BlogEdgeX Foundry

More EdgeX Device/Sensor Connectivity

By August 25, 2017 January 23rd, 2019 No Comments

Written by Jim White, TSC Member and  Chair of Core Services Working Group

When we first introduced EdgeX to the LF community back in the spring of this year, Dell contributed more than a dozen micro services, a lot of documentation, and the start of a build process.

Since, the community has grown considerably (now more than 60 companies have signed on), we have held our first community technical meetings to set the roadmap for the first community release and direction for releases to come over the next 12-18 months.  We also have community members already contributing to the project or working on the upcoming release.

At Dell, we are still very much a part of this effort, and today I’d like to announce the contribution of six more example device microservices (we call them device services) to the open source EdgeX platform.  These are microservices we built from the device service SDK as examples of how to connect to actual devices like those using Modbus, BACnet, BLE, SNMP, and MQTT protocols.  So they serve multiple purposes in the community:

  • Demonstrate more south side connectivity
  • Demonstrate other implementations of the device service via the SDK
  • Demonstrate connectivity to EdgeX via specific industrial Iot protocols
  • Allow more real world devices to be connected to EdgeX today!

EXF_Platform Architecture

Modbus is a serial communications protocol that has been in existence since 1979 (truly brownfield!) and is used primarily in programmable logic controllers (PLC) and electronic devices.

BACnet is used in building automation and control networks that typically manage heating, ventilation and AC systems.

SNMP is an internet standard protocol that was created for collecting and organizing information about systems / devices on an IP network – most notably like modems, switches, severs, printers, etc.

If you own a smartphone or have a home smart device, you are probably already familiar with the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol which is used typically in wireless personal area networks.

And MQTT is a pub-sub messaging protocol used on top of TCP/IP in combination with a message broker that has been used in a variety of use cases and systems for a few decades.

When we first released EdgeX, we provided the device service SDK and a single device service, which was the virtual device service.  The virtual device service allowed for the simulation of any device /sensor connectivity into EdgeX through software, but did not facilitate actual devices.  With the collection of device services that Dell is contributing today, EdgeX now has open source community code to connect to real devices.

At Dell, we continue our commitment to this project and plan to contribute more of the code we created as part of our original Fuse Project.  We also join with the community to make additional contributions and commitments jointly.  Come join in the effort and help us, the entire EdgeX Foundry community, make the best open source IoT platform on the planet.