Sybase Eyes RFID Enterprise Integration

Later this year, Sybase's iAnywhere Solutions expects to release software that will extend the use and management of RFID data far beyond isolated supply chain environments such as distribution warehouses.

Sybases iAnywhere Solutions Inc. has plans to expand RFID Anywhere, its new RFID development and management platform, from supply chain applications at the network edge to centrally administered implementations integrated with databases and other enterprise applications.

To that end, an upgrade to RFID Anywhere is now slated for March or April.

With its first edition now in limited release, RFID Anywhere is targeted at supply chain applications in industries that include pharmaceuticals, agriculture and the military, said Steve Robb, senior director of marketing, in an interview with

"Were also looking at universities, where there are many assets moving around that are [in some cases] high-priced," according to Robb.

Initial supply chain applications will include distribution warehouses and laboratories. Although RFID Anywhere can also be outsourced as a hosted service, many customers will choose to run and manage the Microsoft.NET-enabled solution in-house, according to David Barrack, senior director of Solutions Services.

Running on Windows XP-based embedded devices from a variety of hardware makers, Sybase Inc.s RFID Anywhere software already includes considerable RFID data management capabilities, along with connectors and controllers for interfacing to multivendor RFID readers and printers.

ProPath, one early customer, is now using RFID Anywhere in a supply chain application aimed at streamlining delivery of medical test results to doctors and hospitals. The customer is implementing RFID to track biopsies and other specimens as theyre processed and analyzed in a lab setting. ProPath handles more than 1,200 patient specimens each day.

Through the upgrade later this year, iAnywhere will enable RFID Anywhere with local and enterprise database connectivity as well as with an EAI architecture—inherited through its acquisition of Neon Inc. a few years ago—for centralized management and integration with enterprise-wide applications such as ERP.

Databases to be supported in the future will include Sybases iAnywhere mobile database, for "guaranteed delivery" through store-and-forward messaging, as well as all major enterprise databases, including but not limited to Sybases.

"Its presumed that customers might already have their own databases. If a user wants to build an RFID application, this doesnt [necessarily] mean they should have to install a whole new database," Barrack said, also during the interview.

Next Page: More than just middleware.