Event Management

2/27/2008

Events management represents one of the key aspects of programming applications for POS for .NET. All input in the POS for .NET system is event-driven, and each segment of the POS for .NET Architecture uses events to communicate with the other applications and Service Objects.

Event-driven input begins when an attached POS device receives data input. If that device is enabled (the DeviceEnabled property is set to true), then received data will be queued as a DataEvent event and sent to the application. Events are delivered in a first-in, first-out manner by an internal service thread. Just before this event is raised, a Service Object may use the PreFireEvent method to update properties before that event is sent off.

After the event data is received, the device will automatically disable itself (setting the DeviceEnabled property to false) if the AutoDisable property is set to true. While disabled, the device cannot queue new input, and the physical device will be disabled, if possible.

When the application is ready to receive input from the device, it sets the DataEventEnabled property to true. The application then starts to receive queued DataEvent events, even if those DataEvent events were queued before DataEventEnabled property was set to true.

Additional data events may be disabled by setting the DataEventEnabled property or the FreezeEvents property to false. This causes later input data to be queued while the application processes the current input and associated properties. When the application is ready for more data, it may re-enable events by setting the DataEventEnabled property to true.

If the input device is an exclusive-use device, the application must both claim and enable the device before it uses it to read input.

If the device is shareable, one or more applications must open and enable the device before it uses it to read input. An application must call the Claim method to request exclusive access to the device before the Service Object sends data to it by using DataEvent. If event-driven input is received but the device remains unclaimed, the input is buffered until an application claims the device and the DataEventEnabled property is set to true. This behavior promotes orderly sharing of the device between multiple applications, effectively passing the input focus between them.

The device enters an error state if an error is encountered while receiving event-driven input. Then it queues an ErrorEvent event (that contains InputData or Input ErrorEvent loci). These events are not delivered until the DataEventEnabled property is set to true to guarantee orderly application sequencing. Each ErrorEvent indicates which one of two possible error loci is responsible:

  • InputData –Used if the error occurred while one or more DataEvent events are queued. The ErrorEvent jumps to the head of the event queue for immediate handling so that the application can immediately respond by clearing input or notifying the user of the error. Then finish processing the buffered input.
  • Input – Used if an error has occurred and no data is available. If input data is already queued when the error occurs, an ErrorEvent with the InputData locus is queued and delivered first, then the remaining DataEvents in the queue are raised and handled. Finally, an ErrorEvent with the Input value is sent to indicate that the queue is empty and no data is available. It is significant to notice that if an ErrorEvent with the InputData value was delivered and the application event handler responded with a Clear value, this InputData ErrorEvent is not delivered. Typically, this error is entered at the end of the event queue.

The device may exit the Error state when one of the following occurs:

  • The application returns from the Input ErrorEvent.
    The application returns from the InputData ErrorEvent with a Clear value for the ErrorResponse property.
  • The application calls the ClearInput method.

For some devices, the application must call a method to begin event-driven input. After the input is received by the Service Object, then typically no additional input will be received until the method is called again. Examples for devices that use this variation of event-driven input, also known as asynchronous input, include the magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) and Signature Capture devices. The DataCount property can be read to obtain the number of DataEvent events in the queue.

All input in the queue can be deleted by calling the ClearInput method. ClearInput may be called after Claim for exclusive-use devices or Open for shareable devices.

The general event-driven input model does not prevent the definition of device classes that contain methods or properties that return input data directly. An example of this variation of event-driven input, also known as synchronous input, is the Keylock device.

POS for .NET implements Unified Point of Service (UPOS) events as standard .NET events with multicast delegates. The events inform an application of various activities or changes with a device, such as when a device is added or removed. The following table lists the event types.

Event Description

DataEvent

An event raised by the Service Object to notify the application that input data is available.

ErrorEvent

An event raised by the Service Object to notify the application that a device error has occurred and that a suitable response by the application is necessary to process the error condition.

StatusUpdateEvent

An event raised by the Service Object to alert the application of a device status change.

OutputCompleteEvent

An event raised by the Service Object to notify the application that the queued output request has been completed successfully.

DirectIOEvent

An event raised by the Service Object to communicate information directly to the application.

The Service Object must stack these events on an internally created and managed queue. Events are delivered in a first-in, first-out manner and are delivered by an internal service thread.

The following conditions cause event delivery to be delayed until the condition is corrected:

  • The application has set the FreezeEvents property to true. The FreezeEvents property allows events to be queued but prevents their delivery until FreezeEvents is set to false.
  • The event is a DataEvent or an input ErrorEvent but the property DataEventEnabled is false.

Rules for event queue management are as follows:

  • The device may only queue new events while the device is enabled.
  • The device delivers queued events until the application calls the Close method or, for exclusive-use devices, the Release method. When these methods are called, any remaining events in the queue are deleted.
  • The ClearInput method clears DataEvents and input DeviceErrorEvents (ErrorLocus = Input or InputData).
  • The ClearOutput method clears output DeviceErrorEvents (ErrorLocus = Output).
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