This month, industrial data analytics and information management software provider, Flow Software, announced it had joined the Eclipse Foundation as a participating member in the Sparkplug Working Group. The Eclipse Foundation, which has been the home for open-source implementations of the MQTT IoT protocol since 2011, introduced the Sparkplug Working Group in 2020 to broaden adoption of the Sparkplug topic and payload specification for MQTT. Flow Software joins other influential IoT suppliers and users: Canary Labs, Cirrus Link Solutions, Chevron, Inductive Automation, HiveMQ, and Opto22.
Flow Software has a history of supporting the MQTT standard, starting in 2018 with the introduction of its MQTT Consumer module. This module supports the integration of Flow Information Platform data into any MQTT enabled software products. The MQTT Consumer module supports the Sparkplug topic and payload specification, allowing data to be easily consumed into Sparkplug enabled software products, like Canary’s Historian product and Inductive Automation’s Ignition product. COO at Flow Software, Graeme Welton, commented that “Our participation in the Sparkplug Working Group not only gives us the opportunity to contribute to the development of Sparkplug, but also highlights the commitment we have made to keeping our product open to standard communication and data transfer protocols, for the benefit of our customers. We are excited to be working with the Eclipse Foundation on such an important initiative.”
In the last decade, MQTT has become the most popular IoT-specific messaging protocol for consumer and enterprise applications. The Sparkplug topic and payload specification for MQTT was developed to ensure interoperability within industrial applications, strengthening MQTT as the de facto standard for the global internet of things and paving the way for the large-scale digital transformation of manufacturing, utilities, and processing industries. The Eclipse Foundation now manages Sparkplug under the Eclipse Tahu project and uses its working group to invite collaboration from technology partners in ongoing specification development, compliance certification, and industry education.
“With the broad adoption of Sparkplug across sectors, the working group is well-positioned to bring market leaders together to drive industrial standardization,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “We are happy to welcome Flow Software, an influential early adopter in industrial data analytics and information management, to contribute to Sparkplug’s goals of achieving new levels of interoperability across the IIoT ecosystem.”