Eclipse IoT Launches Machine to Machine Communication Platform

The Eclipse Foundation has announced the release of another Eclipse IoT project: Eclipse OM2M 0.8, a standardized service platform for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

The project's primary goal is to "facilitate the deployment of vertical applications and heterogeneous devices." It provides a "horizontal" service capability layer (SCL) that allows M2M services to be implemented independently of the underlying network and hardware.

According to the Eclipse Foundation, OM2M is designed to make it easier for developers to build IoT apps that can work on a wide range of devices, protocols and networks.

The platform is comprised of a set of Java and OSGi services that are exposed by a RESTful API, which provides primitive procedures for machine authentication, resources discovery, applications registration, containers management, synchronous and asynchronous communications, access rights authorization, group management, and re-targeting.

This 0.8 release supports out-of-the-box integration and protocol interoperability with both HTTP-enabled devices and devices utilizing the CoAP app-layer protocol. Its extensible framework supports easy integration with devices using such protocols as Zigbee, Zwave, 6LoWPAN and Modbus, among others, the Foundation said.

OM2M is an open-source implementation of the ETSI SmartM2M standard. But the project leader, Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems, a research arm of the French National Center for Scientific Research (LAAS-CNRS), said it plans to migrate to the global oneM2M standard, which released its first specification in January.

"Our goal for OM2M is to make it the industry reference implementation of oneM2M," said Mahdi Ben Alaya, co-leader of the OM2M project and Ph.D. student from LAAS-CNRS, in a statement. "We believe the combination of open standards and open source implementations accelerate adoption of key technology for M2M and IoT applications. Our expectation is that oneM2M and OM2M will make it easier to facilitate the deployment of industry solutions across heterogeneous networks and devices."

Ian Skerrett, the Eclipse Foundation's vice president of marketing, leads the Eclipse IoT initiative, whose mission is to establish an open IoT/M2M platform that comprises a set of services and frameworks, open-source implementations of standard protocols, and an Eclipse-based IDE for simplifying IoT/M2M development.

"To put together an IoT solution today, you need people who understand gateways and networks, but also enterprise systems, data analytics, integration with ERP or CRM systems," he told ADTmag in an earlier interview. "There's some daunting complexity here, but we know that when you create frameworks and abstraction levels in software, it becomes much easier to put together these types of solutions."

Eclipse IoT now includes 15 projects collectively aiming to reduce the complexity of developing IoT/M2M solutions. Most of the Eclipse literature on this initiative uses that "IoT/M2M" label, because machine-to-machine communication is where it all started, and because it continues to be an essential part of the Internet of Things. But is IoT more all encompassing, which, Skerrett said, is what makes developing IoT solutions so challenging.

In March, the Eclipse IoT project released two key IoT projects: Paho 1.1, which provides scalable open-source client implementations of open and standard messaging protocols for IoT/M2M apps, and Mosquitto 1.4, which provides an open-source implementation of the OASIS Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol.

A complete list of Eclipse IoT projects is available on the Foundation Web site here.

OM2M 0.8 is available royalty-free under the Eclipse Public License. It can be downloaded now here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].