SAP Barcode Printing Overview

Barcodes are information represented with series of lines of varying widths or distance between lines. Some barcodes also has additional human readable numeric form. In SAP you are able to print them using smartforms or SAPScripts.
With SAP Web Application Server 6.40, SAP has introduced new barcode printing functionalities. you can also use the newer barcode printing methodology with relevant basis support package updates.
In the traditional barcode printing method in SAP, barcodes are generated by an special hardware in the printer. But in the new method barcodes are generated by the system as graphics and send to the printer as a a graphic print file. New method only apply to barcode printing with smatforms.

Traditional Bar Code Printing

New Procedure

Can be used for Smart Forms and SAPscript
Can only be used for Smart Forms
Bar codes are generated in the printer using special hardware.
Bar codes are generated in the SAP system and sent to the printer as graphics.
The print file is larger due to the graphic created.
Special hardware is required
No special hardware is required
To format or control bar codes, print controls must be changed in the printer commands.
Bar codes can be simply changed using the font maintenance transaction (SE73).
For all SAP releases
By default, bar codes can be created with the new procedure as of SAP Web Application Server 6.40.
With the appropriate Support Package and Patch Level, the new bar code printing works as of SAP R/3 4.6C.
Supports most bar code symbologies
Supports only the most important bar code symbologies (see also SAP Note 645158)

You can also find a more in-depth step by step example on how to develop barcode printing programs in SAP using smart forms.

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