Adroitisms – IoT Glossary


Actuator: A mechanism that performs a physical task based on input from a connected system. Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP): An open application layer protocol for message-oriented middleware with a focus on queuing, routing (P2P, PubSub), security, and reliability. Alpha: The alpha phase of the release life cycle is the first phase to begin software testing (alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, used as the number 1). In this phase, developers generally test the software using white-box techniques. Additional validation is then performed using black-box or grey-box techniques, by another testing team. Moving to black-box testing inside the organisation is known as an alpha release. Alpha software can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss. Alpha software may not contain all of the features that are planned for the final version.[2] In general, external availability of alpha software is uncommon in proprietary software, while open source software often has publicly available alpha versions. The alpha phase usually ends with a feature freeze, indicating that no more features will be added to the software. At this time, the software is said to be feature complete. Application Agents: Help address the lack of overhead for end-to-end, peer-to-peer networking in IoT architecture by their presence in the propagator nodes in an enterprise. They move intelligence to the edge of the network to help manage traffic, allow a real-time response to changing IoT conditions, and provide local client services.


Beta: Beta, named after the second letter of the Greek alphabet, is the software development phase following alpha. The software in the beta stage is also known as beta ware. Beta phase generally begins when the software is feature complete but likely to contain a number of known or unknown bugs. The software in the beta phase will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software, as well as speed/performance issues and may still cause crashes or data loss. The focus of beta testing is reducing impacts on users, often incorporating usability testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release and this is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the organisation that developed it. Beta version software is often useful for demonstrations and previews within an organisation and to prospective customers. Some developers refer to this stage as a preview, preview release, prototype, technical preview/technology preview (TP), or early access. Some software is kept in perpetual beta, where new features and functionality are continually added to the software without establishing a final “stable” release. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): A wireless personal area network (PAN) aimed at devices with reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range to regular Bluetooth.


Chirps: Lighter, purpose-built protocols that allow the “things” in IoT to communicate and interchange. Built for machine-to-machine communication, they are efficient, extensible data frames that have an open-source structure, private data fields, and a simple checksum. Connected Devices: Components that make up the Internet of Things. Many have built-in sensors and/or actuators and collect data to help users or other devices make informed decisions and monitor or affect outside events. Connectivity Protection: A part of the Edge Layer that serves to ensure that device connectivity doesn’t fail if there is a network failure or an unreliable connection. Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP): An application layer protocol used in resource-constrained devices that allows Internet connectivity and remote control.


Data Filtration: A part of the Edge Layer that reduces the amount of transmitted information, but retains the meaning of it. Device-Agnostic Control: Part of the Edge Layer that provides site abstraction to allow the server and/or cloud application to be agnostic to the device implementation it controls. Direct Messaging: A messaging mechanism in which the sender and receiver are directly connected or can exchange messages through one or more intermediate hops, which do not take ownership of each message but just forward it (routing).


Edge Gateway: The connecting factor between device analytics and cloud data processing and analytics Edge Layer: An architectural shift in IoT that breaks the norm of the traditional client-server model. This is the first layer of connectivity for devices to connect to before going to the server. Responsible for the local connectivity of devices and for managing the data collection and connection to this server. Elasticity – In cloud computing, elasticity is a term used to reference the ability of a system to adapt to changing workload demand by provisioning and deprovisioning pooled resources so that provisioned resources match current demand as well as possible. Embedded Device/Systems: A computer with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system; it is embedded as part of a complete device. Endpoint Device: An Internet-capable device on a TCP/IP network.


Flow-Based Programming: A type of programming that defines applications as networks of process that exchange data across defined connections by message-passing, where the connections are specified externally to the processes. Fog Computing: Fog computing, also known as fog networking or fogging, is a decentralised computing infrastructure in which data, compute, storage and applications are distributed in the most logical, efficient place between the data source and the cloud.


General availability (GA): is the marketing stage at which all necessary commercialisation activities have been completed and a software product is available for purchase, depending, however, on language, region, electronic vs. media availability. Commercialisation activities could include security and compliance tests, as well as localisation and worldwide availability. The time between RTM and GA can be from a week to months in some cases before a generally available release can be declared because of the time needed to complete all commercialisation activities required by GA. At this stage, the software has “gone live”. Geofencing: A technology that creates virtual boundaries around a physical area in order to trigger an action on a connected device, usually through a combination of GPS and RFID tags.


Haze Computing: A dynamic model for analytics applications wherein an application at the data source analyzes a pooled view of resources for the local and global compute available across the cloud, edge, and device layers. This information informs how and where data analytics take place. Home Automation: A combination of hardware and software solutions that allow for the control and management of electronics, appliances, and devices within a home.


iBeacon (or Beacon Technology): A small network transmitter used to identify, track, and interact with connected systems using Bluetooth low energy. iBeacon is an Apple trademark, but it is also available on Android devices. Industrial Internet: The integration of machine learning, big data technology, sensor data, and machine-to-machine communication automation. This is done with the knowledge that the Internet of Things will be scaled and driven by enterprises. The idea is that smart machines can more accurately capture and communicate data to help corporations find problems sooner and increase overall efficiency. Integrator: The “tree trunk” of network architecture that performs the big data functions to provide a higher-level analysis of human interaction for near-edge analytics and broader-scope analysis and control. Internet of Things (IoT): A network of objects (such as sensors and actuators) that can capture data autonomously and self-configure intelligently based on physical world events, allowing these systems to become active participants in various public, commercial, scientific, and personal processes. Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP): The language a computer uses to access the internet. It consists of a suite of protocols designed to establish a network of networks to provide a host with access to the Internet. IoT Cloud Platform: A cloud platform that provides a set of services that simplify the integration process between the services provided by cloud platforms and IoT devices. Some platforms include development tools and data analytics capabilities. IoT Development Board: A board that can be used to prototype and create IoT hardware. There are several boards available on the market with different features.


KNX Protocol: KNX is a standardised (EN 50090, ISO/IEC 14543), OSI-based network communications protocol for building automation. The KNX standard is administered by the KNX Association in Brussells, KNX devices are made by more than 400 Manufatorures, with over 8000 devices in production now, This standard has been around since 1999, and is still leads the way in Building Automation.


Lightweight Protocol: Any protocol that has a lesser and leaner payload when being used and transmitted over a network connection. Long Range Communication Protocols: Used to refer to universal long-range radio frequencies for multi-generation wireless standards such as 2G, 3G, 4G, and4G LTE. Low-Power Devices: Electronics that have been designed to use less electric power than traditional devices. These are necessary to the future success of IoT because, as sensors become more advanced, devices need to be able to operate for longer periods of time without relying on manual maintenance or loss of data.


Machine-to-Machine (M2M): This refers to a network setup that allows connected devices to communicate freely, usually between a large number of devices; M2M often refers to the use of distributed systems in industrial and manufacturing applications. Machine Learning: Machine learning is a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” (e.g., progressively improve performance on a specific task) with data, without being explicitly programmed.[1]Mesh Network: A type of network topology in which a device transmits its own data and also serves as a relay for other nodes by providing the most efficient data path through routers. Microcontroller (MCU): A small computer on a single integrated circuit designed for embedded applications and used in automatically controlled embedded systems. Microservices – Microservices or microservice architecture is a way of designing applications in which complex applications are built out of a suite of small, independently deployable services. These ‘microservices’ run their own processes and communicate with one another using lightweight mechanisms such as language-agnostic APIs. Microservices are independently deployable and scalable, and can even be written in different languages. Messaging Protocols: The way information is transferred and communicated amongst devices, the cloud, and data storage. Different protocols are used for different results. Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT): A lightweight messaging protocol that runs on the TCP/IP protocol. It is designed for communicating with small devices in remote locations with low network bandwidth. Multi-Agent System: A network of multiple agents which act in an environment and interact or communicate with each other to achieve their design objective. MVP: The minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with enough features to satisfy the initial customers and provide feedback for future development


Near-Field Communication (NFC): A feature based on technical standards that allow devices to establish radio communication with other nearby systems or mobile devices. Natural-language processing (NLP): An area of computer science and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages, in particular how to program computers to fruitfully process large amounts of natural language data.   O Operability: Operability is the measure of how well a software system works when operating in production, whether that is the public cloud, a co-located data centre, an embedded system, or a remote sensor forming part of an IoT network.


Personal Area Network: A network created through the interconnection of information technology devices within the context of a single user. Propagator: The “leaves” of the network architecture tree that are serviced by intermediate branch network elements. They manage message routing protocol translation services. Proof of concept (POC): POC is a realization of a certain method or idea in order to demonstrate its feasibility, and/or a demonstration in principle with the aim of verifying that some concept or theory has practical potential. A proof of concept is usually small and may or may not be complete, This design stage is normally done in a rough form due to the Rapid Prototyping Nature.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): A technology that incorporates electromagnetic coupling and radiofrequency to identify objects and persons. It consists of three components: an antenna, transceiver, and transponder. Real-Time Operating System (RTOS): Designed to guarantee the completion of a task within a certain time constraint. Often used in safety-critical systems and when building IoT devices. Release Candidate (RC): A release candidate also known as “going silver”, is a beta version with potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. In this stage of product stabilisation, all product features have been designed, coded and tested through one or more beta cycles with no known showstopper-class bugs. A release is called code completewhen the development team agrees that no entirely new source code will be added to this release. There could still be source code changes to fix defects, changes to documentation and data files, and peripheral code for test cases or utilities. Beta testers, if privately selected, will often be credited for using the release candidate as though it were a finished product. Beta testing is conducted in a client’s or customer’s location and to test the software from a user’s perspective. Release To Manufacturing (RTM): The term “release to manufacturing”, also known as “going gold”, is a term used when a software product is ready to be delivered. This build may be digitally signed, allowing the end-user to verify the integrity and authenticity of the software purchase. A copy of the RTM build known as the “gold master” or GM is sent for mass duplication if applicable. RTM precedes general availability (GA) when the product is released to the public. Releasability: The ability to quickly deploy changes to a software system, but also to quickly recover from disaster and adapt to changing technical and business challenges.


Sensor: A device or component that perceives and responds to physical input from the environment. Sensor Network: A group of sensors with a communications infrastructure intended to monitor and collect data from multiple locations. Serverless: A platform providing computing, networking, and storage without the need of managing (virtual) machines. Single-Board Computer: A complete computer built on a single circuit board with all the components required of a functional computer. Site-Level Management: Allows site-level arrangement across devices from different vendors using dissimilar protocols. Store and Forward: A messaging mechanism in which a broker is involved between sender and receiver so that the broker gets ownership of the message from the sender, stores it for reliability, and then delivers the message itself to the receiver. System on a Chip: An integrated chip that is comprised of electronic circuits of multiple computer components to create a complete device.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): A basic client/server model communication protocol for the Internet and private networks.


Ubiquitous Computing: A method of enhancing computer use by making several computers available throughout a physical environment, but making them effectively invisible to the user.


Wearables: Connected devices that can be equipped with different types of sensors and are worn on a person’s body. They are meant to monitor, collect, and quantify data about a person’s life and environment, and allow them to interface with that data. Wi-Fi: A wireless local area network (WLAN) that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections.


ZigBee: An open standard for wireless communication designed to use low-power digital radio signals for personal area networks (PAN); it is used to create networks that require a low data transfer rate, energy efficiency, and secure networking. Z-Wave: A wireless protocol for home automation that communicates using a low-power radio frequency technology specifically designed for remote control applications.