Oracle, Sybase to offer RFID integration solutions

Von Ephraim Schwartz

Database vendors Oracle Corp. and Sybase Inc. this week made significant RFID announcements related to integrating RFID and traditional enterprise data.

Sybase"s RFID Enterprise picks up where its RFID Anywhere, launched last February, left off. 

Last year, when Sybase acquired Xcellenet, the remote-management software vendor, Sybase used that technology to create RFID middleware. The middleware was offered as an abstraction layer that gave the enterprise a single API to communicate with different RFID readers using different specs and protocols, according to Martyn Mallick, senior product manager for RFID Solutions at Sybase.

The RFID Anywhere product also filtered the collected and aggregated data. For example, an RFID reader can scan a shelf in a warehouse multiple times and come up with a different number of products on that shelf each time.

"There is no perfect read. What you have to do is aggregate multiple scans to see what is actually on a shelf," Mallick said.

RFID Anywhere also monitors the RFID network to insure that the hardware is functioning correctly and allows managers to push down firmware updates.

RFID Enterprise, announced this week, is the integration layer. It takes data from the RFID readers and propagates that data into enterprise applications. It will also include a modeling tool that puts hexadecimal RFID code into human-readable format mapped to actual products.

RFID Enterprise will also provide persistent storage of data using SQL schema to map data into a meaningful format for relational databases, Mallick said.

Finally, RFID Enterprise will offer reporting capability to match events with business rules that trigger a stored procedure.

Meanwhile, Oracle was busy as well announcing a partnership with Intel to develop what it calls an SOE (service-oriented enterprise) framework to ease the adoption and deployment of RFID technology within the enterprise.

The solution will combine Oracle"s 10g Database and E-Business Suite with Intel processor-based hardware to facilitate the integration of raw RFID data into enterprise-management systems.

At the same time, Oracle launched the Sensor-Based Services Initiative, which packages a variety of Oracle RFID solutions such as its EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) Compliance Enabler and an RFID/EPC pilot kit with support from Oracle E-Business Suite.