The Sparkplug specification that enables a “Plug n Play” Industrial Internet of Things Poised to become an Official ISO/IEC Standard.
The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world’s largest open source software foundations, in collaboration with the Eclipse Sparkplug Working Group, today announced the release of the Sparkplug 3.0 specification.
Sparkplug is an open software specification that enables mission-critical operational technology (“OT”) clients to use industry standards, including MQTT, to seamlessly integrate data from their applications, sensors, devices, and gateways with most Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) Infrastructure. The Sparkplug 3.0 specification represents the first version of the specification managed under the Eclipse Foundation specification process. It also represents the proper formalization of the specification over the v2.2 release.
The goals for Sparkplug 3.0 are to leverage the Eclipse Foundation’s open and vendor-neutral specification process to clarify ambiguities in the v2.2 version and add explicit normative statements while maintaining backward compatibility. In addition, the Sparkplug specification has begun the process of transposition as an international standard at ISO/IEC, an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 167 national standards bodies. To support this standardization effort, the Eclipse Foundation has obtained the status of Publicly Available Specification (PAS) submitter from ISO/IEC’s Joint Technology Committee (JTC) 1. The PAS process is a fast-track process enabling a specification to be approved as an ISO/IEC standard in less than a year, as opposed to a full-length process that can take up to four years. Already growing quickly, Sparkplug’s transition to approved industry standard specification should further speed its growth and acceptance throughout multiple industries.
“Today’s release of Sparkplug 3.0 represents a major milestone,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director for the Eclipse Foundation.
“This march to Sparkplug’s transformation into an official industry standard has come from significant industry-wide collaboration that continues under the auspices of the Sparkplug Working Group. We look forward to continuing to foster new partnerships to advance the adoption of MQTT and Sparkplug in the industry.”
The Sparkplug Working Group is simultaneously launching a product compatibility program for Sparkplug implementers. The program will ensure that Sparkplug-compatible products and implementations demonstrate a high degree of compatibility and interoperability.
About Sparkplug & MQTT
Sparkplug provides an open and freely available specification for how Edge of Network (EoN) gateways or native MQTT-enabled end devices and MQTT Applications communicate bi-directionally within an MQTT Infrastructure. It is recognized that MQTT is used across a wide spectrum of application solution use cases and an almost indefinable variation of network topologies.
By design, the MQTT specification does not dictate a Topic Namespace or any payload encoding. However, as the IIoT and other architectures leveraging the publisher/subscriber model are adopted by device OEMs in the industrial sector, having different Topic Namespace and payload encoding can inhibit interoperability for the end customer. To that end, the Sparkplug specification addresses the following components within an MQTT infrastructure:
- Sparkplug defines an OT-centric Topic Namespace.
- Sparkplug defines an OT-centric Payload definition optimized for industrial process variables.
- Sparkplug defines MQTT Session State management required by real-time OT SCADA systems.