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What Middleware Options Are Available for Handheld RFID Readers?
Which providers are specially focused on SAP? And how is middleware evolving?
Middleware is software that sits between an RFID reader and a company's back-end system. It performs some filtering and device-management tasks. The line between middleware and software applications has blurred over time, but most RFID middleware will take data from a handheld, filter it and send it to a SAP system (most middleware providers have written an application programming interface to connect to SAP). SAP also offers an RFID middleware package called Auto ID Infrastructure (AII).
Some of the leading middleware providers are GlobeRanger, InSnyc Software, Microsoft (the company no longer has a separate product called BizTalk RFID, but the latest version of BizTalk still supports RFID applications), ODIN RFID, OATSystems (a division of Checkpoint Systems) and Transcends (formerly Pramari).
OATSystems is a good example of the change in middleware—it now offers applications that manage inventory, for example, and forward the collected data to SAP—and the company offers software that runs on handhelds. It can perform inventory counts, find items and more. GlobeRanger has also built applications on top of its middleware platform.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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