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What Types of Open-Source Software Are Available for RFID Projects?
Please outline some of the offerings currently on the market.
Researchers at the Auto-ID Labs have created an open-source middleware platform known as Fosstrak that performs some filtering and allows users to store data in an EPC Information Service (EPCIS) database (see Open-Source EPCIS Catching On).
AspireRFID is an open-source RFID middleware project launched during the second half of 2008 by the OW2 Consortium, an independent industry community dedicated to developing open-source-code middleware, and a European research project known as ASPIRE, co-funded by the European Commission in the scope of its Seventh Framework Programme (see AspireRFID Can Lower Deployment Costs).
The Auto-ID Lab at ETH Zurich/University St. Gallen, in Switzerland, has developed an open-source RFID prototyping platform called Accada, designed to enable end users, systems integrators and researchers to experiment with EPCglobal network protocols to develop new applications (Auto-ID Lab Releases Accada RFID Prototyping Platform).
The Accada platform includes a reader software module that can run on an EPC interrogator or separate device. Accada implements the EPCglobal Reader Protocol (ERP), a standard enabling EPC readers to communicate with middleware in a standardized manner. The software module incorporates all mandatory and optional features defined by EPCglobal in the Reader Protocol specification, thereby allowing for the filtering of data based on a tag's Electronic Product Code (EPC), as well as which reader antenna reads that tag, the time that the read occurs, the location and so forth. The Accada reader module also supports EPCglobal's Reader Management Specification.
RFID software firm Pramari has released an open-source middleware platform, the Rifidi Edge Server, that is free to download and use. The middleware collects data from EPC Gen 2 RFID readers, filters that information and delivers it to systems that employ the data for business processes. The middleware works not only with RFID interrogators, but also with bar-code scanners, sensors and other hardware, such as cameras (see Pramari Launches Free Open-Source RFID Middleware).
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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