RF-iT Solutions were formed initially as a business venture division of Infineon in 2001, becoming a separate company in 2005 as a result of a management buy-out. Their headquarters are in Graz, Austria. Just before Christmas I started a set of 2 briefings with Dominik Berger, the CEO of RF-iT Solutions.
RF-iT Solutions uses a concept called a "Tube". What is a Tube? A Tube is a complete solution for an identification point. They represent a communication channel between tags or devices and IT back-end systems. At a macro level, Tubes include the specification and configuration of the hardware and the environment of the RFID subsystem at an RFID Identification Point-starting with the specification of transponders to the definition of a parameter set for reader and antennas, filter- aggregation and data processing routines up to the interfaces to Enterprise IT systems. Optionally Tubes can have a graphical user interface or, for example, a connector to automation equipment (Programmable Logic Controllers).
The You-R OPEN system integration platform consists of RFID edgeware components for runtime (You-R OPEN Tube Manager) and tools to develop (You-R OPEN Tube Builder) install, monitor, maintain and upgrade the RFID device infrastructure (You-R OPEN Administration Suite). The whole suite has been built on top of a Microsoft .NET platform. The components run on Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home, Windows 2000 (Family) and Windows 2003 Server. Tubes and Tube Manger run also on Windows CE or Pocket PC 4.2 or higher where the .NET compact Framework 2.0 runs. RF-iT Solutions informed Bloor that Tube Manager and Tube can also run on Linux with special support and that this will be fully supported in a release during 2008.
The components are:
- You-R OPEN Tube Builder is the graphical development tool for Tubes. There are several ready-made Tubes available that are stored in the Tube Library. They are stored as Tube Builder projects in the Tube Catalog. There is a Tube Library for Mobile device as well.
- You-R OPEN Administration Suite is a web-based project configuration and administration tool. It provides support for monitoring and configuring You-R OPEN environment. The web interface is able to run with a normal internet browser.
- You-R OPEN Tube Manager is the You-R OPEN component, which is installed on every work-station, on which one or more Tubes are connected to the Administration Suite. There is a release for standard Microsoft operating systems but also one for mobile devices running on Windows CE or on a Pocket PC operating system.
- The Verification Client is an additional component included in the You-R OPEN software package. It supports visualisation of a tag list that is currently in an antenna field to verify web service interfaces of Tubes to the Enterprise IT world and to verify and manipulate user data of transponders.
- You-R OPEN Enterprise Administration Suite is used to maintain more than one Administration Suite. It has a web interface to monitor and administer the software using a standard internet browser. An Application Server is used to enable the display of web pages. The communication between the EAS and several Administration Suites is organised by the Enterprise Administration Suite Service.
RF-iT Solutions You-R OPEN product set is well established in central Europe. The experience of the company in being involved in early RFID projects at the beginning of the century shows in the usability of the tool set. A lot of work has gone into making You-R OPEN components appeal to being used by SI personnel. When being taken through the demonstration, it became very apparent how quickly an IT-aware person could be quickly productive with the tool set. For RF-iT Solutions to grow further then they need to look at the development of a partner sales channel in the US and Far East. Bloor would recommend that You-R OPEN has a lot to offer and should be part of anyone's evaluation list for RFID middleware.