Microvision designed and built low-cost, handheld, laser bar code scanners, called Flic and Rov. The scanners contained many configuration options, operating modes, and protocol formats. Customers had extreme difficult creating a scanner interface in their applications. The Microvision engineering department created a Software Development Kit (SDK) that provided a programming interface for the scanners. However, this SDK contained numerous deficiencies, lacked adequate documentation, and did not provide the necessary interfaces needed by customers. Documentation was added to the SDK source code and the final SDK documentation was generated directly from the source code using DOxygen and a custom application.
We worked closely with several of strategic customers (Jump Technologies, Trax Retail, Smead, etc.) to enhance, debug, and test the SDK. I acted as the technical liaison between these strategic customers and the Microvision engineering department. Existing demo programs were debugged and enhanced, new demo applications were created and documented, SDK functionality was enhanced, and the scanners and SDK were fully documented. Providing one-on-one technical support with strategic customer shortened their development time and allowed Microvision to enhance the scanners and SDKs. This technical support included debugging customer applications.
Microvision sold thousands of scanners to these customers (Jump Tech and Trax primarily). In addition the SDK benefited from enhanced functionality, better documentation, and fewer bugs. The SDK and documentation were used extensively with other customers for future sales. The SDK documentation enabled developers to use the SDK with little or no support from Microvision.
Microvision sold more scanners, received fewer support calls, and customers were able to write more complex applications with less effort. Prior to these enhancements it would typically take a customer one to two weeks to create a complete scanner interface. After these enhancements one customer (Computer Directions) was able to implement a complete scanner interface in about 45 minutes.