Data Spine: A Federated Interoperability Enabler for Heterogeneous IoT Platform Ecosystems

R.A. Deshmukh, D. Jayakody, A. Schneider, V. Damjanovic-Behrendt (2021): Data Spine: A Federated Interoperability Enabler for Heterogeneous IoT Platform Ecosystems In: Sensors 2021, 21, 4010. Special Issue “Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing” (impact factor 2019: 3.275)

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is pervasive and characterized by the rapid growth of IoT platforms across different application domains, enabling a variety of business models and revenue streams. This opens new opportunities for companies to extend their collaborative networks and develop innovative cross-platform and cross-domain applications. However, the heterogeneity of today’s platforms is a major roadblock for mass creation of IoT platform ecosystems, pointing at the current absence of technology enablers for an easy and innovative composition of tools/services from the existing platforms. In this paper, we present the Data Spine, a federated platform enabler that bridges IoT interoperability gaps and enables the creation of an ecosystem of heterogeneous IoT platforms in the manufacturing domain. The Data Spine allows the ecosystem to be extensible to meet the need for incorporating new tools/services and platforms. We present a reference implementation of the Data Spine and a quantitative evaluation to demonstrate adequate performance of the system. The evaluation suggests that the Data Spine provides a multitude of advantages (single sign-on, provision of a low-code development environment to support interoperability and an easy and intuitive creation of cross-platform applications, etc.) over the traditional approach of users joining multiple platforms separately.

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