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ThingsBoard as a Google IoT Core alternative

Google Cloud shut down the IoT Core service in August 2023. You might be wondering where and how to migrate. ThingsBoard is an excellent alternative to Google IoT Cloud. Launched in 2016 as an open-source project, ThingsBoard has grown to a mature platform with 1000+ customers worldwide.

ThingsBoard, Inc. provides managed services, training, support, and software development services around the platform. We may also host and manage a private platform instance in your existing Google Cloud infrastructure.

Features comparison

Google IoT Core acts as an MQTT Broker and provides Device Registry and Pub/Sub integration. ThingsBoard provides an alternative implementation to Google IoT Core features with similar and, in some cases, identical APIs. Our platform is much more than a scalable service to accept and route telemetry. ThingsBoard brings full IoT application enablement capabilities. See the feature comparison table below:

Google
IoT Core
ThingsBoard
Professional Edition
Asset/Device Management and Data Collection data collection checked data collection checked
MQTT, HTTP transports data collection checked data collection checked
Pub/Sub Integration data collection checked data collection checked
Commands to devices data collection checked data collection checked
Scalability checked checked
User management and RBAChelp unchacked checked
Real-time, customizable dashboardshelp unchacked checked
White-labeled branded IoT solutionshelp unchacked checked
OTA updates supporthelp unchacked checked
Additional LWM2M and SNMP transportshelp unchacked checked
NB-IoT, SigFox, LoRaWAN and other integrationshelp unchacked checked

Learn more about ThingsBoard features here.

Key concepts

See mapping of the key IoT Core concepts to ThingsBoard features documentation below:

Device

ThingsBoard supports provisioning and management of devices similar to Google IoT Core. However, IoT application is not only about devices. ThingsBoard supports other entities and relations between them. The relations model enables advanced use cases and business logic. For example, you may configure relations between assets, devices, customers, etc.

Telemetry

Telemetry is the event data sent from the device to the cloud. For example, measurements about the environment. ThingsBoard allows you to collect data from devices similar to IoT Core. ThingsBoard also enables data processing (including validation, alerting, etc.) and storage inside the platform. See Rule Engine for more details. You may also forward the data to external systems (e.g., PubSub) and reuse your existing data processing flow.

Device state

ThingsBoard monitors device connectivity status and allows devices to upload their state via the client attributes feature. You can configure the platform to raise alerts when devices are offline or change state. ThingsBoard also allows you to distribute over-the-air firmware and software updates and monitor the update process.

Device configuration

ThingsBoard capabilities of device configuration as similar to Google IoT Core. See docs about device attributes. Experienced users may notice a few important differences: ThingsBoard allows to push each attribute(configuration) update separately; One may change configuration attributes via Dashboard, Admin UI, REST API call, or script; Attributes are sent to the device via JSON or protobuf format.

Device registry and device manager

ThingsBoard provides flexible interfaces for registering, monitoring, and configuring devices: Dashboards, Admin Web UI, REST API, CSV upload, and automatic provisioning. The platform gives you much more flexibility on how to add, group and control devices. You can register devices under different tenants or assign devices to different customers. End users are able to claim devices during the self-registration process. ThingsBoard has all the required built-in instruments to enable complex use cases.

Publishing over MQTT and HTTP

A central IoT Core point is an MQTT broker that allows data exchange between devices and the cloud. ThingsBoard also acts like an MQTT broker, but there are a few differences. With ThingsBoard, you are not limited by static topic name patterns and can define any wildcard topic filters for your needs. The platform accepts JSON or protobuf payloads. ThingsBoard supports access tokens, basic MQTT credentials or X.509 certificates. In addition to MQTT and HTTP support, devices can natively communicate with the platform using other protocols like CoAP, LwM2M, and SNMP. You may also use our IoT Gateway to integrate devices connected to legacy and third-party systems via BLE, CAN, Modbus, OPC-UA, BACnet, ODBC, etc. ThingsBoard also has built-in integrations with external systems like SigFox, LoRaWAN, NB IoT, etc. You may find a list of all available integrations here.

Send commands to and from devices

You may send commands to and from devices with the ThingsBoard RPC feature. The commands can be persisted or not, one-way or two-way, and you can configure retry and failure policies for different command types. Commands may be triggered by the user via the dashboard, via REST API, or based on events received by the platform.

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