REST: From Research to Practice

pp 359-379


RESTifying Real-World Systems: A Practical Case Study in RFID

  • Dominique GuinardAffiliated withInstitute for Pervasive Computing, ETH Zurich Email author 
  • , Mathias MuellerAffiliated withSoftware Engineering Group, University of Fribourg
  • , Vlad TrifaAffiliated withInstitute for Pervasive Computing, ETH Zurich

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As networked sensors become increasingly connected to the Internet, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or barcode-tagged objects are likely to follow the same trend. The EPC Network is a set of standards to build a global network for such electronically tagged goods and objects. Amongst these standards, the Electronic Product Code Information Service (EPCIS) specifies interfaces to capture and query RFID events from external applications. The query interface, implemented via SOAP-based Web services, enables business applications to consume and share data beyond companies borders and forms a global network of independent EPCIS instances. However, the interface limits the application space to the rather powerful platforms which understand WS-* Web services. In this chapter, we introduce tools and patterns for Web-enabling real-world information systems advertising WS-* interfaces. We describe our approach to seamlessly integrate RFID information systems into the Web by designing a RESTful (Representational State Transfer) architecture for the EPCIS. In our solution, each query, tagged object, location or RFID reader gets a unique URL that can be linked to, exchanged in emails, browsed for, bookmarked, etc. Additionally, this enables Web languages such as HTML and JavaScript to directly use RFID data to fast-prototype light-weight applications such as mobile applications or Web mashups. We illustrate these benefits by describing a JavaScript mashup platform that integrates with several services on the Web (e.g., Twitter, Wikipedia, etc.) with RFID data to allow managers along the supply chain and customers to get comprehensive data about their products.