GS1 Digital Link Tools

September 20, 2018

Since its launch a month ago, we have seen quite a bit of interest around the new GS1 Digital Link standard: the standard connecting all things to the Web! However, standards are always complex beasts and grasping their full powers requires reading lengthy documents.

To help the community understand the powers of the Digital Link, we started by writing a whitepaper. The white paper was well received as a great way to grasp the concepts and use cases of the Digital Link, but how do you get started with experimenting? How do you build prototypes and demonstrators with the new standard today that will convince your team it’s valuable? How do you explore the hundreds of data fields available without having to read the entire standard document?

We had the same problems, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve just released a series of tools that are ideal for quick experimentation and discovery. They don’t replace our enterprise-grade support for the GS1 Digital Link in the EVRYTHNG platform but offer a set of open source tools that allow you to experiment with the Digital Link, independent of the platform you choose to use (although we clearly suggest you use EVRYTHNG as we simply have the best Digital Link support out there 🙂 ).

The tools are written in Javascript and consist of two main parts: a Digital Link Generator and a Digital Link Verifier. The Generator lets you dynamically generate a Digital Link by exploring all the hundreds of available data fields (called AIs or Applications Identifiers in the GS1 world) and generating the corresponding QR code on the fly. It also creates a default consumer landing page for your newly created Digital Link, which you can always upgrade to a fully-on experience with the EVRYTHNG platform should you wish to do so.

The other part, the Verifier, checks if a Digital Link is valid according to the standard. This may seem trivial, but it really isn’t, as there are more than 400 rules to be checked. Should your Digital Link be invalid, the Verifier will let you analyze which part isn’t quite standard compliant.

These tools are directly available on https://digital-link.evrythng.com and can be used for experimenting, testing and demonstrating. Moreover, they’re available on GitHub should you want to build new features on the code or embed some parts in your own application.

We hope you’ll enjoy them, and we’re looking forward to the wonderful things you’ll build on top of the Digital Link tools. Now is the time to give billions of products a standard Digital Identity!

PS: A big thank you to the whole Digital Link Working Group at GS1 for their help and feedback on the tools.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dominique Guinard

Dominique Guinard

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