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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict stu567blue's Avatar
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    A Technical Question

    Hi All,

    Quick question, when you scan, or swipe a smart card for example say a loyalty card, how does that loyalty card information, once swiped, get put onto a database. Say for example if I swiped a card in Shop A, how would that shop then know what I have bought so that they can send me further information and products relating to my purchase.

    If anyone knows or has experience of card readers please let me know.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Well, depending on the card system, it works more or less like this:

    A card has a magnetic strip containing a bit on information about the card. They till they use has a card read, that reads that data. There is then software that then says it is you and all the items scanned during that transaction is linked to your card / account. And the shop usually has a central server sitting somewhere with the database on for the relational lookups.

    I hope this answers your question

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    SitePoint Addict stu567blue's Avatar
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    Would it not be possible for the same solution to work remotely i.e. the server is located off site??

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    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu567blue View Post
    Would it not be possible for the same solution to work remotely i.e. the server is located off site??
    Well, yes. Depending on the software running on the system. Most shops have local servers that catch everything and hold it. And they then communicate with the main central server which is remote. The local server is there for if there is a problem with the internet connection and they need the live data. It is like a staging server if you will. But some also do not even have the local server and only use a remote server and each till will queue the requests if not internet connection is present. But if they scanning barcodes, they will need some sort of local server containing a database of product barcodes and prices.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict stu567blue's Avatar
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    Ok, that sounds perfectly logical. However, how would one go about sort of recording that information on say a MYSQL Database?? So for example someone buys so many products and all of the information gets inserted into a table within a database?? I take it you would need some form of knowledge of Server side scripting example, PHP, Perl etc.

    If so how would you then go about getting the system to submit this information to the server and activating/running the script?

    Look forward to your response.


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