A customer of mine has a around 100 members in his club and new ones join and members leave every week. So he has no way of knowing everybody personally.
He asked me to make him some magnetic swipe card system where the people swipe their card at the entrance and the computer says: "Membership valid" or "invalid".
Since the magnetic cards are so expensive, I thought about simple barcodes.
Idea 1: Barcodes
My first question is: How can I get barcodes in a Java Application or a Web Browser? Deployment platform would probably a cheap netbook with Windows 7 Starter or XP.
Then each member gets a barcode with an ID number on it. They scan it, the Java application looks it up in a database (which is maintained on a webserver with PHP/MySQL) and displays the appropriate information.
How can I get barcodes into the computer? Do I need a special Java Framework or do the scanners just act as a virtual keyboard?
Idea 2: QR-Codes
Another idea someone gave me was to use QR codes which contain a URL like
http://example.com/customer/5463/ which can be opened with virtually every computer or smartphone. The website then shows the membership information.
Do you think either one would work well if some 30 members show up for an event and all need to check in?
Are there any better way to organize this maybe?