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Microsoft hops on board the RFID bandwagon

Software giant Microsoft Corp. has launched a new strategy to develop a scalable radio frequency identification (RFID) technology infrastructure, enabling customers and partners to easily integrate business processes using RFID data.

Built on top of the .NET Framework, Microsoft’s RFID technology can be embedded within third-party applications or used on its own to capture and interpret data from sensors and manage business events in a user-friendly environment.

“Seamless integration of sensor data with applications and business processes through easy-to-use tools at low cost is a big step forward for companies justifying a strategic investment in RFID technologies,” says Paul Flessner, Microsoft’s senior vice president of server applications. “This infrastructure will take full advantage of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET as well as advancements across the Windows Server System family of products. The intent is to reduce the complexity and cost of integrating and managing RFID data in a company.”

Microsoft’s RFID infrastructure will include an event management layer with a business rules engine. The event management layer and the rules engine will allow customers to perform context- or rules-based processing on RFID data to provide information directly to line-of-business applications or business processes that span applications through Web services integration and orchestration products such as BizTalk Server.

The new Microsoft RFID infrastructure will ensure that partners can embed the functionality directly into their applications or build applications on the infrastructure. Open application programming interfaces (APIs) and .NET-centric tools will allow partners to create specialized vertical solutions across a wide range of applications.

The Microsoft RFID infrastructure is designed to help drive down total cost of ownership to integrate, automate and transform business processes enabled by RFID data. This new infrastructure will include an advanced device management layer that will help customers configure and manage devices in a plug-and-play manner. The scalable and extensible infrastructure will allow customers to read data through any standards-based or nonstandards-based sensors regardless of formats, helping to reduce customers’ dependency on a specific technology.

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