Eclipse Foundation brings “Plug’n’Play” to MQTT IoT devices with Sparkplug program

The Eclipse Foundation has launched the Sparkplug Compatibility Program in collaboration with its Sparkplug Working Group. The program will enable enterprises to use MQTT to integrate data from their applications, sensors, and devices with the industrial IoT infrastructure.

As an open-source software specification, Sparkplug provides enterprises with native MQTT-enabled edge devices and MQTT applications to communicate bi-directionally within an MQTT infrastructure.

“MQTT has already established itself as the de facto standard for messaging transport in the IT and OT market sectors,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director for the Eclipse Foundation. “However, it doesn’t specify the content of its payloads, making interoperability across the IIoT incredibly challenging. Sparkplug, acting as the HTML of the IIoT, is the industry’s best solution for solving this issue and is already in widespread use across multiple industries. Our new program lets industrial firms know if their vendors’ systems are Sparkplug compatible.”

MQTT has indeed emerged as a standard messaging protocol for IoT space. There are several IoT development platforms like Blynk, Toit, and Tuya that support MQTT protocol, allowing developers to build next-gen IoT applications. The MQTT messaging protocol was primarily designed for real-time SCADA systems that do not specify the Topic Namespace to use or define the Payload representation. But for developing robust applications specific to a given industry, the Topic Namespace, Payload representation and session state must be defined. For this reason, the Eclipse Foundation along with its Sparkplug Working Group announced the Sparkplug Compatibility Program that defines the specification parameters that can be generally applied for industrial IoT.

The Sparkplug Working Group’s website features an official list of compatible products after passing open-source series of tests to validate the specification through the Sparkplug Technology Compatibility Kit. All the approved products will be granted the Sparkplug Compatibility trademark to be recognized in the marketplace.

The Eclipse Foundation recently announced a new module software stack, Eclipse Kanta, with the help of Bosch.io who contributed through software and expertise. The software is designed to solve challenges in the growing network complexity in the edge computing environment. As an open-source project, Eclipse Kanta is optimized to serve IoT applications in resource-constrained edge devices.

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