Design Engineering

Eclipse Foundation releases Sparkplug 3.0

By DE Staff   

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Operational technology specification poised to become an official ISO/IEC standard, foundation says.

(Image credit: The Eclipse Foundation)

The Eclipse Foundation announced the release the Sparkplug 3.0 specification, an open software specification that enables the use of MQTT to integrate data from applications, sensors, devices and gateways with most IIoT infrastructure.

According to the foundation, Sparkplug 3.0 is intended to clarify ambiguities in the 2.2 version and add explicit normative statements while maintaining backward compatibility. In addition, version 3.0 also marks the beginning of the specification’s transition into an ISO/IEC standard.

At the same time, the foundation says its Sparkplug Working Group is launching a product compatibility program to ensure that Sparkplug-compatible products and implementations remain compatible and interoperable.

“Cirrus Link originally created Sparkplug to help industrial clients seamlessly integrate data between their sensors, devices, or gateways and applications within an MQTT infrastructure,” said Arlen Nipper, President and CTO, Cirrus Link, and co-inventor of MQTT. “With the activities in the Eclipse Sparkplug Working Group, it is now growing rapidly as the standard for interoperability in IIoT, and these new developments make it even easier for customers to implement MQTT Sparkplug and find software and devices that are Sparkplug Compatible.”


According to the foundation, the Sparkplug specification provides an open and freely available means for edge-of-network gateways or MQTT-enabled end devices and MQTT applications to communicate bi-directionally within an MQTT infrastructure.

By itself, MQTT doesn’t dictate a topic namespace or any payload encoding. While flexible, MQTT’s lack of a standard can inhibit interoperability for industrial end customers. To that end, the Sparkplug specification defines an OT-centric topic namespace, an OT-centric payload definition and the MQTT session state management required by real-time OT SCADA systems.


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