These days, it seems that sensors are everywhere. They are in hospitals, monitoring your health. They are in your car, measuring the internal air pressure of your tires. And they are in your pocket, in the form of a smartphone, measuring where you are and how fast you are moving.
To build a Smarter Planet, we need a way for all of these devices -- smartphones included -- to communicate with each other. Smart energy readers, satellite receivers, personal healthcare. These are all smart devices and interconnecting them allows us to do some very smart, and informed things. Fortunately, there's a messaging protocol that allows your smartphone, and any smart device, to communicate -- even over unreliable messaging networks with limited bandwidth. It's called MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT)
and its completely open.
IBM provides product support for using the MQTT protocol through a feature in IBM WebSphere MQ called WebSphere MQ Telemetry. MQTT extends WebSphere MQ to remote devices and enables massive scalability. A WebSphere MQ server can handle up to 100,000 concurrent MQTT connections.
Using MQTT, messages are exchanged between WebSphere MQ and smart devices. These messages are tiny in size (reducing the demands on potentially limited network bandwidth) and benefit from the assured message delivery that WebSphere MQ offers (vital for unreliable networks).
How your smartphone can communicate using MQTT
That smartphone, still in your pocket, makes an excellent smart device, and there are plenty of situations where you might want it to share its information in a Smarter Planet solution. GPS location information, the gyroscopic sensor, and the digital compass are all useful sensor information that can be shared with a wider network of sensor devices using MQTT. But how?
Integrating MQTT with IBM Worklight
By combining WebSphere MQ and Worklight, you can develop an MQTT application for publishing data from your smartphone. And now, your every movement can be tracked and shared with all those other smart devices, with everything talking the same language. Your pocket has joined a Smarter Planet!
Tell me more!
I was lucky enough to work with a team of MQTT experts recently, and we put together an IBM Redbooks publication titled Building Smarter Planet Solutions with MQTT and IBM WebSphere MQ Telemetry. In this book we provide worked examples of how to set up, use, integrate, and scale an MQTT network. We also include instructions for building a sample MQTT application that publishes location data over MQTT on an Android device. Check it out.
Martin Keen is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He leads publications on many areas of IBM software, including WebSphere, Messaging, and Business Process Management. He also contributes to an IBM blog on social business.
Follow Martin on Twitter: @MartinRTP.