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The core of the Bosch IoT Suite is based on open source

Why we take an open approach to developing our IoT platform

Why we are engaged in open source

As an early innovator in the Internet of Things, Bosch quickly realized that an IoT platform is needed to connect the millions of IoT devices with existing operational technology (OT) and enterprise IT systems. After a strategic assessment, we concluded that there were three options: build a proprietary IoT platform, OEM a platform from a third party, or adopt an open source IoT platform.

Seeing the dominance of open source software across many software infrastructure categories, we ultimately decided to pursue an open source software strategy. In following this strategy, we started to engage in the open source community, which allows us to better collaborate with other companies and partners in the IoT ecosystem and enables us to provide more complete IoT solutions to our customers.

Our engagement in the Eclipse IoT Working Group

In 2015, Bosch increased its membership level in the Eclipse Foundation to become a strategic member and joined the Eclipse IoT Working Group. With over 35 different projects and 40 participating member companies, Eclipse IoT is the leading open source community focused on IoT. Since joining the Eclipse IoT community, Bosch has created six different IoT open source projects and contributes to many other Eclipse IoT projects.

Within Eclipse IoT, numerous developers create tools and standards on an open platform that many companies can benefit from for their IoT applications. The Eclipse Foundation also provides pragmatic legal and intellectual property processes. These mitigate business risk through compliance with antitrust laws, allowing open source technology to be embedded successfully into commercial products.

How we leverage open source in the Bosch IoT Suite

The core of the Bosch IoT Suite is built on top of Eclipse IoT open source projects, which provide the technology that we require to build a commercial-grade IoT platform. Thanks to an open development model, our customers and partners benefit from a more transparent and collaborative development process.

Eclipse Ditto is where IoT devices and their digital twins get together. This open source project provides the basis for Bosch IoT Things.

Eclipse hawkBit allows you to create a domain-independent back-end solution for rolling out software updates. It is the open source core of Bosch IoT Rollouts.

Eclipse Hono builds the foundation of the Bosch IoT Hub. It provides remote service interfaces for connecting large numbers of IoT devices to a back-end.

Eclipse Vorto allows you to describe the abstract capabilities and functionality of devices as Information Models. The Bosch IoT Suite leverages these models to normalize the payloads of devices and expose them as semantic APIs to IoT solutions.

Eclipse Californium is a CoAP framework that targets back-end services communicating with smaller IoT devices. This specialized web transfer protocol is used within the Bosch IoT Hub.

Eclipse Leshan is a library implementing the Lightweight M2M protocol specified by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). It is leveraged by the Bosch IoT Hub.

What makes open source development attractive…

…for companies

We and other companies benefit from easy access to leading-edge open source technology which is freely available thanks to open source licenses. Drawing upon this innovative technology forms an important pillar that allows us to deliver successful IoT solutions to our customers.

Using open source software, companies no longer need to rely on a single vendor’s offering and support and are no longer locked into proprietary platforms provided by lone players . Rather, we benefit from the organic support provided by the participants of the open source community. In this way, open source helps us create a solid foundation and stable future for our business.

As the core of the Bosch IoT Suite is based on open source, our customers are able to play an active role in its development. By participating in the underlying open source project communities, they can influence the future development our IoT platform. Overall, we have found that the transparency of open source development helps strengthen the relationships we have with our customers.

In the process of developing our open source projects, we collaborate with many different companies. This brings a variety of different perspectives and skill sets to the open source project team, which in turn helps us create better solutions for our customers and our partners.

…for developers

The open source ethos of code sharing and transparency increases collaboration across development teams, speeds up knowledge transfer, and ultimately produces better quality software in a shorter period of time.

Open source software makes it easier for developers to experiment with new technologies. By allowing for rapid prototyping and proofs of concept, we are able to easily explore how we might create better solutions for our customers.

Many successful open source projects are backed by an active community, lending its support and providing resources. This makes it easier for developers to learn about the technology and to become more productive within an open source project.

Bosch IoT Suite voted “best in class” in
open source-based IoT platforms