More Than Middleware
"But this [product] will be much more than just [integration] middleware," Barrack added. "To do RFID planning, people will need to [obtain an understanding] of what kind of scale they can get. To gain some control over the RFID network, theyll have to develop business logic for what kinds of events are going to be read, and some of the filtering that needs to occur.""You can simulate a certain read rate, for instance," Barrack said. Why is Sybases RFID solution architected around .NET rather than Java? According to Barrack, Java application servers, such as those produced by BEA Systems Inc., arent meant for dealing with the large volumes of "bursty data" that RFID would impose beyond smaller supply chain environments on the enterprise network. Read more here about the .NET vs. Java debate. "In RFID Anywhere, we wont be using a traditional client-server architecture [for RFID data.] What well have instead will be very close to a peer-to-peer network, except that one of the [RFID Anywhere] nodes will be kind of a master, listening for events that come from the other nodes," Barrack said. Sybase is now in talks with Microsoft about how RFID Anywhere might fit into Microsofts own RFID strategy, according to Barrack. "Microsoft likes the fact that RFID Anywhere is built on the .NET framework," he said. To read more about Microsofts RFID strategy, click here. Sybase is also eyeing use of the solution for non-RFID sensor applications such as refrigeration monitoring, Barrack said. Why is Sybase bringing out an RFID product right now? The answer is related to Sybases purchase of XcelleNet, according to Barrack, who migrated to iAnywhere along with the acquired company. "XcelleNet had been looking at [RFID and other sensors] anyway, as another area of remote device management. When we looked at how this fit with Sybase, we saw that this is also about getting data where it needs to be from mobile devices, [a] natural extension of what Sybase is doing with its Unwired Enterprise initiative, anyway. But [RFID Anywhere] is a brand new product, not re-architected from anything else," he said. Sybase hired Carlos Artiega, who wrote the device drivers for some of the earliest RFID readers, to build RFID Anywhere. The new offering initially supports the following RFID hardware protocols: EPC Reader Protocol 1.0; ALE 1.0; ISO-15693; ISO-18000-3; and ISO-11784. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.
The softwares management capabilities already include a Network Simulator, which lets users assess the network impact of various data loads and content before buying and attaching readers and other RFID hardware.