FireflyRFID designs its product line as “system appliances” that deliver the "stand-alone" functionality expected from each "appliance type". In our product line, an appliance is available for every point along the supply chain ... and each is optimized for use in retail, warehousing, DC's or manufacturing duties. Users have the opportunity to select "plug and play" solutions for EAS monitoring, inventory surveillance, object location, or track 'n trace.
Each appliance type delivers the core RFID functionality expected for use in retail, warehousing, distribution and for factory applications such as Work in Progress (WIP) applications.
Traditional RFID Application Development
In traditional RFID application development, the main server holds the complete application and gets its data feed from a middleware layer. That middleware layer resides either on the server or in "edge servers" that reside near the RFID readers.
With traditional RFID apps, middleware resides between the application and the readers, aggregating data from the multiple readers, providing the conversions from the different reader interfaces to finally pass the "purified data" upstream to the app. The advent of smart readers and a common reader interface, however, have greatly marginalized the value of traditional middleware.
RFID middleware is today morphing into more of a business rule engine and development platform.
That said, Firefly RFID appliances can be used by middleware platforms as well.
The Firefly RFID Appliance Approach
The concept behind the Firefly RFID appliance is that the application functionality is built into the device itself. This allows the reader to be defined for the particular configuration such as overhead monitor, portal, or RFID-based EAS. This embedded architecture makes it easy for the end-user to deploy specific RFID coverage and applications without needing in-house RFID expertise.
Developing Applications with Firefly RFID Appliances
With the Firefly RFID Appliance Architecture, the RFID application can become as simple as the main server which contains the top-level application (such as a WMS app or a Retail Store system app), getting its data feed directly from a Firefly appliance (shown in the following diagram as the ALE interface).
In this example, no middleware is required.
In the following example, a mixed solution is being used where the application receives its data directly from one or more RFID appliances (the green ALE interfaces) AND a middleware layer (the blue ALE interface) AND/OR a custom interface such as a barcode reader, display signs, light stacks, etc.