What is IoT framework? List top 10 Open source IoT frameworks

IoT framework meaning and Open source IoT frameworks

The IoT Framework


Today, the Internet has become a major part of the world. It finds application in every corner of the globe. With the increasing use of the Internet, more appliances and devices are now being connected to the web, forming the ‘Internet of Things,’ commonly known by its acronym ‘IoT’. The IoT is not just a simple technology. It is a complex framework that includes several different technologies, designed to work together in tandem. In this article, you will learn what the IoT framework is in detail, as well as the Open source IoT frameworks.


What is IoT Framework?

Normally, when large data is being generated and transmitted across a number of devices, there has to be a specific point where everything is collected and combined.

This specific point is very essential in a network, as it combines all data, making it possible to understand the data being generated.

However, the smooth transmission and generation of data don’t just happen. Rather, it is usually made possible by the Internet of Things Framework, (IoT framework). So, just what is IoT framework?

The Internet of Things (IoT) Framework can be described as being an ecosystem, comprising of several connected devices that communicate with each other, over the Internet. These connected devices usually work to transfer and sense data over the Internet, while requiring very little human intervention.

The IoT framework is what makes it possible for the connected devices to have smooth communication over the Internet. It is no wonder, then, that it is referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’ framework, or in other words, the framework that facilitates the interaction of ‘Things’ (devices) over the Internet.


iot framework overview
IoT Framework Overview

Image credit: Quora 


The IoT framework is a very important element of technology in the modern world, finding application in almost every sector. For instance, one of the major applications of the IoT is in the designing of smart homes.

The IoT framework concept is also applied in the designing of different physical objects, such as thermostats, electrical devices, security and alarm systems, as well as vending machines, among many other objects.


Main Components of the Internet of Things Framework

major components of IoT Framework
major components of IoT Framework

Image credit: rfPage


The IoT Framework is comprised of four major components, as discussed below;

1) Device Hardware

The device hardware component of the IoT framework requires some basic knowledge on architecture. The user is also required to have an idea on the working of the different micro-controllers, as well the sensors.
Examples of hardware devices that form part of this IoT framework component are sensors, micro-controllers and controllers.

2) Device Software

In order for the device software of the IoT framework to function properly, the included writing applications are required to configure the controller, then operate them remotely. The user is required to have a basic understanding of how an API works inside the micro-controllers, as well how libraries are usually made for programming.

3) Communication and Cloud Platform

The cloud platform is one of the most crucial parts of the IoT framework. It calls for the basic knowledge of all communication, whether wireless or wired. The user is also required to have a good understanding of IoT integration, as well as the working of the cloud technology.
In summary, we can say the communication and Cloud Platform of the IoT Framework is where all communications happen.

4) Cloud Application

The cloud application is a type of software program, which mainly consists of components that can be accessed quite easier and faster. These components can be either local or even cloud-based. The cloud application works to improve the system, such that its maximum potential is realized.
In other words, the cloud application can be defined as the written application of an IoT framework, that binds all the local hardware devices, as well as the cloud-based devices.


See alsoHow does IoT work?- explanation of IoT Architecture & layers


Open Source IoT Frameworks

In order to understand what an IoT framework open source is, consider these three facts;

1) Every consumer wishes that they can use any technology device of their choice, without being limited or forced to use devices from just one particular vendor (for instance, some smart-watches require that they are paired with only smartphones from the same vendor).

2) All dealers of IoT devices wish that the integration of their devices can be made much easier, and even possible with a large number of different technology ecosystems.

3) Those who develop applications wish that they could support many different devices, which do not require any developed vendor-specific codes.

The Open source framework is a solution to all the above challenges. It allows for such levels of scale to be achieved, and also high flexibility levels. Most of the IoT framework open sources are free to download and can be installed and launched quite easily.

The Internet world offers a large variety of open sources for the IoT Framework. So, just which open source should you go for?


See alsoWhat is Open Source ? Difference between Open source and Proprietor software (close source)?


Top 10 Open Source IoT Frameworks

The following are the most recommended top 10 open source IoT frameworks;

1) KAA IoT

This particular IoT framework open source is most popular for its efficiency and the ‘rich’ services it offers. The KAA IoT is a cloud platform that allows the users to materialize and implement all the smart product concepts that they may be having.

While on the KAA IoT framework, the user has the ability to manage as many connected devices as they prefer. This ability to manage the unlimited number of devices is made possible by the cross-device interoperability of this platform. Also, the KAA IoT framework makes it possible to monitor the connected devices, and even configure them from a remote location.

The KAA IoT cloud platform is not just known for being an efficient IoT framework open source, but it is also one of the most flexible open-source solutions available. It is what allows for information to be exchanged between the connected devices and other elements of the IoT framework.


The MACCHINA.io open source can support a large number of different sensors, as well as connection technologies. It also facilitates a JavaScript and C++ environment that is not only web-enabled, but that is also extensible. Such an environment makes it easier to develop different IoT gateway applications.

A good example of the application of the MACCHINA.io IoT framework open source is in the building of smart homes and home automation systems. In the construction of smart homes, this open-source is used for the development and deployment of device software for smart sensors and other automotive telematics.


The ZETTA open source is more of a server-oriented platform. This means that its construction is mainly developed around the REST, NodeJS, as well as the reactive programming philosophy that is usually based on flow. This philosophy tends to be linked with the Siren hypermedia APIs, which are later on abstracted as REST APIs.
The REST APIs of the ZETTA open source are then linked with the cloud services, such as visualization tools. Being an API-oriented open-source, ZETTA mainly deals with the unlimited streaming loads of data.


The GE PREDIX open-source framework is mainly built around the concept of cloud foundry. Despite the fact that this IoT framework open source was developed for the internal operations of the GE, it has now become one of the most popular and successful IoT platforms available.

The GE PREDIX open source allows for a user to efficiently manage assets, ensure the security and real-time of connected devices, as well as facilitate the acquisition, storage and access of large chunks of data.

5) ThingSpeak

ThingSpeak framework makes it possible for the users to not only analyze but also visualize data in MATLAB. The fact that this particular open source IoT framework does this eliminates any need for the user to buy a license for performing such services.
With the ThingSpeak open source, the collection and storage of sensor data is made possible, even in private channels. Furthermore, this open-source allows for the sharing of sensor data in public channels.

The most common uses for ThingSpeak open-source framework are providing alerts, tracking specific locations and sensor logging.

6) DeviceHive

The DeviceHive is a free open source IoT framework. The package includes two deployment options; Docker and Kubernetes. After downloading this open-source framework, the user can use it with either a private or a public cloud. It can be changed very easily and is designed with its main focus being the analysis of big data.

DeviceHive open source makes it possible for the user to run batch analysis, as well as machine learning that exceeds the device’s information and data. It supports a variety of libraries, with the most common libraries supported being Android and iOS. Some client libraries are also supported by open-source, such as Python and Java.

7) Distributed Services Architecture

Like the name implies, the Distributed Services Architecture open-source functions to bring together all the separate devices, applications and services, which are distributed in the given data model. This open-source can be described as being a community library, which links the translation of protocols and integration of data to the data sources of third parties.
The main advantage of the Distributed Services Architecture is that it is lightweight, which makes it more flexible and easier to use. It also includes a hardware integration support built into the system.

8) Arduino

Arduino is one of the most recommended IoT framework open source, especially if you intend to own a computer that perceives and has strong control over the world.

The Arduino open source is a combination of both the hardware and software systems of IoT, which makes it very simple and easy to use.

The operation of the Arduino open-source is facilitated by several hardware specifications, that are usually applied by the interactive electronics.

9) Node-RED

The Node-Red open source works as a visual tool that functions to wire together all the connected hardware devices, services, as well as APIs. This open-source IoT framework usually does the wiring in new and unique ways than other open-source frameworks.
Node-Red open source is developed around Node.js. it can work on Raspberry Pi, as well as on other 60,000 different modules.

10) Flutter

The Flutter open-source framework is a processor core, that can be easily programmed for different electronic projects. The fact that this IoT framework open source is programmable makes it very popular among students and engineers.
The board of the Flutter open source is based on Arduino and is designed with a very powerful wireless transmitter. Since flutter boards make fast interactions with each other, this eliminates the need for a router. This open-source is also very simple and easy to use, which makes it very convenient.


See also15 free Operating System for IoT | Internet of Things development OS


IoT Testing Framework


internet of things human and value

image credit: montblogsite

The IoT framework is gaining a lot of popularity recently and is even believed to have the highest chances of becoming the largest software development of all time. This is why it has become important to test this software and its devices, so as to ensure that it not only offers the best services but also meets the highest quality standards. This type of testing is what is referred to as IoT testing.


Why Internet of Things Testing?

IoT testing is very important in the field of computer networking and software development. The following are the 3 main benefits of IoT testing;

1) Improves Engagement

IoT testing framework works to ensure that the end-user gets the best and easiest experience, for all the channels, such as connected devices and mobiles.

2) Future-Proofs Businesses

IoT testing framework ensures the security, best performance and interoperability of a business, which in turn serves as a Future-Proof for the business.

3) Accelerate Time-to-Market

IoT testing framework does this by leveraging early automation, hence, ensuring an accelerated time-to-market.


IoT testing framework

Image credit: clariontech


The following types of tests are recommended to be done across the IoT framework;

1) Performance Testing

Performing testing is usually conducted so as to determine how rapid the functioning of a communication network model is. This testing also looks into the computation capabilities of the internal part of the software system.
This IoT Performance testing framework is usually done in 3 levels:

  • The Network and Gateway level, which involves protocols such as HTTP and MQTT
  • The System level
  • The Application level

A good example of Performance IoT testing is the verification of response time against a specific bench-marked time, with specifically defined connectivity settings.

2) Security Testing

The security testing aspect of the IoT framework deals with security elements, such as the protection of data, as well as encryption and decryption. It is aimed at providing added security to connected devices, and also to the networks and cloud services on which the devices are connected.

Some variables that mostly cause security threats in IoT are sensor networks, applications that work to collect data, and interfaces. Therefore, it is highly recommended that security testing be done at the device and protocol level, since problems can easily be detected and solved at this level.

An example of security testing is the verification of no unauthorized access to a particular device.

3) Compatibility Testing

The main purpose of compatibility testing is to validate all the possible functional combinations of devices, their hardware, protocol and software versions, as well as operating systems, such as the mobile OS versions.
This compatibility testing is usually done in two levels:

  • The Application layer
  • The Network layer

A good example of compatibility testing is verifying that a particular IoT software supports a given set of devices.

4) End-User Application Testing

The End-user application testing takes into consideration the user experience, as well as the usability and functionality of the IoT application.

An example of this IoT testing framework is the verification of an IoT application, so as to ensure that it includes all required features, and in a good working condition as well.

5) Device Interoperability Testing

This type of testing aims to assess the interoperability of protocols and devices, compared with varying standards and specifications.

In other words, in an IoT framework, the device interoperability testing is conducted so as to verify the connectivity of all devices and protocols.

This testing is usually done in the Service layer. This is because the service layer provides the most conducive environment for this testing, that is; a platform that is communicable, programmable and operable.


Python IoT Framework

The Python programming language is the most recommended for analysis of data in IoT framework. It is a simple language and offers easy readability and deployment.

The python IoT framework also has a large number of libraries, which means that it can do a lot with few codes. Therefore, if you deal with data-intensive applications, then you would do well to use the python IoT Framework.


See alsoWhy is standardization important for IoT?


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