Open Source

M2M Players Form Open Source Working Group

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  January 12, 2012

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY

A handful of M2M players this fall formed a working group aimed at expediting the deployment, development and testing of machine-to-machine solutions. Founders of the effort include the Eclipse Foundation, integrator Eurotech, IBM, and Sierra Wireless (News - Alert).

“The M2M Industry Working Group is contributing source code to give developers the

tools they need to build M2M applications,” spokeswoman Lisa Brandli tells INTERNET TELEPHONY. “Since it is open source, there is an opportunity for the community to improve those tools with their own contributions.”

Creating open tools, open protocols, open interfaces and open APIs will help reduce development

time and costs, and ensure interoperability as deployments evolve over the lifetime of a project, according to the new working group. Open to any organization with an interest in M2M solutions, the group says its formation comes at a critical time, when “the market for M2M solutions is growing, but rapid growth is hindered by incompatible platforms and protocols that require developers to continually reinvent solutions.”

The efforts of this new group build upon the work of the Eclipse Machine-to-Machine Industry Working Group and its Koneki project. Eclipse is a not-for-profit, member supported open source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. Eclipse membership includes major technology vendors, start-ups, universities and research institutions and individuals. Koneki aims to provide M2M solution developers with tools that ease development, simulation, testing/debugging and deployment. Initial open source contributions provide a common set of tools and APIs that simplify development of solutions across multiple environments, such as Linux, Java, and proprietary environments such as Open AT from Sierra Wireless, as well as standard communications protocols. That means fast time to market, and gives M2M customers more flexibility, and systems that are interoperable and don’t lock them into a long-term relationship with a single solution vendor.

“We consider it critically important to provide the M2M developer community with the tools and support needed to deploy applications as efficiently as possible, and ensure that they can be easily maintained over time. Because of this, we have been developing Eclipse-based tools for many years,” says Emmanuel Walckenaer, senior vice president and general manager of solutions and services for Sierra Wireless. “This collaboration with the Eclipse Foundation and our other working group partners is an extension of our commitment to build an open M2M ecosystem, not only for the benefit of our customers, but also for the long-term development of the industry.”

Sierra Wireless – a company that offers 2G, 3G and 4G wireless modems, routers and gateways, and a suite of software, tools, and services to help customers bring wireless applications to market – says it made the first significant contribution to the Koneki project by providing a full-featured embedded development environment for the Lua programming language. Sierra Wireless also is a premium sponsor of EclipseCon Europe, which took place this fall in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi