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Partnerships Address End-User Needs

A number of software and hardware RFID vendors announced alliances and combined product offerings during RFID Journal LIVE! in Las Vegas this week.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
May 02, 2006At RFID Journal LIVE!, held this week in Las Vegas, several software and hardware RFID vendors announced their latest alliances and combined product offerings. Some of these announcements are presented below.

OATSystems, Alien, IBM Embed Technologies
Middleware provider OATSystems is partnering with RFID systems manufacturer Alien Technology and enterprise software creator IBM to embed its OATxpress middleware application onto Alien's EPC UHF Gen 2 ALR-9800 interrogator, which runs IBM's WebSphere RFID Device Infrastructure (WRDI). OATxpress is designed to enable end users to commission electronic product codes to RFID tags, maintain a manifest of the codes for each order and send RFID data into legacy systems such as a warehouse management system. The WebSphere WRDI platform provides the data management and filtering needed to operate OATxpress directly on ALD-9800 interrogators (readers). This brings functionality to the edge of an RFID deployment and can reportedly cut down infrastructure costs because the OATxpress does not need to run a separate server.

OATSystems demonstrated the ALR-9800 running OATxpress software at the conference. The interrogator with pre-embedded OATxpress and WRDI is available now through OATSytems or Alien. OATSystems also announced a partnership with Arcom to deploy the WRDI platform and the OATxpress application on Arcom's devices controlling material sorting equipment for conveyor systems.

OATSystems also announced the latest version of its Foundation Suite middleware platform, of which OATxpress is one module. OAT Foundation Suite 5.0 is based on a flexible architecture through which companies can run various Foundation Suite modules or applications on any combination of hardware devices. These include interrogators, separate servers, mobile computers or hardware to control material handing equipment, such as programmable logic controllers that sort goods traveling down conveyor systems, based on data collected from bar codes or RFID tags they bear.

OATSystems says Foundation Suite 5.0's improved flexibility will help end users expand from small pilot projects to more widely deployed, complex RFID systems.

Vue Announces Partners, Upgrades
Vue Technology, a provider of item-level RFID tracking technologies, announced partnerships with Alien and Paxar, through which the company has developed new product offerings. It has also made upgrades to its TrueVue RF Networking technology—RFID middleware enabling single interrogators to support many antennas, whi can be built into product display or storage shelves—and to its EPC management software platform.

Vue is working with Paxar, provider of the Monarch series of RFID printer-encoders, to provide support for Vue's TrueVue platform through drivers for Monarch's RFID devices. This will enable end users to control Monarch devices through the TrueVue, to perform functions such as printing and encoding RFID-enabled hangtags for apparel.

Alien Technology and Vue Technology have also announced that the TrueVue platform now supports Alien's ALR-9800 UHF EPC Gen 2 interrogator. Alien is demonstrating the TrueVue platform with the ALR-9800 interrogators at Alien's RFID Solutions Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Moreover, Vue has upgraded its smart-shelf networking appliance by reducing the number of cables needed to support antennas built into the shelf. It is also using single cables to support each antenna's delivery of power, RF and data communications.

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