MQTT is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/"Internet of Things" connectivity protocol. It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium. For example, it has been used in sensors communicating to a broker via satellite link, over occasional dial-up connections with healthcare providers, and in a range of home automation and small device scenarios. It is also ideal for mobile applications because of its small size, low power usage, minimised data packets, and efficient distribution of information to one or many receivers (more...)

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Wikipedians unite!

September 12th, 2011 - No Comments

A brief note to point out that MQTT is now represented by an entry on Wikipedia (thanks to one of our user community, @abusule) – feel free to help to maintain the information, and add citations and references as relevant.

Growing the MQTT community

August 26th, 2011 - 2 Comments

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that plans were being put in place to move the MQTT protocol forward for standardization, along with a call for participants to that process.

As part of that change, a number of things have been added “behind the scenes” on mqtt.org, including a new Get Involved page listing the different places where conversations happen – including a new MQTT discussion group that will be properly launched shortly. There’s also a new Twitter ID, @mqttorg, where site updates and other news is being posted.

The site design has been freshened slightly (including a nicer mobile interface), and the upper menu will be reorganized soon to make sure that the Get Involved community page is visible. Expect more use to be made of the wiki in future, too. There has been a huge growth in interest in the use of the protocol over the past few weeks, and it would be great if more people could share their experiences on the wiki and in the different discussion areas. Remember to let us know if you are doing anything cool with MQTT – tag your tweets #mqtt to make sure you get our attention!

One final piece of news… if you are in the UK and interested in learning more about MQTT then you should check out the free 1-day messaging PubSub Huddle on September 23rd, where MQTT will be one of the technologies being discussed.

MQTT used by Facebook Messenger

August 12th, 2011 - 5 Comments

This one has come slightly out of the blue. We’ve always known around here that MQTT is ideal for mobile messaging; the small-footprint, low bandwidth nature of the protocol helps to minimise both battery use and network traffic. Just what you want to stay connected.

Lucy Zhang, a software engineer at Facebook, has written about their new Facebook Messenger app:

One of the problems we experienced was long latency when sending a message. The method we were using to send was reliable but slow, and there were limitations on how much we could improve it. With just a few weeks until launch, we ended up building a new mechanism that maintains a persistent connection to our servers. To do this without killing battery life, we used a protocol called MQTT that we had experimented with in Beluga. MQTT is specifically designed for applications like sending telemetry data to and from space probes, so it is designed to use bandwidth and batteries sparingly. By maintaining an MQTT connection and routing messages through our chat pipeline, we were able to often achieve phone-to-phone delivery in the hundreds of milliseconds, rather than multiple seconds.

You can read her full post here.

[edit: of course, MQTT has also been used to build a Facebook “presence” device before, by our friends at Isidorey, but this new deployment inside Facebook is obviously something with much broader reach!]