Autogenerated barcodes for biblio copies

  • Hans van der Weij

    Feature Request and proposed solution:
    When adding copies to a bibliography, OpenBiblio asks for a unique Barcode Number that is to be used later in OpenBiblio's circulation forms. Librarians might not come up with a unique numbers that easily, especially when the are used to a simple card file. The feature request is to assign the numbers automatically and also a way to do circulation when the Barcode Number is not (yet) labeled to the item to be circulated.

    The patch I wrote for this is now updated to version 2.1 (for 0.5.1 release and CVS). It comes with documentation for the help pages.
    For details and download see

    I'm interested in your opinions:
    - Is the barcode numbering structure OK?
    - Help pages (a work in progress), comments or suggestions?
    - Patch OK for merging in the main version? (development team)
    See also the included !readme.txt , To Do section (mainly localization)

    What the patch does not do:
    - While adding convenience the patch is designed not to interfere with existing functionality.
    - It does not print actual barcodes, because the current PDF report function supports printing the "barcode" as an alphanumeric code and not as graphic bars etc..

    In case you are wondering why I did not try to support barcode printing:
    - Not a priority for my library (low circulation).
    - This would definitely go beyond my programming skills.
    Just some thoughts:
    - There is a script to print barcodes using cpdf class and GNU barcode.
    But the OpenBiblio developers (and users) might have objections to added install requirements.
    - If switching to something else for pdf creation (
    Bars are drawn directly in the PDF (no image is generated), but only EAN13 and UPC-A are supported.

    • Keith Sorbo

      Keith Sorbo - 2005-07-21

      I have handled the barcode printing problem (along with many other customizations and reports not done easily in OB) using myODBC to link the mysql files in oBiblio to MS Access. Makes printing customized barcodes, book labels quite easy if you know how to create reports in MS Access

      If anyone is interested contact me.


      obiblio (at) thesorbos (dot) com

    • Keith Sorbo

      Keith Sorbo - 2006-12-02


      Assuming you have downloaded the package I put together, all you have to do (:-)) is to get the access program to connect to your mysql database. These notes assume you are working on Windows and have MS Access 2000 or later installed on your computer.

      1. You will need to download and install myodbc. This allows Access to connect to your mysql database. You will find it here:

      2. You will need to be sure that the mysql username / password combination is properly set up for your obiblio database and that this can be done from another client. Sometimes the username/password combination will only allow access on localhost, which is your fedora server. I assume oBiblio resides on the same machine (your fedora server) as your database, thus accessing via localhost. Be sure that the database can be accessed from other hosts. This is probably the most critical step. You probably are using something like phpmyadmin, etc. to do this.

      3. Get and install the file I created, here:

      In the zip are two files. One is a font. This is for the actual barcodes. The other is an access program.

      When you run the access database, it will attempt to connect to the server I have left in it (Should have removed it, I know). Click the "Setup ODBC Connection Properties" button, enter your servername (name of your fedora server), name of your oBiblo database, username and password you setup in step 2 above.

      Try to Reconnect to Databases.

      4. If everything is set properly, you should be able to access all your oBiblio data. Assuming you know how to work with Access reports, you can edit the existing reports, create new reports, etc. (To see the reports listing, exit Access and hold down the shift while starting up the database again.)

      Hope that helps,


      in response to your post on

      RE: Autogenerated barcodes for biblio copies
      By: Keith Sorbo (ksorbo) - 2005-07-21 10:12

      Hi Keith,

      I am very interested in implementing your procedure, but I'm unsure of how
      to connect for instance Microsoft Access to a mySql server running on
      another machine. I'm quite familiar with reports and how to design them
      etc in access, and would like to learn how to connect Microsoft Access
      2000 to a  MySQL server.

      The mysql server is running on my LAN on a Fedora Core 5 server with
      ISPConfig installed. (See the perfect setup - fedora core 5 64bit) as

      The rest of the network runs Microsoft Windows XP Professional with a
      Windows 2000 server domain controller. We are using TCP/IP as the only
      protocol on the network.

      Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


      Alan Paardenkooper

      This mail message has been scanned by Kaspersy Antivirus and Symantec Antivirus

      • Hans van der Weij

        Functionality for automatically generating copy barcode numbers and for printing labels that can be scanned using a barcode scanner has been added to CVS, so the next OpenBiblio release (0.6.0) will have it.

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Do you have the barcode label printing feature made yet??
      I have a super-ugly barcode label printing thing that I made for another program.  I can shoot it to you and you can make it work nicely for this.
      my address is james at ropamex dot com

      • Micah Stetson

        Micah Stetson - 2007-04-28

        The barcode printing code is already in 0.6.0.  Thanks for the offer, though.



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