Alibaba Cloud IoT Platform supports communication over MQTT, CoAP, or HTTP. Other types of protocols, such as the fire protection agreement GB/T 26875.3-2011, Modbus, and JT808, are not supported. In some scenarios where devices cannot be directly connected to IoT Platform, you can use the IoT as Bridge SDK to deploy a bridging service and establish connections between the devices and IoT Platform.

Note The IoT as Bridge SDK is supported only in the following regions: China (Shanghai), Germany (Frankfurt), and US (Virginia).

Architecture

The IoT as Bridge SDK is a self-adaptive protocol framework. This SDK is used to deploy a bridging service and achieve communication between IoT Platform and your devices.

Bridge

Scenarios

  • Your device cannot be directly connected to IoT Platform due to network or hardware limits.
  • Your device uses a protocol that is unsupported by IoT Platform.
  • A connection is already established between your device and a bridge server. You want to connect the device to IoT Platform without modifying the device and protocol.
  • Your device is connected to a server and needs to be updated.
    • The device needs to use IoT Platform capabilities, such as the OTA update feature.
    • The device needs to be integrated into an IoT Platform-based solution.
    • The device needs additional processing logic to meet business requirements.

Features

The IoT as Bridge SDK enables a bridge server to communicate with IoT Platform.

Basic features:

  • Allows you to manage configurations by using a configuration file.
  • Allows you to manage device connections.
  • Provides upstream communication capabilities.
  • Provides downstream communication capabilities.

Advanced features:

  • Allows you to manage configurations by using API operations.
  • Provides API operations to submit one or more properties and events, update tags, set properties, and call services.

Terms

Term Description
device The device in a real IoT scenario that cannot directly communicate with IoT Platform by using a supported protocol.
bridge server The server to which the device is connected. This server uses a specific protocol to communicate with the device and uses the IoT as Bridge SDK to communicate with IoT Platform.
original protocol The specific protocol that is used between the device and the bridge server. The IoT as Bridge SDK does not involve the definition and implementation of the original protocol.
original device identifier The unique identifier that is used by the device to communicate with the bridge server over the original protocol. The IoT as Bridge SDK provides the originalIdentity parameter to specify the identifier of the device.
device certificate The device certificate that is obtained after you register the device in IoT Platform. The certificate information includes ProductKey, DeviceName, and DeviceSecret. When you use the IoT as Bridge SDK, you do not need to burn the device certificate on the device. Instead, you must configure the devices.conf file. The bridge maps the originalIdentity parameter of the device to the device certificate.
bridge certificate The device certificate that is returned after you register the bridge device in IoT Platform. The certificate information includes ProductKey, DeviceName, and DeviceSecret. The bridge certificate uniquely identifies the bridge in IoT Platform.

Develop and deploy a bridging service

  1. Log on to the IoT Platform console, create a product and device, and then obtain the certificate of the bridge device.

    For more information, see Create a product, Create a device, and Create multiple devices at a time.

    You must specify the certificate of the bridge device when you configure the IoT as Bridge SDK.

    Note The bridge is a virtual device. You can use any device certificate as the certificate of the bridge.
  2. Configure the IoT as Bridge SDK.

    For more information, see Use the basic features and Use the advanced features.

    Note The IoT as Bridge SDK supports only the Java programming language. Only JDK 1.8 and later versions are supported.
  3. Deploy the developed bridging service.

    The following figure shows the procedure of using ECS to deploy the bridging service.

    Bridge