Oct 13, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.
October 13, 2006—Enterprise infrastructure software provider BEA this week announced the 2.0 release of its WebLogic RFID Enterprise Server. The software solution is aimed at providing centralized visibility and management of the increasingly distributed nature of RFID deployments.
Among the major enhancements, the new solution includes support for Electronic Product Code Information Services, or EPCIS, which is an EPCglobal-standardized method of exchanging RFID data among trading partners. Since much of the end-user activity is still focused on deploying physical infrastructure, attention to the application layer of RFID deployment is still limited. As such, BEA becomes one of only a small group of vendors that support EPCIS. (Others include IBM and RFID data analytics company T3Ci, with whom BEA completed EPCIS interoperability testing.) Support for EPCIS also means that the software is geared not only at facilitating internal visibility and management of RFID data, but at sharing that data with trading partners.
The 2.0 release also comes with what BEA calls "out-of-the-box pre-defined templates" for data management. The templates are modeled after commonly-used types of master data, but they are also customizable for the particular needs of an enterprise. There is a reporting service that provides web-based visibility across an RFID infrastructure, including event histories, missing assets, and en route information on tagged goods, such as dwell time, transit time, and last-location-seen.
Events that the software tracks are modeled into four dimensions, storing the "what" (what the tagged object is), "when" (an event timestamp), "where" (the tagged object's current and next destination), and "why" (business context like the state of the tagged object or information about the current transaction). Additional fields can be associated with each event type, such as sensor data and performance metrics.
BEA entered the RFID software infrastructure space last year with its October acquisition of middleware provider ConnecTerra (see BEA Systems Acquires ConnecTerra). In so doing, it validated the predictions of many analysts that pure-play RFID middleware providers would have a hard time surviving independently as large enterprise software vendors increasingly encroached on their territory. A comparable play was NCR's acquisition of IDVelocity in April of this year (see NCR Acquires IDVelocity). For a time there was speculation that OATSystems or GlobeRanger would be snapped up, but to date both companies remain independent.
Read the official announcement from BEA Systems