IoT Platform is a platform that integrates various capabilities, such as device management, secure data communication, and message subscription. You can connect a large number of devices to IoT Platform and collect device data to IoT Platform. You can also call the API operations of IoT Platform on your business server to send remote commands to devices.

Get started with IoT Platform

  • Learning path: describes how to configure a device and connect the device to IoT Platform.
  • Terms: describes the basic concepts that you must understand before you use IoT Platform.
  • FAQ: provides answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about IoT Platform.

How it works

The following figure shows the communication process among IoT Platform, devices, business servers, and clients.

IoT Platform-based business link

To achieve communication, you must configure devices, IoT Platform servers, databases, and mobile apps. You can use IoT Platform SDK to develop IoT Platform servers. When you develop devices and IoT Platform servers, you must define and process device messages.

The following table describes the upstream and downstream messaging between devices and IoT Platform.

Communication type Description
Upstream messaging A device establishes a persistent connection with IoT Platform over Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT). Then, the device submits data to IoT Platform by by calling the Pub operation to send payloads to a topic.
IoT Platform forwards data to a business server by using an AMQP consumer group.
The data forwarding feature of IoT Platform can help you process data that is submitted by devices and forward the processed data to multiple services for storage or subsequent processing. The services include ApsaraDB RDS, Tablestore (OTS), Function Compute, Lindorm, and Message Queue for Apache RocketMQ.
Downstream commands You can send a command by using a business application. Then, your business server calls the HTTPS-based Pub operation to send the command to an IoT Platform topic.
IoT Platform calls the Pub operation to send payloads to specified topics over MQTT.

For more information about device communication, see Topics.


  • Instance management
    IoT Platform provides individual developers and enterprise users with public instances for trial use. After you activate IoT Platform, you can use the features of the service. IoT Platform provides enterprise users with IoT Platform instances. You can connect devices to the instances, and manage or perform O&M tasks on the devices.
    • Device connection
      You can connect devices that reside in multiple regions and networks, such as 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi, and devices that run on different platforms, such as C and Android to IoT Platform over multiple protocols, such as MQTT, Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), and HTTPS. This reduces the period of time that is required to configure a device before you can connect the device to IoT Platform.
    • Device management
      IoT Platform provides secure and reliable device management capabilities. The capabilities include device lifecycle management, advanced search, tag management, device shadowing, and device file management.
    • Rules engine
      You can integrate IoT Platform with multiple Alibaba Cloud services to meet your business requirements in different scenarios. The services include TableStore (OTS), ApsaraDB RDS, Lindorm, Function Compute, Message Service (MNS), and Message Queue for Apache RocketMQ. The scenarios include machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, device data storage, device data computing, and message queuing.
    • Monitoring and O&M
      IoT Platform provides the following capabilities for devices: monitoring and alerting, integrated log analysis, OTA update, and smart diagnostics.

    For more information about the features of IoT Platform, see Functions and features.


    • Stable connections between IoT Platform and devices

      IoT Platform supports hundreds of millions of device connections and millions of concurrent messages. IoT Platform can help you defend against DDoS attacks whose peak traffic reaches 600 Gbit/s at the access layer and provides SLA of more than 99.95%.

    • Cost-effectiveness and nearby access for global devices

      Compared with user-created MQTT clusters, IoT Platform provides more management and O&M capabilities at minimal costs. IoT Platform is available in eight primary regions around the world. This way, a device can automatically connect to the nearest region based on the location of the device.

    • Ease of use and scalability

      IoT Platform supports the pay-as-you-go and subscription billing methods. IoT Platform can automatically scale out resources to accommodate your business growth. IoT Platform provides an integrated device management platform that monitors devices in real time. IoT Platform can seamlessly work with multiple Alibaba Cloud services. IoT Platform allows you to build complex IoT applications with ease.

    For more information about the benefits of IoT Platform, see Benefits.


    IoT Platform can be used to improve user experience when you use smart home appliances, agricultural equipment, and intelligent media devices. For more information about sample scenarios, see Common scenarios.


    IoT Platform supports the following billing methods: pay-as-you-go and subscription.

    After you activate IoT Platform, a public instance is provided for trial use. Public instances of the old version use the pay-as-you-go billing method. Public instances of the new version provide resources of fixed specifications free of charge. You can purchase subscription Enterprise Edition instances based on your business requirements.

    For information about the billing methods of IoT Platform, see Billing.

    Activate IoT Platform
    Purchase Enterprise Edition instances


    The following table describes the methods to use IoT Platform.

    Method Description
    IoT Platform console You can access web service pages that provide interactive operations to manage your IoT Platform resources.
    IoT Platform SDKs and IoT Platform API Use an IoT Platform SDK to send a GET or POST request to the endpoint of the IoT Platform API over HTTPs or HTTP. Then, specify and configure the request parameters that are required to call an API operation based on the API reference.

    You can use OpenAPI Explorer to search for API operations, call API operations, and dynamically generate SDK sample code.

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