Eclipse IoT Day @ Thingmonk

July 25, 2016

One of my favourite IoT events is the Thingmonk conference produced by Redmonk. The speakers and attendees are always amazing and provide great insight into the IoT community in the UK and Europe.   This year the speaker line-up for Thingmonk is looking awesome so I expect to learn lots again this year.

A new addition for Thingmonk this year is that we are organizing an Eclipse IoT Day @ Thingmonk on Day 0. We are planning an equally awesome line-up of speakers that will showcase how open source and Eclipse IoT has changing the IoT industry. The Eclipse IoT Day speaker will include:

  • Kamil Baczkowicz from DeltaRail will be talking about their experiences of using MQTT and Eclipse IoT for building signal-control systems for railways. This will be real IoT in action!
  • Patrizia Gufler from IBM Watson will showcase her work for integrating Eclipse Kura with IBM Watson.
  • Kai Hudalla from Bosch will continue an IoT cloud theme in his talk about an Open IoT stack for IoT@cloud-scale.
  • Our very own Benjamin Cabe will also be talking about the Eclipse IoT open strategy.

We plan to announce a few more speakers over the next couple of weeks. It should be pretty awesome.

After the Eclipse IoT Day, will be the Thingmonk HackDay. I fully expect to see further hacks on integrating Eclipse Kura with IBM Watson, Eclipse IoT running on Cloud Foundry and IBM Watson, and I am sure Benjamin will bring along some new boards.

This is going to be a great way to kick-off Thingmonk. Eclipse IoT Day @ Thingmonk is September 12 and Thingmonk is September 13-14. The costs for Eclipse IoT Day is £50.00 . You will want to stay for the full 3 days and that costs only £200.00.  This is a great event that you won’t want to miss.


Eclipse Marketplace: Neon and 20 Million

June 23, 2016

The Eclipse Neon release is now out. I also noticed Eclipse Marketplace just passed the 20 million successful install milestone. Wow, that is a lot of developers using Eclipse Marketplace.

Eclipse Marketplace - 20 million

For the Neon release, there are two key features that I think will accelerate the use of Eclipse Marketplace Client (MPC).

  1. Eclipse MPC now allows you to store your Favorite with your Eclipse account. The other very cool feature is you can import someone else favorite list. Here is my favorite list if you are to give it a try.

mpc favorites

2. In Eclipse Neon, selecting the text editor for associated file types now allows a user to search Eclipse Marketplace Client for plug-ins that support that file type. This should make it a lot easier for developers to find the appropriate plug-in from Eclipse Marketplace.

Congratulations to everyone that made the Eclipse Neon release possible. Another great community collaboration.

 


UUID Removal from Neon

June 14, 2016

Two weeks ago, we informed the Eclipse community cross-projects mailing list that a unique user id (UUID) had been introduced into the upcoming Eclipse Neon release. The UUID was introduced to help the Eclipse Foundation better understand how developers are using Eclipse. However, the implementation automatically generated the identifier, and the user only had the opportunity to opt-out, not opt-in. Not requiring an explicit user opt-in was a mistake on our part, and we apologize for our error.

Luckily, the feedback from the community was clear, immediate and negative, so we quickly removed the UUID code. The code has now been removed and the Eclipse Neon release will not include any form UUID. If you are interested in the details I suggest you read the mailing list archives and these bugs.

Anyone who downloaded Eclipse Platform SDK Neon milestones between M7 and RC4 will have an Eclipse UUID located on their computer in the ${user.home}/.eclipse/eclipse.uuid file. The created UUID file will not be used in the Neon release but you might still want to delete this file. The Eclipse Foundation is also taking steps to delete all the UUID information we have received.

Thank you to everyone in the community that provided the feedback to highlight the error of the UUID implementation. This is a good example of how open source communities can make better decisions.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


OMA Survey Points to Importance of Open Standards and Open Source

June 13, 2016

The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) recently published a survey about the trends of open source and open standards in the telecommunication industry. Like some other standards groups, OMA has noticed a trend in developer-led adoption of standards and the importance of open source to attract developers.  The Eclipse IoT Working Group has been working closely with OMA on the Lightweight M2M (LWM2M) standard implementation in Eclipse Leshan and Eclipse Wakaama.

The survey results are interesting since the OMA members and community is mostly in the telecommunication industry. Teleco’s aren’t typically participating in the Eclipse community so a survey of this industry is of interest.

The complete survey result is available from the OMA web site. Here are some highlights:

  1. An increasing participating rate in open source

52% of the respondents are already participating in open source projects and 57% think their participation will be increasing. The overall participation rate is what I would expect. Lots of organizations in the telecommunication industry really don’t participate in open source. However, it is great to see the participation rate is expected to increase.

  1. Open standards + Open source is the future

Over 80% of the respondents identified the trend ‘Open source implementations of open standard specifications’ as the dominant trend over the next several years. This confirms the mission of the Eclipse IoT community to be the source of key IoT specifications, like OMA LWM2M, OneM2M, MQTT, CoAP and others.

TELECOM SERVICES TREND Copyright © 2016 Open Mobile Alliance Ltd. All rights reserved. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% ...

  1. Closer partnership between open standards and open source communities

I firmly believe open standards and open source implementations are required to encourage widespread adoption of technology. The survey respondents seem to agree, 70% agree the role of open standards is different than open source and 80% agree open standards can benefit from a closer relationships with open source communities.  The main reason given were: 1) early open source implementations of standards can provide feedback to improve the standard, and 2) open source implementations help with dissemination and proliferation of the standard.

OPEN STANDARDS + OPEN SOURCE Copyright © 2016 Open Mobile Alliance Ltd. All rights reserved. Agree 80% Disagree 3% Neutral...

This is certainly our experience of providing open source implementations of standards like MQTT and LWM2M.  As Benjamin Cabe recently presented, the Eclipse Foundation has a lot of success working with open standards groups. If IoT is going to be successful we need to develop these close relationships with some of the key standard groups like the OMA.

  1. Eclipse IoT is well positioned in the telecommunication industry

The Eclipse Foundation was the #1 open source community with over 30% of the participants indicating they are participating in an open source community. My assumption is this is due to the work in Eclipse Leshan and Eclipse Wakkama on OMA LWM2M and Eclipse OM2M on OneM2M.

I look forward to working more closely with the OMA and the telecommunication partners. The future of IoT is definitely based on open standards and open source!OS PROJECT PARTICIPATION OMA Confidential | Copyright © 2015 Open Mobile Alliance Ltd. All rights reserved. 0.0% 5.0% 10.0...

 

 


New Eclipse Download Page

May 17, 2016

The Eclipse Board of Directors has asked the Eclipse Foundation to redesign the eclipse.org download page. The current download page is focused on the existing Eclipse packages and projects that are compatible with the Eclipse Platform. However, in the last number of years the Eclipse community has grown in diversity and now includes may projects that don’t necessarily fit into our packages or even the Eclipse Platform. Therefore,  the goal of a new download page is to reflect this growing diversity and showcase this diversity on our most important page.

Given this direction, we have created a draft of the new download page. The design of this new page was completed with the following objectives/assumptions:

  1. It is assumed a large majority of the visitors to the download page will be looking for technology found on the current download page. Therefore, we need to make it clear and simple for individuals that want to download the Eclipse JDT, Eclipse JavaEE tools, Eclipse CDT, etc.
  2. Our focus on installing the existing Eclipse packages is to encourage individuals to use the Eclipse Installer. It is our hope that in 12 months the current package download page will no longer be needed. The current package download page will remain the same and will be linked from this new page.
  3. We need to limit the number of options on the download page so it doesn’t become overwhelming. The goal for the new design is we don’t have more than 20 different options on the page.

 

As you will see the new download page has 3 main sections:

  1. Tool Platforms

Our challenge is we now have multiple platforms for creating/integrating tools. For the Eclipse Classic, our strategy is to point everyone to the Installer. For our download page, we will only promote the Installer and not individual downloads of packages or projects.

If a tool is not accessible from the Installer, we will evaluate the inclusion on the download page based on the following: 1) Project is a platform for integrating developer tools, 2) project has a download ‘tool product’ that can be used by a developer immediately after the installation. 2) project is not available as a plugin into the Eclipse Classic platform, 3) project is following the EDP :-)

  1. Runtime Platforms

We have a number of projects that are not tools but application/runtime platforms for running applications. A Runtime Platform will be defined as a project that includes a runtime container, like Eclipse Jetty, Eclipse Equinox, etc.

  1. Technology Communities

It is important we promote our Working Groups and other technology communities within Eclipse. Working Groups are a critical part of the Foundation strategy so we need to include them on our highest traffic web page. For Working Groups or communities to be included, they will need to have a maintained download page with at least 3 different downloads that include 3 different Eclipse projects and following the EDP.

I think the new page looks great. It is modern, simple and achieves all the goals. Thanks for Eric, Kat, Matt and everyone else at the Foundation for doing a great job.

Let us know what you think. Please leave your feedback on this bug.


Can open source solve the too many IoT standards problem?

April 22, 2016

An important issue in the IoT industry is the plethora of IoT standards that exist today and new standards being created. The current situation for IoT standards has been described as a ‘Trainwreck for IoT Vendors‘ and the implication being IoT solutions are going to be pretty dumb. In the recent IoT Developer Survey, interoperability was one of the top concerns, so it is definitely been on the minds of IoT developers.

If we look at why there are so many IoT standards, there are many answers. The simple fact is that all standards are not created equal and some solve very different problems. Many of the different standards exist at different layers of the stack; just like the Internet. There is also lot of innovation required in the IoT industry to enable many of the use cases,  for example, LPWAN. We also have to remember IoT is not new. Lots of industries have have massive investments in equipment that uses an existing standard that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Those are some of the valid reasons for the different IoT standards. Of course, they are many not great reasons; as the saying goes ‘standards are like toothbrushes, everyone wants to use one but not other peoples’. XKCD captures the spirit of the worst possible situation for a new IoT standard.

standards

It is time we accept there will be a plethora of IoT standards. Some will become more widely adopted than others, some will fail but we will never get to the ‘one IoT standard to rule them all’. It is just not realistic.

However, we still need to solve the issue of interoperability. There are many use cases of Things/Devices that communicate using different standards but will need to communicate in a consistent manner. It seems to me the only way this interoperability challenge will be solved is in software and ideally open source software. We need an open software platform that enables the standards bazaar and not try to create a cathedral. Kai Kreuzer, Eclipse SmartHome project leader, has published a great video on this topic for Home Automation.

Interoperability is not going to be solved in standards groups. It is going to be solved with running software. Open source IoT platforms are going to be the bedrock for the IoT industry. There is just no other way it will work.


Profile of an IoT Developer: Results of the IoT Developer Survey

April 14, 2016

Today we release the results of our second annual IoT Developer Survey. Like last year it provides an interesting insight into how developers are building IoT solutions.

This year the Eclipse IoT Working Group partnered with IEEE IoT and the AGILE-IoT research project to expand the scope and respondent pool for the survey. Thanks to this partnership, we had 528 participants in the survey, up from 392 last year. The partnership also allowed us to analyze the data to look for any significant difference between the different IoT communities.

As with any surveys of this nature, I encourage readers to see these results as one data point that should be compared with other data and industry trends. These results will have certain biases but I do believe these results identify some interesting trends in the IoT industry.

Key Trends for IoT developers

  1. Companies are shipping IoT solutions today. 46% of the respondents claim their company develops and deploys an IoT solution today. Another 29% plan to do so in the next 6 months. This is a clear indication the industry is maturing quickly.

iotplans

  1. Security continues to be a key concern. It’s not a big surprise that security continues to be the top concern in IoT. Interoperability is the second key concern. I do believe we are on the way to solving some of the interoperability issues with projects like Eclipse Hono, Eclipse Smarthome and Eclipse Kura. I also think some of the work the AGILE-IoT project is doing will address these issues. However, it still seems the IoT industry still needs to focus on security. It is a difficult issue that needs to be solved.For companies that have deployed a solution today, performance is rising to the third key concern. It is not clear what the performance issues are, but it is something that warrants more investigation.

concerns

  1. Top IoT programming languages: Java, C, JavaScript, Python.  Not surprising to see these languages as being the most popular for developers. I do find some people question the use of Java in IoT. The Eclipse IoT community has a number of Java projects, so there is some bias in the results toward Java. However, even when removing the respondents from the Eclipse IoT community, the top 3 languages are C, Python and Java.

languages

  1. MQTT and HTTP are the dominant message protocols.Without a doubt MQTT has become a pervasive and widely used protocol for IoT. HTTP being the other protocol.
    The other messaging protocol supported in the Eclipse IoT community is CoAP. It did not receive as much support, but it does appear to have support in certain industries. For instance, the use of CoAP increases if the respondent is in the IoT Platforms or Smart Cities industry. The fact IoT Platforms are supporting CoAP is expected and a good thing. It does seem Smart Cities industry is using CoAP but I am not sure where or how. If anyone has details, please leave a comment.As an aside, the success of MQTT is a testament to IBM’s strategy to standardize MQTT at OASIS and start the Eclipse Paho project. It really is a perfect case study for using open source and open standards to gain broad industry adoption. For example, 1) MQTT is now supported by IBM Bluemix, Amazon AWS IoT, MS Azure IoT, plus every other  IoT middleware platform in the market, 2) the new Arduino board is also using MQTT to communicate with their cloud, and 3) Eclipse Paho and Eclipse Mosquitto are some of the most popular and active projects at Eclipse. MQTT is everywhere. Well done IBM.

protocols

  1. Linux is the dominant IoT operating system. Over 70% of the respondents claimed they use Linux for their IoT operating system. The next more popular section at 23% was No OS/Bare metal. In the last number of years, a number of new IoT operating systems have been introduced (ex. ARM mbed, Contiki, RIOT, Zephyr) but the adoption still hasn’t materialized. It seems many companies are using Yocto to create their own Linux distro for their IoT solution. It will be interesting to watch how these other operating systems grow in comparison to Linux.

os

  1. Amazon leads in IoT cloud services. Not terribly surprising Amazon came out on top as the top cloud service provider. However, Private/On premise was a close second so I think this is an indication that IoT cloud services is still in its infancy. What did surprise me was that Microsoft Azure was number 3 in the survey and does even better when a company has a deployed solution. This seems to reflect MS Azure’s heavy emphasis on IoT use cases.

cloud

  1. Open source is pervasive in IoT. I strongly believe open source is critical to the success of the IoT industry. Therefore, I was encouraged to see 58% of the respondents are actively engaged with open source. I think it is a great statement on the work we have been doing at Eclipse IoT to create an open source community for the IoT industry.

 

Trends between 2015 and 2016

This is the second year we have done this type of survey so I was curious what has changed between 2015 and 2016. Interestingly enough, not a lot has changed. Many of the trends and highlights mentioned above are consistent with the 2015 results. This consistency would appear to confirm that the results are a good reflection of how developers are building IoT solutions.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. We definitely appreciate your input. The complete results are available on slideshare and the raw data in xls and ods format. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.


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