OAT Suite Fuses RFID Framework, Middleware

OATSystems says its OAT Foundation Suite 4.0 meets industry analysts' definitions of both an RFID framework and RFID middleware, while three new products in the suite help manage data and improve accuracy.

OAT Foundation Suite 4.0, an RFID software product introduced at this weeks EPCglobal show, meets industry analysts definitions of both an RFID framework and RFID middleware, according to officials at OATSystems. The company also announced deals with Hewlett-Packard Co. and United Kingdom-based retailing giant Tesco Plc. at the show in Baltimore.

Marc Osofsky, vice president for marketing and product management at OATSystems Inc., said in an interview with eWEEK.com that while creating the latest version, OAT paid close attention to the criteria mapped out in two analysts reports: "RFID Framework and Management Architecture Requirements" by Jeff Woods of the Gartner Group and "Evaluating RFID Middleware" by Sharyn Leaver of Forrester Research.

Right now, OAT is aiming the product mainly at retail, CPG (consumer packaged goods) and pharmaceutical deployments, Osofsky said. "But youll probably start seeing us in some other [RFID] markets, too," he said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read about the impact of Wal-Marts mandate on some product suppliers.

HP had already used the software internally for tagging its products before deciding to go to market with OAT and systems integrator BearingPoint in the retail and CPG markets, he added.

HPs RFID market entry with OAT and BearingPoint helps to solidify the retail/CPG segment, Richard Dean, an IDC analyst, said in an interview.

"When HP decides to go into a market, it usually chooses partners of substance," Dean said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifHP is also working on RFID implementations with customers in the manufacturing market. Read more here.

Slated for release this quarter, OAT Foundation Suite 4.0 adds three new products to the suite, bringing the total number to five, Osofsky said. Products in the suite can be used separately, but for a full-blown RFID implementation, all of them are needed.

Tesco, for example, will use the entire 4.0 suite as the foundation for building new RFID applications, Osofsky said.

Existing products in the suite include OATmw, for configuring, managing and synchronizing RFID reader data; and OATepc, for adding serialized EPC code to identify the item being tagged. New in 4.0 are OATaxiom, OATxpress and OATlogic.

Sitting on central enterprise servers, OATaxiom is "the system of record, containing all the RFID data," he said.

OATxpress and OATlogic, on the other hand, run locally in distributed environments such as warehouses. OATxpress provides prebuilt templates designed to ease the performance of RFID-enabled functions such as putting together a pallet. "Based on our work with integrators, weve come up with predefined scenarios," he said.

OATlogic is designed to add intelligence for greater accuracy in reading and managing information from RFID tags, he said. The product also can be used to configure scenarios for OATxpress.

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