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A declarative SQL-like language and a middleware infrastructure are presented for collecting data from different nodes of a pervasive system. Data management is performed by hiding the complexity due to the large underlying heterogeneity of devices, which can span from passive RFID(s) to ad hoc sensor boards to portable computers. An important feature of the presented middleware is to make the integration of new device types in the system easy through the use of device self-description. Two case studies are described for PerLa usage, and a survey is made for comparing our approach with other projects in the area.