Raiser's Edge is not what "reads" the bar code. The scanner reads it and translates it into whatever it might be-- numbers, letters, etc. It's just like a keyboard in terms of data entry possibilities. ANY information can be printed as a bar code (3 of 9 barcode font) and scanned into Raiser's Edge, but links to gifts, etc. will not be generated unless the bar code TRANSLATION (not necessarily even the bar code itself) was obtained from within the program.