Generally a middleware is a computer software that facilitates exchange of data between different programs. This means that thanks to this kind of softwares is possible “glue together” separate, often complex and already existing, programs, hardware components, databases, enterprise applications or communications. Developers use it to communicate and manage data throughout systems. An RFID middleware allows users to collect, manipulate, and share data easily.
Here a list of RFID middleware‘s abilities:
1. Manage devices
A middleware in an RFID network/system could controland manage the settings of its readers and antennas irrespective of the fact that those devices could be originate by differents manufacturers.
2. Collect and integrate data
Acting as a bridge in a system, it increase transport of data efficiency. When tags are read and the data is collected, it can be sent to the middleware in order to process it and then send it to a warehouse management system, internal database, or some other destination.
3. Structure data
Middleware lets users understand from which device the data arrived, where it has to go and when it has to leave. Using specifically features, the software provides users to read only relevant data based on events that occur or provides an automated data exchange with other system’s devices. For example, when a tag is read by a fixed antenna, the information could be sent immediatly to the ERP or to a display where the final user just read the serial number and confirm if everything is all right. The read is an event that occur and send informationsIn this example, a complex ERP and a simple display are “just devices” for the middleware.
4. Filter data
RFID middleware can be used to filter out only the RFID tag reads really most important and remove redundant or repetitive reads. In a real application a tag is read hundreds of times in a second and for hundreds times the reader send to the middleware the information which filter out hundreds of identical reads and send to the user just the data important to the application.
5. Tag ID Association
In a system with thousands of RFID tags, RFID middleware can keep track of and allocate tag ID numbers. Thinking about a situation where a company is writing hundreds of RFID tags to apply to many different types of items, our software can keep track and record the allocation of which tag ID numbers have been used and assign tags IDs relevant to the item type, date, etc…
The potential uses for middleware are nearly endless and the same can be said of the potential functionality. Here is a list of typical examples of devices which a middleware can talk with: