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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Top 10 RFID Developments of 2007

RFIDUpdate has just posted about the Top 10 RFID Developments in 2007. Here they are:

#10 -- The Time is Now for Real-Time Location Systems
#9 -- EPCglobal Ratifies Data-Sharing Standard
#8 -- Who Says There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?
#7 -- Microsoft Offers Embedded RFID Support

Microsoft released its first major IT infrastructure product with native RFID support, which has important implications for RFID users and vendors alike. BizTalk Server 2006 R2 became the first Microsoft product to ship with RFID support when it was released in September. The software integrates various enterprise applications and data structures, and is the latest major update to the BizTalk software line, which Microsoft reports is used by more than 7,000 organizations worldwide, including 90 percent of the Fortune 100 and 12 of the 15 largest retailers.

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 includes APIs and other features to manage RFID data and devices. Microsoft is positioning the product as a plug-and-play solution to help users integrate RFID tracking capabilities into their supply chain applications. Native RFID support in enterprise IT systems would reduce or eliminate the need for middleware, custom programming, and integration, thereby making RFID easier to use and changing the role RFID integrators play in developing and implementing solutions. Microsoft has already announced several blue-chip RFID customers who use the new BizTalk release and RFID vendors who support it.

A number of industry observers were very bullish on the impact that BizTalk's native support for RFID will have on adoption, including John Fontanella of AMR Research, who called it nothing less than a "watershed moment."

Related coverage: #6 -- Intel Introduces Chip That Could Commoditize RFID Readers
#5 -- Wal-Mart: Price Leader, Yes; Thought Leader, ?
#4 -- Vendor Focus Shifts from Broad to Deep
#3 -- METRO Moves Ahead
#2 -- Strong European Innovation & Adoption
#1 -- Cautious Optimism Emerges
The Microsoft proposal to reduce or eliminate the need for middleware, custom programming, and integration is definitely a bold bet. We've been benchmarking Microsoft and other offers in this area, hopefully I'll post about it when I can.

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Development Catharsis :: Copyright 2006 Mário Romano