Although integration is a key component for moving RFID information from tags and readers to back-end systems, standards and technologies for such processes are still in the early stages of development.
To aid customers today, EAI (enterprise application integration) software veteran SeeBeyond Technology Corp. has released a software adapter that helps users build connections to radio-frequency identification information systems but remain flexible.
SeeBeyond, of Monrovia, Calif., announced last week its RFID eWay Intelligent Adapter, which features a wizard-driven interface that lets users build RFID connections with EPC (Electronic Product Code) event managers—essentially RFID framework systems that include middleware—from ConnecTerra Inc., OatSystems Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.
The RFID adapter can be modified to support other RFID event manager software from such companies as GlobeRanger Corp. and Savi Technology.
The RFID adapter is a key component in SeeBeyonds RFID Composite Application Network. Announced at EPCglobal Inc.s user conference in September, the SeeBeyond network is essentially a best-practices framework enabling users to build RFID applications. It is a services-oriented architecture for RFID that allows services to be defined and reused at multiple layers within an RFID infrastructure, said SeeBeyond officials.
The eWay Intelligent Adapter acts as a data selection service that pulls data from RFID middleware into the RFID infrastructure, where the information can be used by other applications.
The RFID adapter also provides an EPC Data Collection service to SeeBeyonds RFID network. Because the Data Collection service is usable across a heterogeneous environment, it is aimed at helping users cut down on changes to their infrastructure because of emerging standards and technology.
When looking to integrate RFID-generated data into back-end systems, its important to find technologies that are open and standards-based, said Mike Gilpin, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.
“SeeBeyond fulfills that [with its RFID network] that has good connectivity into other parts of the supply chain and other scenarios that are commonly found around RFID … particularly in the retail sector,” said Gilpin in Cambridge, Mass.
However, other integration solutions should be considered as well, according to Gilpin.
“It will depend on the customer and where they would tend to lean,” he said. “A customer that has a lot of SAP [AG] solutions might find SAPs NetWeaver is better, and a customer that is doing more customized work and is doing a lot of integration for cross-channel might be using more of a general-purpose development platform from IBM and Oracle [Corp.].”
RFID adapter includes a host of internal and external services:
- EPC Event Manager service
- EPC Data Collection service
- EPC Coordination service
- Business-to-business collaboration service
- Core application integration service
- Business Activity Monitoring service
- Event management service
- EPC-IS standard service