Project: Integrative Test-Methodology for RFID Applications (ITERA)

The effects of the financial crisis have intensified the competitive situation on the market of logistic services. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the logistic sector seek to improve the quality of their services by reaching a higher sigma level which will lead to a lesser overall ratio of failures e.g. in the commissioning and also to lower respond times of a customer’s service requests. This positively effects the turnover on the one hand and mid and long term costs on the other hand caused by an improved attractiveness as service P and a more effective processing._x000D_Moreover, a malicious phenomenon for the European goods trade is brand piracy which caused a total loss of turnover by € 25 to 30 billion for German enterprises in 2008 and a worldwide loss amounting to € 250 billion._x000D_The logistics industry responded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to overcome both of the afore mentioned problems. The success of the new RFID-technology has yet proved its potentials for several years, the only hurdle SMEs still face towards an implementation is the cost factor which is significantly determined by the related software._x000D_In general, costs for automation systems are significantly determined by its software. In high performance software systems the part of testing takes 50% and more of the total costs. Moreover, the later an error found the more expensive the correction. This makes the use of powerful software testing methods a central element for affordable RFID-systems. Despite the fact that elaborating test methods and tools has yet been addressed, an integrated test methodology dedicated to RFID-applications and its specifics is still missing._x000D_As consequence the following problems are valid in this context:_x000D_• Late test phase_x000D_• Manual test with huge test efforts_x000D_• Test are not reproducible; no regression testing possible_x000D_• Agile Methods are not feasible due to a lack of a suitable test automation methodology covering all possible test phases and levels_x000D__x000D__x000D_To improve the situation especially for RFID-applications we aim to develop a new methodology dedicated to RFID-application testing with a focus on utilizing state of the art development processes and on automation and reuse issues. From the current point of view the general approach of the methodology to be defined can be divided into four steps. The first step is software module testing marking the earliest point of software testing. Followed by bottom-up integration testing including the relevant RFID-interfaces making sure that the utilized in-field-devices and adapters work. Step three will deal with top-down integration software testing. The basis of the test bed will utilize virtual RFID-devices simulating the behaviour of real RFID-devices so that at this point no hardware is needed for testing. The last step is a complete system test including the RFID-application and RFID-hardware. At this stage the aim is to grant an authentic system test of the entire RFID-related software to also cover errors that occur in terms of defective or interfering communication between encapsulated sub systems that seem to perform well working isolated. For a detailed description of the methodology see Section 2.2.1._x000D__x000D_Our overall goal is to provide developers of RFID-applications with a methodology to create efficient, transparent and reusable automated tests for integrated RFID-systems at a very early stage of application development. By doing so we utilize existing general purpose test software, self tailored RFID-application test software and hardware test devices dedicated to RFID as well as state of the art software development methods and processes. However, significant effort will be taken to elaborate formal descriptive means to grant a maximum of automated test generation and test automation and thus reusability and flexibility. The methodology will be underpinned by a software tool chain built up by several interlinked tools, frameworks and adapters._x000D__x000D_The CO benefits of this approach are: _x000D_• Early detection of errors_x000D_• Increasing the efficiency of the test process with a high degree of automation_x000D_• Use of Agile development methods._x000D_• Better parallelization of test phases and thus drastically improved software quality, reduction of development time and lower costs_x000D_• Application of approved methods for performance analysis and cost-driven performance improvement._x000D__x000D_For information about the consortium members please consult 2.4.1_x000D_

Acronym ITERA (Reference Number: 5516)
Duration 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2013
Project Topic Utilizing RFID-technologies is a key factor in strengthening the core competencies for SMEs in the logistic branch. Implementation costs for RFID-systems are significantly determined by software and effective sw-testing methods. Current solutions lack proper support for RFID-application testing.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The CO results for our company were findings through the implementation of the case study using a mobile RFID scanner and RFID tags for our transport containers. We realised that RFID technology is an enabling technology to simplify our logistic processes which helps us to increase process efficiency. Moreover, RFID technology can help us to implement higher levels of medicament safety which is a key success factor for us._x000D_Through case studies we gained the above mentioned valuable insights and the knowledge how this could be implemented into our IT landscape and processes._x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 4

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 eMundo GmbH Coordinator Germany
3 gm pharma GmbH Partner Austria
3 Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften FH Ingolstadt Partner Germany