Growing an Open IoT Community in 2014

At EclipseCon Europe 2012 (November, 2012) we first announced the creation of the Eclipse M2M Working Group. IBM, Sierra Wireless, Eurotech and Band XI had the vision to create an open source community for M2M software development. The initial projects that made up the community were Paho, Mihini and Koneki. A lot has happened in 2013 and the vision of a vibrant open source community is becoming a reality.

Eclipse M2M now has 13 projects focused on various aspects of M2M and IoT applications. A lot has been accomplished in the last 12 months that we can all be very proud of:

1) MQTT is taking off as one of the most important protocols for building IoT and M2M applications. The MQTT specification is in the final drafts of becoming an OASIS standard. Eclipse Paho now has MQTT language bindings for Java, C, C++, Python, JavaScript, Lua, etc. Mosquitto, the most popular MQTT broker, is now an Eclipse project. And a large commercial ecosystem of companies embracing MQTT is emerging, including 2lemetry, Axeda, Eurotech, IBM, Sierra Wireless, HiveMQ, OpenSensors, etc.  The advances of MQTT in 2013 confirm open standards and open source are a winning combination. Remember Open Wins!

2)  Our Java story got a lot better. Our strategy for an open IoT community is that we are language agnostic. IoT will be polygot so projects like Ponte are written in JavaScript running on Node.js, Mihini is written in Lua, and Krikkit is written in C are important examples. When we started 2013 the absence of Java projects was noticeable. However, in 2013 the number of Java projects introduced at Eclipse was very impressive. Kura, introduced by Eurotech, is a set of Java and OSGi services required for building M2M gateways. Eclipse SmartHome is a Java and OSGi framework for integrating home automation devices. OM2M is a Java implementation of the ETSI M2M standard. Californium is a CoAP framework written in Java.  Java is going to be an important IoT language and Eclipse has great open source technology for Java IoT developers.

3)  While MQTT is taking off, the reality is that no one protocol will be the protocol to rule them all. Therefore, I think it is great we have begun building a multi-protocol community. In addition to MQTT, we have implementations of ETSi M2M/OneM2M in the OM2M project, CoAP and DLTS in the Calfornium project and Lightweight M2M in the liblwm2m project. Eclipse is well on its way to being the community for open source implementations for IoT standards.


Looking forward to 2014 there are a number of things I would like to accomplish for our M2M/IoT community:

1) Huge Data – I believe the data generated by IoT applications is going to be huge. The amount of data we now call Big Data is going to be dwarfed by the new data generated by IoT applications. I’d like to see open source projects that begin to solve the data modeling, data visualization, time series reporting and the management of huge data. It is coming and open source will be leading the way.

2) More Solution Services – Projects like Eclipse Smart Home and Eclipse SCADA provide an important set of services for specific vertical solutions. I hope to see more open source projects for the industries like Connected Car, Healthcare, Industrial 4.0, etc.

3) Community of Peers – We are building an interesting community of M2M and IoT projects but I think the next step will be to have these projects work more closely together. In 2014 you will see projects like Eclipse Kura, Eclipse Smart Home or Eclipse OM2M using each other services. Other projects will start to include CoAP support by using Californium. And there will be many other scenarios of closer collaboration. An important strength of the Eclipse M2M community is that we are a community of IoT/M2M experts. There is going to be a lot of opportunity to learn and collaborate with industry peers.

4) Growing User Community – In 2013 we focused on recruiting projects. In 2014 expect the user and adopter community for these projects to engage. IoT is hot so I expect a lot more users to join and interact with the community.

5) Move towards IoT – Finally, we are going to rename Eclipse M2M to Eclipse IoT. The Working Group approved the change in December. The industry is moving towards Internet of Things (IoT) as the term to describe the entire application stack, including software, network, hardware and services. M2M is still an important term but IoT is more inclusive. Over the next couple of months we will be rebranding the Eclipse M2M WG to be Eclipse IoT WG.

2014 is going to be a fun year for open IoT and Eclipse. Expect to see a lot of new technology released from the Eclipse IoT community. Expect to see a lot more individuals and organization involved in producing open IoT software. Expect to see a lot more IoT products and applications built using open source and open standards. Remember open wins and open will win in the IoT industry.

Feel free to join our growing community.

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