Wavelink, Others to Make RFID Rollouts at Frontline Show

With Wal-Mart and DOD mandates looming for customers, Wavelink will be one of many IT vendors making RFID product rollouts at the Frontline Solutions supply chain conference.

As pressure mounts on their customers for initial RFID compliance, many IT vendors plan to use this weeks Frontline Solutions show in Chicago as the forum for RFID rollouts.

On Monday, Wavelink Corp., a maker of widely used data collection software for wireless LANs, will unveil RFID support for its Studio and Emulation products.

Wavelink Studios current customer base includes Eckerd Drugs, Office Depot Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Cardinal Health. Wavelinks Emulation middleware, which supports wireless transmission of bar code data to enterprise hosts, is already used by eight of the top 10 retailers in North America, said Eric Hermelee, Wavelinks vice president of marketing, in an interview with eWEEK.com.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more on the relevance of the Wavelink news to developers.

"Wavelink got started back in 1992 as a software development program for moving applications from fixed to mobile environments," Hermelee said.

Over the years, companies running wireless LANs in distribution centers, retail stores, and manufacturing and logistics sites have started using Wavelink to automate collection of bar code data.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about the impact of Wal-Marts mandate on some product suppliers.

Emulating host environments such as mainframes and IBM AS/400 midrange systems, Wavelinks middleware provides an abstraction layer that runs in piggyback fashion on top of wireless LAN products from Intermec and Symbol Technologies, for example. "We also have a deep presence with makers of scanners and readers, such as PSC Inc. and LXE Inc.," he contended.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about how IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have started piloting their own RFID middleware with customers.

Wavelinks new RFID capabilities will be designed to let existing and new customers write and deploy RFID software applications, without needing to learn the intricacies of various RFID devices.

"You can add new application code for tracking the flow of goods. You might want to put in code for a time and date stamp, for example. That way, if products are damaged when they arrive at the distribution center, somebody at the distribution center can write that information on the RFID tag," Hermelee said.

Wavelink is also targeting the RFID features at the service and utility markets. "Service companies will be able to build service histories. If a service person is repairing an air conditioner, and he replaces a hose, hell be able to add this information to the RFID tag," Hermelee noted.

"The next time the air conditioner comes in for repair, people will be able to tell exactly whats already been done," he added.

Wavelink expects to release RFID software updates for both products in the fourth quarter of this year.

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