Eclipse development tools for the Internet of Things

Other Projects

Sensors, gateways, and the cloud need to communicate securely at all times. For example, only authorized gateways can tap a sensor, and attackers are not allowed to eavesdrop on the gateway's communication with the cloud. Eclipse tinydtls helps: This implementation of the DTLS protocol gives developers an easy option for an encrypted data exchange.

Smooth collaboration between the components is only guaranteed if they interpret and analyze the data correctly. This requires valid ontologies and metadata. Two Eclipse projects follow on from this: Eclipse Whiskers implements the OGC SensorThings API, which allows devices and their data to be coupled. Eclipse Unide offers a protocol and a suitable implementation for Production Performance Management (PPM) in industrial production.

Finally, Eclipse Vorto provides several tools and repositories that developers can use to create and manage device information models. These models describe the features and capabilities of IoT devices. Eclipse Vorto can then, among other things, semi-automatically generate code from the models, which serves to integrate the devices into different platforms.

Initial Barriers

If you are interested in using Eclipse to develop for the IoT, you need to find the right projects for your purposes, but you also have to familiarize yourself with each project separately. The MQTT, CoAP, and LWM2M servers help. Developers can use the servers to quickly test the function of the corresponding clients.

The Eclipse IoT website features videos, presentations, and a solitary tutorial. The tutorial shows step-by-step how developers with a Raspberry Pi, a sensor, and the Eclipse projects Kura, Paho, and Californium monitor a small greenhouse (Figure 3). However, the tutorial uses hopelessly outdated software components that no longer run on current Raspbians, such as Kura 1.3.0, which is over two years old. (Kura 3.1.1 is the current version.)

Figure 3: The tutorial on the Eclipse homepage uses a sensor and an LED module from Grove; unfortunately, the software mentioned in the tutorial is completely outdated.

The videos and presentations provided at the Eclipse IoT website focus on individual aspects of the Eclipse IoT cosmos and give an overview of the existing projects. Nevertheless, Eclipse IoT novices may stumble over the partly outdated and incomplete documentation of the projects, which are often more reminiscent of a reference. You should therefore plan a longer training period from the outset. Since many of the projects use Java, knowledge of the Java language and build tools is helpful.

Last but not least, the development of some of the projects is only making slow progress. For example, Eclipse Milo has had only one 0.1.0 release in 2016. The majority of projects are in incubator status and are not yet suitable for practical use.

If you are interested in an Eclipse IoT project, take a look at the development status, given in the project directory at the project website (Figure 4, [8]).

Figure 4: The Eclipse IoT cosmos includes so many subprojects that it even has its own search function.

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