AWS IoT Core is a platform that enables you to connect devices to AWS Services and other devices, secure data and interactions, process and act upon device data, and enable applications to interact with devices even when they are offline.

Key features

AWS IoT Device SDK

AWS IoT Core provides an SDK to help you easily and quickly connect your hardware device or your mobile application. The AWS IoT Device SDK enables your devices to connect, authenticate, and exchange messages with IoT Core using the MQTT, HTTP, or WebSockets protocols. The Device SDK supports C, JavaScript, and Arduino, and includes the client libraries, the developer guide, and the porting guide for manufacturers. You can also use an open source alternative or write your own SDK.

To learn more read the AWS IoT Device SDK documentation or get started by downloading the SDKs.

Device Gateway

The AWS IoT Device Gateway enables devices to securely and efficiently communicate with AWS IoT Core. The Device Gateway can exchange messages using a publication/subscription model, which enables one-to-one and one-to-many communications. With this one-to-many communication pattern IoT Core makes it possible for a connected device to broadcast data to multiple subscribers for a given topic. The Device Gateway supports MQTT, WebSockets, and HTTP 1.1 protocols. The Device Gateway scales automatically to support over a billion devices without provisioning infrastructure.

To learn more read Protocols in the AWS IoT Core user guide.

Authentication and Authorization

AWS IoT Core provides mutual authentication and encryption at all points of connection, so that data is never exchanged between devices and AWS IoT without proven identity. IoT Core supports the AWS method of authentication (called ‘SigV4’) as well as X.509 certificate based authentication. Connections using HTTP can use either of these methods, while connections using MQTT use certificate based authentication, and connections using WebSockets can use SigV4. With IoT Core, you can use IoT Core generated certificates, as well as those signed by your preferred Certificate Authority (CA). You can map your choice of role and/or policies to each certificate, so that you can authorize devices or applications to have access, or change your mind and revoke access altogether without ever touching the device.

You can create, deploy and manage certificates and policies for the devices from the console or using the API. Those device certificates can be provisioned, activated and associated with the relevant policies that are configured using AWS IAM. This allows you to instantly revoke access for an individual device if you choose to do so. AWS IoT also supports connections from users’ mobile apps using Amazon Cognito, which takes care of all the steps necessary to create a unique identifier for your app’s users and retrieve temporary, limited-privilege AWS credentials.

To learn more read the Security and Authentication section in the AWS IoT Core user guide.

Registry

The Registry establishes an identity for devices and tracks metadata such as the devices’ attributes and capabilities. The Registry assigns a unique identity to each device that is consistently formatted regardless of the type of device or how it connects. It also supports metadata that describes the capabilities of a device, for example whether a sensor reports temperature, and if the data are Fahrenheit or Celsius.

The Registry lets you store metadata about your devices at no additional charge, and metadata in the Registry does not expire as long as you access or update your registry entry at least once every 7 years.

To learn more read the Registry section of the AWS IoT Core user guide.

Device Shadows

With AWS IoT Core, you can create a persistent, virtual version, or “shadow,” of each device that includes the device’s latest state so that applications or other devices can read messages and interact with the device. The Device Shadows persist the last reported state and desired future state of each device even when the device is offline. You can retrieve the last reported state of a device or set a desired future state through the API or using the rules engine.

Device Shadows make it easier to build applications that interact with your devices by providing always available REST APIs. In addition, applications can set the desired future state of a device without accounting for the devices current state. AWS IoT will compare the difference between the desired and last reported state, and command the device to make up the difference.

The AWS IoT Device SDK makes it easy for your device to synchronize its state with its shadow, and to respond to desired future states set via the shadow.

Device Shadows let you store the state of your devices for up to a year for free. Device Shadows persist forever if you update them at least once per year, otherwise they expire.

To learn more read the Device Shadows section of the AWS IoT Core user guide.

Rules Engine

The Rules Engine makes it possible to build IoT applications that gather, process, analyze and act on data generated by connected devices at global scale without having to manage any infrastructure. The Rules Engine evaluates inbound messages published into AWS IoT Core and transforms and delivers them to another device or a cloud service, based on business rules you define. A rule can apply to data from one or many devices, and it can take one or many actions in parallel.

The Rules Engine can also route messages to AWS endpoints including AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudWatch, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service with built-in Kibana integration. External endpoints can be reached using AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).

You can author rules within the management console or write rules using a SQL-like syntax. Rules can be authored to behave differently depending upon the content of the message. For example, if a temperature reading exceeds a certain threshold it could trigger a rule to transmit data to AWS Lambda. Rules can also be authored to take into account other data in the cloud, such as data from other devices. For example you could say take an action if this temperature is more than 15% higher than the average of 5 other devices.

The Rules Engine provides dozens of available functions that can be used to transform your data, and it’s possible to create infinitely more via AWS Lambda. For example, if you’re dealing with a wide range of values you could take the average of incoming numbers. Rules can also trigger the execution of your Java, Node.js or Python code in AWS Lambda, giving you maximum flexibility and power to process device data.

To learn more read the Rules Engine section of the AWS IoT Core user guide.

Learn more about AWS IoT Core pricing

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