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Accessing Camera from desktop application

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    Accessing Camera from desktop application

    Hi All,

    I've been tasked with creating an application on a standalone computer that will ask for your name, search a database for a match, then either display matched info or ask for data to be entered. In either case, I need to be able take a picture of the client with the computers built-in camera. And that's where I'm having trouble. I know how to do this for mobile apps but I can't seen how to do this with desktop apps. Any help would be appreciated.


    Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application


    I have not done this, myelf, in Alpha, but I followed in behind another A5 developer that had.

    He used an ActiveX component. I do not remember which one, but here's one you can download that may suffice @ $120.

    You can also use a Windows API (Look at the VB syntax, and either port to XBasic, or you can try running it under Alpha as Visual Basic.)

    I am going to be adding this to our system in a couple months to capture an image as a signature is taken on a tablet... (Chargebacks are out of control these days with the bad economy). At this point, I would be unable to assist further to any measureable degree.


      Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

      take a look at this article by my friend, peter

      <broken link>/ActiveXControls.pdf
      Last edited by Lenny Forziati; 12-14-2021, 01:13 PM. Reason: broken link removed
      thanks for reading


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        Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

        Ha! EZTwain. That was what I had been exposed to, prior!

        Looks discontinued in favor of something that simplifies the Window's API functions.


          Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

          Originally posted by CraigSchumacker View Post

          or you can try running it under Alpha as Visual Basic
          How is this done?


            Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

            There can be only one.


              Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

              Originally posted by CraigSchumacker View Post

              You can also use a Windows API (Look at the VB syntax,
              Next questions on your reply..
              based on the API instructions, do you have any idea how I would accomplish this part...

              "4. Declare the webcam capability
              Use the designer of the application manifest file to add the webcam capability. Select the Capabilities tab and then select Webcam from the list."


                Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

                I am getting a "windows is undefined" error when trying to use the windows API. Is there something I need to setup first?

                var captureUI = new Windows.Media.Capture.CameraCaptureUI();


                  Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

                  I'm afraid the only person who can specifically answer your questions about the possibility of using a Windows function would be someone that as already done so.

                  I will be tackling this a few weeks from now (8 - 16). I prefer not using third party supplements, so if I can, I will travel the road of figuring out a way to do this without buying EZ-Twain, or a similar package.

                  I can tell you that figuring out the syntax translations from C++ and VB to XBasic is not the easiest task in the world, at least for me. Even getting some basic callbacks from a Windows DLL can be challenging. I have found there are tons of examples across most platforms, but few into the world of XBasic.

                  The article on MSDN I pointed you toward mentions only Windows 8, so that specific path may not work for you.

                  The DLL's that will carry you back to machines of earlier are user32.dll and avicap32.dll. Based on prior research, they have the functions needed, but in my case, I will be seeking a silent capture as a signature is drawn on a tablet.

                  If my answers here, as vague as they may seem, only leave you more frustrated, try looking at the link to Peter Waynes article, and look at the EZTwain replacement. I'm sure it simplifies everything.


                    Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

                    Not having much luck so I switched to Visual Studio for the desktop app.

                    Now I have the same question but this time is for web apps. I'll reword and repost on the correct forum.

                    Thanks for the help.


                      Re: Accessing Camera from desktop application

                      We take employee pictures using an old Kodak USB camera.

                      We found that TwainControlX works very well.

                      Here is the code we use to capture the image, display it in a dialog, if approved, save it to a folder, then update the form with the photo.

                      tw = ole.create("TwainControlX.Twain")
                      for i = 0 to tw.devicecount
                      	if tw.devicename(i) = "Kodak DVC325 Digital Video Camera"
                      		tw.currentdevice = i
                      	end if
                      next i
                      filename = "G:\bcbss\photo"+chr(92)+alltrim(str(CWEP->badge_no))+".jpg"
                      oldfile =  "G:\bcbss\photo"+chr(92)+alltrim(str(CWEP->badge_no))+"o.jpg"
                      if file.exists(oldfile)
                      end if
                      if file.exists(filename)
                      end if
                      'now resynch to the new file
                      if .not.file.exists(filename)
                      	'user hit "cancel" in photo prog
                      	ui_msg_box(" Photo Capture","Action Cancelled at User Request")
                      	goto getsig
                      end if
                      'go to external photo editor to crop
                      if file.exists(filename) then 
                      	ui_msg_box("Error Opening File","File "+filename+" does not exist.",ui_stop_symbol)
                      end if 
                      'Pause the script for a instant until the user interface has finished repainting.
                      ui_msg_box(" Photo Capture","Continue?")
                      'display a message box
                      f =,FILE_RO_SHARED)
                      DIM SHARED varC_result1 as C
                      heading_string = "Is the Picture OK?"
                      yes_button_label = "&Yes"
                      no_button_label = "&No"
                      cancel_button_label = "&Cancel"
                      varC_result1 = ui_dlg_box("Photo Confirmation",<<%dlg%
                      	<*15=yes_button_label!Yes> <*15=no_button_label!No> <15=cancel_button_label!Cancel>
                      if varC_Result1 = "No"
                      	ui_msg_box(" Photo Capture","Please Try Again")
                      	goto photostart
                        elseif varC_Result1 = "Cancel"
                      	ui_msg_box(" Photo Capture","Action Cancelled at User Request")
                        	topparent:Bitmap1.bitmap.filename = filename
                      end if
                      Hope this helps