Sun makes RFID easier to use

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Tuesday introduced a new version of its RFID (radio frequency identification) software.

Sun Java System RFID Software 3.0 is aimed at making it easier for enterprises to deploy and administer RFID networks, Sun said. It can also help users manage high volumes of data and can be integrated with other enterprise systems, Sun said. The software is compatible with the Sun Solaris 10 Operating System as well as Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Companies embed RFID chips in products or product packaging to track the movement of goods through development or across an entire supply chain. The chips can store more data than other commonly used tracking technologies and the data can be read from several feet away.

Sun’s RFID Software 3.0 has a small footprint so it can be embedded in handheld devices, which could be used by customers to collect and deliver real time RFID data, Sun said. Comtrol Corp. will start offering RFID controllers based on Sun’s RFID Software 3.0, Sun said.

Also new to Sun’s RFID Software 3.0 is support for Java ME devices, integration with Java Composite Application Platform Suite, an improved management console and an extended developer kit.

Sun also said that the software has been integrated with SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure, allowing for data to be passed from Sun-based RFID devices to the mySAP Business Suite. Sun expects that the partnership will make it easier for enterprises to quickly integrate RFID data into their back-end SAP AG systems.

But Sun’s RFID Software 3.0 is designed to integrate with virtually any enterprise application, Sun said. The software supports data protocols including HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), XML (Extensible Markup Language) and Sockets and includes a variety of application programming interfaces to make it easier for enterprises to integrate the software with other applications, Sun said.

In other RFID news, Alien Technology Corp. on Tuesday launched a new RFID reader and tags and said that Hewlett-Packard Co. will help market and sell Alien products.

On Monday, Sybase Inc. announced new software to help enterprises manage and integrate RFID data.

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