In my research on the RFID Middleware market, I came across a number of vendors that were new to me. In a series of articles, I will provide a short overview of these products. The third of these is WareLite, who provide a grid-based event driven integration product called BOSS that sits upon a .NET platform.
WareLite was founded in 2000 and has its headquarters in Andover, Hampshire in the UK. They also have a sales office in Milan, Italy. Not surprising when you consider that the CEO and one of the founders is Italian—Elena Pasquali. WareLite have a very small set of partners, that include Motorola and IBM. The latter is using BOSS as part of its retail proposition.
WL BOSS (Business Operating Support System) is a grid-based, event driven Enterprise Application Platform for Extreme Transaction Processing (XTP). A WareLite business process is a piece of complex logic triggered by an elementary, low-level event, such as a sensor signal, providing an automated, complete business response to such an event. On receipt of the signal, the WL BOSS computer ‘grid' selects an appropriate business process and executes it, propagating modified enterprise data to any number of databases.
Figure 1: BOSS Architecture (Source: WareLite)
BOSS is made of 3 layers:
- The Solutions layer contains all the Enterprise Business Logic in the form of collections of Business Rules, Business Processes and the Events and Agents that trigger them.
- The Infrastructure layer provides the following services:
- Persistence Providers built on top of a standard RDBMS manage persistence for all global persistent objects.
- Node Managers are responsible for the execution of transactional business processes.
- Lock Managers provide contention resolution
- Scalability: WL BOSS provides scalability as a service both at execution level (Node Managers) and at persistence level (Persistence Providers). This means that developers can develop single-threaded solutions that will be executed as multiple, completely parallel threads by WL BOSS on computer grids made of as many Node Managers and Persistence Providers as needed to provide the required capacity
- The Presentation layer is based upon XML.
For an RFID solution, WareLite have added some additional components to WL BOSS:
- RFID Abstraction layer (RAL)—provides the translation of RFID tag data from reader into XML. It also provides data aggregation support where a number of reads of the same tag have occurred in a sort space of time.
- RFID Simulation tool
In the opinion of Bloor Research the following represent the key facts of which prospective users should be aware:
- As a result or the architecture of the persistence layer, all business rules can have immediate access to all enterprise data. This means that different development teams, not communicating with one another, will develop event driven solutions for WL BOSS that will be natively interoperable.
- Developers do not need to take care of transaction management, determinism and scalability when developing solutions.
- WL BOSS does not expose any proprietary interfaces or APIs. Events are presented to BOSS as XML frames via message queuing