The Eclipse Foundation Unveils Sparkplug Compatibility Program to Enable Plug’n’Play Industrial IoT

The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world’s largest open-source software foundations, in collaboration with its Sparkplug Working Group, announced the launch of the Sparkplug Compatibility Program. This program is based on Sparkplug, an open source software specification that enables mission-critical operational technology (“OT”) clients to use industry Plug’n’Play Industrial IoT standards like MQTT to seamlessly integrate data from their applications, sensors, devices, and gateways with most Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) Infrastructure. The new program gives software and hardware providers the means to showcase compatibility and certify products with the Eclipse Sparkplug protocol and MQTT-based IoT infrastructure. MQTT is establishing itself as the de facto standard for messaging transport in the IT and OT market sectors, however, it doesn’t specify the content of its payloads, making interoperability across the IIoT challenging. Sparkplug, acting as the HTML of the IIoT, is a solution for solving this issue and is already in widespread use across multiple industries. This new program lets industrial firms know if their vendors’ systems are Sparkplug compatible. The Sparkplug Compatibility Program aims to provide integrators and end-users with an easy way to procure devices and software products that are fully compatible with the Sparkplug specification, thus ensuring their solutions will seamlessly integrate with the most common Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices and networks. To be included in the program, products will need to pass an open-source series of tests that validate conformance to the specification. These tests are based on the Sparkplug Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK). Products passing the TCK will be featured in the official list of compatible products, available on the Sparkplug Working Group’s website. In addition, licensees of the Sparkplug Compatible trademark will be able to promote compatibility, while also being recognizable in the marketplace through use of the “Sparkplug Compatible” logo. 

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