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On to Delhi: EdgeX Foundry Expands Capabilities

By Special Guest
Shrey Fadia, Special Correspondent
November 19, 2018

EdgeX Foundry continues its momentum with its third release in the last 12 months – this time in Delhi.

According to Jim White, Dell Technologies IoT Platform Development Team Lead and EdgeX Technical Steering Committee’s Vice Chair, “Today, EdgeX is being developed around the globe by a lot of tremendous software engineering talent.  I was proud to start EdgeX, but I am even more proud to be part of an exciting group of international engineers building the most flexible, interoperable, open source IoT platform on the planet.”

The new release contains a new service and several key features including the first EdgeX system management capability. 

The System Management Agent (SMA) serves as the coordinator for control plane information (status, configuration and metrics around EdgeX services) and control actions on EdgeX services (start, stop, and restart). 

Cloud or third-party systems can now call on the API provided by the SMA to trigger the actions or to get the control plane data they need.

“The SMA can serve as a one-stop shop for managing an instance of EdgeX,” White explained. “Each EdgeX micro service has a corresponding management API that the SMA calls on to help control that service (example – stop the service) or pull back its latest configuration or metrics.”

The SMA and management API provided by each service will be expanded in future releases of EdgeX and will one day offer control plane data and actions via alternate protocols including LWM2M and SNMP.

From Java to GoLang
The original platform started with Java, but over the last year, White said the community “embarked on an endeavor to replace the bulky and slow Java services and tools with Go and C services and tools.  Device Services – the EdgeX services that connect “things” to the platform – are still in Java but not for long.  With the Delhi release, two new Device Service SDKs have been created.  The Go and C SDKs are allowing the community to create smaller, lighter, faster device/sensor connecting services that will allow EdgeX to operate in very limited resource compute environments – the thin edge in IoT solutions.”

White also wrote about the addition of user interfaces. “EdgeX was built to facilitate machine to machine communications,” White said, and “As such, it did not have a user interface.  With the Delhi release, user interfaces were created – largely to help visually showcase EdgeX functionality and to help developers – these UI also show how EdgeX can be driven and operated.”

Many of the core and supporting services in EdgeX were improved and more unit testing was added to allow the community to keep an eye on the quality of the overall system and compatibility of future features of EdgeX.  The Scheduling Service was also transitioned from Java to Go.

Security services were initiated in the California release; the Delhi release includes the next wave of security features including access control to grant access to appropriate services, and improved security service bootstrapping.

Over the last several months, the EdgeX Foundry ecosystem also expanded, with companies including Basking Automation, Data Ahead, Intel, Redis, and ZEDEDA joining.

The community also launched the availability of a developer kit and community demonstrator (for showcasing EdgeX during conferences and IoT events). 




Edited by Ken Briodagh


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