Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Linking RFID with Web services

Because Web services make it easier for business partners to electronically share real-time data and conduct transactions, the marriage of RFID and Web services promises to be a productive union.
By Bob Violino
Oct 04, 2003—By Bob Violino

Oct. 6, 2003 - Like radio frequency identification, Web services have gotten a lot of press. Both technologies, however, have only just begun to prove their business value. Ironically, these two highly promoted technologies might achieve their full potential only when they are married to each other. Experts believe that together they could play an integral role in managing information in future supply chains. Even today, companies that provide supply chain and RFID products are exploring ways that Web services can help maximize the value of information generated from RFID systems.

Web services are middleware based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML), which is used primarily for business-to-business e-commerce applications. Typically, Web services are bits of reusable code that allow two or more Web-based applications to communicate with each other. The code can be used with older applications or to build new ones. Web services can let Web-based applications from two different companies share data, or let one company perform operations, such as calculations and database searches, on another company’s computer remotely over the Internet. Rather than granting a business partner direct access to its databases, a company can employ a Web service that allows others to access a restricted part of its data or perform only specified operations or queries.

Currently, all companies find it cumbersome to share information and conduct automated transactions with suppliers. Many companies still place or take orders by phone and fax instead of electronically by computer. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is common among large companies, but it's expensive and inflexible. For instance, when there's a problem with an EDI transaction, people still have to get on the phone to solve it. So, as companies automate the tracking of goods in the supply chain, these slower forms of conducting business will likely become a major bottleneck.

Web services, however, promise to simplify the electronic exchange of information. They can do this because they provide a single application program interface (API) that allows other applications on remote computers—even if those applications are written in different languages or on different operating systems—to exchange data. The data is exchanged in an XML format, usually transported using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and often transmitted over the Internet.

One of the expected applications of Web services is that they will make it easier for business partners to share real-time data about goods and conduct transactions electronically. So if a supplier ships 12 pallets of goods to a retail distribution center, the RFID tags on the pallets could be scanned automatically as they leave the supplier's loading dock. When the truck door is closed and sealed with an RFID bolt seal, scanning the bolt seal could trigger the supplier's internal system to send the retailer an advance shipping notice (ASN) automatically.

On the other end, the retailer's internal system would receive the ASN and, thanks to Web services technology, be able to read it regardless of format used by the supplier's internal system. The retailer could then use the ASN to verify the accuracy of the shipment once it arrives and is unloaded from the truck. When the retailer scans the RFID tags on the 12 pallets arriving at the DC, the information can be compared with the information in the ASN. If the information matches up, the retailer's internal system could automatically confirm that the shipment arrived, and the supplier's system could then generate and transmit an electronic invoice. The retailer can receive the invoice and start the payment process. If the information on the tags and the ASN don't match up, the Web services interface could request that the supplier's internal system confirm the shipment. People would need to get involved only if the problem couldn't be resolved by these software agents.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,771 words and 5 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco