Sybase Offers End-To-End RFID Data Management - InformationWeek

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Sybase Offers End-To-End RFID Data Management

New software helps companies collect and use RFID data for business processes.

Sybase Inc. is using its lead in mobile database systems to expand the number of devices from which it can collect data from radio-frequency identification systems, then integrate it into mainstream enterprise IT systems.

The vendor recently expanded its RFID data-collection capabilities, formerly known as RFID Anywhere and now called RFID Edgeware. Edgeware provides an interface to many types of RFID reading devices, including RFID readers and RFID printers, as well as bar-code scanners and real-time location services.

Sybase has also added what Chris Foley, director of RFID, calls "an end-to-end system" for handling RFID data flow. It has developed RFID Open Database Schema and Persistence Layer technology that allows collected RFID data to be automatically uploaded into any relational database, including Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise and SQL Anywhere Studio. Business context about the data is maintained so future users know what it means.

"RFID data sits there encoded [on a tag]. It needs to be decoded and put into meaningful cubbyholes," Foley says.

With the data captured in a relational database, it can be used to augment business processes. Sybase has added a visual development toolset to its product line for building applications that use RFID data, Foley says. It's capable of mapping the data into existing systems, reformatting the data and applying business rules to it, and monitoring streams of RFID-event data.

Using such systems, for example, airline passengers may one day use airport information kiosks to locate and track their lost bags, Foley notes. IDC analyst Lee Doyle says the market for RFID systems will reach $2 billion by 2008.

Sybase cites Cesar Castillo Inc., a distributor and logistics supplier for the pharmaceutical industry, as an early implementer of the products.

Sybase's RFID Enterprise package includes RFID Edgeware (formerly RFID Anywhere); RFID Open Database Schema and Persistence Layer; RFID Business Process, Integration, and Monitoring; and RFID Reporting for preformatted and ad hoc reporting on RFID data. RFID Enterprise is available immediately, priced at $50,000. For those already using RFID Edgeware, the new Enterprise technology is priced at $20,000.

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