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IoT/M2MIWG/M2MIWG charter draft

M2M INDUSTRY WORKING GROUP PROPOSAL

Introduction 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.

Smart metering, fleet management, healthcare, or security, are typical domains that can benefit from M2M technologies. An M2M solution is generally constituted by:

  • communication modules, with wireless connectivity (GPRS, 3G, WiFi, Wimax, etc.)
  • physical assets (sensors, actuators, LCD display, etc.)
  • a server infrastructure, with which modules and assets in the field communicate.

Usually, the M2M server infrastructure has to be interfaced with other information systems: telecom operators (e.g. SIM cards subscription management), billing engines, etc. An M2M server also needs to expose APIs to allow third-party applications to access collected data, and to perform operations on modules/assets in the field. The figure below shows an overview of what nowadays M2M architecture usually looks like:

M2m-overview.png

Concerns

At the time this proposal is written, the following statements apply to the M2M ecosystem:

  • Fragmented market: lots of different use cases, …
  • No M2M development « blueprint »
  • No rich-enough M2M communication standard
  • No Open Source development solution (development environment, development boards, …)
  • Monolithic applications / lack of reusable software components (e.g. drivers, communication protocols, …)
  • High barrier to entry for developers: hardware cost, no relevant engineering environment, complex programming model, …
  • No M2M oriented Open Source OS/middleware

Purpose & scope of the Working Group

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

  • development tools, including simulators/emulators,
  • reference architecture and programming model,
  • communication protocols,
  • APIs (embedded & server).

Considering that M2M developers miss an Integrated Development Environment, the M2M Industry Working Group will initially focus on the definition of such an environment.

Connections with other Eclipse Working Groups

The M2M Industry Working Group may have interactions with the Pulsar initiative in order to extend the Mobile Application Development Kit (MADK) with M2M features.

Connections with other standards & industry groups

The M2M Industry Working Group will also work in collaboration with other M2M Industry Groups 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.

M2M Software Components

The M2M Industry Working Group will contribute to identify and specify low-level software components needed to efficiently develop M2M solutions (communication services, industrial protocols implementations, …).

M2M Use Cases

The M2M working group will work on the identification and definition of common use cases in M2M environment. The goal is to highlight the capabilities and requirements that need to be standardized to ensure interoperability, portability, reusability, 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 protocol

The M2M Industry Working Group will maintain an open specification of a lightweight communication protocol for device-server two-way communication. 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 (Web Services) in order to help increase both the modularity and the extensibility of M2M solutions.

M2M software components repository

The M2M Industry Working Group will define the technical requirements for the creation of a market place enabling the sharing of embedded software components (industrial protocol drivers, embedded devices models, …).

M2M "hacker place"

Since 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.

Membership

Steering committee members

Steering committee member are required to:

  • Be a Strategic, Enterprise or Solutions member of the Eclipse Foundation.
  • Appoint at least 2 developers/technical resources to contribute to the creation of M2M WG technologies, roadmaps and/or technical documents.
  • 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.
  • Regularly participate in the Working Group meetings.

Roadmap

MAR-11: Publish M2MIWG charter

  • Gather bigger community and recruit at least three M2M industry players (call for participation in March, at EclipseCon, CA).

MAY-11: Kick-off

END Q2-11: Define technical roadmap

  • Use cases and workflows outlining the M2M developer user experience,
  • Identify high-level requirements for an M2M embedded execution environment.

Q2-11: Communicate

  • Establish communication channels with other M2M related initiatives (ETSI TC M2M, 3GPP, Wavefront AC…),

Q3-11: Collaborate with M2M related Eclipse projects

  • Mentor an Eclipse Technology project aimed at creating an M2M-oriented IDE,
  • Create a new Eclipse Technology project to provide an implementation of an M2M-oriented communication protocol.

Interested parties as of March 2010

  • Sierra Wireless (founder)