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IoT/M2MIWG/M2MIWG charter draft

Introduction to M2M

[Wikipedia]: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) refers to technologies that allow both wireless
and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same ability.

Many industry domains such as smart metering, energy management, inventory control, fleet management, healthcare, and security have an inherent need for technology, products and solutions that interface physical world events from sensors, actuators and other types of devices, with Enterprise and Web applications. M2M technology enables these domains, supporting not only the devices and device networks, but also integration with a wide range of enterprise middleware and Web programming models. An M2M solution is generally composed of:

  • Physical assets and devices (sensors, actuators, controllers, LCD display, etc.)
  • M2M Gateway to manage assets and server communication. These include communication modules with wireless connectivity (GPRS, 3G, WiFi, Wimax, etc.)
  • Monitoring or other domain-specific server infrastructure, with which gateways, communication modules and assets in the field communicate.

Usually, the M2M server infrastructure has to be interfaced with other information systems. Examples are telecom operators (e.g. SIM card subscription management or billing), and enterprise systems (e.g. cargo tracking and vehicle maintenance). An M2M server also needs to expose interfaces allowing third-party applications to access collected data, accept and process control functions, and to perform management and provisioning operations on modules and assets in the field. The figure below provides an overview of a typical M2M architecture:

M2m-overview.png

Concerns

The objective of the M2M Working group is to encourage, develop, and promote opens source solutions that can be used to overcome market inhibitors found in most M2M ecosystems, such as:

  • Fragmented market: wide range of embedded platforms, programming models, connection types, communication protocols.
  • No widely accepted M2M architectural guidelines.
  • Limited choices in accepted open, standard communication protocols to deal with M2M requirements and constraints such as; power, CPU, cost, connection availability, and bandwidth.
  • Unnecessarily tight coupling between applications, systems and communication interfaces.
  • Lack of Open Source M2M development solutions (development environment, development boards, …)
  • Lack of integration with open source Enterprise and Web development tools and environments.
  • Monolithic applications and lack of reusable software components (e.g. drivers, communication protocols)
  • High barrier of entry to developers who need to integrate M2M, Enterprise, and Web application systems. e.g. hardware and infrastructure costs, no relevant software engineering environment, proprietary interfaces, numerous and complex programming models.
  • Inadequate open source support for M2M-oriented middleware, including M2M integration with established middleware solutions.

Purpose & scope of the Working Group

The Eclipse Foundation is a place where people collaborate to deliver exemplary, extensible tools, frameworks and runtime components. The Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Industry Working Group aims at defining an open development environment and key runtimes for M2M solutions that will enable open solutions. The M2M Industry Working Group will address the following topics:

  • Development tools, including simulators/emulators
  • Reference architecture and programming model
  • Effective decoupling between applications, systems and communication interfaces
  • Open and standard communication protocols
  • Open and standard APIs (embedded & server).
  • Communicate and evangelize the solutions produced by the M2M IWG.

Because M2M developers currently lack an Integrated Development Environment, the M2M Industry Working Group will initially focus on the definition of such an environment, along with key enabling runtime components for open interfaces.

Connections with other Eclipse Working Groups

The M2M Industry Working Group may have interactions with the Polarsys Working Group.

Connections with other standards & industry groups

The M2M Industry Working Group will also work in collaboration with other M2M Industry Groups and Standards organizations in order to avoid fragmentation and duplication of effort. The Technical Committee M2M at ETSI is, for example, already working on the definition of an end-to-end overall high level architecture for M2M applications.

Work areas

The M2M Industry Working Group will work on the following topics:

M2M tooling

The M2M Industry Working Group will work on the specification of the engineering tools needed to develop M2M solutions. The Koneki Eclipse Technology Incubator Project will host the implementation of the tools specified by the Working Group. The M2M Industry Working Group will work on the requirements and specifications to support the integration of M2M tooling, with relevant Eclipse tooling that is used by developers of the Enterprise and Web applications who integrate with M2M embedded and server applications.

M2M software components

The M2M Industry Working Group will identify and specify software components needed to efficiently develop M2M solutions (communication services, industrial protocol implementations).

M2M use cases

The M2M working group will identify and maintain common use cases that represent typical M2M environments. The goal is to highlight the capabilities and requirements that need to be standardized to ensure open interoperability, portability, reusability, and ease of integration.

Reference architecture

The M2M Industry Working Group will work on the definition of a set of architectural guidelines (“M2M Blueprints”) for M2M solutions, derived from the identified use cases.

Open communication and messaging protocols

The M2M Industry Working Group will identify, reference and specify open specifications for lightweight communication protocol supporting two-way communication between devices and servers. The Working Group will be responsible for the creation and the maintenance of the standard, Linux-based, implementation of this protocol; and will also create and maintain a Compatibility Test Suite to enable validation of other implementations.

APIs

The M2M Industry Working Group will work on the definition of Application Programming Interfaces both on the embedded and on the server-side in order to help increase the modularity, extensibility and effective decoupling of M2M solutions.

M2M software components repository

The M2M Industry Working Group will define the technical requirements for allowing the delivery of M2M-oriented software components (industrial protocol drivers, embedded devices models, code generators…) via the Eclipse Market Place.

M2M "hacker place" and sandbox

Because M2M development requires actual hardware, and likely prepaid airtime, in order to perform end-to-end experiments, the M2M Working Group may work on the definition of a so-called ‘hacker place’, which will take the form of a website easing the ordering of M2M developer kits (development boards, wireless sensors, 3G modems, …). The M2M Working Group will work together with the Eclipse Foundation and hardware providers to propose discounts on developer kits, airtime, etc. Developing and testing M2M integration with Enterprise and Web applications requires access to middleware, monitoring servers, enterprise servers and various Web application interfaces. The M2M Working Group will work to define and promote the availability of a ‘sandbox’ of accessible server environments for the development, testing and integration of M2M systems with Enterprise, Web, and cloud-based software to developers using Eclipse M2M tools and runtimes.

Communication and Evangelism

The M2M Industry Working Group will work to communicate and evangelize the solutions developed by the M2M IWG. The activities may include joint press releases, joint trade show participation, publishing white papers and/or preparing other content that communicates the vision and solutions of the IWG.


Participation Guidelines - Membership

Steering committee members

Steering committee member are required to:

  • Be a Strategic, Enterprise or Solutions member of the Eclipse Foundation.
  • Provide at least 2 full-time equivalent resources, on an annualized basis, that contribute to the activities of the M2M IWG. The activities can include 1) committers working on Eclipse open source projects that support the M2M roadmap, 2) creation of roadmaps and technical documents (including, for example, architectures, blueprints and best practices) supporting the IWG work, 3) evangelism and community development for the IWG and 4) other activities agreed to by the Steering committee.
  • Regularly participate in all M2M working group meetings and provide timely feedback on the M2M working group documents.
  • Provide announcement support for the official releases of the working group (specifications, tools, …) and ongoing promotion to M2M actors (solution providers, telcos, …).

Member participants

Member participants are required to:

  • Be an Eclipse Foundation member at Strategic, Enterprise or Solution level.
  • Regularly participate in the Working Group meetings.

Interested parties

  • Sierra Wireless,
  • IBM,
  • Eurotech,
  • Band XI,
  • Axeda.

Mailing List

The M2M IWG mailing list can be used to express feedback about this charter. You must first subscribe to the mailing list before posting.