Riptide Blog

AWS IoT Service is a Simple Yet Powerful IoT Backend

Posted by Cesar Gonzalez on April 8, 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a topic that I’m passionate about, I envision massive opportunities for the development of new technologies on what this new wave of innovation is bringing. The possibility of an interconnected world will lead us to a big jump into what a lot of us have just only dreamed to become a reality.

AWS IoT Service

In October 2015, Amazon Web Services (AWS) released a new service that makes  it easier for developers to work with the integration of Internet of Things with the cloud. The service includes high security, scalable infrastructure, orchestration of services, and multi-protocol support.

The promise of a single platform that will allow us to connect and monitor our custom products, large/small electronic projects, wearable devices, mobile devices, and web apps all controlled from a single point is extraordinary.

The new service presents a simple-to-use web interface and more importantly, allows you to easily interact with the rest of AWS Services. There will be no more need of setting up our own gateways or waste an extensive amount of hours integrating heterogeneous platforms.  The IoT platform currently offers native MQTT protocol, MQTT over WebSockets and HTTP interfaces.

All the setup of the service can be done by leveraging the web console, using the command line interface client, or using the SDK available for many programming languages. Within a few minutes you can have a complete backend configured and be  ready to receive information from your connected devices.


Relevant features

  • As many of the services from AWS it scales automatically for you, no need to worry about having enough provisioned servers to handle pick.
  • Full integration with the rest of AWS Services, you can easily interact with applications, db, file storage, machine learning, and the list goes on and on.
  • The platform only allows secure connections. Yes, I know there is always a way to make a mess with security, but AWS made everything to help you get your communication secure.
  • Multiple protocol support right out of the box and more protocols to come.
  • Simplicity to read and actuate based on the info that the platform is receiving.
  • You can create a representation of as many devices as you want.
  • The new service enforces security by requiring each device to have a registered X.509 certificate. The certificates are used to encrypt the messages going back and forth between the device and the cloud. You can bring your certificates or Amazon can generate the certs for you.
  • You can create rules that will look into the inbound messages for specific values on the data using a SQL-like scripting language. The rules execute action based on the messages.
  • You can interact virtually with any other AWS Services from an action, either by leveraging lambda or many of the direct options available on the engine rules.
  • You can create policies to control what devices can interact with what topics, including who can subscribe, and who can publish.
  • The devices can subscribe to multiple topics to and publish to multiple topics.
  • The devices can also use a custom topic called shadow, this special topic allows you to push a message for the device even if it’s offline, the next time it registers it  will receive the latest message pushed to the shadow.
  • You can interact with the topics using MQTT, HTTP or MQTT over WebSockets.


Need help with AWS and IoT?

Riptide is an Advanced AWS Consulting Partner, with years of experience delivering innovative application and infrastructure workloads for businesses of all sizes. Our experienced team of architects and developers are skilled in the implementation of advanced multi-tenant, scalable and fault tolerant web and mobile applications.

Topics: AWS, AWS IoT, Cloud/IoT, HTTP, IoT, MQTT, WebSockets

Written by Cesar Gonzalez

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