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Middleware Players Eye RFID

Specialized software to ease the strain of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) deployments on backend data centers is going to be big, experts say.

Last night, for example, software vendor BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) revealed its own plans to break into the RFID market during its annual earnings call (see BEA Reports & Hires).

Alfred Chuang, the companys CEO explained that the software firm will launch a new Web server product, codenamed RipCurl, which is designed specifically to meet the backend requirements of RFID. This will be available during the first half of this year, he added.

This could be a shrewd move. BEA, like a number of other software vendors, is feeling the squeeze in its licensing revenues, hence the need to explore new markets. Last year analyst firm Gartner Inc.

warned that there will be slow growth in the software space until around 2006 and blamed falling license sales for the financial shortfall many vendors are experiencing (see Software Slump Is Deal Time).

For these reasons, BEA is not the only company setting out its RFID stall. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), for example, has already adapted its popular WebSphere middleware product to monitor RFID-related activity.

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