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Embedded IoT Protocols Guide Part I: The Old Standards of Application Protocols

by Exosite, on February 16, 2016

While there are many application protocols that can be used to send arbitrary data between a client and a server over the Internet (e.g., SMTP for email), some protocols are more suitable than others when it comes to IoT product deployments.  This blog covers the section of our Embedded IoT Protocols white paper that divides these protocols into two categories, older web protocols and newer protocols designed specifically for IoT, and discusses examples of each.  Specifically, this blog segment will give a brief description of the old standards.

The Old Standards

The development of the web provided some well-established protocols that can be used with IoT connected products, including the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).  The main benefit of these protocols is that they are well understood and supported, especially for the server-side ecosystem.  However, the reuse of existing technology with new applications does require some tradeoffs that should be considered.

HTTP: The Poster Child

HTTP is the poster child of well-understood and well-supported protocols and is the application-layer protocol that runs almost the entirety of the web.  HTTP uses a client-server model to describe how its requests are made.  This model works well for traditional web browsing.  As such, it will be the lowest common denominator in supported protocols for the foreseeable future.

XMPP: Low Latency

XMPP, previously known as Jabber, is a protocol originally designed for use in instant messaging.  Early IoT developers were interested in XMPP because of its real-time nature.  It provides low latency communication back to a single, central server.

Is there a protocol you prefer over others? Let us know in the comment section and stay tuned for more in-depth HTTP and XMPP articles to follow.  For a full protocol overview download our latest white paper or contact us directly.

embedded iot protocols


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