App Furnishes Framework for Moving RFID Data

By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-04-19 Print this article Print

ConnecTerra's RFTagAware middleware offering provides data on RFID reader performance in the field.

ConnecTerra Inc.s RFTagAware 1.0 manages RFID readers to ensure accuracy while providing a framework for passing radio-frequency identification data to applications.

ConnecTerra uses per-reader antenna pricing because of the way the application discreetly views each reader antenna. Pricing starts at $30,000 for 100 RFID reader antennas; the price per antenna drops with volume purchases.

ConnecTerra also offers special pricing for companies running pilot programs with limited numbers of reader antennas.

While ConnecTerra describes RFTagAware as infrastructure software, the product fits into the category of middleware that companies will need to connect RFID readers to business applications. RFTagAware provides a developer framework for connecting Savant data with other business logic. (Savant is EPCglobal Inc.s proposed standard for defining how middleware will structure data gathered by an RFID reader.)

To read more about Savant and the RFID standards issue, click here. The RFTagAware Monitoring Console will help companies keep better tabs on telemetry data on RFID readers and get a handle on readers in use throughout the network.

In addition to the console, RFTagAware includes Edge Server, an RFID reader simulator and an ALE (application layer event) API for connecting Edge Server with other applications.

The ALE API provides a way for an application to query the RFID network via Edge Server for event cycle information. The ALE specification is currently under review by EPCglobal Inc.

An example of such a query would be asking a specific group of antennas to report any changes in the items read over a period of time or when a package passes an electronic eye. This would allow a company, for example, to determine when a container is pulled off a shelf so an inventory management system can order a replacement container.

To integrate data gathered via ALE more closely, companies will need to program business logic into enterprise applications directly or integrate RFTagAware at the ALE level with other middleware applications. The ALE API is XML-based, making it relatively easy to build queries for applications.

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