BizTalk RFID Mobile Unveiled
Microsoft today described its new platform to help developers more easily create mobile applications that make use of radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology. The company unveiled BizTalk RFID Mobile, a solution designed to work with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and other Microsoft products.
General availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile is expected in "late 2008," according to Microsoft's announcement. In the mean time, the company started a program for its customers and partners to test out the solutions. They can sign up for Microsoft's "BizTalk RFID Mobile Technology Adoption Program" through the Microsoft Connect Web site.
The reason Microsoft combines its BizTalk RFID Mobile solution with BizTalk Server 2006 R2 -- which is Microsoft's server for enabling business process management and service-oriented architectures -- is to better enable real-time business decision-making using RFID technology. The combined technologies can extend "business processes to Windows CE and Windows Mobile 5.0 applications," according to Microsoft's press release.
In addition to rolling out BizTalk RFID Mobile, which was announced at the RFID Journal Live 2008 event, Microsoft unfurled a new BizTalk RFID Standards Pack. The pack helps with the integration of various standards in RFID solutions, such as Electronic Product Code, Low Level Reader Protocol and Tag Data Translator.
RFID technology is typically integrated in small unpowered chips or tags, which work wirelessly at close range (about nine to 12 inches). The tags are sometimes used for inventory control management to keep track of pallets of goods, as well as for security purposes, although their use is somewhat at the experimental stage now.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.