IBM Delivers New Release of RFID Software
April 3, 2007 Alex Woodie
Integration through open standards and service oriented architecture (SOA) is the name of the game for IBM, which last week updated its WebSphere RFID Premises Server. With version 6, IBM has delivered a new “device model” based on Eclipse that should widen the range of compatible radio frequency identification (RFID) readers. At the same time, IBM has delivered a new SOA “foundation” that should make it easier to feed RFID data into business applications.
RFID Premises Server functions as the brains of an RFID implementation, providing the filtering and correlation necessary to make sense out of the tidal wave of RFID data arriving through fixed and mobile RFID readers, and integrating that data into the business applications–both yours and your supply chain partners. With version 6, IBM has boosted the product’s capability to address both types of data–that coming in, and that going out.
For incoming data, the incorporation of Eclipse’s open standards-based RFID device model means RFID hardware vendors write to one standard, and customers benefit by being able to deploy a mix of compatible hardware–or even rip and replace one vendor’s hardware for another (theoretically, anyway). IBM says it has received commitments from 10 major RFID hardware vendors, including Alien Technology, Arcom, Deister Electronic, FEIG Electronic, Impinj, Intermec, Motorola (Symbol), Reva Systems, Sirit, and Tagsys, to validate their devices in IBM’s new WebSphere RFID Device Program by the end of June.
On the outgoing side, IBM has committed to supporting a new SOA foundation that should help RFID Premises Server integrate with IBM’s other RFID products involved in IBM’s RFID solution, including WebSphere RFID Information Center (RFIDIC), which is used to integrate RFID data into enterprise applications and for sharing RFID data with trading partners, and WebSphere Process Server, which functions as the “glue” between a customer’s legacy infrastructure and the business events triggered by RFID data at the Premises Server, according to IBM.
The take home for i5/OS customers is that, to integrate RFID data from WebSphere RFID Premises Server with your i5/OS-based ERP systems, you’re going to need RFIDIC, WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Server, and a healthy dose of Java programming skills to make it work.