MySQL, PHP, Barcode Scanners and Inventory

Hello all,

I would like opinion and/or recommendation on how to proceed with the project that I’m about to undertake.

The company that needs my development services is growing from very small to medium sized fairly quickly. They want me to come in and basically optimize processes in several sections of their operation, specially inventory tracking, online ordering, media management, etc.

I want to move to a different platform altogether using MySQL as the DBMS. The database will be hosted remotely and (unless this proves to be inefficient in any way) will be the same for every aspect of the business. Meaning that changes to inventory will be made directly onto that database using a web interface. This will be the same DB from which the web interface will be pulling data.

Some of my concerns (and reasons for posting this message) are:

  • Reliability of a system working primarily with MySQL and PHP on Linux.[*]Speed and performance of such system (assuming I’m writing efficient code, hardware is reliable, etc…).

I’m sure some more issues will arise but don’t have time to explain right now. I will continue adding to this thread as needed.

Thanks a lot in advanced for your opinions and suggestions,

I worked with barcode scanners not too long ago. They work just like any other plugin device (mouse, keyboard, etc.). Take some time to read through the barcode scanner’s manual so that you can tell exactly what it is capable of doing.

On the project I was one we used the barcode scanners and a web interface together just fine. The system was somewhat inventory and made a lot of calls to a MySQL database. The system was extremely fast and efficient. Just write simple, fast code and optimize when you go back through it. This allows you to get the base of the system down.

I don’t know if your system is going to be like ours, because ours was completely internal. There was a server in the back room and 4 computers up front with the barcode scanners. There was no internet connection to the outside world. We installed Apache, MySQL, PHP, and some other things manually through CD and then let them start it up. If you make your system available to the outside world you open yourself up for security problems.


This systems work just fine.
Now it depends on the amount of the informations which need to be handled by the system.

We have a current system which will be intranet based, with PHP, PostgreSQL normally on Linux and which will have to handle form 100,000 to 200,000 new records daily.
So this would be a really fast growing database.
Here counts everything… from the hardware (raid, scsi etc.) to the server configuration (starting with the raid setup … how to use the differnet channels eficiently, partitioning, optimized compilation of the database/apache server … etc), database normalization, indexes… etc …

So there much more to take care…

All of this is having to do with reliability, speed and performance.

Best Regards,

If you have “wedge”-style scanners, which are plugged in between the keyboard and the actual machine, no extra code will be needed to read from the scanner; it sends input in text form just like the keyboard.

It’s really quite painless and effortless, and will work just the same without the scanner if the scanner should malfunction for some reason…I did an application of this type for a school cafeteria.


I thought you might like to know.

I am also working on a project very similar to yours.

It started out as a po tracking system but also had to have Inventory included and that means warehouse and all.

I have started writing a page for receiving that allows for manual or automaic receiving of product.
The auto side works very well so far as I have completed.

Our warehouse is divided up into row columns and bins.

Each item in the database has a pallet qty attached to it.
this way when a truck comes in the receiver enters the item number into a form and the total qty. The computer then splits it up into the correct size pallets and selects the correct bins for it and then displays tthis information on the screen.

simply print the screen and put the inventory away and you are done.

I am also working on the order side so that it tell the warehouse men which ones to pull based on date and qty.

It is all barcode readable.

If there is anything I can help you with please let me know and I will try.


First of all I want to thank all of you for your help.

I´ve decided to go with the sugested “wedge-syle” scanner. It seems to be the most reasonable solution and it doesn´t require any mayor adaptation.

As far as performance, we are not handling nearly as much merchandise as Sofs´ system so I´m convinced this is the right choice. I suppose if we get to that point we´ll be sharing our thoughts about it here. Who knows, if I can´t handle it alone, maybe there´ll be some work for all of us. :smiley: :tup:

I´ll show you all the system when it´s done.

Thanks again,