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Discussing M2M at Eclipse with Ian Skerrett and Benjamin Cabé

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With a flurry of new developments, we talk to those at the heart of the Eclipse M2M movement to discuss what’s new.

With a flurry of new machine-to-machine project arriving to
the Eclipse Foundation in recent weeks, Claudia from jaxenter.de caught up with Eclipse VP of
Marketing Ian
Skerrett
and Eclipse M2M Industry Working Group chair Benjamin Cabé to talk about
the latest developments.

JAXenter: Last year at EclipseCon Europe we talked about
the new M2M working group, a collaboration of companies and
organizations focused on developing open source M2M technologies.
Before we get to the latest news – how has the IWG evolved in the
past year? It looks like you accomplished everything you
planned to when we talked last year!

Ian Skerrett: It has been a great year for M2M. The three
projects: Paho, Mihini and Koneki all have source code in
their repositories and are building successful communities. It is
great to see people contributing to the projects and experimenting
with what is possible. We are also seeing companies like IBM,
Sierra Wireless, Eurotech and Axeda providing commercial products
and support using Eclipse M2M technology. 
 

The Foundation just announced another major step for the
IWG, proposing new M2M projects and updating existing projects. Can
you please introduce the four new M2M projects?

Yes, we have 4 new project proposals: 

  1. Ponte is a
    framework that will allow reading and writing of data from sensors
    and actuators via M2M protocols, accessible via a REST API. It is
    really a bridge between the M2M and Web world. The initial
    protocols that will be supported include MQTT (a proposed OASIS
    standard) and CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol). Eclipse Paho
    hosts the reference implementation of MQTT.
  2. Eclipse
    SCADA
    is an open source implementation of a Supervisory Control
    and Data Acquisition system typically used to monitor and control
    large scale industrial processes, e.g. solar farms. Eclipse SCADA
    will provide connectivity to a variety of industrial devices, a
    monitoring system to create alarms and events, recording of
    historical data and a framework to build custom user interfaces and
    visualizations on top of those functions. 
  3. Concierge is
    an implementation of the OSGi core specifications that is well
    suited for embedded and mobile devices. Concierge will target a
    footprint with a jar file size of less than 400KB, allowing it to
    run on devices that have limited resources. 
  4. Kura is a
    Java and OSGi based application framework for M2M service gateways.
    Kura will provide a set of common services for Java developers
    building M2M applications, including I/O access, data services,
    network configuration and remote management.

The existing projects Mihini, Paho and Koneki saw some
significant project updates – was the Kepler release the major
milestone for those updates?

Koneki participated in the Kepler release train with the 1.0
release. Mihini just completed the initial code contribution from
Sierra Wireless so the project is making great progress toward
their first release. Paho has seen a number of contributions from
the community for different language implementations of MQTT
clients, including JavaScript, Python and Objective C. 

So the M2M stack has doubled its modules, which is a
major achievement. Are all essential modules in place now or is
there still a gap to fill?

I think we are just seeing the beginning of what is needed to
make it easy for developers to create M2M applications. There are
still some protocols, like CoAP and LightweightM2M, that need to
have good open source implementations. I’d like to see an MQTT
server being maintained at Eclipse (but we do already host an
instance of Mosquitto on m2m.eclipse.org).
Eclipse SCADA is our first project that is focused on a vertical
solution but I would expect to see more M2M solution frameworks
being implemented in open source.

Finally, I also think M2M is a huge opportunity for data
visualization and big data. I am sure we will see a lot of
technology development here. M2M is going to be an exciting area in
the next couple of years. 

The commercial adoption is the next step and it looks
like every member of the IWG (Sierra Wireless, IBM, Eurotech and
Axeda) has announced commercial support. Benjamin, you work for
Sierra Wireless, can you please tell us a bit more about the
commercial prospect?

Benjamin Cabé: Our AirVantage M2M Cloud allows to
manage large fleet of devices very simply. We provide intelligent
gateways (Airlink GX and LS series) that are programmable using the
Aleos Application Framework, which is basically a commercial bundle
of the Mihini framework and Koneki tools. We provide a clear path
for developers who can start evaluating the Eclipse M2M
technologies using the open source projects, and later transition
to a commercial offer.

We also recently launched our new portal dedicated to our open
source initiatives, and we already provide several examples and
tutorials for using AirVantage with Mihini and other cool open
source technologies. I am also very excited by the developer kit we recently
designed. It allows developers to experiment with open hardware and
AirVantage, in the form of a an actual connected greenhouse! How
cool is that?

People can already register their interest, and the kits should
be available in the upcoming weeks.We highly encourage developers
to create a free trial account
on AirVantage, and connect their device of choice (Raspberry Pi,
BeagleBone, …) using Mihini!

JAXenter – Thanks for speaking to us!

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