Today a barcode scanner has become an integral part of production, trade, and warehouse automation systems. This electronic device is widely used by manufacturers that are aimed at increasing the efficiency of their product lines and improving asset management processes.
The purpose of a barcode scanner is to read information encrypted in a barcode and transfer it to a computer or terminal. Most commonly connections between the devices and data servers are established via a serial channel.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to connect to an RS232 barcode scanner remotely, split its data and redirect it to multiple applications at a time.
- What is a barcode scanner?
- The challenge of shared access to a serial scanner
- How to split RS232 barcode scanner data
- The advantages of RS232 splitter software
What is a barcode scanner?
These days barcode readers are able to capture codes in a variety of formats and support a wide range of interfaces, including RS232, USB, Keyboard Wedge, etc. This allows connecting them to computers and workstations of different types. Plus, there are wireless scanners that can send information along to a computer database over a distance of up to 30 meters. Barcode readers of this kind often work in conjunction with specialized software programs.
Undoubtedly, by adding a barcode scanner to your accounting or inventory application, you make the process of entering data faster and more efficient. But what if you needed to transmit scanned information to several programs at a time?
The challenge of shared access to a serial barcode scanner
Now, we’ll consider one of the most common problems faced by businesses and manufacturers that use RS232 barcode scanners for collecting production information.
Let’s imagine that, on your production line, you have several barcode scanners that collect, let’s say, your products’ serial numbers and send them to the SAP application via an RS-232 serial port. On the other hand, you need to use the same data for your quality check application. What should you do? Well, there are several options.
One of the options is to find another COM port that will help you avoid access conflict. Also, you can try to use an extra barcode reader. Of course, the latter means an increase in expenses and more efforts related to the installation of the new device.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative solution that will relieve you from the necessity to buy additional hardware for increasing your product line efficiency.
How to split RS232 barcode scanner data
Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO is a dedicated software application able to provide your system with virtual COM interfaces that fully emulate real RS232 ports. This powerful solution allows creating bundles of real and virtual serial ports, making it possible to use the same barcode scanner for different programs simultaneously.
With this program, you can split a real COM port into several virtual ones and redirect scanned data to multiple apps at a time.
Here’s how it works:
- You download RS232 barcode scanner splitter and install it on your computer.
- Launch the app and go to the “Split” tab.
- In the settings window, select a real COM port that is going to be split. It should be the port to which your barcode scanner is attached physically.
- Then, choose virtual ports that will be connected to the split real port and add them to the bundle by hitting “Add port”.
- After that, select the main port among virtual ones and finally click “Add split port”.
Here you go! Your COM port bundle is created in the Bundle tree. Now, you can find all virtual interfaces in the Device Manager of your computer and connect each of them to a separate serial app. Once you do this, all data coming to the real COM port from the barcode reader will be immediately redirected to virtual serial ports and programs working with them.
What else Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO can do for you?
The software RS232 Port Splitter offers a host of powerful features for managing real and virtual serial interfaces. It’s user-friendly and easily applicable in a wide range of usage scenarios:
- It lets you join data streams from several physical COM ports to one virtual;
- It allows creating complex bundles of virtual and real serial interfaces that can easily share the incoming data with each other;
- It provides the ability to create a serial port switcher that will look for a free COM port automatically and connect it to a selected app, and more.