One to Watch

New M2M portable project arrives at Eclipse – welcome Mihini

Chris Mayer

The M2M IWG have made yet another project proposal – this one is set to make embedded application development infinitely easy.

Nobody can really accuse the new Machine-To-Machine (M2M)
Industry Working Group of not being productive. Yet another Eclipse
project proposal
has emerged, hoping to
sit alongside messaging protocol project Paho and M2M tools project

Formed at the end of last year, the M2M Industry
Working Group was set up to define and implement an open standard
platform for the developing technology, bringing together and
creating M2M tools. Sierra Wireless, IBM and Eurotech were the
three founding members, and this latest contribution has come from
the minds of those at Sierra Wireless.

Falling under the
Technology Project
as a
subproject, the scope of the Mihini project is to provide an open
source implementation of an embedded runtime exposing a high-level
Lua API. The long-term goal for Mihini is for the implementation to
become part of developing portable M2M applications much more
seamlessly than presently.

This is a critical component for M2M technology. Currently,
complexity is the main stumbling block when it comes to developing
embedded applications and wireless systems. The proposal details
this further saying that despite some M2M embedded applications
being reduced to a simple problem, ‘there are many obstacles that
can seriously slow down the implementation of such applications’.
Problems include constrained resources such as memory and CPU,
hardware using different protocols to communicate and unreliable
mobile networks.

Therefore, Mihini’s target seems fairly clear- to create an M2M
Applications Framework, leveraging Lua, the lightweight embeddable
language of choice for M2M, that can ease the entire process.

Aside from providing several new APIs to make sense of M2M
noise, a lot more is expected of Mihini. Proposed key management
features of the Mihini Framework will make it possible to
consolidate and send data to physical assets of an M2M component
without fearing for the network constraints, through exposing the
Lua API. 

Mihini will also facilitate access to system I/Os,
provide a manipulating API to configure applications
and remotely control installation and execution of
applications no matter what language they communicate in. We can
also expect a REST API to join the dots for the rest of the M2M
world (Paho, Koneki)

Without falling foul of the approval process, which should be
a formality given how critical the proposal is to the technology,
this subproject shows great potential. A tentative schedule has
been put in place, with Sierra Wireless saying that the initial
contribution (Lua API for Device, Aseet and I/O management plus
documentation) will arrive in October. Further down the line, if
all goes well, we should see a 1.0 release in time for the next
Eclipse release train Kepler (June 2013).

We see Mihini fitting into the M2M world like a glove and
hope it gets the attention it deserves. We’ll keep you posted on
any further developments.

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