The presented business information uses text from various parts of the FIWARE website.
In terms of key partners, there are more than 325 partners involved with the FIWARE Foundation, which range from Platinum members (i.e., the core FIWARE Foundation members), Gold members, Gold strategic end users and associates. Apart from the above partners, there are also some institutional, community and media partners listed as key partners of the FIWARE Foundation. The FIWARE Community further comprises all individuals and organizations contributing towards achieving the FIWARE Mission. The FIWARE Community is not only formed by contributors to the technology (the Open Source Community working on the FIWARE platform), but also those who contribute in building the FIWARE ecosystem and making it sustainable over time. The FIWARE website provides a full list of members.
There are five (5) key activities of the FIWARE Foundation:
- To empower the developers to bring best-of-breed tools to write great code, manage the development process and benefit from quality validation processes, end users to access great software easing the development of new solutions, making the best use of the, being able to provide feedback and benefit from large-scale testing facilities, and companies and other organizations (who are FIWARE Foundation members) to organize all sorts of events, information, discussions and other activities and resources.
- To promote the new technologies integrated in FIWARE, fostering their adoption as de-facto standards, the developers producing such new technologies, the offering built with or around FIWARE Technologies, the users of the FIWARE Technologies who build such offerings, the FIWARE ecosystem as a catalyst for economic opportunities.
- To augment increasing interfaces for connectivity, consolidating or promoting standards, increasing use cases for new application domains
- To protect the FIWARE trademark, the compliance with the FIWARE Code of Conduct, FIWARE Technologies by ensuring they remain available as Open Source, the openness, meritocracy and transparency which guides the decision making
- To validate the labelling qualifying the Quality Assurance of the FIWARE Technologies, organizations that own the expertise to validate “Powered by FIWARE” solutions, “FIWARE IoT-ready” devices or people/organizations capable to provide FIWARE development, integration, training and consulting services.
The key resources of the FIWARE Foundation are its more than 325 members from more than 35 countries, the more than 150 open source projects, the more than 160 “Powered by FIWARE” solutions, the 8000 developers using FIWARE technologies, the more than 100 evangelists, the 16 FIWARE iHubs, the 10 FIWARE Lab Nodes, and its 15 Strategic partnerships.
The offered value proposition is an open sustainable ecosystem around public, royalty-free and implementation-driven software platform standards that will ease the creation of Smart Applications in multiple sectors. Using FIWARE technologies, organizations can capture the opportunities that are emerging with the new wave of digitalisation brought by combining the Internet of Things with Context Information Management and Big Data services on the Cloud, and developers can gather context information at large scale from many different sources. FIWARE also helps to easily process, analyse and visualize managed context information, easing the implementation of the smart behaviour and the enhanced user experience required by next-generation Smart Applications.
The main customer segment are public or private organizations and their associated developers who are interested in context data management in order to facilitate the development of smart solutions in various domains such as health, cities, industry, agri-food, energy, etc. End users are also the beneficiaries of the developed smart solutions.
The main channels are the FIWARE Community, Events (such as Hackathons, Conferences, Workshops, Fair, Summits, Info Sessions), the Accelerator programme and the Marketplace. In specific, FIWARE was built thanks to the joint efforts of different actors and now goes a step further in the creation of a community to gather web entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, students, academia, industry and public sector innovators to keep progressing with three goals in mind: 1) Expand the reach of FIWARE at a global level, 2) Set new innovation hubs around the world, 3) Create a European environment of innovative business hubs. Sixteen (16) FIWARE Accelerators exist, where funding is provided for the most talented teams and business proposals building upon FIWARE technology. FIWARE organizes or participates at Hackathons, Conferences, Workshops, Webinars, Fairs and Summits throughout the world, where the audience can meet the FIWARE people and technologies. The FIWARE Marketplace serves the purpose of globally disseminating existing commercial offerings around FIWARE. It is a global one-stop shop that gives visibility to a wide range of solutions/ platforms powered by FIWARE, FIWARE-ready technologies as well as FIWARE related training/coaching or consultancy, integration and support services.
Apart from the aforementioned endeavours focusing on getting, keeping and growing their customer base, FIWARE Foundation are also offering the following free services towards improving their customer relationship: a) FIWARE Lab, a non-commercial sandbox environment of the FIWARE Community, which offers the capability to innovate and experiment with the FIWARE Technologies. Entrepreneurs and individuals can test FIWARE technologies as well as their applications within the FIWARE Lab, with the possibility to exploit Open Data published by cities and other organizations. b) FIWARE Academy, a list of video tutorials, slide decks and other training materials available for developers learning about the FIWARE Ecosystem. In addition to the training materials for each individual GE, there are some integrated courses that have been recorded.
Regarding costs, since the platform is provided for free, the cost is mainly associated with the resources needed to a) install, configure and deploy the platform components and build the required functionality on top of it (fixed cost), and b) run the platform components (fixed or monthly per-user cost, dependent on whether the platform will be deployed on local or cloud resources). Hence the cost is highly dependent on the use case requirements in terms of functionality and the user base to be served. The more FIWARE GEs are used the more VMs need to be employed (according to the specification of each GE there might be a recommendation for 1 GE per VM), and the greater the user base is the more resources should be allocated to each VM, hence the greater the cost.
Finally, the main revenue stream seems to be the subscription fees associated with becoming a member of the FIWARE Foundation.
FIWARE is a curated framework of open source platform components, also known as Generic Enablers (GEs), which can be assembled together and with other third-party components, so as to create custom hybrid platforms covering the needs of specific projects and to accelerate the development of Smart Solutions. The main and only mandatory component of any FIWARE-based platform or solution is a FIWARE Context Broker GE, bringing a cornerstone function in any smart solution: the need to manage context information, enabling to perform updates and bring access to context. A rich suite of complementary FIWARE GEs are available, dealing with interfacing with the Internet of Things (IoT), robots and third-party systems, context Data/API management, publication, and monetization, and context information processing, analysis, and visualization. Depending on the solution’s requirements, the FIWARE GEs which enable the required functionality can be selected and integrated, or new ones can be implemented as long as they are compliant with the corresponding FIWARE GE Open Specifications. Any implementation of a FIWARE GE is, by nature, replaceable.
The Physical layer is composed of all the devices and gateways connected to the platform, which can be of different types, collect various kinds of data and communicate via various protocols, depending on the exact needs of the offered solution and the devices availability from their vendors. The deployment of the architecture of the physical layer is typically distributed across a large number of devices and several gateways.
The Service layer mainly encapsulates a Context Broker GE, which is the core and mandatory component of any FIWARE-based solution, which enables to manage context information (perform updates and bring access to context) in a highly decentralized and large-scale manner. The Broker keeps virtual representations of the physical devices, hence interaction with devices happens by updating and modifying the virtual representations attached/corresponding to them. From an architectural point of view, the Context Broker acts as a blackboard in a typical blackboard architecture. It is the core and control piece of the platform, in charge of interacting with the other components and agglutinate data. Therefore, Context Broker plays a key role when developing a data/context scenario. A number of Data/Context Management FIWARE GEs are available or under incubation, such as the Orion Context Broker GE that currently provides the FIWARE NGSI v2 Restful API enabling to perform updates, queries or subscribe to changes on context information, and the Orion-LD Context Broker GE and the Scorpio Broker GE that support the ETSI NGSI-LD API specifications.
The service layer further includes components accompanying a Context Broker as part of Core Context Management, such as the STH Comet GE that brings the means for storing a short-term history of context data (typically months) on MongoDB, the Cygnus GE that brings the means for managing the history of context that is created as a stream of data which can be injected into multiple data sinks, including some popular databases like PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB or AWS DynamoDB as well as BigData platforms like Hadoop, Storm, Spark or Flink, the Draco GE that is an alternative data persistence mechanism for managing the history of context based on Apache NiFi and is a dataflow system based on the concepts of flow-based programming which supports powerful and scalable directed graphs of data routing, transformation, and system mediation logic and also offers an intuitive graphical interface, and the QuantumLeap GE that supports the storage of context data into a time series database (CrateDB and Timescale).
The Service layer also includes a number of FIWARE GEs for making it easier to interface with the Internet of Things devices (IoT devices Backend) as well as Robots and Third-party systems for the purpose of gathering valuable context information or trigger actuations in response to context updates. Since devices have a lot of differences and particularities making it impossible to provide a solution where one size fits all, and the platform needs to be able to support and integrate a number of heterogeneous devices, a modular approach is followed. IoT Agents act as translators between the protocols that devices use to send or receive information and the common language and data model across all the platform, i.e. FIWARE NGSI. The IDAS GE offers a wide range of IoT Agents making it easier to interface with devices using the most widely used IoT protocols (LWM2M over CoaP, JSON or UltraLight over HTTP/MQTT, OPC-UA, Sigfox or LoRaWAN), while a number of incubated GEs bring open source implementations of modern standards for the communication with IoT devices and Robotics, as well as the exchange of electronic data and documents in reliable and trusted ways. FIWARE also enables solution builders to create their own IoT Agents in order to be able to connect to and use any type of device available now or in the future.
In the Application layer, we can distinguish between a) the FIWARE Marketplace platform that can be used to locate and purchase FIWARE-based solutions and b) the FIWARE platform components (GEs) which can be used by developers and providers of a solution to enable b1) the management and monetization of applications, services and data in a business framework across their whole service life cycle or b2) the processing, analysis and visualisation of context.
The FIWARE Marketplace serves the purpose of globally disseminating existing commercial offerings around FIWARE. It is a global one-stop shop that gives visibility to a wide range of solutions/ platforms powered by FIWARE, FIWARE-ready technologies as well as FIWARE related training/coaching or consultancy, integration and support services.
On the FIWARE GEs side, there are Generic Enablers that can be utilised to build an ecosystem of applications, services and data delivery that is sustainable and fosters innovation as well as cross-fertilization. In particular, these support managing of applications, services and data in a business framework across its whole service life cycle, starting from creation through composition of applications and data to publication, monetization and revenue sharing. The CKAN extensions GE brings a number of add-ons enabling to extend current capabilities of the world-leading CKAN Open Data publication platform to allow publication of datasets matching right-time context data, the assignment of access terms and policies to those datasets and the assignment of pricing and pay-per-use schemas to datasets, the Biz Framework GE brings backend support to Context API/Data monetization based on open TM Forum Business APIs, Idra GE is able to federate existing Open Data Management Systems based on heterogeneous technologies (e.g. CKAN, SOCRATA, DKAN etc.) providing a single API and a standard metadata format (DCAT-AP) to discover open datasets, the APInf API Management Framework is a tool for API owners to manage their APIs that provides all the necessary features to run business with APIs and makes it easy for API consumers to find and start using the standard APIs. The Application Mashup GE aims at allowing end users without programming skills to quickly compose beautiful web applications and dashboards/cockpits mashing up widgets, operators and data sources from a shared catalogue. The Data Visualisation GE aims at creating agile, beautiful visualizations and meaningful reports useful to present the large variety of datasets. Data stakeholders will bring in the play as well as providing customisable data analytics.
There are further FIWARE GEs available for making it easier to process, analyse or visualize context information for the purpose of implementing the Application layer of a solution and enabling the “smart behaviour” expected. The Wirecloud GE brings a powerful web mashup platform making it easier to develop operational dashboards which are highly customizable by end users, the Knowage GE brings a powerful Business Intelligence platform enabling to perform business analytics over traditional sources and big data systems build on context history, the Kurento GE enables real-time processing of media streams supporting the transformation of video cameras into sensors as well as the incorporation of advanced application functions (integrated audiovisual communications, augmented reality, flexible media playing and recording, etc.), the Cosmos GE enables a more easy Big data analysis over context integrated with popular Big Data platforms (Spark and Flink), the FogFlow GE is a distributed execution framework to support dynamic processing flows over cloud and edges, while the incubated the Perseo GE introduces Complex Event Processing (CEP) defined using a rules-based system, enabling you to fire events which send HTTP requests, emails, tweets, SMS messages etc., the OpenVidu GE is an abstraction layer for Kurento, making media processing easier to program.
Regarding the Interoperability layer, in order to implement a FIWARE-based solution, a number of FIWARE platform components (GEs) are utilised in an interoperable manner. All interactions between the platform components or applications and the Context Broker take place using the FIWARE NGSI RESTful API open standard. The same APIs (if chosen to be exposed externally) can take the form of an interoperability layer for the interoperation with external platforms or just for data consultation between platforms. However in case that the external platform is not also FIWARE-based, i.e. does not comply to the same FIWARE NGSI data model, an intermediate layer/component may be needed in order to perform the necessary mappings/ translations or any other operations needed for achieving compatibility between the heterogeneous platform APIs.
In the Semantic layer, semantics are supported by FIWARE in terms of data models and APIs implementing them. Data in FIWARE refers to information that is produced, generated, collected or observed that may be relevant for processing, carrying out further analysis and knowledge extraction. In terms of the traditional NGSI v2 FIWARE data model, a cornerstone concept is that data elements are not bound to a specific format representation. Also, the structural definition of Data Elements encloses its Data Type, a number of Data Element attributes (which enclose the following: Name, Type, Value) and, optionally, a set of Metadata Elements also referred to as semantic data (which have also data-like attributes: Name, Type, Value). Lately, the FIWARE NGSI v2 information model has been evolved to better support linked data (entity relationships), property graphs and semantics (exploiting the capabilities offered by JSON-LD). This work has been conducted under the ETSI ISG CIM initiative and has been branded as NGSI-LD. The main constructs of NGSI-LD are Entity, Property and Relationship. NGSI-LD Entities (instances) can be the subject of Properties or Relationships. Properties and Relationships can be the subject of other Properties or Relationships. Thus, in the NGSI-LD information model (and corresponding API) there are no attribute’s metadata, but just “properties of properties” or “properties of relationships”.
FIWARE further provides few GEs related to semantic interoperability, however these do not seem to have been updated to the latest NGSI version. As mentioned above, FIWARE is currently migrating to the NSGI-LD specification to enhance relationships between entities, but currently it is up to the logic of the application to navigate between entity relationships. The IoT Discovery GE acts as a meeting point for IoT Context Producers to register the availability of their Things and Sensor devices, and IoT Context Consumers to discover them, using either the OMA NGSI-9 messaging protocol, or the Sense2Web API that supports Linked Open Data. Also as part of the IoT Broker GE, an IoT Knowledge Server is provided, which contains a large amount of IoT semantic knowledge useful from the perspective of a project. The IoT Knowledge Server is a standalone component created for serving semantic information to the IoT Broker semantic ontologies.
The FIWARE platform FIWARE initially emerged as a European project, but nowadays it is being maintained by the FIWARE Foundation and supported by an open source community.
The FIWARE Technical Steering Committee (part of the FIWARE Foundation) governs the technical direction of the FIWARE platform and activities of the FIWARE Open Source Community. The FIWARE Foundation members are: Atos (Spain), Engineering (Italy), Orange (France), and Telefónica (Spain). The FIWARE webpage provides bylaws about FIWARE software, the FIWARE Foundation and the ecosystem. There is also a Code of Conduct webpage with information on compliance, confidentiality, integrity, commitment, among others, of the FIWARE Foundation.
The types of data collected by a FIWARE platform instance can vary greatly depending on the specific solution enabled by the platform. In the AHA domain, the data might include the details of end users, the measurements or other data stemming from IoT devices, etc. The same is the case regarding the Information provided to the user on data collection, storage, processing and transfer, or any requirements regarding informed consent. These all depend on the use case implemented on top of the FIWARE platform. If needed, use cases or applications requiring such features can be supported by FIWARE, but some of these features may need to be built by the solution’s developers.
FIWARE also offers a marketplace, which is based on the FundingBox Platform. Analytical information on data collection, storage, processing and transfer of data as well as the terms and conditions of use can be found in the marketplace legal and privacy webpage.
The “FIWARE” name is a registered trademark of the FIWARE FOUNDATION, E.V. All FIWARE components (GEs) are Open Source and provided royalty-free. In specific, it seems that most (if not all) GEs are made available under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0.
To build a powerful, sustainable and profitable ecosystem by available means such as organisation of all sort of events, information, discussions and other activities.
To bring best-of-breed tools to write great code, manage the development process and benefit from quality validation processes
To access great software easing the development of new solutions, making the best use of the, being able to provide feedback and benefit from large-scale testing facilities
Companies and other organisations
The FF’s members to organize all sorts of events, information, discussions and other activities and resources.
- The new technologies integrated in FIWARE, fostering their adoption as de-facto standards
- The developers producing such new technologies
- The offering built with or around FIWARE Technologies
- The users of the FIWARE Technologies who build such offering
- The FIWARE ecosystem as a catalyser for economic opportunities
- Increasing interfaces for connectivity
- Consolidating or Promoting Standards
- Increasing use cases for new application domains
- The FIWARE trademark
- The compliance with the FIWARE Code of Conduct
- FIWARE Technologies by ensuring they remain available as Open Source
- The openness, meritocracy and transparency which guides the decision making
- The labelling qualifying the Quality Assurance of the FIWARE Technologies
- Organizations that own the expertise to validate “Powered by FIWARE” solutions, “FIWARE IoT-ready” devices or people/organizations capable to provide FIWARE development, integration, training and consulting services
The FIWARE Marketplace serves the purpose of globally disseminating existing commercial offerings around FIWARE. It is a global one-stop shop that gives visibility to a wide range of Powered by FIWARE solutions/platforms, FIWARE-ready technologies as well as FIWARE related training/coaching or consultancy, integration and support services.
Powered by FIWARE
Smart Solutions rely on FIWARE standards to manage context information at large scale. They use FIWARE technologies to gather Context Information (coming from different and highly distributed sources such as end users, sensor networks and all kind of information systems including social networks) and process it in order to perform smart actions.
FIWARE Platform Service Providers offer FIWARE as a Service on private and public clouds in which they are operating. Also, Platform Service Providers can deploy FIWARE platform instances on premises for their customers. Anyone can create a FIWARE instance on their own and in their premises. But it is also possible to choose a company that offers FIWARE platform services.
FIWARE-ready IoT devices come with easy-to-install drivers and instructions that help to transform the measures they gather into context information, accessible to end applications using the FIWARE NGSI standard.
FIWARE-ready software enablers are base platform technologies, easily integrable with FIWARE, which extend the basic capabilities of the platform with advanced added-value features (e.g., location within buildings, representation of context information in maps, biometrics for access control…). Their combination with FIWARE allows to build more sophisticated applications.
A Building Block is an open and reusable digital solution. It can take the shape of a framework, a standard, a software, or a software as a service (SaaS), or any combination thereof. Building Blocks are endorsed by the European Commission and ensure that your digital service will be fully compatible with other on the market. CEF Digital offers support and guidance on your journey to an interoperable, EU-compliant final product.
Online training material is available on the FIWARE Academy but many partners are offering tailored training and coaching services to those organizations who are looking for dedicated sessions.
Finding the right experts offering consultancy, integration or technical support services is crucial in many projects. The FIWARE marketplace is helping to serve this need.
FIWARE Lab is the non-commercial sandbox environment of the FIWARE Community. It offers, for free, the capability to innovate and experiment with the FIWARE Technologies. Entrepreneurs and individuals can test FIWARE technologies as well as their applications within the FIWARE Lab, with the possibility to exploit Open Data published by cities and other organizations.
FIWARE Lab is deployed over a geographically distributed network of federated FIWARE Lab nodes. Each FIWARE Lab node maps to one, or a network of, data-centers on top of which an OpenStack instance has been deployed, federated and configured as a FIWARE Lab node (Cloud region) operated by a specific organization.
FIWARE Lab nodes do not only provide cloud resources. They are part of local FIWARE Ecosystems and FIWARE iHubs supporting and promoting access to the FIWARE technology.
FIWARE welcomes the addition of new nodes to the FIWARE Lab to provide resources to FIWARE developers across the globe.
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