Wednesday May 23, 2012

M2M Architecture: A Data Driven Approach

M2M is a hot topic these days! Last year Greg Bollella and I gave a talk at JavaOne on Cyber-Physical Systems, which many consider to be the future of M2M. That got written up here.

More recently, Tim Hardy wrote a great blog piece, wherein he details how companies can begin deploying M2M networks today using Oracle technology. As Tim rightly points out, all this data being generated has to go somewhere. In this post I’ll highlight how Oracle technology can enable secure, seamless data and command flow for your M2M network using two Oracle products in particular, Berkeley DB and Database Mobile Server.

Berkeley DB

Berkeley DB is a small footprint embedded database that runs almost anywhere, making it ideal for deployments in zero-admin scenarios where high reliability is a must. There are a few features that make Berkeley DB stand out in M2M environments.


The last thing you want is to deploy your shiny new M2M solution, only to find out the following year that a key component doesn’t scale. Berkeley DB comes from the server space, where we have customers in production with many-Terabyte databases. In other words, Berkeley DB has you covered on the scalability front.


Berkeley DB includes the option of encrypting the database, which gives you peace of mind, knowing your remote M2M systems are secure and resistant to unauthorized snooping. Even if you can’t be there to physically monitor them.

Ease of development

Berkeley DB’s open source pedigree means very broad platform and IDE support. Among the many platforms it's certified to run on are GNU/Linux, Oracle Java, Windows CE/Embedded, and VxWorks. It builds easily with MS Visual Studio, GNU toolchain, Eclipse, and a number of other Java IDEs. On top of that, you can choose your database type and access method, key/value, SQL API, ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, etc.

Database Mobile Server

Oracle’s other product targeting M2M devices themselves is Database Mobile Server. By offering data sync and device management functionality, Database Mobile Server enables seamless integration of M2M networks and existing enterprise infrastructure. Your M2M network can be securely plugged directly into an Oracle Database. Once the relationships with the devices are established, data will flow automatically.

Database Mobile Server provides a worry-free mechanism for secure data flow from your M2M networks to your enterprise backend. You’ll be able to generate reports and statistics on your slick new M2M data just as you would with any other data. This product's overriding design philosophy is that networks of embedded devices should build on the strengths of existing systems, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. In other words: fancy new platforms and protocols are nice, but have limited utility if can't easily connect them with what you already have.

When coupled with the Total Recall feature of Oracle Database, the process is streamlined even more. Total Recall means values in the Oracle Database tables can simply be overwritten by the M2M network during a sync operation, but the prior values are also retained for future analysis.

One of the most powerful features of Database Mobile Server is device management. This can be used to control an M2M network anywhere in the world from a single unified console. Here's a sample of the capabilities available:

  • Check upon the health status of any device or collection of devices
  • Push new configuration info or command sets
  • Upload new firmware versions, which could be remotely installed and verified


Our goal with these products is to take most of the guesswork out of hooking your M2M networks into your existing enterprise systems, and thereby maximizing ROI. For more information, please visit the product pages using the links above. Also please remember that most Oracle products, including Berkeley DB and Database Mobile Server are available for anyone to download and evaluate.

Tuesday May 22, 2012

Introductory Post

The purpose of this blog is to explore the intersection of enterprise, mobile and embedded technology. Our goal is understand where we are today, and explore where we should be headed. There’s a lot going on right now, and wrapping your head around all of it can be a real challenge.

The enterprise mobility space is very large; growing and changing every day. It encompasses topics such as mobile development frameworks, device management, HTML5, native/hybrid/web application development, mobile databases, and device sync. It relates to other classes of transformative technologies, such as cloud, social, and NoSQL.

There is another, related topic we’ll be covering on this blog. Think of it as a sister to enterprise mobility, or at least a first cousin! That is the intersection of enterprise and embedded. M2M networks continue to proliferate, and many feel that we are now at the dawn of a new, machine-driven internet era.

Given that both these knowledge domains are impacting businesses in new ways, and also impacting each other, it makes sense to have a stage dedicated to discussing them in one place. We hope to provide informative, incisive commentary that will assist our readers in making sense of this constantly shifting landscape. Comments and feedback are welcomed.

- Eric


Eric Jensen


May 2012 »