US20150136851A1 - Testing automatic data collection devices, such as barcode, rfid and/or magnetic stripe readers - Google Patents

Testing automatic data collection devices, such as barcode, rfid and/or magnetic stripe readers Download PDF

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US20150136851A1
US20150136851A1 US14611320 US201514611320A US2015136851A1 US 20150136851 A1 US20150136851 A1 US 20150136851A1 US 14611320 US14611320 US 14611320 US 201514611320 A US201514611320 A US 201514611320A US 2015136851 A1 US2015136851 A1 US 2015136851A1
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data collection
automatic data
tests
set
collection device
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US14611320
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Andrew C. Harding
Jeffrey K. Suhr
Nicholas P. Allen
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Intermec IP Corp
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Intermec IP Corp
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/0095Testing the sensing arrangement, e.g. testing if a magnetic card reader, bar code reader, RFID interrogator or smart card reader functions properly
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/0008General problems related to the reading of electronic memory record carriers, independent of its reading method, e.g. power transfer
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/10Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F11/00Error detection; Error correction; Monitoring
    • G06F11/07Responding to the occurrence of a fault, e.g. fault tolerance
    • G06F11/0703Error or fault processing not based on redundancy, i.e. by taking additional measures to deal with the error or fault not making use of redundancy in operation, in hardware, or in data representation
    • G06F11/0706Error or fault processing not based on redundancy, i.e. by taking additional measures to deal with the error or fault not making use of redundancy in operation, in hardware, or in data representation the processing taking place on a specific hardware platform or in a specific software environment
    • G06F11/0709Error or fault processing not based on redundancy, i.e. by taking additional measures to deal with the error or fault not making use of redundancy in operation, in hardware, or in data representation the processing taking place on a specific hardware platform or in a specific software environment in a distributed system consisting of a plurality of standalone computer nodes, e.g. clusters, client-server systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F11/00Error detection; Error correction; Monitoring
    • G06F11/07Responding to the occurrence of a fault, e.g. fault tolerance
    • G06F11/0703Error or fault processing not based on redundancy, i.e. by taking additional measures to deal with the error or fault not making use of redundancy in operation, in hardware, or in data representation
    • G06F11/0706Error or fault processing not based on redundancy, i.e. by taking additional measures to deal with the error or fault not making use of redundancy in operation, in hardware, or in data representation the processing taking place on a specific hardware platform or in a specific software environment
    • G06F11/0748Error or fault processing not based on redundancy, i.e. by taking additional measures to deal with the error or fault not making use of redundancy in operation, in hardware, or in data representation the processing taking place on a specific hardware platform or in a specific software environment in a remote unit communicating with a single-box computer node experiencing an error/fault
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F11/00Error detection; Error correction; Monitoring
    • G06F11/22Detection or location of defective computer hardware by testing during standby operation or during idle time, e.g. start-up testing
    • G06F11/2294Detection or location of defective computer hardware by testing during standby operation or during idle time, e.g. start-up testing by remote test

Abstract

Automatic data collection devices such as barcode readers, RFID readers, magnetic stripe readers and the like may be tested using ADC device test executables, modules, or processes stored at a variety of network locations. One or more sets of tests or work lists may be defined to facilitate testing. Tests may be identified by name and/or keyword. Keywords may be indicative one or more functionalities tested by the respective ADC device test module.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/833,461 for Testing Automatic Data Collection Devices, Such as Barcode, RFID and/or Magnetic Stripe Readers filed Aug. 3, 2007 (and published Feb. 7, 2008 as U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2008/0029597), now U.S. Pat. No. 8,944,332, which claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 60/821,551 filed Aug. 4, 2006. Each of the foregoing patent applications, patent publication, and patent is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD
  • The methods, apparatus and articles described herein generally relate to automatic data collection (ADC) devices, such as readers capable of reading optical machine-readable symbols (e.g., barcode symbols, stacked code symbols, and/or matrix or area code symbols), radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and/or magnetic stripes, and more particularly relate to methods, apparatus and articles to facilitate the upgrading, validating and testing of such ADC devices.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The ADC field is generally directed to the use of devices to automatically capture data encoded in a variety of data carriers. Data carriers may take the form of media bearing machine-readable symbols, such as barcode symbols, stacked code symbols, matrix, or area code symbols. Data carriers may take the form of active or passive RFID circuits carried by tags or cases. Data carriers may also take the form of media bearing magnetic stripes.
  • A variety of ADC devices and ADC media are ubiquitous and well known.
  • For example, readers for optically reading machine-readable symbols are common in a large variety of retail, warehouse, and shipping environments. Such readers are commonly referred to as “barcode” readers, and typically take the form of either optical scanners or optical imagers. Optical machine-readable symbol readers may be fixed, such as those typically found at much grocery or supermarket checkout stands where the item bearing the machine-readable symbol is passed over the optical reader. Handheld machine-readable symbol readers are also common, where the operator either moves the reader to scan the desired machine-readable symbol or generally aims the optical machine-readable symbol reader at the desired machine-readable symbol and optionally activates a trigger or other switch to cause the optical reader to scan or capture an image of the machine-readable symbol.
  • RFID readers are becoming increasingly more common in retail, warehouse, and shipping environments. RFID readers wirelessly read and/or write information to RFID circuits, commonly referred to as RFID tags. Such RFID readers may be either fixed or handheld. RFID readers may operate with active RFID tags which contain a discrete power source such as a battery or ultra-capacitor, or may operate with passive RFID tags which derive power from an RF interrogation signal transmitted by the RFID reader. RFID tags may, or may not, include encryption and other security measures for controlling access to the data stored in the RFID tag.
  • Magnetic stripe readers are commonly found in a large variety of environments, such as in point-of-sale (POS) terminals for reading magnetic stripes carried by various media, for example financial cards such as credit cards, debit cards, and/or gift cards. Magnetic stripe readers typically rely on movement of the media relative to a magnetic reader head to magnetically capture the information encoded in the polarizations of the magnetic stripe.
  • An ADC device platform typically includes one or more ADC devices. For example, a POS terminal may include a barcode reader and a magnetic stripe reader, in addition to a keyboard, display, processor, and cash drawer most commonly associated with traditional cash registers. In turn, the ADC devices may employ components or subsystems, which may or may not be modularized for easy replacement or substitution. For example, an optical machine-readable symbol reader may include a scan engine, an illumination system, an image capture device, and/or a decode section. An RFID reader may include a separate transmitter and receiver, along with associated antennas.
  • One problem that has hindered the ability to add or upgrade ADC devices or components on an ADC device platform is the extensive testing of new or upgraded ADC devices, associated components and/or functionality that must be performed to ensure that the ADC devices, associated components and/or functionality will work with the large number of existing ADC device platforms with respect to hardware, firmware and/or software. ADC device suppliers and end users have a large number of combinations and permutations of ADC device structures and functions that require testing. A related problem is the large amount of technical support and analysis that the manufacturer or supplier must typically supply the consumer to ensure that the ADC device and/or associated firmware or software is correctly installed, configured, and/or operated. This problem is particularly exacerbated where initial testing of the “build” has not been adequately validated and tested, for example using regression techniques, before release of the new or upgraded ADC device, associated component and/or functionality.
  • Enhancing the ability to test ADC devices and/or ADC device platforms would be highly desirable to both the consumer and the manufacturers or suppliers of ADC platforms and devices. Such may, for example, facilitate the upgrade of ADC devices or components on an ADC platform.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one embodiment, a method of testing automatic data collection devices includes automatically determining a set of functionalities of a target automatic data collection device to be tested; based on the determined set of functionalities of the target automatic data collection device, automatically identifying a number of automatic data collection tests to be run against the target automatic data collection device; executing at least one of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device; and at least temporarily storing a set of results from the execution of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device.
  • In another embodiment, a computer-readable medium stores instructions that cause a computer to test automatic data collection devices, by automatically determining a set of functionalities of a target automatic data collection device to be tested; based on the determined set of functionalities of the target automatic data collection device, automatically identifying a number of automatic data collection tests to be run against the target automatic data collection device; executing at least one of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device; and at least temporarily storing a set of results from the execution of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device.
  • In another embodiment, a method of facilitating testing automatic data collection devices includes receiving at least one keyword that is indicative of at least one functionality provided by some automatic data collection devices; and based on the received at least one keyword, searching at least a portion of a network for a number of automatic data collection tests that may be run against the automatic data collection devices which provide the at least one functionality indicated by the keyword.
  • In another embodiment, a system to facilitate testing automatic data collection devices includes a network connection; a processor; and a memory that stores processor executable instructions that cause the processor to receive at least one keyword that is indicative of at least one functionality provided by some automatic data collection devices, and based on the received at least one keyword, search at least a portion of a network for a number of automatic data collection tests that may be run against the automatic data collection devices which provide the at least one functionality indicated by the keyword.
  • In another embodiment, a method of automating the remote testing of automatic data collection devices includes locating a plurality of existing automatic data collection device tests on a network; automatically filtering the automatic data collection device tests by keywords to determine at set of relevant automatic data collection device tests; and running the automatic data collection device tests in the set of relevant automatic data collection device tests against at least one target automatic data collection device.
  • In another embodiment, a system to automate the remote testing of automatic data collection devices includes a network port to provide a connection to a network; and a processor configured to locate a plurality of existing automatic data collection device tests on the network, automatically filter the automatic data collection device tests by keywords to determine at set of relevant automatic data collection device tests; and run the automatic data collection device tests in the set of relevant automatic data collection device tests against at least one target automatic data collection device.
  • In another embodiment, a method of facilitating testing automatic data collection devices includes forming a first set of data that identifies a plurality of automatic data collection device tests, where an executable module for a respective one of each of the automatic data collection tests are stored at a number of different storage locations; and assigning at least a first identifier to the first set of data that identifies the number of automatic data collection device tests.
  • In another embodiment, a system for facilitating testing automatic data collection devices includes a network port to provide communications via a network; a processor coupled to the network port; and a processor-readable medium that stores instructions that cause the processor to facilitating testing by forming a first set of data that identifies a plurality of automatic data collection device tests, where an executable module for a respective one of each of the automatic data collection tests are stored at a number of different storage locations; and assigning at least a first identifier to the first set of data that identifies the number of automatic data collection device tests.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the drawings, identical reference numbers identify similar elements or acts. The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements as drawn, are not intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of the particular elements, and have been solely selected for ease of recognition in the drawings.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a networked environment in which at least one exemplary embodiment may operate.
  • FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of a computing system suitable for use in the networked environment of FIG. 1, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing stored information and logic, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 is a high-level flow diagram showing a method of identifying and running ADC device tests against target ADC devices, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a flow diagram showing a method of automatically determining functionality of a target ADC device, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow diagram showing a method of automatically determining functionality of a target ADC device, according to another illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 is a flow diagram showing a method of identifying or locating ADC device tests, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 is a flow diagram showing a method of identifying ADC device tests on a network, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 9 is a flow diagram showing a method of determining whether an ADC device test is disabled, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 10 is a flow diagram showing a method of determining whether an ADC device test is disabled, according to another illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 is a flow diagram showing a method of storing a set of tests or work list which may be performed as part of the method illustrated in FIG. 8, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 is a flow diagram showing a method of identifying and executing ADC device tests based on a keyword indicative of functionality, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 13 is a flow diagram showing a method of searching a network for ADC device tests based on keywords, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 14 is a flow diagram showing a method of identifying or locating ADC device tests by keyword, according to another illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 15 is a flow diagram showing a method of adding keywords to existing ADC device tests, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 16 is a flow diagram showing a method of defining a list of tests of work list, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 17 is a flow diagram showing a method of assigning a name to a list of tests or work lists, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 18 is a flow diagram showing a method of assigning at least one keyword to a list of tests or work list, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 19 is schematic illustration of a work list, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the invention. However, one skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention may be practiced without one or more of these specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc. In other instances, well known structures associated with ADC devices such as optical readers for reading machine-readable symbols, RFID readers for reading RFID tags, magnetic stripe readers for reading magnetic stripes, as well as computers, networks, and databases have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring descriptions of the embodiments of the invention.
  • Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word “comprise” and variations thereof, such as, “comprises” and “comprising” are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense, that is as “including, but not limited to.”
  • Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.
  • As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. It should also be noted that the term “or” is generally employed in its sense including “and/or” unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.
  • The headings provided herein are for convenience only and do not interpret the scope or meaning of the claimed invention.
  • Disclosed are methods, apparatus and articles to provide a simple way of adding, locating, and running ADC device tests. The ADC device tests may be stored as executables, modules or processes at various network locations, including but not limited on a directory of a developer or tester's own computing system. The ADC device tests may contain a list of keywords that describe areas which the ADC device test is associated, for example functionalities and/or structure that are tested by the respective the ADC device test. Keywords may be broad descriptions (e.g., “Data Collection” or “Network”) or more specific (e.g., “Code 39”, “DHCP Enabled”, or “User Defined Symbology Identifier”). For example, custom attributes inside a C# or .NET assembly may be used to identify ADC device tests stored inside a DLL.
  • Keywords may be used to create a suite of ADC device tests to test specific functionality or structure in groups or as individual test cases. Groups may be saved as sets or work lists, for quick and easier reuse. The sets or work lists may provide structure for simply and intuitively reporting tests results.
  • Such an approach may facilitate both high level and low level testing, allowing granularity of testing to be simply and easily adjusted as desired.
  • Networked Environment
  • FIGS. 1 and 2, and the following discussion provide a brief general description of a suitable environment in which embodiments may be implemented. Although not required, embodiments will be described in the general context of computer executable instructions, such as program application modules, objects, or macros being executed by a computer. Those skilled in the relevant art will appreciate that the invention can be practiced with other system configurations including handheld devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor based or programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and the like. Embodiments can be practiced in distributed environments where tasks or modules are performed by remote processing devices, which are linked through a communications network. In a distributed environment, programming modules may be located in both local and remote memory storage devices.
  • In particular, FIG. 1 shows a networked environment 10 comprising a testing computing system 12, local and remote tester operated computing systems 14 a, 14 b, respectively, and automated data collection device platforms 16 a-16 d, communicatively coupled via a one or more networks 17 such as a local area network (LAN), and/or wide area network (WAN), for example the Internet. The network 17 may take the form of one or more extranets or intranets, or other types of networks, and can employ any of a variety of network architectures. The testing computing system 12, tester operated computing systems 14 a, 14 b and/or automated data collection device platforms 16 a-16 d may alternatively or additional employ point-to-point communications.
  • Testing Computing System
  • As described in more detail below, the testing computing system 12 may take the form of one or more computers, for example a test computer 18 and may optionally include a monitor 20 and one or more user input devices 22 such as a keyboard, keypad, mouse, trackball, digitizing tablet and/or touch screen display. The testing computing system 12 may also include one or more storage devices 24 for storing information such as one or more databases. While illustrated as being external to the test computer 18, one or more of the data storage devices 24 may be located internally in a housing of the test computer 18.
  • Tester Operated Computing Systems
  • The local and remote tester operated computing systems 14 a, 14 b may take the form of a personal computer (PC), mini- or microcomputer and/or workstation 26 configured to function as a server and/or client, and may optionally include a monitor 28 and one or more user input devices 30 such as a keyboard, keypad, mouse, trackball, digitizing tablet, and/or touch screen display. Some of the tester operated computing systems 14 a may be communicatively coupled to the testing computing system 12 via a local area network 32, while others of the designer operated computing systems 14 b may be coupled to the testing computing system 12 via the wide area network 17.
  • ADC Device Platforms
  • The ADC device platforms 16 a-16 d may take a variety of forms, each of which comprises one or more ADC devices.
  • The ADC device platform 16 a may, for example, take the form of a point-of-sale (POS) terminal commonly found at retail locations. The POS terminal may include a handheld optical reading device 34 a for optically reading symbols such as machine-readable barcode symbols 36 a carried by items or tags. The handheld optical reading device 34 a may include an image capture device, for example a linear imager or a two-dimensional imager, for capturing an image of the machine-readable symbol 36 a. The handheld optical reading device 34 a may optionally include an illumination system, for example a flood illumination system, for illuminating the machine-readable symbol 36 a. The ADC device platform 16 a may also include an employee operated magnetic stripe reader 34 b for reading information encoded in a magnetic stripe carried on a card 36 b such as a credit card, debit card and/or a gift card.
  • Another ADC device platform 16 b may take the form of a personal computer with a variety of ADC devices coupled via a serial port, the personal computer storing and executing instructions for processing data captured by the ADC devices. In particular, the ADC devices may include a handheld RFID reader 34 c operable for wirelessly reading or interrogating RFID tags. The ADC devices may include a handheld wand style machine-readable symbol reader 34 d. The wand style machine-readable symbol reader 34 d may be moved across a machine-readable symbol in order to capture the information encoded in the machine-readable symbol via scanning. The ADC device platform 16 b may further include a magnetic stripe reader 34 e.
  • A further ADC device platform 16 c may take the form of a POS terminal, such as those commonly found in retail stores such as grocery or supermarkets. Such an ADC device platform 16 c may include a fixed barcode scanner 34 f. Items bearing machine-readable symbols may be passed over the fixed barcode scanner 34 f to capture the information encoded in the machine-readable symbol by scanning. The ADC device platform 16 c may also include a customer operated magnetic stripe reader 34 g. The magnetic stripe reader 34 g may be similar to those commonly found in retail stores such as grocery or supermarkets, which allow the customer to make payment by credit, debit, and/or gift cards. Such magnetic stripe readers typically include a keypad that allows the customer to enter information such as a personal identity number (PIN), and to make a selection, such as whether to receive cash back from the retailer.
  • Yet another ADC device platform 16 d may take the form of a fixed RFID interrogation system including a set of transceivers and antennas 34 h distributed about a facility for wirelessly reading RFID tags 36 c encoding information to determine the presence or absence, location or position, and/or information encoded in, the RFID tags 36 c. The transceivers and antennas 34 h may be communicatively coupled via a network to one or more centralized computing systems that operates and/or collects data read from the RFID tags 36 c. The facility may take a variety of forms, for example, a manufacturing facility, warehouse, shipping center, and/or retail store.
  • One or more ADC devices 34 a-34 h may be integrated into the ADC platform 16 a-16 d, or may be communicatively coupled to the ADC device platform 16 a, 16 d by wired connections, for example serial cables and/or parallel cables, and/or wireless connections, for example infrared transceivers or Bluetooth transceivers.
  • Computing Systems
  • In particular, FIG. 2 shows a conventional personal computer referred to herein as computing system 46 that may be appropriately configured to function as either the test computer 18, as one of the tester operated computing systems 14 a-14 b, or as the computing system portion of one of the automatic data collection platforms 16 a-16 d.
  • The computing system 46 includes a processing unit 48, a system memory 50, and a system bus 52 that couples various system components including the system memory 50 to the processing unit 48. The processing unit 48 may be any logical processing unit, such as one or more central processing units (CPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), etc. Unless described otherwise, the construction and operation of the various blocks shown in FIG. 2 are of conventional design. As a result, such blocks need not be described in further detail herein, as they will be understood by those skilled in the relevant art.
  • The system bus 52 can employ any known bus structures or architectures, including a memory bus with memory controller, a peripheral bus, and/or a local bus. The system memory 50 includes read-only memory (“ROM”) 54 and random access memory (“RAM”) 56. A basic input/output system (“BIOS”) 58, which can form part of the ROM 54, contains basic routines that help transfer information between elements within the computing system 46, such as during startup.
  • The computing system 46 also includes one or more spinning media memories such as a hard disk drive 60 for reading from and writing to a hard disk 61, and an optical disk drive 62 and a magnetic disk drive 64 for reading from and writing to removable optical disks 66 and magnetic disks 68, respectively. The optical disk 66 can be a CD-ROM, while the magnetic disk 68 can be a magnetic floppy disk or diskette. The hard disk drive 60, optical disk drive 62, and magnetic disk drive 64 communicate with the processing unit 48 via the bus 52. The hard disk drive 60, optical disk drive 62 and magnetic disk drive 64 may include interfaces or controllers coupled between such drives and the bus 52, as is known by those skilled in the relevant art, for example via an IDE (i.e., Integrated Drive Electronics) interface. The drives 60, 62 and 64, and their associated computer-readable media 61, 66 and 68, provide nonvolatile storage of computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules and other data for the computing system 46. Although the depicted computing system 46 employs hard disk 61, optical disk 66 and magnetic disk 68, those skilled in the relevant art will appreciate that other types of spinning media memory computer-readable media may be employed, such as digital video disks (“DVDs”), Bernoulli cartridges, etc. Those skilled in the relevant art will also appreciate that other types of computer-readable media that can store data accessible by a computer may be employed, for example, non-spinning media memories such as magnetic cassettes, flash memory cards, RAMs, ROMs, smart cards, etc.
  • Program modules can be stored in the system memory 50, such as an operating system 70, one or more application programs 72, other programs or modules 74, and program data 76. The applications programs 72 may include one or more programs for locating ADC device platforms and/or ADC devices, selecting appropriate tests, analyzing results of the tests, and delivering the analysis in order to validate ADC device builds. The system memory 50 also includes one or more communications programs 77 for permitting the computing system 46 to access and exchange data with sources such as websites of the Internet, corporate intranets, or other networks, as well as other server applications on server computers. The communications program 77 may take the form of one or more server programs. Alternatively, or additionally, the communications program may take the form of one or more browser programs, particularly where the computing system 46. The communications program 77 may be markup language based, such as hypertext markup language (“HTML”), Extensible Markup Language (XML) or Wireless Markup Language (WML), and operate with markup languages that use syntactically delimited characters added to the data of a document to represent the structure of the document. A number of Web clients or browsers are commercially available such as NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR® from America Online, and INTERNET EXPLORER® available from Microsoft Corporation of Redmond Wash.
  • While shown in FIG. 2 as being stored in the system memory 50, the operating system 70, application programs 72, other program modules 74, program data 76 and communications program 77 can be stored on the hard disk 61 of the hard disk drive 60, the optical disk 66 and the optical disk drive 62 and/or the magnetic disk 68 of the magnetic disk drive 64.
  • A user can enter commands and information to the computing system 46 through input devices such as a keyboard 78 and a pointing device such as a mouse 80. Other input devices can include a microphone, joystick, game pad, scanner, etc. These and other input devices are connected to the processing unit 48 through an interface 82 such as a serial port interface that couples to the bus 52, although other interfaces such as a parallel port, a game port or a universal serial bus (“USB”) can be used. A monitor 84 or other display devices may be coupled to the bus 52 via video interface 86, such as a video adapter. The computing system 46 can include other output devices such as speakers, printers, etc.
  • The computing system 46 can operate in a networked environment 10 (FIG. 1) using logical connections to one or more remote computers. The computing system 46 may employ any known means of communications, such as through a local area network (“LAN”) 88 or a wide area network (“WAN”) or the Internet 90. Such networking environments are well known in enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets, extranets, and the Internet.
  • When used in a LAN networking environment, the computing system 46 is connected to the LAN 88 through an adapter or network interface 92 (communicatively linked to the bus 52). When used in a WAN networking environment, the computing system 46 often includes a modem 93 or other device for establishing communications over the WAN/Internet 90. The modem 93 is shown in FIG. 2 as communicatively linked between the interface 82 and the WAN/Internet 90. In a networked environment, program modules, application programs, or data, or portions thereof, can be stored in a server computer (not shown). Those skilled in the relevant art will readily recognize that the network connections shown in FIG. 2 are only some examples of establishing communications links between computers, and other communications links may be used, including wireless links
  • The computing system 46 may include one or more interfaces such as slot 94 to allow the addition of devices 96, 98 either internally or externally to the computing system 46. For example, suitable interfaces may include ISA (i.e., Industry Standard Architecture), IDE, PCI (i.e., Personal Computer Interface) and/or AGP (i.e., Advance Graphics Processor) slot connectors for option cards, serial and/or parallel ports, USB ports (i.e., Universal Serial Bus), audio input/output (i.e., I/O) and MIDI/joystick connectors, and/or slots for memory.
  • The term “computer-readable medium” as used herein refers to any medium that participates in providing instructions to processing unit 48 for execution. Such a medium may take many forms, including but not limited to, non-volatile media, volatile media, and transmission media. Non-volatile media includes, for example, hard, optical or magnetic disks 61, 66, 68, respectively. Volatile media includes dynamic memory, such as system memory 50. Transmission media includes coaxial cables, copper wire, and fiber optics, including the wires that comprise system bus 52. Transmission media can also take the form of acoustic or light waves, such as those generated during radio wave and infrared data communications.
  • Common forms of computer-readable media include, for example, floppy disk, flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, or any other magnetic medium, CD-ROM, any other optical medium, punch cards, paper tape, any other physical medium with patterns of holes, RAM, PROM, EPROM, EEPROM, FLASH memory, any other memory chip or cartridge, a carrier wave as described herein, or any other medium from which a computer can read.
  • Various forms of computer readable media may be involved in carrying one or more sequences of one or more instructions to processing unit 48 for execution. For example, the instructions may initially be carried on a magnetic disk of a remote computer. The remote computer can load the instructions into its dynamic memory and send the instructions over a telephone line using a modem. A modem 93 local to computer system 46 can receive the data on the telephone line and use an infrared transmitter to convert the data to an infrared signal. An infrared detector coupled to the system bus 52 can receive the data carried in the infrared signal and place the data on system bus 52. The system bus 52 carries the data to system memory 50, from which processing unit 48 retrieves and executes the instructions. The instructions received by system memory 50 may optionally be stored on a storage device either before or after execution by processing unit 48.
  • FIG. 3 shows a networked environment 100 including the test computer 18 interacting with various networked elements via the network 17, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The various networked elements may include one or more ADC devices or platforms, for example ADC devices 16 a-16 d (collectively 16).
  • The networked elements may also include a number of remote test case locations 102 a-102 c (collectively 102). Each of the remote test case locations 102 store one or more test case executable programs, modules or processes 103 a-103 c (collectively 103), which may be run against one or more of the ADC devices 16. One or more of the remote test case locations 102 may reside on one or more of the ADC devices 16. For example, one of the remote test cases locations 102 c may reside on one of the ADC devices 16 d. One or more of the remote test case locations 102 may reside on one or more computers, storage devices or other networked elements. For example, remote test case locations 102 a, 102 b may reside on networked computers and/or storage devices of one or more ADC device manufacturers, distributors, and/or end users.
  • The networked elements may further include one or more remote work list locations 104 a-104 b (collectively 104). Each of the remote work list locations store one or more work lists 105 a, 105 b (collectively 105) that identify one or more tests that may be run against one or more ADC devices 16. The work list 105 may define an order of test execution, and/or a number of times each test is to be executed. One or more of the remote work list locations 104 may reside on one or more of the ADC devices 16. For example, a first remote work list location 104 a may reside on the ADC device 16 c. One or more of the remote work list locations 104 may reside on one or more computers, storage devices or other networked elements. For example, remote work list locations 104 b may reside on networked computers and/or storage devices of one or more ADC device manufacturers, distributors, and/or end users.
  • The networked elements may additionally include one or more remote disabled list locations 106 (only one illustrated). Each of the remote disable list locations 106 stores one or more disable lists 107. The disable lists identify tests that have been temporarily or permanently disabled. For example, where a known error is undergoing troubleshooting, it may be efficient to avoid running a test that will result in an error until, the troubleshooting and/or repair is completed. The remote disable list locations 106 may reside on one or more of the ADC devices 16, and/or on one or more computers, storage devices or other networked elements, for example, one or more networked computers and/or storage devices of one or more ADC device manufacturers, distributors and/or end users.
  • The test computer 18 may include one or more local test case locations 110 that stores one or more local test case executables 111 a-111 c (collectively 111). The test computer system 18 may also include one or more local work list locations 112 that stores one or more work lists 113 a-113 c (collectively 113). The test computer system 18 may further include one or more local disable list locations 114 which may store one or more disable lists 115.
  • The test computer system 18 may include or may execute a test discovery executable, module or process 120. As discussed in detail below, the ADC device test discovery executable, module or process 120 discovers ADC device tests on the network 17 including ADC device tests in the remote test locations 102 as well as the local test locations 110.
  • The test computer system 18 may also include a work list creation/management executable, module, or process 122. As discussed in detail below, the work list creation/management executable, module or process 122 may facilitate the discovery, creation, and/or management of lists or sets of tests or scripts, referred herein as work lists.
  • The test computer system 18 further includes a disable list management executable, module, or process 124. As discussed in more detail below, the disable list management executable, module or process 124 may discover disable lists at one or more remote disable list locations 106 as well as the local disable list locations 114. In some embodiments there may be a single global disable list (e.g., local disable list 115) and single disable list location (e.g., local disable list location 114).
  • The test computer system 18 may even further include a test execution executable, module, or process 126. As discussed in detail below, the test execution module 126 executes the executable ADC device test executable, module, or process 103. Hence the test execution module 126 runs the ADC device test executable, module, or process 103 against one or more target ADC devices 16.
  • The test computer system 18 may additionally include a test reporting executable, module, or process 128. As discussed in more detail below, the test reporting executable, module or process 128 may facilitate reporting of interim test results as well as reporting of final test results. The test results may advantageously be formatted within the work lists, as described in more detail below.
  • FIG. 4 shows a method 400 of automatically identifying and executing ADC device tests against target ADC devices 16, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The method 400 may start at 402, for example, in response to a user input or in response to a signal from a test scheduler.
  • At 404, the test computer 18 automatically determines functionalities of target ADC devices 16. For example, the test computer 18 may determine the functionalities based on an identifier or configuration number. The identifier or configuration number may, for example, take the form of a numeric string, alphabetic string, alphanumeric string, or binary string. The identifier or configuration number may have multi-positions, where individual or groups of positions represent certain functionalities. For example, the first four positions (e.g., from right to left, or from left to right) may represent the communications functionality of the target ADC device 16, such as whether the target ADC device has a radio, operates in batch mode, and/or has local or wide area network functionality. The following position may represent the type and amount of memory in the target ADC device 16, for example the amount of RAM and/or ROM. The following position may represent whether and/or what type of scan engine or imager the target ADC device 16 employs, for example a linear imager or area imager. Another position may indicate whether the target ADC device 16 is BLUETOOTH® enabled. The identifier or configuration number may of course represent other functionalities. The test computer 18 may employ one or more masks for determining the specific functionalities of the target ADC device 16.
  • At 406, the test computer 18 identifies tests based on the determined functionalities of the ADC device. At 408, the test computer 18 determines if the identified tests are disabled, for example, by querying one or more disabled lists 107, 115.
  • At 410, the test computer 18 executes identified ADC executables, modules, or processes 103 against the target ADC device 16, if the corresponding ADC device test is not identified as being disabled. At 412, the test computer 18 provides interim results formatted within a work list. Optionally at 414, the test computer 18 may store the interim test results.
  • At 416, the test computer 18 determines whether there are further ADC device tests. If there are further ADC device tests, the test computer 18 increments to a next ADC device test at 418 and returns control to 410. If there are no further ADC device tests, control passes to 420 where the test computer 18 provides final results. The final results may be formatted within a work list with failures emphasized. The method 400 terminates at 422.
  • FIG. 5 shows a method 424 of automatically determining functionalities of target ADC devices 16. The method 424 may implement the act 404 in the method 400 (FIG. 4).
  • At 426, the test computer 18 remotely queries a target ADC device 16. The test computer 18 may provide queries in a similar fashion to that described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/130,792 filed May 17, 2005, Ser. No. 10/934,064 filed Sep. 3, 2004, and/or Ser. No. 09/240,108 filed Jan. 29, 1999.
  • FIG. 6 shows a method 428 of automatically determining functionalities of target ADC devices. The method 428 may implement the act 404 of method 400 (FIG. 4).
  • At 430, the test computer 18 queries a database of relationships between an ADC device model identifier and functionalities. The database may be stored at the ADC device or ADC device platform, or may be stored elsewhere including at the test computer 18 or associated database 24.
  • FIG. 7 shows a method 432 of identifying ADC device tests based on determined functionalities. The method 432 may implement the act 406 of method 400 (FIG. 4).
  • At 434, the test computer 18 identifies one or more ADC device tests 103, 111 at one or more network locations 102, 110 based on one or more keywords. The keywords may describe a functionality or structure that is tested by the ADC device test 103, 111. For example, the keyword may be “Data Collection”, indicating an ADC device test for testing generic data collection functions and structures. For example, the keyword maybe “1D Symbology”, indicating an ADC device test that tests one-dimensional or barcode symbologies. For example, the keyword may be “93i”, indicating an ADC device test that tests a particular machine-readable symbology for testing. As other examples, keywords may include “Network”, “DHCP Enabled”, “User Defined Symbology Identifier” or “UDSI” to name a few.
  • FIG. 8 shows a method 440 of identifying tests at network locations based on keywords. The method 440 may implement the act 434 of method 432 (FIG. 7).
  • At 442, the test computer 18 identifies or locates a first location on the network 17. At 444, the test computer 18 discovers all dynamically linked libraries (DLLs) at the first location. At 446, the test computer 18 loads the first DLL. At 448, the test computer 18 determines whether the loaded DLL has test case attributes. If the DLL has test case attributes, at 450, the test computer system 18 gets the test case attribute name.
  • At 452, the test computer 18 gets all keywords associated with the test case. At 454, the test computer 18 determines whether there are any more test case attributes. If there are additional test case attributes, control returns to 450. If there are no more test case attributes, control passes to 456.
  • At 456, the test computer 18 determines whether there are additional DLLs. If there are additional DLLs, the test computer 18 loads the next DLL at 458, and returns control to 448. If there are no more DLLs, control passes to 460.
  • At 460, the test computer 18 determines if there are any more network locations to check. If there are further network locations to check, the test computer 18 gets the next test case location and passes control back to 444. If there are no more network locations to check, control passes to 464, with the discovery process completed.
  • FIG. 9 shows a method 470 of determining if an identified test is disabled. The method 470 may implement the act 408 of the method 400 (FIG. 4).
  • At 472, the test computer 18 queries a global set of test disablement information 107 or 115 stored on at least one network location 106 or 114. The set of test disablement information 107 or 115 may identify specific ADC device tests 103, 111 that are temporarily or permanently disabled. Thus, ADC device tests 103, 111 that test the disabled functionality or structure may be temporarily or permanently disabled. This prevents running an ADC device test 103, 111 where an existing problem is known and it is known that the ADC device test 103, 111 will fail. This approach may be particularly useful where a known problem is being addressed, and would otherwise interfere with testing of other functionality or structure. Having a global set of test disablement information 107 or 115 may make testing more efficient since known problems can be addressed globally.
  • FIG. 10 shows a method 474 of determining if identified ADC device tests 103, 111 are disabled. The method 474 may implement the act 408 of method 400 (FIG. 4).
  • At 476, the test computer 18 queries a global set of test disablement information stored on at least one network location based on keyword. The set of test disablement information 107 or 115 may identify keywords of ADC device tests that are disabled. Thus, ADC device tests 103, 111 that have the same keywords may be temporarily or permanently disabled. As discussed above, this prevents running an ADC device test 103, 111 where an existing problem is known and it is known that the ADC device test 103, 111 will fail.
  • FIG. 11 shows a method 478 of creating sets of ADC devices tests or work lists, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • At 480, information identifying one or more ADC device tests 103, 111 to be performed is stored as a work list. The work list may be stored at a remote work list location 104 or at a local work list location 112. The work list may identify one or more ADC device tests 103, 111, an order of the ADC device tests 103 111 within the work list, and/or a number of times each of the ADC device tests 103, 111 is to be performed. The work list may also set parameters or other values for one or more of the ADC device tests 103, 111 or the target ADC device 16.
  • Storing of the work list(s) may be performed at various points within the method 400 (FIG. 4). Alternatively, or additionally, storing the work list(s) may be performed at one or more points within the method 440 (FIG. 8).
  • FIG. 12 shows a method of identifying and executing ADC device tests according to another illustrated embodiment.
  • The method 500 may start at 502, for example, in response to a user input or signal from a test scheduler.
  • At 504, the test computer 18 receives one or more keywords indicative of a functionality or structure of an ADC device 16. At 506, the test computer 18 searches the network 17 for ADC device tests 103, 111 based on the received keyword.
  • At 508, the test computer 18 determines if the identified ADC device tests 103, 111 are identified as disabled on one or more disabled lists 107, 115.
  • At 510, the test computer 18 determines whether identified ADC device tests 103, 111 are duplicate instances of one another. Duplicate instance may, for example, occur where an ADC device test 103, 111 has two keywords, both of which are part of a work list. In other situations, the same ADC device test 103, 111 may be intentionally invoked a multiple number of times. At 512, the test computer 18 determines whether duplicate instances of identified ADC device tests result from two different keywords. At 514, the test computer 18 removes unintentional duplicate instances of the duplicated identified ADC device tests, if any.
  • At 516, the test computer 18 executes the identified ADC device tests 103, 111 that are not indicated as being disabled and are not unintentional duplicates against the target ADC device. At 518, the test computer 18 stores results from the execution of the tests. The method 500 terminates at 520.
  • FIG. 13 shows a method 530 of searching the network for ADC device tests based on received keywords, according to one illustrated embodiment. The method 530 may implement the act 506 of method 500 (FIG. 12).
  • In particular, the test computer 18 searches directories of computing systems on the network 17 at 532. The test computer 18 may search the directories for DLLs having attributes with keywords that match the keywords in a work list or other query for an ADC device test 103, 111.
  • FIG. 14 shows a method 600 of discovering and executing ADC device tests according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The method 600 may start at 602, for example, in response to a user input or signal from a test scheduler. At 604, the test computer 18 discovers existing ADC device tests 103, 111 on the network 17. At 606, the test computer 18 filters ADC device tests 103, 111 by keyword(s). At 608, the test computer 18 runs the ADC device tests 103 111 that remain against a target ADC device 16. The method 600 terminates at 610.
  • When crating an ADC device test 103, 111, the developer adds the name and keywords as attributes. For example:
  • [EastTestCase ( “First Sample Function”, “keyword1”, “keyword2”)]
    public bool TestCaseFuctnion1 (EastTestCaseHelper etcHelper)
    {
    // ...
    }

    where the first string in the EastTestCase attribute is the name of the test, and every string after the name is a keyword. All functionality for communicating, logging results, etc. are contained in the EastTestCaseHelper object, which is passed into the executable, module or process.
  • FIG. 15 shows a method 620 of updating an ADC device test attribute, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • At 622, the test computer 18, or another computing system, adds a new keyword to an existing ADC device test 103, 111. For example, the new keyword may be added to an attribute list of a DLL or other executable, module or process that implements the ADC device test 103, 111. The new keyword may be indicative of a new functionality and/or new structure.
  • FIG. 16 shows a method 700 of defining a set of tests or work lists to be executed, and of executing the same, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The method may start at 702, for example, in response to a user input. At 704, the test computer 18 forms a first set of data or work list identifying one or more ADC device tests 103, 111. Respective executables, modules, or process such as DLLs may be stored at a number of different storage locations 102, 110 either remotely from the test computer system 18 or the location of the work list, or locally at the test computer system 18 or the location of the work list.
  • At 706, a test computer 18 assigns at least a first identifier to the first set of data. At 708, the test computer 18 receives a run test command including a first identifier. At 710, the test computer 18 determines if the ADC device tests 103, 111 are disabled. The test computer 18 may, for example, consult one or more locally or remotely stored disabled lists 115, 107, respectively.
  • At 712, the test computer 18 may locate the non-disabled executables, modules, or processes of the ADC device tests 103, 111 identified by the first set of data. At 714, the test computer 18 runs the non-disabled executables, modules or processes of the ADC device tests 103, 111 identified by the first set of data, against one or more target ADC devices 16.
  • At 716, the test computer 18 provides a set of interim results. The interim results may be formatted within the framework of the ADC device tests 103, 111 or work lists. At 718, the test computer 18 determines whether there are further ADC device tests 103, 111 to be run. If there are further ADC device tests 103, 111 to be run, control returns to 714. If there are no further ADC device tests 103, 111 to be run, control passes to 720.
  • At 720, the test computer 18 provides final results. The final results may be formatted within the framework of the ADC device tests 103, 111 or work lists. The failures may be emphasized. For example, failures may be displayed with highlighting, marqueeing, flashing, bold, and/or other outstanding visual effects. The method 700 terminates at 722.
  • FIG. 17 shows method 730 of assigning at least a first identifier to a set of data, according to one illustrated embodiment. The method 730 may implement the act 706 of the method 700 (FIG. 16).
  • In particular, a first name is assigned to the first set of data or work list at 732. The name may be indicative of a person or an entity. For example, the name may identify a person who created the work list, or a customer and/or department. The name may indicate a group. For example, the name may indicate a particular group of related ADC devices 16. The name may indicate a particular group of ADC device tests 103, 111. Such a grouping may be of ADC device tests 103, 111 that test a variety of generally unrelated functions or structures, but which are specific to a subset of ADC devices 16. Using names may simplify the tasks of creating, locating, and/or maintaining sets of ADC device tests 103, 111.
  • FIG. 18 shows a method 740 of assigning at least a first identifier to the first set of data, according to another illustrated embodiment. The method 740 may implement the act 706 of the method 700 (FIG. 16).
  • In particular, at least a first keyword indicative of a functionality or structure tested by the ADC device test 103, 111 is assigned to the first set of data at 742. The keyword may take any of a variety of forms, for example, such as the keywords described above. Using keywords may simplify the tasks of creating, locating, and/or maintaining sets of ADC device tests 103, 111.
  • FIG. 19 shows a work list 800, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The work list 800 contains all of the ADC device tests 103, 111 (FIG. 3) that will be run against the target ADC device 16, and an indication of how many times each individual ADC device test 103, 111 will be run or looped. The work list 800 may also provide an indication of which ADC device test 103, 111 are enabled or disable. An item of the work list 800 may identify an individual ADC device test 103, 111, a keyword, a query, or a grouping. If a keyword, query or grouping is looped or repeated, then all of the ADC device tests 103, 111 identified by that keyword, query or grouping are repeated. If a keyword, query or grouping is identified as disabled, then all of the ADC device tests 103, 111 identified by that keyword, query or grouping are disabled.
  • The above description of illustrated embodiments, including what is described in the Abstract, is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the embodiments to the precise forms disclosed. Although specific embodiments of and examples are described herein for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure, as will be recognized by those skilled in the relevant art. The teachings provided herein of the various embodiments can be applied to other ADC device tests systems, not necessarily the exemplary networked ADC device test systems generally described above.
  • For instance, the foregoing detailed description has set forth various embodiments of the devices and/or processes via the use of block diagrams, schematics, and examples. Insofar as such block diagrams, schematics, and examples contain one or more functions and/or operations, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that each function and/or operation within such block diagrams, flowcharts, or examples can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or virtually any combination thereof. In one embodiment, the present subject matter may be implemented via Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments disclosed herein, in whole or in part, can be equivalently implemented in standard integrated circuits, as one or more computer programs running on one or more computers (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more computer systems), as one or more programs running on one or more controllers (e.g., microcontrollers) as one or more programs running on one or more processors (e.g., microprocessors), as firmware, or as virtually any combination thereof, and that designing the circuitry and/or writing the code for the software and or firmware would be well within the skill of one of ordinary skill in the art in light of this disclosure.
  • In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the mechanisms of taught herein are capable of being distributed as a program product in a variety of forms, and that an illustrative embodiment applies equally regardless of the particular type of signal bearing media used to actually carry out the distribution. Examples of signal bearing media include, but are not limited to, the following: recordable type media such as floppy disks, hard disk drives, CD ROMs, digital tape, and computer memory; and transmission type media such as digital and analog communication links using TDM or IP based communication links (e.g., packet links).
  • The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. All of the U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet, including but not limited to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/130,792 filed May 17, 2005, Ser. No. 10/934,064 filed Sep. 3, 2004, and/or Ser. No. 09/240,108 filed Jan. 29, 1999 are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety. Aspects of the embodiments can be modified, if necessary, to employ systems, circuits, and concepts of the various patents, applications, and publications to provide yet further embodiments.
  • These and other changes can be made to the embodiments in light of the above-detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the claims to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all possible embodiments along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. Accordingly, the claims are not limited by the disclosure.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A method of testing automatic data collection devices, the method comprising:
    automatically determining a set of functionalities of a target automatic data collection device to be tested;
    based on the determined set of functionalities of the target automatic data collection device, automatically identifying a number of automatic data collection tests to be run against the target automatic data collection device;
    determining whether any of the identified automatic data collection tests are indicated as being disabled;
    executing at least one of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device, but not executing against the target automatic data collection device any of the identified automatic data collection tests that are indicated as being disabled; and
    at least temporarily storing a set of results from the execution of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein determining whether any of the identified automatic data collection tests are indicated as being disabled comprises:
    querying a global set of automatic data collection test disablement information stored on at least one location on a network; and/or
    querying a global set of automatic data collection test disablement information stored on at least one location on a network based on at least one keyword indicative of a functionality of the target automatic data collection device.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1, wherein automatically determining a set of functionalities of a target automatic data collection device to be tested includes:
    remotely querying the target automatic data collection device; and/or
    querying a database that stores relationships between a number of automatic data collection device model identifiers and a number of functionalities of automatic data collection devices of specific models.
  4. 4. The method of claim 1, wherein automatically identifying a number of automatic data collection tests to be run against the target automatic data collection device based on the determined set of functionalities of the target automatic data collection device includes locating respective ones of the identified automatic data collection tests at various locations on a network.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4, wherein locating respective ones of the identified automatic data collection tests at various locations on a network includes determining at least one keyword associated with at least of the functionalities and searching the network based on the determined keyword for automatic data collection tests corresponding to the at least one keyword.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5, wherein searching the network based on determined keywords for automatic data collection tests corresponding to the at least one keyword includes searching the network for dynamically linked libraries having attributes with at least one keyword that matches the determined keyword.
  7. 7. The method of claim 1, comprising:
    providing a set of interim results formatted within a work list of the identified automatic data collection tests while executing the at least one of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device; and/or
    providing a set of final results formatted within a work list of the identified automatic data collection tests after executing the at least one of the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device, with any failures visually emphasized.
  8. 8. The method of claim 1, comprising storing a work list indicative of the identified automatic data collection tests and a respective location of each of the automatic data collection tests on a network, the work list selectively retrievable to rerun the identified automatic data collection tests.
  9. 9. A method of facilitating testing automatic data collection devices, the method comprising:
    forming a first set of data that identifies a plurality of automatic data collection device tests, where an executable module for a respective one of each of the automatic data collection tests are stored at a number of different storage locations; and
    assigning at least a first identifier to the first set of data that identifies the number of automatic data collection device tests.
  10. 10. The method of claim 9, wherein forming a first set of data that identifies a plurality of automatic data collection device tests includes forming the first set of data that identifies at least two automatic data collection devices tests, where the respective executable modules for each of the at least two automatic data collection tests are distributed at respective locations on a network, the at least two respective locations being different from one another.
  11. 11. The method of claim 9, wherein assigning at least a first identifier to the first set of data that identifies the number of automatic data collection device tests includes assigning a first name to the first set.
  12. 12. The method of claim 9, comprising:
    receiving a run test command including the first identifier; and
    running the executable modules of each of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data against a target automatic data collection device.
  13. 13. The method of claim 9, comprising:
    receiving a run test command including the first identifier;
    determining if any of the automatic data collection device tests are identified as being disabled;
    locating the executable modules of at least some of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data; and
    running the located executable modules of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data which are not identified as disabled against a target automatic data collection device.
  14. 14. The method of claim 13, comprising providing a set of interim results formatted within a framework of the automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data.
  15. 15. The method of claim 13, comprising providing a set of final results formatted within a framework of the automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data after executing the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device, with any failures visually emphasized.
  16. 16. The method of claim 9, comprising:
    forming a second set of data that identifies a plurality of automatic data collection device tests, where an executable module for a respective one of each of the automatic data collection tests are stored at a number of different storage locations; and
    assigning at least a second identifier to the first set of data that identifies the number of automatic data collection device tests.
  17. 17. A system for facilitating testing automatic data collection devices, the system comprising:
    a network port to provide communications via a network;
    a processor coupled to the network port; and
    a processor-readable medium that stores instructions that cause the processor to facilitate testing by:
    forming a first set of data that identifies a plurality of automatic data collection device tests, where an executable module for a respective one of each of the automatic data collection tests are stored at a number of different storage locations; and
    assigning at least a first identifier to the first set of data that identifies the number of automatic data collection device tests.
  18. 18. The system of claim 17, wherein the instructions cause the processor to facilitate testing by:
    receiving a run test command including the first identifier;
    locating the executable modules of each of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data; and
    running the located executable modules of each of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data against a target automatic data collection device.
  19. 19. The system of claim 17, wherein the instructions cause the processor to facilitate testing by:
    receiving a run test command including the first identifier;
    determining if any of the automatic data collection device tests are identified as being disabled;
    locating the executable modules of at least some of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data; and
    running the located executable modules of the respective automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data which are not identified as disabled against a target automatic data collection device.
  20. 20. The system of claim 17, wherein the instructions cause the processor to facilitate testing by:
    providing a set of results formatted within a framework of the automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data; and/or
    providing a set of final results formatted within a framework of the automatic data collection device tests identified by the first set of data after executing the identified automatic data collection tests against the target automatic data collection device, with any failures visually emphasized.
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