The EPCglobal Network is a computer network used to share product data between trading partners. It was created by EPCglobal. Basis for the information flow in the network is the Electronic Product Code (EPC) of each product which is stored on an RFID tag.
The network manages dynamic information that is specific to variable for individual products. This includes data regarding the movement of an object throughout the product life cycle.
The EPCglobal Network consists of the following components:
- Object Naming Service (ONS)
- EPC Discovery Services
- EPC Information Services (EPCIS)
- EPC Security Services
The ONS is a service that enables the discovery of object information on the basis of an EPC. With the Electronic Product Code a matched URL or IP-address is searched within a data base and sent back to the requester when found. Under the URL further information about the object which is associated with the EPC can be found. The ONS is comparable to the Domain Name System which is used in the internet to translate names into IP addresses. The ONS is an instantiation of Discovery Services.
The Discovery Services are an instrument to find EPC Information Services within the network. They can be compared to search engines of the internet. They offer trading partners the ability to find all parties who had possession of a given product and to share RFID events about that product.
The EPCIS is a standard designed to enable EPC-related data sharing within and across enterprises. This data sharing is aimed to enable all network participants a common view of object information. At the EPCIS each company designated who has access to its dynamic information.
The EPC Security Services are tools which allow a secured access to the information of the EPCglobal network in accordance to the access rights of the participants.