And you'll need to decide on the hardware to use:
1) scanner connected to a computer via USB functioning in "Keyboard emulation mode". (The most common mode for this type of scanner.)
2) iOS device using it's built in camera
3) A blue tooth enabled scanner connected to an iOS device
I've used 1 and 2, but not 3--though I suspect it would work very similar to 1).
How you implement 1 and how you implement 2 requires very different scripting details.
2) is an attractive option if you already use iOS devices and don't need to quickly scan a lot of items (like you see at the market when they scan your purchases)
Barcodes are really just another font for your computer. Take a text field, such as an AssetID number and format it with a bar code font and it will display and print with a bar code. Such fonts are not supported in iOS devices so you can't print barcodes from FileMaker Go without 3rd part software that produces and stores a picture of teh bar code in a container field. Also, most barcodes add one more digit--a check digit to the barcode that the barcode scanner uses to verify a valid scan. (with the iOS camera as your scanner, you have to program your own validation as far as I know.) There are plug ins available where you can take an ID number or string in a field and produce a barcode with appropriate formatting and check digit so that you can print a label with that bar code.
When you scan a barcode by any of the above methods, the scanned code appears in the designated field as normal human readable text. So once you have scanned a bar code, a script can take the data in that field and process it to check an item in or out of inventory.
Corey, did you get this working? I'm looking to do almost exactly the same thing, but Phil's answer makes it seem more difficult that I thought it would be (programing your own validation for iOS, etc.) I was just curious if you had worked it out and what steps you took to get there.
Validation varies with the specific type of bar code. There are custom functions for most if you search them out and code 39 bar codes do not have a "check digit" to calculate.
The main complexity here is in deciding what mix of hardware and software you need to use.