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Lakshmi Murthy
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Hi All,
 
This is Lakshmi Murthy and i am a biztalk enthusiast. I have been awarded my third consecutive MVP Award in BizTalk Server technology for this year. I  have been blogging for many years now and you can find my blog posts in BizTalk and other related technologies at http://techsavygal.wordpress.com (old blog : http://techsavygal.blogspot.com).
 
Microsoft has released RFID platform in September last year as a part of BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Release. BizTalk RFID enables to integrate disparate RFID devices from multiple vendors, filter and manage collected data and provides ability to use this collected data inside a business process.In order to encourage worldwide adoption of RFID technology, Microsoft has developed a layered RFID infrastructure and platform. The BizTalk RFID consists of several tightly integrated layers that interconnect to provide full integration between hardware devices and applications. The different layers available in RFID architecture are as below:
 
BizTalk RFID Infrastructure Layers
Devices This lowest layer consists of hardware devices such as RFID Readers, printers, sensors, barcode scanners, 802.1x Access points for wireless LANs, Handheld terminals,and Pocket PCs which are provided by Microsoft Partners.
Data Collection and Management This layer consists of Data Service Provider Interface (DSPI) that provides a consistent way for devices from multiple hardware vendors to expose their device services to Microsoft Platform. DSPI provides an extensible and scalable infrastructure to allow customers to read data through any standard or non-standard sensors regarless of the format, therefore reduces the dependency on specific technology  and protects long-term RFID investments.
Event Processing Engine This layer includes event and workflow management, messaging and can use BRE (Business Rule Engine). It enables context- or rules-based processing of RFID data to provide information directly to LOB (Line of Business) applications or to business processes that span applications via Web Service integration or BizTalk Orchestrations. This layer also provides the structure for integration across multiple facilities and partners as well as includes device management services to convert data into business-process relevant information.
Services This layer includes product-information resolution lookup, business process management, analytics,reports, notifications, and enterprise content solutions.
Application Solutions This uppermost layer relies on services, data and tools from the lower layers to implement Application solutions that drive business processes for the end-user. Microsoft relies on its partners to build solutions that are divided between two classes of applications, real-time enterprise/point applications and batch-oriented enterprise applications.
The above RFID infrastructure can be pictorially represented as below:

When organizations are planning to implement RFID solutions, the following are the three areas they generally look into :

  • RFID application
  • Integratation with current / new Systems
  • Monitor and manage RFID applications.

Microsoft RFID Program Manager Sudhir Hasbe has released Three Pillars of RFID Solutions keeping the above areas in mind. They are as below:

  1. Rich .Net based Development platform : Inorder to build rich RFID enabled software applications, existing or new software solution providers can build RFID enabled applications using BizTalk RFID easily. BizTalk RFID uses Visual Studio IDE and this IDE provides all features and functionality to build rich RFID applications using .Net programming.
  2. Rich Integration capabilities: RFID applications can be integrated easily with various existing applications. Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 ,which provides rich SOA platform, EDI,EAI,B2B etc. is used to seamlessly integrate RFID applications with other applications. 
  3. Enterprise RFID infrastructure management capability: BizTalk RFID can be used to discover, configure, manage and monitor devices(HF, UHF, LF, Sensors, printers) at the edge of the enterprise. BizTalk RFID is also integrated into Microsoft System Center Operations Manager(MOM). This will allow Administrators in IT Dept to monitor RFID infrastructure sitting in corporate head quarters.

In order to understand more in detail the uses and advantages of BizTalk RFID, you can browse through the RFID Scenario examples available on MSDN. One of the RFID Scenario examples can be found here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb749953.aspx

Ta! Enjoy BizTalking...

Lakshmi

Posted on Monday, January 7, 2008 5:43 AM BizTalk Server 2006 / R2 | Back to top


Comments on this post: Microsoft BizTalk RFID and its considerations !!!

# re: Microsoft BizTalk RFID and its considerations !!!
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great article.
Left by siyah on Apr 30, 2008 1:01 PM

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