The Importance of Testing Interoperability: MQTT Test Day

October 23, 2014

A lot of work is being done developing standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), standards like MQTT, CoAP, etc. A key benefit of these standards is that different implementations should be able to interoperate. However, as most people appreciate, the implementation of a specific standard can be open for interpretation so testing for interoperability is the only way end-users can achieve this benefit.

This is why I am pleased that we will be once again hosting an MQTT Interoperability Test Day. We hosted the first test day last year at EclipseCon. This year the MQTT community has significantly grown and the new MQTT 3.1.1 specification is just about to be ratified so there will be lots to test. Ian Craggs has already started to work on the conformance tests, so it should be an interesting test day.

The Test Day will be March 9, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, same location as EclipseCon 2015. Registration is now open so if you want to participate sign-up now. This event is only for people who have MQTT based products, client, servers or cloud services. We want a good mixture of hardware vendors, IoT platform/middleware vendors,cloud services and of course open source implementations.  You do not need to be using Eclipse Paho, Mosquitto or Moquette to participate.  The cost to participate is $300/person. However, if you are attending EclipseCon on the 4-day pass the fee is waived. If you are a member of the Eclipse IoT Working Group the fee is reduced to $150/person.

One final word, we have limited space for this event so if you want to attend please sign-up now.The success of this event will be a great example of how easy it is for MQTT implementations to inter-operate.  We will have the proof!


Why Your IoT Product Strategy Needs to Include Open Source

October 17, 2014

For the last two years, I have been talking about why open source will be critical to the success of the Internet of Things.  The current state of IoT/M2M is a lot of propriertary platforms and protocols. This can’t last and won’t win in the long term.

This week during a webinar about the new Vorto IoT project from Bosch, I saw the best illustration of why companies that don’t include open source in their product strategy will eventually fail.  Check out this slide about the Bosch IoT Platform Strategy:

Bosch Product Strategy

 

Bosch is one of the leading industrial companies in the IoT industry. They definitely get it and their analysis of the market is definitely worth considering. Consider each of their assumptions very carefully:

1. 2-5 major IoTS platforms (in next 5-7 years) – At the start of every new technology innovation there are lots of different platforms that are developed. However, overtime the industry consolidates around 2-5 key providers, ex databases, web servers, Java servers, etc.   This will happen in IoT.

2. At least one of them will be Open Source – Open source has proven to be a provider of production quality software. In many markets, open source is the dominant supplier.  There is no reason to believe that this will not be the case in IoT.

3. Bosch not able to develop one of these proprietary platforms alone and customers/partners would not accept it – Developing a proprietary platform takes a LOT of development resources but more importantly a LOT of marketing, sales, and business development resources. Even a company as large as Bosch recognizes this fact. Companies like Google, Apple, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft plus some others may have the resources and skills to compete but most companies don’t. Most companies will need to identify their key value add for IoT. Providing a platform is not going to be a value add that is sustainable in the long-term.

4. No risk/dependency on proprietary 3rd party platform – Bosch and other companies still need an IoT platform, so they are making a make vs buy decision. If they decide to not Make  (see #3) then the buy decision comes down to a proprietary platform or an open source platform. Considering #2, deciding to go with an open source platform provides a lot more flexibility and less risk of being dependent on another company.

If you are setting a product strategy for an IoT product, you will be faced with a Make vs Buy decision.  I think Bosch makes a pretty compelling case for open source. More importantly, Bosch has decided to be a leader in open source, ensuring they have a significant role and stake in the success.

Reason #2

The other reason open source is going to win is captured in by Matt Asay in his recent article. The answer of course is: Developers.  As Matt points out ‘Developers aren’t going to go for proprietary standards.’  And as Matt points out, developers are attracted to code:

But let’s be clear: None of these companies lining up to join this or that foundation will prove dispositive in cementing any particular standard as theopen source standard. Developers do that.

And developers are attracted by tools and platforms that make them more productive, fast. Getting a marquee list of donors to a foundation is meaningless if the foundation doesn’t generate code that appeals to developers.

This is why what we are doing at Eclipse IoT is so important. We have code, sandbox servers and tutorials to make it easy for developers to get start with IoT.

It is clear code and openness will win in IoT. Join us in creating an amazing IoT open source community.


IoT Unconference at EclipseCon Europe

October 14, 2014

At EclipseCon Europe, we will be hosting an IoT Unconference on Monday, October 27. This is a great opportunity for anyone to better understand what is happening in the Eclipse IoT community.  We will have updates from some of the key projects in the community, a technical deep dive into a recent project proposal from Bosch and lots of time to network and discuss IoT related topics. The details agenda is now available.

You can just attend the 1-day unconference or better attend the entire EclipseCon Europe event. I hope to see you there.

iot_logo_medium


Getting Started with IoT and Java:

September 29, 2014

Today at JavaOne we announced the Open IoT Stack for Java, a set of open source technologies that will make it easier for Java developers to build IoT solutions. The focus of the technology is to enable developers to connect and manage the devices, sensors and actuators that are part of their IoT solution. VisionMobile estimates there will need to be 4.5 million IoT developers by 2020.  The Open IoT Stack for Java is intended to help Java developers be some of those developers that are building IoT solutions.

To get started consider the following:

  1. Purchase some hardware, like the Raspberry Pi, and start experimenting.
  2. Check out the tutorial to build a smart greenhouse.
  3. Take the time to research and learn two new IoT standards, MQTT and CoAP. Eclipse Paho and Californium provide implementations of each.
  4. For the home automation DIY, learn about Eclipse SmartHome , a Java based framework for home automation.
  5. Discover the developer resources available at different sites, like iot.eclipse.org and java.net

If you are at JavaOne, please make sure you drop by our booth to see some very cool demos.


Eclipse @ JavaOne 2014

September 23, 2014

Next week is JavaOne, the annual pilgrimage to San Francisco for all-things Java. Over the years, Oracle has done a nice job of bringing back the excitement and community feel of JavaOne.

This year Eclipse will have a booth at JavaOne. We will be demoing our Eclipse IoT projects, Java 8 support in JDT, Flux, Orion and Che. If you are planning to attend the conference, make sure you come by the booth.

There are also a number of Eclipse related talks on the JavaOne schedule, so make you check them out.

 

 

 

 


Industrial Internet Consortium: a meeting of Industrial and IT for IoT

September 19, 2014

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) was announced this past March, founded by GE, AT&T, IBM, Intel and Cisco.  The purpose of the IIC is to create technology testbeds to demonstrate different IoT use cases and identify any potential gaps in technology or standards.  IIC is careful to explain they are not a standards group so they would feed any requirements into a standards organization.

This week I attended my first IIC meeting. The Eclipse Foundation joined IIC since the work we do is very complimentary. The ideal is that the IIC testbeds will use Eclipse IoT technology and new requirements from the testbeds will come back to the Eclipse IoT projects.

Based on my first meeting, IIC has accomplished what no other organization has done. It has brought together traditional industrial companies (GE, Toshiba, Pitney Bowes, Bosch, National Instruments, etc.) and more mainstream IT focus companies (IBM, Intel, Cisco, MS, etc) together into the same conversation. This is a critical accomplishment since the IoT industry needs to ensure the entire technology chain is compatible, all the way from the device to back-end enterprise system. The IIC testbeds are one way the industry will test for this compatibility.

Lots of people equate IoT with wearables or home automation. However, the real money in IoT is going to be on the industrial side connecting elevators, factory floors, wind farms, etc. These are complex systems that might not be consumer facing but will certainly drive the efficiencies and profits promised by IoT.

The IIC is just getting going. At the recent meeting there was lots of discussion about processes, vocabulary, detailed use cases, etc. To be honest, the more mundane details of starting an organization. However, the real “meat” will come when they start setting up the testbeds. It will be interesting to watch and participate in their progress.


Join the new Virtual IoT Meetup Group

September 2, 2014

In the past year, IoT events and IoT meetup groups have been created all over the world. A lot of the Meetup groups, including the one I attend in Ottawa, have great content and networking opportunities. Similarly, there is a wealth of IoT events that you can attend throughout the year.

However not everyone can attend a meetup or an event so we thought it might be useful to start a virtual IoT meetup group. A place where people can learn about new IoT technologies and hopefully meet other IoT enthusiasts. We already have a number of presenters lined-up to talk about the different Eclipse IoT technology but over time I hope this group will be more than just Eclipse IoT projects.  I do hope it can be a group for IoT technologist and enthusiasts.  Please join and let us know what you would like to learn.

FWIW, hat tip to the Simon Maples at ZeroTurnaround who runs the great vJUG and the inspiration for this group.


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