Preview: IBM Middleware for Remote Retail Server — Platform for the next-generation store

IBM United States Software Announcement 204-230
September 28, 2004


 ENUS204-230.PDF (125KB)

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TOC link At a glance TOC link Description
TOC link Overview TOC link Product positioning
TOC link Planned availability  
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At a glance

Middleware for Remote Retail Server delivers:

  • Power of IBM middleware technology designed for the retail store
  • Remote installation that is easy to manage and support
  • Tools and samples to enable retailers and ISVs to build new solutions faster
  • Java™ 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) standards-based platform that provides flexibility in choice of operating system
  • A platform for delivering the next-generation store

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Middleware for Remote Retail Server delivers a fully integrated platform to help manage remote environments such as retail stores and branch offices. This offering extends the IBM Enterprise Business Integration technology to distributed locations, enabling integration from the enterprise to the edge of your business.

Middleware for Remote Retail Server includes a robust J2EE application server, an assured message delivery component, a standard relational database management system, and management and monitoring agents in an easily installed middleware package. Leveraging the power of IBM Middleware Solutions for retail, you can integrate existing solutions, deploy new technologies, and better manage your entire business including:

  • Radio frequency identification (RFID) enablement for inventory management and asset monitoring
  • Digital video surveillance
  • Workbench solutions for mobile managers
  • Other Web-based applications that leverage thin, browser-based devices

This offering, coupled with IBM enterprise solutions, connects parts of your business together to enable:

  • Better access to customer, product, and sales information
  • Standard access to applications anywhere
  • Improved deployment and management of your organization's resources

Middleware for Remote Retail Server delivers a new integration platform for the retail store. This offering is a key component of the Store Integration Framework and the IBM on demand operating environment. Retailers can quickly respond to remove cost from the business, help increase employee productivity, and create a differentiated shopping experience for their consumers.

This offering provides an infrastructure for new solutions that help deliver an exciting and interactive shopping experience, and streamline store operations such as:

  • Mobile shopping devices with personalized information at the consumer's fingertips
  • RFID technology to speed the checkout process and locate merchandise in the store
  • Digital merchandising solutions that can provide consumers with dynamic product information and comparisons on demand
  • Accurate inventory information to help prevent erroneous reordering of merchandise

This offering enables solutions that can help store associates to be more productive and provide better service to consumers.

Middleware for Remote Retail Server delivers a J2EE standards-based platform for integrating current systems in the retail store, such as existing IBM POS applications, new POS solutions provided by IBM Business Partners, and the infrastructure to quickly deploy new solutions. It links the Web, the store, and the retail enterprise together to help the retailer determine it has the right goods, in the right location, at the right price with the level of service and the unique shopping experience consumers demand.
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Planned availability

IBM intends to make Middleware for Remote Retail Server generally available fourth quarter 2004.

Previews provide insight into IBM plans and direction. Availability, prices, ordering information, and terms and conditions will be provided when the product is announced.
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Middleware for Remote Retail Server uses the same infrastructure technology that IBM delivers at the enterprise, designed for the retail store environment. You can extend the enterprise technology that you rely on into the retail store environment and fully integrate your retail operations. Middleware for Remote Retail Server, as shown in the following illustration, delivers the on demand operating environment for the store and the core components of the Store Integration Framework.


At the bottom of the illustration is the operating system. You can select the operating system appropriate for your business. Because one size does not fit all, Middleware for Remote Retail Server allows for your choice of operating system.

Next is the Middleware for Remote Retail Server. The first package of components includes WebSphere® Application Server 5.1.1, WebSphere MQ 5.3, DB2 Universal Database® (UDB) 8.1 Fix Pack 4 (DB2® Workgroups), Tivoli® for monitoring Web infrastructure, Tivoli Monitoring for Business Integration, and Tivoli Monitoring for Databases.

The box at the left includes products that you can purchase to extend this core offering package in the store. For example, if you need tape storage, you can add the Tivoli Storage Management solution. If you are a 4690 customer, you can add WebSphere MQe and WebSphere MQ Gateway. These solutions, while outside of the packaging provided in the Middleware for Remote Retail Server, are also designed for use in the retail store.

The second package in the offering is the Middleware for Remote Retail Server Systems Management Accelerator. This package is delivered for use on Windows™ and Linux™ platforms, but through services engagements these accelerators can be made available for other platforms supported by WebSphere Application Server, including Sun Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX®. The Accelerator package includes sample files and examples for building, deploying, managing, and monitoring applications on WebSphere Application Server. It also includes file packages to help remotely deploy, manage, and monitor this environment for the retail store using the Tivoli components at the enterprise level.

In addition, you can use a variety of separately available extensions for specific solution implementations.

  • For RFID enablement, the RFID Extension delivers RFID filtering technology for managing RFID readers and RFID tags.
  • For managing business objects and application interaction within the store, you can use the J2EE Extension.
  • For managing movement of data, the Retail Extension Package delivers WBI adapters for Tlog and bulk data transfer.
  • The Digital Media Extension provides the tools necessary to deliver dynamic digital merchandising and digital surveillance solutions for remote control interfaces that support multiple data formats and devices.
  • If you run IBM 4690 applications such as General Sales Application, Supermarket Application, or IBM SurePOS™ Application Client Environment, the 4690 Extension offering delivers IBM Store Integrator and Data Integration Facility products for extending the POS environment. These solutions help integrate IBM POS applications and provide a standard API for other POS providers to access data and business logic. They can enable transaction integration at the fuel pump, kiosks, and mobile POS, and consumer shopping solutions.

The Middleware for Remote Retail Server, combined with these extensions, comprise the Store Integration Framework.

This offering also includes tools to assist not only clients, but also IBM Business Partners and ISVs in building new solutions for the store. You can use this toolkit with the WebSphere Studio Application Development Kit. It includes sample business objects to access and use POS data and business logic along with samples and examples for building solutions on the WebSphere Application Server platform.

Before planned availability in fourth quarter 2004, IBM is making this solution available to ISVs and IBM Business Partners. It will also conduct retail pilot programs of the new solutions. IBM intends to deliver an infrastructure that enables retailers to "test drive" new technologies.

IBM is enabling IBM Business Partners who support standards and who want to focus their attention on delivering solutions that address key business problems, while IBM delivers the infrastructure to support those solutions.

Contact your IBM representatives to learn more about the Middleware for Remote Retail Server and how you can begin harnessing its power to enable your business for the on demand world of retail.
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Product positioning

Middleware for Remote Retail Server is positioned as an infrastructure solution for retail clients who are focused on delivering new solutions within the store. These are retail clients, often global in size, with larger IT operations. Because IBM is delivering this solution packaged together to run unattended in a retail store, it can also be used by SMB retail clients who deliver a highly active service environment and want to use technology to support their requirements.


SurePOS is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
WebSphere, DB2 Universal Database, DB2, Tivoli, and AIX are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries or both
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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