As with other RFID reference architectures now being mapped at Sun, the bottom of the stack will revolve around RFID tag readers, which will scan tagged items and transmit the information to Suns Event Manager. Event Manager will filter and aggregate the RFID data, Nolan said. In one previously unveiled RFID reference architecture from Sungeared to enterprise RFID implementations, as opposed to retailthe data is sent from Event Manager to Suns own EPC Information Server.But in the new retail-targeted architecture, information flows instead from Event Manager to the SeeBeyond RFID Composite Application Network, for distribution to outside trading partners and enterprise back-end systems such as those by Oracle and SAP, Nolan said.Along the way, Suns Java System RFID Software will process the data and integrate it with SeeBeyonds RFID network. SeeBeyond, a longtime partner of Suns for Java, has meanwhile started collaborating with Sun on a non-RFID implementation revolving around a set of prebuilt portlets. The portlets will be aimed at quick enterprise development of portals featuring business integration, BPM, workflow and composite applications. In contrast to the RFID solution, the portal solution will not be specially geared to retail. "The portal solution is much more of a horizontal play," Nolan told eWEEK.com. Also, unlike the out-of-the-box portal solution, the RFID retail solution will require custom integration services, he said. The portal solution will use Suns Java System Portal Server in conjunction with SeeBeyonds ICAN 5 integration server. Nolan declined to give expected delivery dates for either the portal or the RFID retail solution. "But the portal solution will be sooner," he said. But Sun does expect to start showing the retail solution at its RFID test center in Dallas "within a quarter," according to the Sun executive. Next Page: "Way ahead" of IBM, HP and Microsoft?