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Start-up's SOA framework links wireless sensor networks, IP backbone

By , Network World
October 30, 2006 12:08 AM ET

Network World - A start-up in wireless sensor nets has unveiled products with a service-oriented architecture that makes a sensor net an extension of the enterprise IP backbone.

Arch Rock's new Primer Pack combines hardware and software to deploy a six-node sensor network, with a gateway to the enterprise net, in about an hour, according to company executives. Besides the physical link between the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensing net and Ethernet, the gateway creates logical links at the data level using Web services. That means a wide array of existing enterprise tools, from Microsoft Excel to SAP ERP applications can make a simple Web services call to the sensor stored on the Gateway.

All of the gateway's functions, including IP connectivity, sensor node management and configuration, Web serving, and data collection and processing are all directly available as Web services, says David Culler, co-founder and CTO of San Francisco-based Arch Rock. "With all this, our sensor network becomes a well-behaved, useful citizen on IP networks, including the Internet," he says.

SOA has important payoffs, and other vendors in the wireless-sensor market are factoring it into their products, says Sam Lucero, a senior analyst at ABI Research. "Sensicast, Tendril, and MeshNetics all stress the importance of web services/SOA in their approaches," he says. "I do think it's an important step for Arch Rock, and I think the general trend for this industry is toward enabling Web services."

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