Connecting remote sites to an ERP system can be challenging when connectivity isn’t available. With RFgen’s powerful Continuous Availability offline mobility solutions, you can continue seeing, moving, and consuming inventory—while disconnected from the ERP. Streamline continuity across your enterprise, regardless of connectivity state, even during ERP maintenance.
Why Continuous Availability Solutions
When it comes to offline data collection, making every site self-sufficient simply isn’t efficient or cost effective. Instead, let RFgen’s Continuous Availability solutions connect remote worksites to your tier-one ERP. RFgen’s sophisticated offline technology simplifies complex data synchronization routines to deliver maximum system uptime for mission-critical inventory operations.
Create Total Continuity for Data Collection, 24/7/365
- Manage Inventory while Offline. Highly reliable solution ensures barcode scanning, data collection, and material movements around the clock with 99.9% system uptime.
- Drive Revenue. Put an end to unnecessary losses and stoppages from lack of connectivity or ERP system maintenance windows. End-users continue working uninterrupted.
- Streamline Data Management for collection from multiple sources. Reduce complexity and IT burden with a seamless user experience.
- Robust and Intelligent. Distributed solutions combine advanced replication techniques, intelligent queueing, and lightly-coupled architecture to go beyond simple ‘store-and-forward’ methodologies.
How RFgen Continuous Availability Works
In RFgen’s default always-connected state, data collection transacts against the ERP in real-time or near-real-time. But when connectivity between a worksite and your ERP data center goes down, collected data can’t be transmitted, whether due to planned ERP maintenance or WAN/Internet outages. RFgen Continuous Availability (formerly called “High Availability,” or “HA”) uses a High Availability server deployed at site-level, corporate, or both, to replicate subsets of ERP data like inventory to ensure offline data collection.
If connectivity with the ERP is lost, end-users at an entire site or organization can continue scanning and processing work without interruption until the connection becomes available again.
While offline, RFgen keeps data up-to-date by constructing a local database to queue transaction data to send to back-end systems. When connectivity is re-established, RFgen seamlessly uploads all queued transactions to the ERP in real time using a queued FIFO methodology to preserve data integrity. Local activity tables are cleared as RFgen downloads the latest ERP snapshot with the latest copy of validation data.
Robust Data Collection for Disconnected Facilities
- Areas with unreliable infrastructure and sporadic or periodic WAN access, such as once per day
- Outlying warehouse storage with limited, slow, or no WAN connectivity
- Multiple locations operating simultaneously and connected to a centralized ERP located elsewhere
- Offshore oil platforms and deep-sea drilling rigs
- Underground mining operations
- Harvesting operations in rural areas
- JIT manufacturing with mission-critical operations and aggressive schedules
Offline Support for Multiple Operation Types
- Warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment
- Yard or outdoor storage
- Manufacturing and shop floor operations
- Process manufacturing
- Raw material harvesting and refinement
- Plant maintenance and MRO
- Delivery and field services
Remote Inventory Visibility
- Collect data and process jobs while disconnected from WAN, ERP, or enterprise software system, such as during planned system maintenance or unexpected downtime.
- Process inventory while offline with ERP or enterprise host system: raw materials, WIP, components, spare parts, fixed assets, finished goods, etc.
- Perform ERP inventory transactions while offline, including receipts, put away, picking, location transfers, issue to production or manufacturing orders, consumption, cycle counts, check-in/check-out for equipment, etc.
- Collect transactions indefinitely and perform multiple offline transactions per item.
- Includes the RFgen Transaction Manager internal application for robust intelligent transaction queueing and data submissions.
- RFgen Transaction Manager tracks and manages local activity while disconnected from enterprise systems.
- Utilizes combination of replication and database views to create accurate views for local users.
- Replicated ERP data queue or dequeue in serial manner (FIFO) when connection re-established.
Native Database Replication
- Employs native database capabilities and local inventory tables to track materials
- High reliability generated through redundant resources
- Minimal replication tables employed due to flexible architecture
- Improve reliability, fault tolerance, and accessibility
- Prevent stoppages from hardware failures or periods of sluggish network activity
- Create backups or synchronize multiple RFgen systems
Continuous Availability FAQs
What do you mean by “High Availability”?
“High Availability” can be a confusing term. RFgen uses the general information technology definition of High Availability to refer to a system or component in continuous operation for extended periods. While your ERP system is offline, the RFgen HA server will operate continuously until connectivity is restored. “High Availability” does not refer to failover or redundant servers for the ERP itself in the event or disaster (“Disaster Recovery” or “DR” Server). High Availability is now called Continuous Availability.
What data does the RFgen HA Server download from the ERP?
While connected to your ERP, the RFgen HA server can download the latest validation data from the ERP database, including quantity levels, locations, moves, consumption, and new work performed by the user. For more information, contact us to discuss your needs.
What’s the difference between Continuous/High Availability and Batch Mode?
RFgen High Availability solutions and RFgen Batch Mode both provide offline barcode scanning and data collection capabilities. High Availability is a server-side solution that uses a local High Availability (“HA”) server to enable continuous operations while a site is disconnected from your ERP for long windows with only periodic access to the ERP system. Batch Mode runs locally on the mobile hardware devices in a “fat client” while the device is temporarily disconnected from the network (Wi-Fi, cellular, WAN, etc.), preventing data loss or productivity interruptions for a short period.
Is RFgen High Availability a viable solution for remote countries?
RFgen High Availability servers can provide backup support for facilities or value-add sites in underdeveloped countries lacking reliable wireless infrastructure. Harvesting operations in remote parts of the world often require additional technology support when tightening inventory control. High Availability keeps the RFgen data set refreshed and up to date in these areas while also synchronizing the RFgen offline data set with the ERP when ERP connectivity returns. This is ideal for remote facilities with sporadic connectivity or very slow network connections back to the centralized ERP housed at a different location.
Solving the Problem of Remote Inventory
If you have warehouses in remote facilities, you know that inventory control can be a major challenge. So how do you ensure accuracy or visibility? Download this free white paper to learn how RFgen Continuous Availability solutions can help keep inventory moving, even when disconnected from the ERP.
RFgen’s High Availability option prevents us from losing any transactions. In a remote plant situation, that was critical to our need. Now, we’re producing over three transactions per minute, 24/7—that’s a lot of transactions!
Mike WheelerBusiness Analyst, Trident Seafoods