EPCglobal Inc, a part of GS1, a not-for-profit standards organisation entrusted with driving the global adoption of Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology and the EPCglobal Network, today announced the ratification of a new software standard for using EPC technology in the supply chain.
The standard, known as the Application Level Events standard, or ALE, is the first created by the EPCglobal community specifically for software. ALE was developed by more than 100 leading companies within a workgroup of the EPCglobal Software Action Group and establishes the approach EPC-enabled software products will take in collecting, managing and routing data that EPC technology generates in the supply chain.
The community is making swift and positive strides in the ongoing commercialisation of RFID and EPC technology, said Chris Adcock, president of EPCglobal Inc. This software standard will facilitate the creation of a standardised approach for filtering and collecting EPC information within the EPC-enabled enterprise, allowing the development of systems that will achieve business value more effectively and efficiently.
Todays announcement follows successful interoperability testing of prototype software from several technology providers, including Acsis, ConnecTerra, GlobeRanger, IBM, Progress Software and Reva Systems. The tests ensure that the implementations built to the standard will work with each other to meet the requirements of suppliers, manufacturers and end-user companies operating across multiple industries.
Standards developed by the EPCglobal community are foundational elements in the continuing build-out of the EPCglobal Network, which combines RFID technology, existing network infrastructure and the EPC to provide accurate, cost-efficient visibility of product information throughout supply chains.
As with other standards developed by and within the EPCglobal community, the new software standard is royalty-free, having been developed by solution providers and end-user companies working in cooperation with each other. Royalty-free standards are a primary goal of EPCglobal, and will aid in the rapid creation of standards-based, interoperable products and the widespread deployment of EPC technology. As hardware suppliers produce chips, tags and readers that will form the physical components to capture data for use in the EPCglobal Network, software is a critical component in the effective sharing, distribution, location and usage of EPC-generated data.
Successful capture, filtering and collection of data is essential in helping companies realise the full business benefits of the EPCglobal Network, Adcock said. We applaud the work of the many companies that collaborated in developing this important standard.
The new standard joins other EPCglobal standards, including the UHF Generation 2 standard, which was ratified in December 2004.
An EPCglobal standard ensures interoperability and sets minimum operational expectations for various components in the EPCglobal Network, including software and hardware components. While EPCglobal oversees interoperability and conformance testing of standards-based products, the actual development of these products comes from leading solution providers around the globe.