Projects:WebUSB and WebBluetooth receipt printers/Technical Documentation
Current technology status
Today, in April 2019, WebUSB and WebBluetooth are experimental specifications. This means the risk that the specification may change in the future and that the browser support is limited and incomplete. The current Chrome version in desktop systems: Windows, Linux, Mac, and also Chrome for Android, contains the basic functionality needed to communicate with receipt printers. But iOS (iPhone, iPad) do not support any of these technologies at this moment.
Challenges and risks
Basic support of printing receipts using WebUSB and WebBluetooth is a very feasible project. But being a reimplementation with an experimental technology of a core piece of POS terminals, several challenges and risks must be faced:
- Support all printers currently supported in the Hardware Manager
- Reduce to the minimum implementation differences with Hardware Manager.
- Support cash drawer status detection.
- Printing images. In the hardware manager, images are located in the lib/ folder. For WebUSB and WebBluetooth images must be requested from the Openbravo server side.
- Character sets. Especially Non-Latin character sets like Chinesse, Korean, Arabic, …
- Ability to support all types of devices the Hardware Manager supports: customer displays, RFID, payment devices.
The current hardware manager supports a large list of devices types: printers, cash drawers, customer displays, RFID. Different connections: USB, serial, javapos, Different printer models, Different character sets, … For the first version of this project the plan is to support the following:
- Hardware: Receipt printers and cash drawer (only opening the cash drawer)
- Connections: USB and Bluetooth. Bluetooth is new, not supported by the Hardware Manager
- USB Printer models supported. All USB models supported by the Hardware Manager:
- Epson TM T88V
- Epson TM T20 and T20II
- Wincor Nixdorf TH230+
- Star Mircronics TSP-100
- NCR 7197
- Bluetooth printers supported:
- POS-5582 DD Portable Mini Printer 58mm Bluetooth
- Drawer models. Any drawer connected to the receipt printer
- Character sets: Latin character set
- Platforms: Chrome on Windows, MacOS Linux and Android.
- XML receipt specification: text size, style (normal, and bold), images, EAN13 and CODE128 barcodes, QR codes, opening drawer.
WebUSB and WebBluetooth specifications:
- WebUSB specification https://wicg.github.io/webusb/
- Browsers that support WebUSB https://caniuse.com/#feat=webusb
- WebBluetooth specification: https://webbluetoothcg.github.io/web-bluetooth/
- Browsers that support WebBluetooth https://caniuse.com/#feat=web-bluetooth
Chrome provides also internal pages that allows to inspect and debug USB and Bluetooth connections:
- Chrome internal page to explore near Bluetooth devices chrome://bluetooth-internals/
- Chrome devices log. Includes USB and Bluetooth devices: chrome://device-log/