ThingsBoard Documentation

Documentation for using ThingsBoard IoT Platform.
ThingsBoard Professional Edition with White-labeling and Platform Integrations Learn More

Platform Integrations


ThingsBoard PE Feature


Only ThingsBoard Professional Edition supports Platform Integrations feature.

See Get ThingsBoard PE to install ThingsBoard PE.

Overview

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.

How it works?

At the moment ThingsBoard supports 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.


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Data Converters

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.


Debug mode

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.

Platform Integrations vs IoT Gateway

Experienced ThingsBoard users may notice that functionality of Integrations feature partially overlap with functionality of IoT Gateway. However, there are key differences between these two systems/features:

As you can see, both systems are important and applicable in different use cases.

Feature Roadmap

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 these messages to the device specific payloads. This feature is scheduled for the next minor release.

Usage statistics

We plan to log statistics for amount of messages processed by each integration with possible limitations of messages processed on a tenant / system levels.

More integrations and protocols

We plan to provide specific integrations for different platforms, like The Things Network and also for different communication protocols, like gRPC.

More data converters

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.

Next Steps

Explore guides and video tutorials related to specific integrations: