Sybase’s Enterprising RFID

Sybase announced on Monday RFID Enterprise, a software set designed to provide end-to-end radio frequency identification (RFID) software.

RFID Enterprise acts as an orchestration and business process integration layer between RFID software and traditional business systems. According to Sybase, RFID Enterprise lets businesses use any combination of end-point devices or tags and readers while connecting the data received to a variety of enterprise applications. The software also lets enterprises construct and execute business rules based on the RFID information.

RFID Enterprise includes RFID Edgeware, a management interface that can be used for RFID readers, bar code scanners, RFID printers and Real Time Location Services; a database schema and persistence layer that stores data necessary to maintain the business context of the data; RFID Business Process, Integration and Monitoring, a visual design environment for creating business processes and monitoring the data via Web-based dashboards; and a reporting tool.

RFID Enterprise acts as the integration middleware for Sybase subsidiary iAnywhere’s RFID Anywhere, released in February.

“This is enterprise-class remote visibility and control,” said Chris Foley, director of RFID for Sybase. Business rules can be set to route data collected from the RFID system to appropriate business applications, as well as saving it in the data repository.

Although Sybase was founded as a database company, RFID Enterprise doesn’t include a full database; rather, it offers a data repository and generic schema, designed to be customized. The software can run on competitors’ databases.

The central management tool also eases the pain of switching hardware, Foley said. “For example, if [one reader manufacturer] goes to a different standard, our management software can automatically deploy that new connector without anyone having to go out and visit the distribution center.”

While some middleware vendors aim to provide a complete hardware, software and services package, RFID Enterprise is designed to be customized and verticalized by systems integrators and installation and provisioning consultants. Foley called it a “40 percent solution.”

Foley said the product’s support for diverse hardware and standards lets companies avoid vendor and standards lock-in.

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