Comtech's µWEAVE Xchange, a suite of PC and server basedsoftware adapts legacy management systems into an Internet basedenvironment. It provides seamless integration with remote machines toenable the management of field based equipment without loss ofinvestment in existing legacy and back-office management systems.
The µWEAVE Xchange system connects 2 or more separate andnon-compatible applications. It is a symmetrical system, whereby theapplications can reside on servers or PC's at a central managementsite, and embedded PC's or µWEB modules within remote machines.µWEAVE Xchange is the Internet-based Middleware that providesrouting, format and management of data and services between anyapplication subscribers.
Typically, data is routed between the central application and theremote machine-based application, however the symmetrical nature ofthe system enables data to be exchanged between 2 or more dissimilarcentral manage applications, and 2 or more remote machineapplications.
An element of µWEAVE Xchange is µWEAVE Mailbox whichresides on customers servers and integrates the subscriberapplication into the µWEAVE Xchange communication system. Thisis a modular system enabling legacy applications to adapt into anInternet Protocol based environment, providing a migration to openstandards and interoperability across largely incompatiblesystems.
Variants are also available for Windows-CE based platforms,enabling PDA applications to be integrated within the system toaddress mobile and handheld needs.
A example of how µWEAVE can be used is in the addition ofcommunication to utility meters. Prior to adding communications,meters are read manually by visiting each installation and thenmanually inputting the data to the management system on return tobase.
Billing information is calculated by the system, which is thenprinted in hard copy format and posted to the customer. In summary,the management system existed for many years prior to addingcommunication capabilities to the meter, representing a significantinvestment and highly proven and reliable solution.
To adapt the system to gain the benefits of an automated andseamless solution the central application is front-ended withµWEAVE Mailbox, which adapts the legacy application into theInternet communication environment.
µWEB modules are integrated into the meter to adapt theequipment into the communication environment e.g. dial-up modem basedInternet connections.
Intermediate server based middleware in the form of µWEAVEXchange, provides the routing, format and management of data betweenthe µWEB-enabled meter and the µWEAVE Mailbox-enabledlegacy management system.
Other applications that could also benefit from the µWEAVEtreatment are:
- Vending &endash; where inventory, logistic and routingplanning management systems are current manually populated with'old information' collected from the previous maintenancevisit.
- Gaming machines &endash; where machine manufacturers may needto inter-operate with operators and retailers, whilst monitormachines for performance and security.
- Supply chain management &endash; where products need to betracked from warehouse to customer delivery with the eliminationof paper trails in favour of automated electronic tracking throughuse of bar coding, RFID and electronic signatures.
- Flow Monitoring &endash; where perhaps environmentalconditions are reported automatically through automated samplingrather than per site visits. Furthermore, this provides automatedenvironmental agency reporting for legislative purposes.
- Fuel Monitoring &endash; Automating the logistics, inventorymanagement and billing process between remote fuel tanks andcentral management systems.
- Telematics and Fleet Management &endash; Migrating currentcommunication systems to an Internet-based environment where'content' can be delivered to vehicles from central ApplicationService Providers for adding vertical services.
Published in Embedded Systems (Europe) June 2002