GetBlue: Scanning Bar-Codes into a Google Docs Spreadsheet

This page outlines how to use GetBlue to forward bar-codes scanned with a Bluetooth bar-code reader to a Google Docs spreadsheet automatically. This is just one of many usage scenarios of GetBlue; you may use this app for Bluetooth device testing, as proxy between different devices and/or protocols, as generic data-logger or as software wedge.

Scan Barcodes into a Google Docs Spreadsheet

First activate Bluetooth on your handset (Android Settings) and pair the Bluetooth scanner with your handset. Please note that the barcode scanner in question must support Bluetooth SPP (Serial Port Profile). A barcode scanner supporting only the Bluetooth HID profile (Human Interface Device) can't be used.

  1. Select a Bluetooth Datasource Adjust the Datasource

    After you have paired your handset with the barcode scanner start GetBlue and open the Settings activity from the menu.

    To adjust the Bluetooth datasource, choose Datasource (Input) and tap Bluetooth. GetBlue opens an activity which is used to enumerate all Bluetooth devices in range. You can choose between Bluetooth client and Bluetooth server mode. Usually GetBlue connects to a Bluetooth barcode scanner as client, so it's fine to go with the default setting.

    Use the button Start Discovery to discover the available Bluetooth devices and select the Bluetooth barcode scanner of interest by tapping onto its name and confirm with OK.

  2. GetBlue Settings for Google Spreadsheet Settings for Google Docs as Datasink (target)

    Now adjust GetBlue to automatically forward all scanned data to an online Google Docs spreadsheet. To do this, select Settings in the menu, tap on Datasink (Output) and select Google Spreadsheet (see datasinks for more options). Then enter the following values:

    Google Account

    The account used for accessing Google Docs (usually your email-address like someone@gmail.com),

    Password

    Your Google password (the password will only be used for accessing Google Docs, TEC-IT respects your privacy),

    Name of Document / Spreadsheet

    Enter the name of an existing Google Docs spreadsheet.

    Please note: GetBlue is not able to create a spreadsheet by itself; you have to create an empty spreadsheet manually! Do this by creating a new spreadsheet using your browser and save the specified spreadsheet with a meaningful name.

    Name of Worksheet in Spreadsheet

    GetBlue creates a new worksheet named GetBlue Demo in your Google Docs spreadsheet if no worksheet name was specified. Captured data is stored in this worksheet (see screenshot below). No existing data is overwritten; GetBlue always appends data to this worksheet.

  3. Scan Barcodes Scan barcodes into a Google Docs Spreadsheet

    Go back to the main screen of GetBlue and Start data acquisition. GetBlue connects to the barcode scanner (the datasource) and the Google Docs spreadsheet (the datasink).

    If you scan a barcode with the Bluetooth barcode reader, GetBlue displays the data promptly in the data view. Besides this, the captured data is forwarded to your spreadsheet in Google Docs. Forwarding data to the spreadsheet is done asynchronously - GetBlue still accepts incoming Bluetooth data!

    Note: It is also possible to forward data via HTTP POST, HTTP GET, plain TCP sockets or to other Bluetooth devices. Download a free sample web application (a simple J2EE application) with source code.

  4. Check Google Docs Spreadsheet

    In the screenshot below you see the target Google Docs spreadsheet. The barcode data is automatically entered in the worksheet named GetBlue Demo.

Scan Barcodes into Google Docs