ThingsBoard PE Feature
Only ThingsBoard Professional Edition supports Platform Integrations feature.
See Get ThingsBoard PE to install ThingsBoard PE.
ThingsBoard Platform integrations feature was designed for two primary use cases / deployment options:
Both use cases have few things in common. There is a server-side component in the deployment topology that prevents direct access to device and provides set of APIs to interact with the device in the field instead. The payload format of the device is not well defined. Often two devices that have similar sensors have different payload formats depending on a vendor or even software version.
The job of ThingsBoard Integration is to provide secure and reliable API bridge between core platform features (telemetry collection, attributes and RPC calls) and specific third-party platform APIs.
At the moment ThingsBoard support two main integration protocols: HTTP and MQTT. For example, SigFox Backend uses HTTP to push data to ThingsBoard or any other system. On the other hand, AWS IoT, IBM Watson and Azure Event Hub allows to subscribe to the data feed from devices via MQTT. Similar, some LoRaWAN and NB IoT platforms allow both HTTP and MQTT interfaces.
Once message arrives from External Platform to ThingsBoard it passes validation according to platform specific payload format and security rules. Once message is validated ThingsBoard Integration invokes assigned Data Converter to extract sub-set of meaningful information out of the incoming message. The message is basically transformed from device and platform specific payload to the format that ThingsBoard uses.
Data Converters is a part of the Platform Integrations feature. The main function of Data Converter is to parse payload of the incoming message and transform it to format that ThingsBoard uses.
See video tutorial below for step-by-step instruction how to setup Data Converters.
This feature allows to persis:
It enables rapid development of converters and configuration of integrations. This feature allows to validate your configuration setup and should be used only for debug purposes, since it dramatically impacts performance.
Experienced ThingsBoard users may notice that functionality of Integrations feature partially overlap with functionality of IoT Gateway. However, there is a key differences between this two systems/features:
As you can see, both systems are important and applicable in different use cases.
At the moment integrations support uplink message processing from external platforms to ThingsBoard. We are actively working to enable downlink capabilities as well. To enable this feature we will introduce the downlink message queue in latest open-source release that will hold all attribute updates and RPC calls. Similar we will extend the Data Converter interface to allow converting this messages to the device specific payloads. This feature is scheduled for the next minor release.
We plan to log statistics for amount of messages processed by each integration with possible limitations of messages processed on a tenant / system levels.
We plan to provide specific integrations for different platforms, like The Things Network and also for different communication protocols, like gRPC.
We plan to collect and maintain data converters for most popular devices on the market to simplify integration path even more. Please note that you can share your converters with community and send them to us to make part of official ThingsBoard distributive.
Contact us to suggest missing feature for your use case.
Explore guides and video tutorials related to specific integrations: