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RFID Middleware
Eric Yu
 EPCglobal Network
 RFID Infrastructure
 Application Level Events
RFID Middleware Function
A Basic Definition
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
 An automatic identification technology that relies on
radio waves to encode and decode information on a
microchip or other storage device. RFID allows
computer systems to capture data stored on a special
tag without direct contact or line of sight acquisition
In general terms,RFID (Radio Frequency Identification )is a means of
identifying a person or object using a radio frequency transmission
Business and Technical Driven
Technology Driven
Ubiquitous computing system
Business Driven
RFID technology is used today in many applications,
Organizations in Retail, Defense, Transportation,
Healthcare and other industries are increasingly
employing RFID technology to bring new efficiencies to
supply chains, track assets, ensure product quality and
consumer safety, protect the integrity of their brands,
promote security and more
Transit Systems – Cashless transit fares
Airlines – Baggage, asset management
Logistics – Ships, trucks, trains
Parcels – Fedex, UPS, DHL (2004)
Retail (Consumer Goods) – Walmart, Metro
Defence – US DoD suppliers
Healthcare – Pharmaceuticals, patient tracking
Agriculture – Live stock tracking, perishables
Lifestyle – Amusement Parks, Speedpass(Esso)
Security – Personnel, Assets
How RFID works
Joint venture of Uniform Code Council (UCC) and EAN
Over 100 end-user and technology provider companies
Sets standards for:
Public support from Metro, Wal-Mart, TESCO, US Dept of
Electronic Product Code
Passive RFID Systems
Software Interfaces
Worldwide EPC network servicesEPCglobal is the standard for
supply chain RFID
EPCglobal provides a migration path from existing
industry practice
EPCglobal is supported by major supply chain partners
Standards rapidly becoming available but still a lot to do
The Elements of EPCglobal
EPC (Electronic Product
Code )
Unique number that identifies a specific item in the
supply chain.
Radio frequency tag, attached to an item, that carries the
EPC for that item.
RFID Reader
Data capture device that detects and reads RFID tags
and transmits their associated EPC numbers to the
computer network.
( Object Naming Service)
A software specification for services that broker data
exchange between a reader or network of readers and
existing information systems. Supports connections to
internal systems and the EPCglobal Network
Automated networking service that connects each EPC
to the information associated with it on the network.
Information Services
Set of services that enable users to exchange data with
trading partners based on EPCs.
EPC Infrastructure
EPC is a number designed to
uniquely identify a specific item in
the supply chain.
In a simple case, tag is comprised of
a silicon chip and an antenna
An EPC code is stored into an RFID
tag / label and attached to an item in
supply chain
Using radio identification
technology, the EPC number is
“communicated” to a reader.
Reader scans and sends Data to a
computer running middleware
EPC Infrastructure
Middleware allows companies to
process relatively unstructured tag data
taken from many RFID readers
Direct it to the appropriate information
It is able to perform many different
Monitor the RFID reader devices
Manage false reads
Cache data
Filter Data
Query an Object Naming Service
EPC Infrastructure
ONS (Object Naming Service )
A querying mechanism similar to
the DNS (Domain Naming
Matches the EPC code
The ONS server provides the IP
address of a PML Server that
stores information relevant to the
EPC Infrastructure
PML is designed to store any
relevant information about a
Location information
Physical properties
Composition information
Manufacturing and expiry
RFID Middleware Structure
Tag Data Standard / Air Interface
• Designed to process the streams of tag or sensor data
• Accommodates different reader vendors
ALE (Application Level Events)
• Application interface to filter, aggregate, reduce the volume of data prior to
sending events to the back end business application
• Standardizes interfaces between readers, ONS, XML, and Enterprise
EPCIS (EPC Information Services)
• Recording and exchange of business-level EPC data (PML)
• Describe how the EPC information can be stored and accessed via the Network
Tag Reads
Provides a means for clients to specify,
in a high-level, declarative way, what EPC
data they are interested in.
Provides a standardized format for
reporting accumulated, filtered EPC data
that is largely independent of where the
EPC data originated or how it was
Abstracts the sources of EPC data (e.g.,
Readers, Barcode scanners) into higherlevel notions of"location", thus hiding
from clients the details of exactly what
ALE Security
Identification and Authentication:
The ALE service provider must identify
the clients and authenticate to prevent
illegal clients access the service.
Data Transport Protection
In order to protect the data transported
between ALE service provider and clients
the ALE. service provider build the
security functions for the integrity,
confidentiality, freshness and so on.
Service Access Control
Unauthorized users may try to access the
ALE service (e.g., stored tag data ALE
service configuration, reader
management, middleware resource
RFID Middleware Function
Reader Management
support various means to deploy, monitor and
issue commands to readers via a general
Data Management
filter and summarize operation data
Application Integration
deliver the tag reads to back-end system
Rule and exception processing
provides the environment that users set the rules
in order to generate the business dependant
semantic events based on the tag reads.
RFID Middleware Function
Process Management
Not just routes RFID data to enterprise applications
but also actually orchestrates end-to-end processes
that touch multiple applications or legacy systems.
Share of data with partners and other
provide the ways to share the information about
individual tagged object and related business
descriptions with the trading partners and other
Real Time
Managing data through real time collection and
process real-time execution and controlling.
High-Value Data
Generic Protocols and Facilities
Back-End Databases
Lots of Source Code