this.
Thanks for all your expert advise.
You may have misunderstood my response to the last note. The $1 to $5 per form per transaction is how much money you would typically SAVE compared to other methods of gathering information from printed forms. For the cost of the Adobe LiveCycle software you will need to consult your local Account Manager.
In regards to your use-case you really don't need Barcoded Forms unless the user is going to be printing the form and submitting the actual paper.
If you would like to provide the user with a PDF to enter data within the browser you can do that already. You can also do an HTTP POST back to your server directly from within the browser (and the Reader plug-in) without any additional software.
It is only when you want to give your users the ability to fill-in and print off-line (with barcode forms) or save off-line and submit outside the browser that you will need additional software.