Eclipse Foundation's M2M, Internet of Things Efforts Gain Momentum

The Eclipse Foundation announced that its machine-to-machine (M2M) Working Group has gained significant momentum with new projects, members and commercial adoption.

The Eclipse Foundation announced that its machine-to-machine (M2M) initiative, the EclipseM2M Working Group, has gained significant momentum—adding new projects and members and gaining commercial adoption.

In an interview with eWEEK, Ian Skerrett, the director of marketing at the Eclipse Foundation, said the foundation is set on establishing an open-source software ecosystem for M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) development. Eclipse M2M has added open-source projects, new releases of existing projects, additional members and product announcements from member companies.

"If there really is going to be an Internet of Things where all these different devices and things are talking to each other, there really needs to be some open standards in place," Skerrett said. "We want to be the home for those standards."

M2M, which involves connecting various types of machines and devices via a network, is one of the fastest-growing technology markets. Approaching $100 billion in revenue by some estimates, this new technology segment presents a number of software development challenges due to the complexity of the hardware and network architectures, lack of open standards, and issues of interoperability between vertical products, Skerrett said.

The Eclipse M2M Working Group is a collaboration of companies and organizations focused on developing open-source protocols, frameworks and tools for M2M software development. The goal of the Eclipse M2M Working Group is to make it easy for software developers to create M2M applications that are based on open standards and open-source technology. Eclipse M2M has three existing open-source projects—Koneki, Mihini and Paho—that provide open-source technology for M2M developers.

However, four new open-source M2M Projects are being proposed to join the Eclipse M2M community. One is called Ponte. Ponte is a framework that will allow reading and writing of data from sensors and actuators via M2M protocols, accessible via a Representational State Transfer (REST) API. Ponte will also provide the ability to convert and exchange data between protocols. The initial protocols that will be supported include Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), a proposed OASIS standard, and Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP). The Eclipse Paho project hosts the reference implementation of MQTT.

The second new project is Eclipse SCADA, an acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. SCADA is an open-source implementation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system typically used to monitor and control large-scale industrial processes, such as 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.

The third new project, Concierge, is an implementation of the OSGi core specifications that is 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.

The fourth new project is Kura, an application framework for M2M service gateways based on Java and OSGi. 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.