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RFID Middleware Mimics Network

Seeburger’s first RFID offering, now available in the U.S., can function both as RFID middleware and as a planning tool that simulates an RFID network.
By Jonathan Collins
Sep 27, 2004German middleware and integration-software provider Seeburger has brought its first RFID offering, RFID Workbench, to the U.S., following the product’s initial July launch in Europe.

The company has built its business around enabling a range of enterprise applications to connect and share data through its Business Integration System (BIS) application integration middleware product. The company, which has more than 6,000 customers worldwide, also provides middleware adapters, the company’s term for software products designed specifically to link disparate applications, including a range of enterprise and legacy applications. The enterprise software giant SAP, for example, includes Seeburger software to provide industry-specific EDI (electronic data interchange) and business-to-business adapters for SAP’s Exchange Infrastructure.

Philip Calderbank
Now Seeburger believes it well positioned to leverage its middleware and inter-application connectivity expertise in the emerging RFID middleware market. “No other company is providing one, internally developed technology platform that enables end-to-end business process integration except us,” says Philip Calderbank, vice president of RFID sales in North America at Seeburger’s U.S. subsidiary in Atlanta.

Seeburger’s RFID Workbench can function both as RFID middleware and as a planning tool that can simulate an RFID network so that companies can model and understand the potential effects of any potential RFID deployment. As a planning tool, the software can be configured to show how RFID tagging will enable time tracking, event monitoring and graphic mapping associated with an RFID deployment. It can also be used to assess where in a company’s operations RFID readers will provide the greatest benefits.

While geared to companies just starting to examine any potential RFID deployment, the RFID Workbench can be scaled up to connect and enable stand-alone RFID pilots and small RFID deployments by serving as the RFID middleware needed to connect and manage RFID hardware. When combined with Seeburger’s core Business Integration System offering, RFID Workbench can also be integrated into an enterprise-wide application.

The BIS:RFID combination of BIS software and RFID Workbench forms a central interface between an RFID network and all enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, regardless of the formats and communication protocols employed. Database systems can also be linked, enabling the comparison and analysis of RFID data. For enterprise RFID networks, BIS:RFID also provides the ability to connect to RFID Web Services such as savant software and Object Naming Service (ONS). The BIS:RFID middleware takes care of transportation and filtering of RFID data flows, integrates data into all current ERP systems via standard adapters, or forwards it to external partners.

The company says the RFID Workbench, which is available now, is priced at $20,000 per four-user license. Seeburger says pricing for RFID Workbench when used to manage an RFID deployment and for the BIS:RFID application will depend on customer requirements.
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