Middleware Enables RFID Tests - InformationWeek

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5/27/2004
12:50 PM
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Middleware Enables RFID Tests

ADT's app simulates tag readings before they're linked to network, ensuring that the system works

ADT's application lets companies conduct test-runs of pallet scanning.

ADT's application lets companies conduct test-runs of pallet scanning.
ADT Security Services Inc. will introduce in June its first data-management middleware application for radio-frequency identification deployments. Earlier this year, the company launched an RFID services group.

Deployment Manager, aimed at companies in consumer products and retail, is built on the Globe Ranger Microsoft .Net platform and provides a visual graphical interface instead of embedded software code to monitor and catalog data that RFID tags collect.

That feature lets users visually manage databases, business rules, and devices on a network, rather than depend on programmers to change lines of code. A reader emulator analyzes and simulates the data going through the RFID network to ensure that information is transmitted to the correct enterprise applications. For example, the emulator would let a company simulate reading 500 pallets stacked with 90 cases each to verify that the system is functioning properly before hooking up a reader or an antenna to the network, says Mark Bomber, a software product manager at ADT. "You'd populate the system with simulated data to make sure it's working properly."

ADT in May introduced Device Commander, which filters data from Deployment Manager as it passes through the network, monitoring and deleting multiple entries of information scanned from the same tag. The preloaded software comes on a rack-mount server that manages the network and IP addresses for about 32 RFID readers. The $45,000 system is aimed at companies already implementing an RFID strategy.

ADT's RFID Launch is available to companies getting started with the technology. The package includes four readers, eight antennas, software, 3,000 Class 1 EPCglobal Inc. tags, a printer, training, services, on-site installation, and technical support. RFID Launch lists for about $150,000 and is based on standard version 1.0 from EPCglobal, which is charged with establishing electronic product-code standards.

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