EAN & UPC - barKoder Barcode Scanner SDK

Capture any EAN or UPC code with barKoder Barcode Reader SDK

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What are EAN & UPC barcodes & what are their specifications

The International Article Number (EAN) barcode, also known as the European Article Number, is a barcode symbology that is widely used worldwide for tracking trade items in stores. The EAN barcode was first introduced in the 1970s as a means of tracking products through the supply chain and at the point of sale. Today, it is an essential tool for retailers, manufacturers, and distributors to manage inventory, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.  

The EAN barcode is similar to the Universal Product Code (UPC) in that it is a unique identifier assigned to each trade item. The EAN consists of a series of bars and spaces that represent a specific sequence of numbers. The numbers are used to identify the manufacturer, product, and packaging size. When the barcode is scanned, the numbers are automatically entered into a computer, allowing the retailer to keep track of inventory levels, sales, and pricing.   



The EAN barcode is a standardized system, meaning that it is the same no matter where in the world it is used. This is important because it allows products to be tracked throughout the entire supply chain, from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer. When a product is scanned at any point along the supply chain, the barcode is automatically recorded, providing a complete record of where the product has been and when.     
In addition to its use in tracking products, the EAN barcode is also used to improve efficiency and reduce costs. For example, by using barcodes, retailers can automate their inventory management systems, reducing the need for manual tracking and reducing the risk of errors. This can save time and money for retailers, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their business.     


One of the key benefits of the EAN barcode is its ability to improve the accuracy and speed of the checkout process. Before the introduction of barcodes, cashiers had to manually enter prices for each product, which was time-consuming and prone to errors. With barcodes, prices are automatically entered into the system, reducing the risk of errors and speeding up the checkout process. This not only benefits retailers but also customers, who appreciate the faster checkout times.  

Another benefit of the EAN barcode is its ability to provide valuable data for manufacturers and retailers. By tracking sales data, manufacturers can make informed decisions about production levels and product lines. Retailers can use sales data to identify popular products and adjust their inventory levels accordingly. This can help retailers avoid stockouts, reduce waste, and improve profitability.     
In addition to the standard EAN barcode, there are also specialized versions that are used for specific purposes. For example, the EAN-128 barcode is used for tracking shipments and inventory levels, while the EAN-13 barcode is used for tracking consumer products. These specialized barcodes provide additional functionality and flexibility for retailers and manufacturers.     



  • A continuous, only numeric symbology with fixed length.
  • Printed on virtually every consumer product in the world and gives basic product information.
  • Most common used types of EAN/UPC barcodes are: UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13, EAN-8.
  • UPC-A - 12-digit universal product code (UPC) is a numeric symbology designed to identify a product and its manufacturer. Can encodes 11 digits of numeric message data together with a trailing check digit.
  • UPC-E, Universal Product Code Version E zero, is a zero suppression form of UPC-A, using quite effective, method of compressing out unnecessary zeros. Used on products with very small packaging where a full UPC-A barcode couldn’t reasonably fit.
  • EAN -13, European Article Numbering system (abbreviated as EAN) is a superset of UPC, primarily used in European countries. Store a total 13 digits and the 13th digit is used as an error-checking character.
  • EAN-8 barcode is a short version of EAN-13 with 8 characters which allows for a more compact barcode..


How can the barKoder SDK help with your EAN & UPC scanning requirements

The barKoder barcode scanner SDK can empower any enterprise or consumer mobile or desktop app with state-of-the-art barcode scanning functionality with very little integration efforts.

Download the free trial SDK, evaluate barKoder via its Barcode Scanner demo app, explore our documentation hub, blog posts and more.