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The Case for XMPP

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coversantFriends at Coversant have just released a new white paper capturing use cases, architecture, and lessons learned of their next generation communications and collaboration platform, SoapBox Server. This system is the key to deploying scalable, fast, highly interoperable, secure communications services.

You can download the Coversant paper here: SoapBox: A Platform To Power The Industrial Internet

Pasted below is an excerpt of interest:

 

The Case for XMPP

The Industrial Internet requires a persistent connection where the end point doesn’t need to poll the server continually. Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) was designed to send all messages in real-time using a very efficient push mechanism. Unlike traditional web service API’s, which are unidirectional, XMPP allows bi-directional communication in near real-time without requiring polling schemes or web hosts at both locations.  The presence feature of XMPP enables nodes in the application network to be aware of the states of the other nodes. Endpoint presence changes are pushed, as they happen, to other interested endpoints in real time with the end result being more efficient management of the network. Additionally, the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) was designed for large numbers of users behind firewalls and proxies to connect to the internet, so is easily able to scale to 50 million users.

Traditionally used for online chat communication or instant messaging, XMPP has evolved to incorporate features including event publishing, voice streaming, and file transfer. With XMPP an endpoint can be anything—a sprinkler, a sensor, a phone, a toaster, a television set-top box—making it a powerful technology for enabling IoT and Big Data transfer implementations.

XMPP has a decentralized client-server architecture allowing multiple, independently administered servers to be linked together. Using XMPP as the underlying communication protocol for IoT, it is possible to get closer to the ideal of “one network management protocol for monitoring, alarming, configuration, and exchanging policy information, independent of the network,” because application layer gateways can be omitted. The primary goal for bringing XMPP into the IoT vision is to simplify the interconnection of devices.

XMPP message syntax is based on XML and designed to allow application-specific extension enabling anyone to build custom functionality on top of the core protocol. In 2010, Gartner predicted that XMPP would be the standard of communication over the internet by 2015 based on the projected onslaught of devices.

Finally, XMPP is highly secure due to secure Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) mechanisms in addition to Transport Layer Security (TLS) having been included in the core XMPP specifications. As a result, an XMPP server can be isolated from the public network, preventing man-in-the-middle attacks.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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