Standardizing the Internet of Things
Sorry about the lack of embedded links below - I blogged this on a tablet from notepad. Can anyone recommend a good mobile blogging app?
I spent a few minutes this morning reviewing the OASIS MQTT spec (see https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=mqtt ). MQTT hopes to become the standard for communication on the "Internet of things". (I use the term "Internet" instead of "web" here because it uses ip, not http. ) Given the long legacy of proprietary sensor networks (medical devices, vendor managed inventory sensors, RFID scanners, etc) it's good to see some effort to standardize things and make it easier for multi-deviceintegration. The spec itself is pub/sub based (thank goodness). There isn't any concept of XML or REST here - devices are typically very lightweight with limited resources (think bits over ip). MQTT could be "REST-like" in terms of identifying/requesting resources (not via URIs apparently). The qos semantics are fairly straightforward but the spec doesn't provide any guidance on ensuring an implementation is aligned with semantics (out of scope, apparently). Message durability doesn't seem to be addressed. It's early though and these areas might be addressed as the TC evolves the spec. Regardless of how things turn out it's still good to see standards emerge in this space.
Related: Phil Windley (http://www.windley.com/) is doing some interesting stuff on his Kynetx platform (http://www.kynetx.com) related to the "Internet of things" - check out SquareTag (https://squaretag.com/ ). SquareTag obviously isn't MQTT (uses QR Codes) but it does enable the "Internet of things" concept in a highly relatable and useful way.
Update: just learned of an open source implementation of MQTT called Mosquitto