The ABCs of Link-OS

Posted September 26, 2014

As part of an effort to help customers make sense of all of the terminology that surrounds Zebra solutions, we are launching a series of posts that will define some key terms – both industry-wide and Zebra-specific – to cut through the clutter. We’re starting with a dictionary of Link-OS terms!

You keep hearing that demand is growing for devices that are mobile, intelligent, and connected to the cloud. Did you know that Zebra’s Link-OS Environment was created in response to this demand? The Link-OS Environment is an open platform that pairs an operating system for smart Zebra devices with powerful software apps, making the devices easy to integrate, manage and maintain from any location. With all the functionality comes a lot of new business language!

To get you started, we’ve described four terms here. To see the rest, download our PDF dictionary of Link-OS terms, which you can find at the bottom of this post!

  • Application Programming Interface (API) –An API is a set of commands, functions, and protocols that programmers can use when building software for an operating system. The functions are pre-defined, so that the programmers don’t need to write them from scratch. Whether you’re a Mac guy, or a PC guy, all operating systems that run software provide an API for programmers. API’s are frequently accessed via a Software Development Kit, such as the Link-OS Multiplatform SDK.
  • AirWatch Connector – A PC based app – created via a Zebra/AirWatch partnership – that allows you to manage multiple Link-OS devices from the AirWatch mobile device management product. The AirWatch Connector is one in a series of “Connector” apps Zebra is creating.
  • Cloud – If you’re using Netflix, Gmail or Spotify, you’re a Cloud user already! Cloud applications operate in a number of different architectures – you’ll hear terms like “Public Cloud,” “Private Cloud” and ”Hybrid Cloud.” They all provide multiple advantages:
    • The ability to treat computing as a utility – users only buy what they need.
    • An overall reduction in capital costs.
    • Rapid scalability – the ability to quickly ramp computing resources up or down as needed

Cloud Computing is huge paradigm shift for IT – one that devices will need to support going forward. This is especially true for those devices that last for a long time. Even if they are not being used in a “Cloud” implementation today, it’s important that they be “Cloud –ready”.

  • Multiplatform Software Development Kit (SDK) – The Link-OS Multiplatform Software Development Kit enables app creation on PCs, smartphones and tablets supporting the most popular operating systems. Zebra created the Link-OS Multiplatform SDK to enable developers, resellers and end-users to create optimized solutions for use with our Link-OS printers. This SDK lets you save considerable time as you develop your own solutions. The SDK includes:
    • Expanded demos, extensive documentation, and template printing
    • Develop apps for PCs, smart phones and tablets using Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and Windows CE.
    • Support for Java, Objective C, C# and VB.

For more information on how Link-OS devices can benefit your business, contact us at BarcodesInc.

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