Open source Project Flogo pushes IoT integration and connectivity to the edge

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TIBCO Software Inc., the integration and analytics solutions provider, has launched its ultra-lightweight IoT integration solution, Project Flogo. Its tiny open source integration engine allows application and business logic to run on edge devices, simplifying IoT integration challenges, avoiding technological lock-in, and reducing costs.

The Internet of Things is all about connecting devices and exchanging information to provide new capabilities and more compelling customer experiences. Myriad compute systems and networking devices must be able to communicate to drive this process. Without integration, IoT is not possible.

Gartner published IoT survey findings earlier this year that 43% of respondents cited integration as one of their top three technical challenges.1 Also Gartner recently reported, that through 2020, 75% of IoT projects will use some form of stand-alone (third-party) integration platform.2

Project Flogo simplifies IoT integration with a flow-based, web UI for building and deploying integration applications directly onto devices. The solution boasts one of the lightest integration engines in existence — with an average runtime footprint that is up to 20 times lighter than Node.js and 50 times lighter than Java — capable of running locally on IoT edge devices and not just in the cloud. With such a diminutive footprint, device manufacturers and application developers can offload critical application compute to even the smallest of devices, thereby extending end-user connected experience possibilities and significantly reducing the operational costs associated with architectures that require constant connectivity.

The benefits of moving integration applications onto IoT edge devices include:

  • Real-time sense-and-respond functionality is better equipped, as resources and decision-making are local.
  • The system continues to work well when connectivity is problematic or undesirable.
  • It saves on communications costs, since data is selectively transmitted, stored on board, and/or discarded.
  • It allows for an air gap (a network security measure) to ensure that a secure computer network is physically isolated from unsecured networks.

"When we started work on Project Flogo, we did it with the belief that there is a better way to perform integration tasks for IoT devices," said Matt Quinn, executive vice president, products & technology, and chief technology officer, TIBCO. "We're pleased to release Project Flogo, and open source this technology to the developer community. We invite developers to leverage TIBCO's expertise and decades of experience in integration to address the current challenges of integrating IoT solutions. Project Flogo opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities."

With Project Flogo, developers can leverage flow-based programming to easily design and debug tile-based flows in a browser. The conversational user design experience includes the first-ever Stepback Debugger, providing a powerful paradigm to move freely within workflows and interactively debug applications. To avoid lock-in issues and encourage development, the framework is 100% open source, with permissive licensing and a powerful Golang SDK for creating custom extensions.

1Gartner, Survey Analysis: Users Cite Ambitious Growth — And Formidable Technical Challenges — in IoT Adoption, 07 March 2016
2Gartner, Market Guide for IoT Integration, 23 June 2016

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