An RFID printer is a device that prints data on RFID label tags as they pass through the printer. An RFID writer is a device that writes specific data to a tag. Usually the RFID writer is used when a tag is already present on an item and important additional information must be logged. If you want to use an RFID writer, the tags must have read/write capability. An RFID reader is a device that reads RFID tags by using radio frequencies. The reader generates a field that activates the tags while they pass through the field. When the tags are activated, they transmit signals back to the reader, thereby identifying the objects to which the tags are attached.
An RFID device may support multiple functions such as reading, writing, and printing. For example, a device can support reading information from an RFID tag and writing new information or updating existing information on an
In the Order Fulfillment Scenario, the Comm Printer (RFID-enabled printer in the commissioning station) and the Dock Door Reader (RFID reader in the shipping station) are examples of devices. These devices communicate with RFID tags by using protocols such as EPC Gen2 or ISO. RFID devices also communicate with BizTalk RFID by using protocols that are abstracted by the DSPI (Device Service Provider Interface) Library. The following figure shows the protocol that is set up between BizTalk RFID, the devices, and the tags.
The tag information, in its simplest format, is the unique 96-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC) that typically contains item information such as description, type of commodity, and the company that produces the item.
An important element in establishing communication between tags and BizTalk RFID is the antenna. Antennas are typically attached to devices. The antenna powers up the tags, and the readers decode the data that is available in the tags. In the Order Fulfillment scenario illustrations, the dock door antennas are examples of antennas.
RFID Mobile Device
An RFID Mobile device is a device that runs Windows Mobile 5.0/6.0/6.1 and has the BizTalk RFID Mobile platform installed. In addition, a developer can use the BizTalk RFID Mobile SDK to create an RFID Mobile application. This application can be loaded onto an RFID Mobile device, and can use features exposed by the RFID Mobile platform.
In most RFID Mobile scenarios, the following flow occurs:
- The user pulls a trigger on a portable scanner to initiate a tag-read operation.
- The RF module integrated in the scanner sends out a signal to the surrounding area.
The RF module receives responses from any RFID tags in range.
The RF module passes the tag information to the BizTalk RFID Mobile platform, which is installed on the RFID Mobile device.
The BizTalk RFID Mobile platform sends the information to the RFID Mobile application. In turn, the RFID Mobile application can use the features of the RFID Mobile platform to store the tags locally or to forward the information to the remote BizTalk RFID server.