ISO formalises MQTT foundational IoT standard

ISO formalises MQTT foundational IoT standard

The ISO and International Electrotechnical Commission have given the MQTT foundational IoT standard the greenlight.

Developed by the Oasis Consortium – which includes tech giants like Microsoft and IBM – it’s a lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport protocol and is being targeted at IoT resources that rely on battery power and bandwidth.

Designed for big industries

In key sectors such as healthcare and oil, the number of MQTT applications and products are on the rise. Health practitioners are using the protocol with devices like blood pressure monitors, while oil and gas companies are using it for pipeline monitoring.

According to the consortium, MQTT is quickly turning into an important part of the day-to-day workings of telematics, infotainment and other connected tech applications. It’s also popular for mobile applications.

Related: Leading IoT standards organisations form partnership

IoT standard took years

The Joint Technical Committee on Information Technology, which both the ISO and IEC work through, balloted version 3.1.1 of the protocol. It’s also been given the ‘ISO/IEC 20922’ designation to cater for the growing number of MQTT applications.

The IoT standard MQTT 3.1.1 was created and put forward to the standards bodies in October 2014, so it’s taken a while to reach formalisation. The Oasis Technical Committee – consisting of representatives from Cisco, TIBCO, IBM and others – will continue to maintain the protocol

Big news for IoT standards

Richard Coppen of IBM, co-chair of the OASIS MQTT Technical Committee, praised the news: “The ISO/IEC approval of MQTT is an exciting milestone, signalling to the world that interoperable IoT solutions can be built with confidence on an open standard foundational transport.”

Brian Raymor of Microsoft Corp, who recently joined Coppen as co-chair of the committee, noted the importance of these standards and protocols. He said: “Standards such as MQTT are critical in allowing enterprises to connect their assets. ISO and IEC’s support for MQTT provides validation for the international community, and the ISO/IEC 20922 publication promises to accelerate the pace of adoption even more.”

Related: Smart cities squander billions as IoT standards go awry

The industry will excel more

Giles Nelson, senior VP at Software AG, believes the protocol will help the industry excel. “MQTT being added to ISO/IEC standards is a major step forward that further solidifies its foothold as a standard messaging protocol and makes it ideal for large-scale Internet of Things applications,” he said.

Andy Stanford-Clark, who originally co-designed MQTT with Arlen Nipper (Eurotech, now Cirrus Link) to monitor an oil pipeline through the desert, said: “I am delighted to see that, thanks to its spectacular adoption in the IoT world, MQTT has attained this significant milestone.

“This positions the protocol perfectly to underpin the modern IoT ecosystem, supporting businesses and organizations in their journey towards a truly connected world. The additional scrutiny required for international recognition confirms the protocol as an open and solid IoT technology.”