Edgeware in RFID Systems

Edgeware in RFID Systems

Geoffrey Ramadan (Unique Micro Design, Australia)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2080-3.ch005
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An RFID system is an enabling technology encompassing both hardware and software. This chapter presents a software interface that integrates both middleware and enterprise software to automate the RFID system. The developed software is called Edgeware. The chapter presents an industrial perspective of complete implementation of an RFID system to automate the whole process of a big and complex business. In this chapter the definition, evaluation, value proposition, and implementation procedure of Edgeware are presented.
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Middleware and Edgeware

In last few decades Enterprise Software had undergone tremendous transformations in terms of both technologies in use and market/user spread. Starting from mainframe computers in few decades ago, enterprise software is now being used across wide verities of computing devices ranging from very powerful supercomputers to everyday objects like mobile phones, PDAs, etc. Software market has widened many folds and includes very complex huge enterprise software like stock market brokerage software, enterprise resource management, etc., to small utility software like calendar, multimedia player, etc. Considerable investment has gone into the development and operation of a number of large enterprise software over last decades. But, the end user perspective, requirement and taste changes more frequently than ever and business software needs to match them in the very competitive market. In most cases it is not practical to rewrite software every time new functionality is required; instead it is easier to extend the core system with the addition of application specific software module, namely middleware, to enhance the functionality (NIST, 2005; Zhang & Jacobsen, 2003).

Until recently, in most enterprise software, data is collected and feed manually. But with the introduction of data capture devices like RFID, sensors, smart cards, etc., the data entry paradigm is shifting from manual to automatic in many businesses. For example, a RFID reader is set at the door of an inventory and each item entered/deport through its door is RFID tagged. Then the reader would read the arrival and departure of stocks and update the inventory management database automatically, thereby no need of manual data entry to the inventory system. Similar to data entry, in many applications, the response/output generated from analyzing input data would drive actuator devices automatically. For example, in a security system, on detecting an intruder from proximity sensor data the central system would activate alarm, flash light, etc. Since recent advances in MEMS technology is developing a wide verity of data capturing and actuator devices, enterprise systems need to incorporate such automatic data capturing and actuation features in their business model. The most quick and cost effective way of doing so is to develop a range of middleware software, which, in one side would interface/drive the physical (data capture or actuator) devices, and on the other side interact with the core enterprise software. Edgeware represents all the hardware and software components that surround business enterprise software (e.g., Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) systems), and is responsible for the collection of business data from the surrounding physical world using data capturing devices and disseminate automatic responses to the actuator devices (Edgeware, 2011; Wu et.al, 2005; MoreRFID, 2011; InSync, 2011).

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