PDA data and mobile printing architectures, interconnections

Edge" distribution of computing power

With explanations of the different possibilities of connecting smartphones, Android PDAs to data bases and printers in mobility, design your barcode traceability application project, Rfid!

Enter, print, share, update, store!

Prerequisite : please read: What is a mobile terminal / PDA with integrated scanner?

The Edge computing model

"Mobile Edge Computing" is a model of distributed computing between mobile terminals across the network, private or not, using as little as possible the resources of the "Cloud", such as an ERP, thus staying at the "edge" of the Cloud, which explains the term "Edge". The terminals have their database system included, a display and a physical or virtual keyboard and above all permanent memory and super powerful processors: this is more than enough.

So what is the purpose of Edge Computing?

They can connect to local sensors and collect measurement data in order to process them and return them to the Cloud if necessary. Local analysis, local process statistics, local simulations, requiring no latency (with or without immediate network) are then perfectly adapted to give autonomy to the person.

It is a data structure that is well adapted to self-monitoring, self-diagnosis, easy installation monitoring without computer scientists with redundancy (self-replacement of data or machines), to encryption (digital signature) on the spot in the moment of the evidence data for example to authenticate.

At the end of the process, only the data needed for the cloud, for the ERP system for example, or for the digital evidence archive server are transmitted for storage.

Edge computing works where the action takes place, close to the production site, where autonomy and reactivity are required with a minimum of equipment: these are the common points with lean management.

We use all the possibilities of Edge computing in our mobile products and software.

We assume that you know how to acquire barcode or Rfid data on your mobile and want to print, share or store it.

The possible mobile data exchange architectures

The Android terminal communicates by Wifi or 3/4/5G or BT (Bluetooth)

We present here the different connection structures between terminals and databases for Android. We will start from the obsolete modes to the current modes.

Interchanges via USB: no longer done professionally

connexion Android par USB obsolète pour applications professionnelles
USB connection from Android terminal to PC for data exchange, obsolete
Android connection via USB is obsolete for profesionnal applications

First of all USB connections with an Android are useful to load programs (Apk) on some smartphones: this is the only use of this mode. But on some ruggedized terminals, there are no more USB connectors, so this mode inherited from the old Windows CE world is not done anymore.

So we leave on mobile connections on networks

  • Wifi for "indoor" applications indoors or close to a room
  • 3/4/5G for mobile applications roaming outside.

Interchanges by Wifi- 4G on Excel / CSV bases: very limited

IP connexions entre mobile et base de données Excel, CSV: un seul sens par table
IP connections between mobile and database Excel, CSV: one way per table
IP connections between mobile and database Excel, CSV: one way per table

The base is distributed on a PC linked by IP on Excel tables, CSV rather: and there the exchanges are limited to one way only: either a reading of the table (parameters) by the terminal, or an addition of lines in another one (entered data). This system is even more limited when there are several terminals connected: it is low-cost in maintenance and is reserved for a few cases without future evolution and should be avoided.

Interchanges via Wifi- 4G on SQL / NoSQL bases or via API: recommended

Connexions IP de mobiles avec bases SQL/NoSQL, API
Mobile IP connections with SQL/NoSQL databases, API
Mobile IP connections with SQL/NoSQL databases, API

The database is of the SQL or NoSQL type or is accessible on an ERP via API: the exchanges can be, according to the rights, in reading and writing with processes of non competing access to the data modifications: it is the ideal for professional working structures of mobile terminals. Edge computing" can then be carried out on the terminal: calculations and display of results in addition to the traditional data collection.

We are done with data entry: let’s move on to printing them on labels or receipts:

The possible mobile data printing architectures: receipts or labels, reports

We have two possible modes: Bluetooth (BT) or Wifi / IP direct, the USB mode connected to the PC is not easily accessible from a mobile terminal: we forget it.

Printing by BT: the most personal

Mode de connexion d'imprimante mobile personnelle à un terminal : via Bluetooth
Personal mobile printer connection mode to a terminal: via Bluetooth
Personal mobile printer connection mode to a terminal: via Bluetooth

Printing by BT is generally reserved for mobile printers worn on the belt, so close to the operator’s hand. It can print receipts or self-adhesive labels with barcode or Rfid tag. The data to be printed is sent by the BT of the rugged smartphone carried by the operator.
We can also imagine table printers connected by BT: this is reserved for terminals nearby

Printing by wifi / IP: the most shared

Mode de connexion d'imprimante étiquettes partagée à des terminaux mobiles : via IP (fixe) filaire ou Wifi
Shared label printer connection mode to mobile terminals: via IP (fixed) wired or Wifi
Shared label printer connection mode to mobile terminals: via IP (fixed) wired or Wifi

The printer (office or industrial) is attached to a network by an Ethernet cable (fixed IP) or by Wifi, it is well shared therefore and the data are sent by the terminals. In general, only one label format is placed on each machine in order not to have any surprise when printing following a change of format.

Now you know everything: you can contact us for your project!

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