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TagNet Introduction & Concepts

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TagNet Introduction & Concepts

This guide is intended to familiarize you with Stratum Global’s RFID solution which is called TagNet™. TagNet is a suite of end-user focused software applications that supports the tracking of objects in closed loop applications, asset management, access control and Trading Partner compliancy. TagNet goes beyond just basic middleware to allow you to truly manage your RFID resources and tag events within your enterprise using a point-and-click browser interface. Shown below is a pictorial that comprise the TagNet suite of modules.

Key Business Advantages

RFID can be deployed in many industries and use cases.  TagNet is designed to be very horizontal to support multiple object type tracking in diverse environments.

Vendor & Technology Agnostic… TagNet is agnostic to the Reader community and supports multiple RFID technologies such as Passive, BAP, Active and UWB (Ultra wide band). All have their own sweet spot in regards to what object visibility solution they are intended to address. These RFID technologies can operate concurrently within one footprint of TagNet.

Deployed Platform Agnostic… TagNet can be deployed to multiple hardware platforms, operating systems and databases. This runs the gamut from Wintel to IBM eServers all accessed by a common Browser interface. The typical enterprise of today has many applications running on a variety of platforms all of which are potential consumers of RFID event data.

Use Case Agnostic… TagNet focuses on the movement of objects and this approach lends itself to support a plethora of use cases within many industries. Objects can be traditional supply chain related (such as Cases, Pallets, etc.), Assets (containers, IT & MRO equip, construction equipment, etc.) or People (workers, visitors, etc).  Additional value is achieved when an association can be made between individuals and the tagged objects they work on, touch, or transport.

Directional Intelligence… TagNet provides the ability to determine the direction of objects as they travel through a portal or read zone. This is done without triggers and has the ability to pick out concurrent bi-directional traffic. This enables subscribing systems to know whether inventory is being relieved or replenished, whether assets or leaving or entering a given room or building, and whether workers are coming or going during a shift change.

Event Visualization… TagNet goes beyond simple signal lights to indicate tags being read at an RFID portal. Meaningful object information including images can be pushed to any windows desktop in real-time (including mobile phones & PDA’s) indicating what tagged objects were just read at a given RFID read zone or choke point.

Secure RFID Computing… TagNet does not commission any intelligence into the tag number (excluding EPC) thus ensuring that sensitive assets cannot be easily resolved by unauthorized scanning. Anyone with a commercial RFID reader attempting to read an asset tag will only get a non-descript Tag ID that is essentially meaningless. Only those tags that are read through the TagNet system are resolved to what the actual object ID is and its attributes.

Universal GPIO… TagNet provides a simple ‘black box’ concept (known as SmartBox) that enables both input sensors and output devices for any reader supported by TagNet. With this is a universal scripting language (RCL) that provides users the flexibility in configuring and monitoring GPIO conditions. This TagNet capability avoids proprietary GPIO connecters & software as found with multiple reader platforms.

Camera Integration… TagNet provides integration with IP based digital cameras to capture images of events as tags pass through a given portal or read zone. This image is then associated with the tag event that can viewed by TagNet portal Event Viewers either in real-time or after the fact.

Mobility Integration… TagNet provides a suite of mobile applications deployed to handheld integrators and lift truck reader platforms that leverage TagNet Server’s repository either in a connected or disconnected mode. This enables customers to bring RFID read events to the tag population where it makes sense to.


TagNet provides these key features unique to its architecture:


1.Reader Abstraction/RFID Hardware Agnostic. This insulates our customers from the lower level technology of RFID readers and managing the multiplicity of different manufacturer interfaces. It abstracts physical readers to a logical reader concept that a business user can readily understand and work with. TagNet supports Passive, Battery Assist Passive (BAP), as well as Active readers in a plug n’ play mode.

Benefit: as the RFID hardware community matures, and as customer’s needs evolve, they can upgrade (or switch) readers with little or no effect on invested business rules in TagNet.


2.Flexible Deployment Model TagNet Server can be installed behind a customer’s firewall in a traditional enterprise model or can be deployed as a ‘Cloud’ instance to support a SaaS model if so desired by the customer. TagNet provides an easy to deploy browser based interface consistent with Internet based technologies that enables this flexibility.

Benefit: Using Cloud hosting services and virtualization, Stratum’s customers can scale their TagNet instances much more rapidly and cost effectively.


3.Extensible Object Repository. TagNet provides a capability for ‘User defined Attributes’ that enables customers to define their own data elements for association with Assets or Personnel.

Benefit: substantially reduced effort to provide releases purely to support new database enhancements based on the growing number of industries adopting TagNet. Customers can implement much more rapidly and harmonize data with existing Asset management Systems. 


4.Mobility Support. TagNet provides a suite of Mobile applications that leverage the TagNet Server Object Repository enabling full life cycle RFID Asset Management capabilities.

Benefit: extends the reach of RFID beyond that of fixed portals within the enterprise or in remote locations and provides flexibility for smaller organizations to adopt RFID.


5.Rules based engine that enables customers to manage the movements of RFID tagged objects in a non-technical way such as to maintain an accurate perpetual inventory or monitor the movement patterns of human resources (employees, visitors, etc.). Camera and PLC integration can be incorporated into those use cases to validate and enforce those object movements across physical boundaries.

Benefit: Customers can deploy complex object management policies using a configuration management approach.


6.Provides an Event Subscription Model that enables integration to multiple systems associated around a given physical RFID event with an example being a population of tagged assets passing through a TagNet managed portal. There could be various subscribing systems that would be interested in that event such as an ERP, WMS, or Quality Control System.

Benefit: each subscribing system can get a different slice of the event data based on their mission requirements in either real-time, near real-time or batch. Distinct portals can have different business rules driven by reusable business logic routines known as ‘event bindings’. This provides unprecedented flexibility and scalability wrapped around a variety of use cases. 


7.RFID Order Fulfillment & Warehousing Capabilities. In addition to managing perpetual Asset & Product Inventory, TagNet provides a simple interface to enable ERP systems to export data for Order fulfillment via RFID enabled lift trucks, fixed portals and handheld readers.

Benefit: provides advanced warehousing capabilities using RFID Inventory management methods. Extends the capabilities of ERP and other legacy systems to include RFID processes into their workflow.



Stratum’s philosophy is that no customer should be tied into one hardware vendor or in fact one RFID technology. The typical enterprise may use passive tags to track low value or consumable products, BAP for yard management and perhaps active where RTLS is required. All of these scenarios can play out with one footprint of TagNet.

An important byproduct when using TagNet for capturing primary use case transactions is that the underlying tag events are ripe for data mining. Patterns of tag movements can be evaluated such as utilization of dock doors based on traffic, or assets as they are being checked out. All of these can be assessed and hence improve business operations.

In summary, TagNet represents ‘a network of Tags’… that can provide a greater awareness of movement, visibility, and state of objects in the enterprise.

This guide is intended for all audiences that will be general users of TagNet Server. It has a section for every module, breaking down into each function reviewing operational aspects with detailed screenshots explaining all attributes. In order to adequately prepare for your TagNet software implementation, you should have gone through TagNet training via your Stratum Global authorized implementation partner.

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