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IoT Platform:Features

Last Updated:Oct 08, 2023

IoT Platform provides capabilities such as device connection, device management, and rules engine to empower developers from various industries in IoT scenarios.

Instance management

IoT Platform provides public instances and Enterprise Edition instances. You can connect devices to IoT Platform instances and manage the devices by using the instances. For more information about instances, see Overview.



Public instances

After you activate IoT Platform, a public instance is provided for trial use. Public instances are deployed in Alibaba Cloud classic networks.

Enterprise Edition instances

The instance that needs to be purchased is an Enterprise Edition instance. Enterprise Edition instances are deployed in Alibaba Cloud virtual private clouds (VPCs). You can use an Alibaba Cloud account to purchase multiple Enterprise Edition instances and exclusively use the resources of the instances.

For more information about instance types, see Types of Enterprise Edition instances.

IoT Platform allows you to add environment tags to instances. Environment tags are classified into test environment tags and production environment tags. This way, you can identify and manage devices that are connected to IoT Platform from different environments. For more information, see Manage instances in different environments.

The following sections describe the features of IoT Platform. For more information about the features of each instance type, see Differences between the types of Enterprise Edition instances based on features.

Device connection

IoT Platform allows you to connect a large number of devices to the cloud. Devices communicate with IoT Platform in a stable and reliable manner.



Download Link SDKs

Supports various open source programming languages and provides guides to code porting across platforms. This allows you to connect devices from various platforms to IoT Platform. IoT Platform provides Link SDKs to connect different devices to IoT Platform.

Device verification

  • Provides X.509 certificate-based device verification. This way, you can use X.509 certificates to verify the devices of a cloud gateway. Security level: high.

  • Provides the unique-certificate-per-device verification mechanism to reduce security risks. The mechanism is applicable if a device certificate can be burned to the chip of each device. A device certificate consists of a ProductKey, a DeviceName, and a DeviceSecret. Security level: high.

  • Provides the unique-certificate-per-product verification mechanism. A device is burned with a product certificate that consists of a ProductKey and a ProductSecret. Then, the device dynamically obtains a device certificate that includes a ProductKey, a DeviceName, and a DeviceSecret during verification. The mechanism is applicable if a device certificate cannot be burned to each device during mass production. Security level: medium.

Communication topics

Provides product and device topics to facilitate communication between devices and IoT Platform. This simplifies the authorization process.

Connection over MQTT, CoAP, or HTTPS

Provides Link SDKs that support various protocols. You can establish persistent connections to meet real-time requirements. You can also establish short-lived connections to reduce resource consumption.

IoT as Bridge SDK

Provides the IoT as Bridge SDK that allows you to deploy a bridging service and establish connections between devices and IoT Platform.

Cloud gateways

Provides cloud gateways. This way, you can use cloud gateways to connect China Telecom-based NB-IoT devices, open source Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) devices, JT/T 808 devices, and GB/T 32960 devices to IoT Platform.


You can use the following features to synchronize, convert, filter, and store messages that are transferred between devices, business servers, and IoT Platform.



Server-side subscription

Allows you to subscribe to messages of one or more types from all devices of a product. Your server can use an Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) client or a Message Service (MNS) client to obtain the messages to which you subscribed.

Data forwarding

Allows you to forward specified fields of topic messages to a data destination for storage and computing by using a data forwarding rule.

For more information about the use scenarios and benefits of data forwarding rules, see Compare data forwarding solutions. For more information about data forwarding destinations, see the following topics:

Scene orchestration

Allows you to configure a rule to forward the data of a device to other devices.

RRPC communication

Provides the revert-remote procedure call (RRPC) and Pub/Sub communication modes to meet your business requirements in different scenarios. Pub/Sub is a message routing mode that is based on topics.

Broadcast communication

Data compression

Allows you to compress data that is transmitted between IoT Platform and devices. This reduces device traffic and increases transmission speed.

Device management



TSL models

Provides Thing Specification Language (TSL) models to simplify application development.

Message parsing

Supports passing through binary data to your server. To ensure data security, IoT Platform does not store device data.


Allows you to classify devices and manage devices across products.

Device groups

Advanced search

Allows you to query devices by executing an SQL-like statement. The operation returns the devices that meet the conditions that you specify in the SQL-like statement.

Device simulation

Allows you to simulate an actual device to establish a connection with IoT Platform, use the simulated data to test the communication between IoT Platform and the device, and identify errors.

Device shadows

Provides the device shadow feature to decouple devices and applications in unstable wireless network conditions.

File management

Allows you to upload and store files in IoT Platform. You can perform file management operations in the IoT Platform console, such as downloading and deleting files.

NTP service

Allows you to synchronize the server time with embedded devices that have limited resources.

Gateways and sub-devices

Allows you to manage the topological relationships between sub-devices and between sub-devices and gateways. You can also manage and monitor sub-devices.

Device distribution

Allows you to distribute devices across regions, instances, or accounts. This reduces the costs of connecting devices to IoT Platform.

Monitoring and O&M



Real-time monitoring

Allows you to monitor metrics that are related to devices, messages, TSL models, and the rules engine in real time and send alert notifications by using CloudMonitor.

Online debugging

Allows you to send commands to devices in the IoT Platform console to debug device features.

IoT Platform logs

Provides IoT Platform logs and on-premises device logs to help you identify errors and analyze the causes.

OTA update

Provides the remote device update feature.

Remote configuration

Allows you to remotely update the system and network parameters.

Cloud-side development guide

IoT Platform SDK and API operations: IoT Platform provides SDKs for Java, Python, PHP, .NET, and Go. You can call the API operations of IoT Platform to manage products, devices, and topics, forward data to other cloud services, and send data to devices.


The regions and instance types that are supported by the API operations of an IoT Platform feature are the same as the regions and instance types that are supported by the feature in the IoT Platform console.