What is Xpeak?
Xpeak is a project whose principal
objective is the definition of a standard for the connectivity of any type of
device (note dispensers, card readers, special printers, bar code readers, etc)
through the exchange of XML messages.
Xpeak was also born as an Open Source
project which will provide the necessary software to put into effect the
standard itself, including device drivers.
Who participates in the definition of Xpeak?
Although Xpeak is open to the whole
community and participation in the project is totally free, it is moderated by
the R&D Open Source Foundation (www.fidesol.org), participated in equal parts by
Sun Microsystems (www.sun.com)
and Intecna. (www.intecna.es).
The initial code contribution is the responsibility of Cashware (www.cashware.biz),
one of the leading companies in devices connectivity through the use of
standards (CEN/XFS and J/XFS).
Isn’t Xpeak reinventing the wheel?
The definition of standards for device
access is something which has been done for many years now. Although Xpeak does
not claim to reinvent anything, it does wish to create a new standard based on
previous experiences (basically CEN/XFS, J/XFS and Java POS) allowing the
community itself to decide its evolution.
Up until now, the way in which existing
standards have evolved has been through private committees in which, although
open to any company, the decision making process is so bureaucratic that it does
not allow the specifications of the standard to be adapted to the changes
contributed by a new device.
Is Xpeak linked to any operating system?
No. Xpeak is simply a definition of what
a device can do, not how it should be done. Xpeak defines the different commands
that can be accepted by the peripherals, detailing the input and output
parameters as well as the events which may be produced by the devices.
The implementations based on Xpeak, as
in the case of the Cashware company’s Xpeaker, can, or not, be dependent on an
operating system or a determined architecture.
Can Xpeak be used from any programming language?
Yes, if an implementation for this
language exists. One of the objectives of the Xpeak project is the devolopment
of APIs compatible with the Xpeak definition for any language (Java, C, C++, C#,
Pascal, etc.) and operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, etc.).
Why is Xpeak said to be an Open Source project if it deals only with specifications?
Effectively, Xpeak is only a collection
of specifications, but the project stems initially with the contribution of the
Xpeaker product, from the Cashware company. This said product is Open Source,
complying 100% with the Xpeak standard and can serve as a reference for new
¿What is Xpeaker really?
Xpeaker is a collection of software
projects, integrally developed by Cashware, with the philosophy of Open Source.
Xpeaker includes the following elements:
An Eclipse Plugin which permits:
- Tests on the devices compatible with Xpeak to be carried out.
- Designs Forms
- Shares code
Made up of:
- A set of basic classes for the development of Xpeak Services in Java.
- A collection of real device Services, including cash dispensers and recyclers, card readers, cheque readers, printers, bar code readers, etc.
High level API for access to Xpeak
Services. Xpeaking permits access to said services from different programming
languages (Java, C, C++, C#, Pascal)
Is Xpeak compatible with other standards?
No. Xpeak is a completely new definition
for the access to devices. Although it has taken other standards as a reference,
there is no degree of compatibility with them.
Anyway, it is possible that projects
which perform wrappers that permit the use of actual standards from Xpeak
services will appear.
Is Xpeak free?
Any company can download for free both
the Xpeak specifications and the Cashware Xpeaker implementation, including the
source code. In this way, users can perform device tests (both real and with the
included simulators) for free, as well as the integration of the devices into
As regards the Xpeaker product, although
several modules are totally free, the device drivers are licensed in two ways.
On one hand, it is possible to acquire completely free of charge all the drivers
without any limitation; in this case Cashware will not provide a maintenance
service and their update will not be regulated. The other type of licence,
Xpeaker Pro, includes software maintenance and the necessary updates. More information