Standards can be specific to a discipline
(Telecommunication - modem), and yet can be common to many disciplines
(e.g., XML). Standards serve many purposes, from enforcing a disciplined
approach for quality control, to harmonising a community of different
opinions/ requirements. Standards that entail a description of procedural
sequences with a formatting specification are called protocols.
In the AOLA community, protocols areused to allow participants to
'talk' and 'explore' at the same time - which provide etiquette
for parties to follow, eliminating communication chaos.
Standards have been characterised
by practitioners using three attributes or dimensions, namely, the
level, the aspect, and the subject. 1) Level refers to the scope
of a standard, which can cover a small group of users, such as country-specific,
or it can involve coverage that extends into regional and international
levels, such as RFID air protocol. 2) Aspect refers to the genre
of standards such as coding and product standards; and 3) Subject
refers to the application areas such as procurement, RFID scanning,
mathematics activity, etc.
Each standard comes into existence through a
standardisation process. The process examines the initial design
of the standard and its subsequent maintenance. Here, such issues
as benefits (e.g., functionality, interoperability, adaptability,
etc.), costs (e.g., implementation cost, maintenance cost, etc.)
and risks (e.g., level of acceptance, etc.) would be considered.
Operationally, a community-based management framework with which
the standardisation process can be designed, monitored, reviewed
and updated should also be articulated.
Many parties are involved and much cooperation is needed to bring
a standard into existence. The process can be quick and ad hoc for
short-term standards development. For long-term standards, the impact
will be much wider; the development process is usually under the
direction of an association of certain user groups (i.e., the mathematics
education community), or a consortium of technology companies (such
could be the Asian RFID consortium) that have a stake in the economic
gain if the standard is adopted.
Committees, associations and consortiums, or organisations
in general, are created to see through the whole process of standardisation
and its maintenance, management and future extension. For the "level"
dimension, there are many such organisations such as ITU
(was formerly CCITT), ISO,
EAN.UCC (now GS1),
IEEE, etc. Some standards are long-lived. Some evolved over time
with continuous updates and changes to adjust to the change of time
and technology advancement. Participation of any standardisation
process can be voluntary or mandatory. The formation of these organisations
could be driven by international bodies such as the United Nations
Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT)
and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Standards can be proposed
by software companies (e.g., Microsoft's SOAP, etc.), computer companies
(e.g., IBM's WSFL, etc.), and professional organisation (e.g., IEEE's
802 standard suite, etc.).
In here, we discuss global standards with respect to RFID. For
AOLA and ePlatform, similar discussion is warranted.
RFID-related Global Standards
can be recorded on an RFID tag will fall into the consideration
if there are any global standards being used? The transmission
of data via air also calls for standardization. Some of the coding
standards have been in use for a while. Yet, the GDSN (Global
Data Synchronization Network) was just online last August (2004).
Information Infrastructure - global (such as EPCglobal network),
industry (e.g., DTTN
- Digital Trade and Transportation Network),
supply chains (e.g., EPCIS vs Chain-based EPCIS), and end-users
(e.g., consumers). Or the standards can be categorized as the
five stages in the life-cycle of elements:
- ISO 15693 - accepted in 2000, 13.56 MHz technology, originally
proposed by TI and Phillips Semiconductors in 1998, commonly referred
to Identification Cards, and of other names: Contactless Integrated
Circuits Cards, Vincinity Cards
Radio-Frequency Identity Protocols: Class-1 Generation-2 UHF RFID
Protocol for Communications at 860 MHz - 960 MHz, Version 1.0.9,
31 January 2005, © 2004 EPCglobal, Inc., 94 pages
Tag Data Standards Version 1.1 Rev. 1.2.6, 19 November 2004, ©2004
EPCglobal, Inc., 83 pages