Benefits through Utilising EPC Network Components in Service‐Oriented Environments – an Analysis Using the Example of the Food Industry

Ralph Tröger, Robert Reiche, Gerhard Schiefer


Improvements in the food sector imply enhancements of delivering food which is safe, affordable, readily available, and of the quality and diversity consumers expect. However, prevalent information systems (IS) of companies in the food industry are not ready to support further significant improvements. They especially lack the capability to exchange relevant information in an efficient manner.

Since recently, two major developments can be observed from IS perspective: the spreading of service-oriented architectures (SOA) as well as an increase in mass serialization (due to public and private traceability requirements, e.g.). So far, though most important due to food safety, a growing need to become more efficient as well as an increasing information demand of consumers, the food sector has attracted little attention in literature concerning an analysis about the potential of both service-orientation and the Electronic Product Code (EPC) Network. This is why this paper will investigate to which extent these two developments can contribute to facilitate food companies’ IS helping them to maintain their competiveness.

As a starting point, the research paper will depict the state of the art including SOA and the EPC Network. After describing the research approach, it will proceed with a characterisation of the food sector including an examination why there is need for action. Based on current research findings as well as experience gathered in recent projects, the paper will investigate the application of the EPC Network with its three major components, i. e. EPCIS (EPC Information Services), ONS (Object Name Service) and the EPC Discovery Services, as part of future IS architectures in this sector. The paper will close with a discussion whether the envisioned IS architecture is appropriate to accomplish the previously identified challenges and requirements in the food sector in a more agile, efficient and effective way. What is more, it will highlight the most pressing challenges and provide an outlook as to the following steps of the research.


Electronic Product Code; EPC Network; EPCIS; Food Industry; SOA; Object Name Service; Discovery Services

Full Text:



ISSN 1869-6945


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License