MQTT stands for Message Queuing Telemetry Transport
MQTT is a lightweight publish/subscribe based messaging protocol that works on top of the TCP/IP protocol and it can be used in locations where network bandwidth and resources are limited.
It was first developed in 1999 by Andy Stanford-Clark to be used for connecting oil pipeline telemetry systems over satellite in remote locations where network access was very limited and expensive.
It is a machine-to-machine (M2M) language that has its own set of rules, formats and functions, and it can be used to enable the communications between common household electronics like fridges, coffee machines, HVAC systems, etc.
MQTT uses the “topics” concept to send data from a multitude of machines to a single destination where it can be analyzed and forwarded as desired using its publish/subscribe model.
It is important to note that MQTT is an intermediary between machines and other machines or humans. This means that the machines are not communicating directly with each other but rather thru the use of a MQTT “broker”.
For example – a fridge can send (publish) its internal temperature data on a set “temperature” topic. Another party (machine or human) can subscribe to the topic to receive the data and perform certain actions depending on the values.
There are multiple options for hosting an MQTT broker/server:
- Hosted on a local server
- Hosted on a Cloud Based server
- Using a Shared Server Application
Feel free to use our server if you wish to do so and keep things easy for yourself while starting your adventure in the IoT world, it is free of charge and the info can be found here: Free MQTT Server.
Here are some of the benefits to consider:
- It has a very lightweight overhead
- If can drastically reduce the resource requirements and maximize the available bandwidth
- Saves considerable developing time
- It can easily be used to integrate lots of low powered sensors and devices at a large scale ( data sensors, manufacturing robots, street lights, household items)
- The publish/subscribe protocol uses considerably less bandwidth compared to polling protocols
- Updates can be performed in a matter of seconds
- Uses permission-based security
- Used by Amazon, Facebook and other major business (in the oil and gas industry)
For more details you can have a look at the official MQTT V3.1 Protocol Specification page.
In short, it can be used to control and automate an environment like a factory, a house, or for simple applications like getting earthquake notifications in your area, and all this can be accomplished without the need of expensive equipment or large bandwidth for network access.