Link IoT Edge uses drivers to connect devices. You can connect devices to Link IoT Edge only by using drivers.

The following figure shows the position of drivers in the Link IoT Edge architecture.

Device connection

Drivers for device connection

A driver consists of three components: device connection management, device data conversion, and data and request processing.
  • Device connection management

    This component establishes communication channels between devices and gateways. Link IoT Edge allows you to connect your devices that use various communications protocols to gateways. Therefore, you can select communications protocols based on your business requirements.

  • Data conversion

    This component converts the device data that complies with various communications protocols into the data that meets the format requirements for Alibaba Cloud Thing Specification Language (TSL) models. This component then sends the converted data to the Alibaba Cloud IoT cloud. For more information, see TSL.

  • Data and request processing

    This component processes the requests that the cloud sends to devices, calls the devices services, processes the service calling result, and sends the result to IoT Platform.

Drivers are an independent module of Link IoT Edge. You can develop custom drivers based on your business requirements. The following figure shows the functions of a custom driver, the data flow throughout the entire procedure, and the tasks that are required to develop a custom driver.Drivers for device connection

Method of using drivers

Link IoT Edge provides two types of drivers to meet diverse requirements.
  • Official drivers: Link IoT Edge provides this type of driver for commonly used communications protocols and standards, including Modbus drivers and OPC Unified Architecture (UA) drivers.
  • Custom drivers: Link IoT Edge provides SDKs for device vendors and developers to develop custom drivers.
Link IoT Edge drivers

Sample drivers introduces two official drivers. It also provides the details about how to use them, which helps you familiarize yourself with the procedure of using drivers.

Link IoT Edge provides official drivers for commonly used communication protocols and standards, including Modbus and OPC UA drivers. You can use official drivers to connect your devices to Link IoT Edge. For more information, see Official drivers.

Link IoT Edge also provides SDKs for device connection. You can use the SDKs to develop custom drivers. For more information, see Develop drivers.