Glossary

abstract

A type of properties and actions defined on abstract models.

action

A command that you can execute on a physical device from the device action bar or device information panel in SOTI Connect. The action will involve the sending and receiving of one or more messages defined in the device manufacturer's API. Actions on a device are supported through the protocol and can be initiated by the SOTI Connect front end. (Turn Light On is an example of such an action). Actions (also management actions or device actions) are implemented as transactions in the protocol definition to be used for communication with a protocol adapter.

action converter

A script that converts between common actions defined in the device model and the device actions defined in a protocol definition.

action rule

A rule that initiates an action that is supported on a device on a periodic basis.

audit logs

Also known as user activity logs. These logs record events initiated by users, and track changes made via the system, for monitoring, debug and security purposes.

automation rule

A rule that follows an if-then structure to monitor the state of a device or a set of devices and performs a specific action or set of actions when a defined state is reached. This is done without the need for human interaction.

check in

A management action that updates the device record in the database with the current physical device state. All devices in SOTI Connect must support a check-in action.

common action

Also known as an abstract action. A command defined at the device-category level that can be executed on all device types in the category. These commands include: Delete, Rename, Create SOTI XSight Incident, View Report, Set Status, and Check In.

common property

Also known as an abstract property. A property defined at the device-category level that can be set or queried for all device types in a device category. Examples include Device Label and Status.

console

The user interface that interacts with the management server to perform actions related to IoT devices.

custom protocol

A method of communicating with a device that does not follow an open standard or deviates from the standard in a significant way. Requires a unique protocol adapter to work with SOTI Connect.

data collection rule

a rule that defines the data elements to collect from a device, how frequently to collect them, and where to store them in the historical database. It will also update the current status of the device.

debug logs

These logs provide the most detailed documentation of the system behavior, to be used in conjunction with SOTI Support for determining the root cause of issues impacting SOTI Connect.

device

Any physical object that is connected to the internet or an intranet and can be communicated with remotely. In SOTI Connect, a device is the record corresponding to a physical device that has been enrolled in the system. Physical devices register with a protocol adapter that supports the protocol the device understands. The device record contains device properties that are gettable on the physical device plus additional properties and information that can be added by a system administrator. For example, the device manufacturer's name may not be stored as a gettable property of the device, but it may be input by the system administrator and added to the device record in the SOTI Connect database.

device category

An abstract concept that allows multiple device types to share definitions for common properties and actions. Device categories are created by SOTI to make it easier to invoke actions, apply rules, and collect and analyze data, on devices that have different APIs but that provide a similar function in an application.

device logs

These logs are gathered on the device and can be uploaded to SOTI Connect. Not all devices gather logs or make them accessible, so this feature will be enabled only where it is available.

device model

The set of all device categories from which a device type inherits common properties, common actions, and action converters. The device model for a device type contains all the properties and actions (including common properties and actions) that apply to a device type. It is created when a device type is loaded into SOTI Connect and is used to generate the representation of the device type in the SOTI Connect console.

device property

A gettable or settable attribute of a physical device that can be set or queried via the device type's API. For example, the ambient temperature of a room at a given time is a property that can be set or queried via a thermostat's API.

device record

The record of a physical device stored in the SOTI Connect database. The terms device and physical device are often used interchangeably. The device record for a physical device includes properties of the device that are provided by the device manufacturer, plus properties of the device that are known only within the context of SOTI Connect. An example of the latter type of property is the device status that is set either manually by a SOTI Connect operator or by a rule invoked by the SOTI Connect rules engine. Properties of a device include its type, what protocols are used to communicate with it, and what settings can be adjusted (for example, brightness and color).

device type

The set of physical devices that communicate over the internet using the same API. Most modern IoT devices connect to the internet via a hub or gateway. The hub or gateway provides the communication API that SOTI Connect uses to manage the device. It is very common for different models of the same make of device to all communicate using the same API. For example, multiple models of the same Phillips Hue light can be controlled with the same API running on the Hue Hub. For our purposes, all these different models are of the same device type.

device type definition

A device type is defined by its device type definition in a protocol definition XML file. The device type definition groups together different device properties.

group

A collection of devices (or other groups) defined by the user to make device management easier. This allows actions to be undertaken once for a group of devices, instead of individually for each device.

hasConversion

The 'hasConversion' parameter is set to true to indicate that conversion must be done from the specific property or to the specific action input.

inherited

The 'inherited' parameter is set to true when the property or action is derived from a parent.

IoT

The Internet of Things, a network of devices containing electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows them to interact and exchange data. The Internet of Things involves extending internet connectivity beyond standard devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets) to physical devices and everyday objects. IoT-enabled devices can communicate and interact over the internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.

IoT Framework (IOTF)

A flexible, expandable system for managing devices in an IoT network.

LWM2M

Light Weight Machine-to-Machine, a protocol designed to communicate with IoT devices that have limited memory and/or capabilities. Defined by the Open Mobile Alliance.

management action

A command that can be executed on a physical device from the device definition in SOTI Connect. The action involves the sending and receiving of one or more messages defined in the device manufacturer's API. Management actions are implemented as transactions in the protocol definition to be used for communication with a protocol adapter. Examples include: Turn Light On, Turn Light Off, Set Brightness, Print Test Page.

management server

A core system component that performs requested actions on the devices and presents the results to the user and/or stores them in the database.

messages

Messages are defined in a protocol definition XML file. In transactions, messages are exchanged between the protocol adapter and the management server. It is the job of the protocol adapter developer to implement the messages defined in the protocol definition for the protocol that the protocol adapter supports. Examples include: Error messages, commands, and actions.

MQTT

MQ Telemetry Transport, an ISO standard for a publish/subscribe messaging protocol used to communicate with small-footprint IoT devices.

physical device

A physical IoT device that communicates over the internet. Physical devices usually have unique identifiers such as a serial number or MAC address. Examples include: light bulbs, printers, thermostats, and leak detectors.

physical device state

The physical device state is the value of gettable device properties on the physical device. The physical device state may be changed through transactions initiated by the management server or it may be changed manually on the physical device. For example, a Hue light's on-off-state property may be changed either from the management console or by throwing a physical switch.

property converter

A script that converts between common property values and property values for device types.

protocol

A method of communicating with a device in defined format. Refers to both the device management and communication protocol that is supported by a physical device. A device management API is implemented over a protocol. This can use an open standard or a proprietary interface such as MQTT, LWM2M, ZeroMQ.

protocol adapter

A system component that enables SOTI Connect to communicate with a device using the native protocol of that device. The protocol adapter translates the native protocol into a form that can be used internally by the system. This is the element that connects the physical device to the system. protocol adapter (*.pa) files are generic protocol adapter definitions used to process messages defined in protocol definition (*.def) files.

protocol definition

A description of the device properties, the messages that can be exchanged between the protocol adapter and the management server, the actions that can be triggered on a device, and the user inputs needed to execute certain actions. Protocol definitions are XML documents created either with a text editor or with the assistance of the SOTI Protocol Definition Tool. The protocol definitions are stored in a protocol definition database and are used by the management server.

protocol ID

Used to uniquely identify a specific instance of a protocol running within SOTI Connect.

protocol instance

A server where a protocol is installed and can connect with a protocol adapter.

REST API

Representational state transfer application programming interface, a standard methodology of creating a web service to allow definition and execution of commands over the internet.

rule

System element that initiates a set of behaviors based on a defined condition. The condition could be passage of time, device state, loss of contact, etc. Examples include: 'Turn on all the lights at 9pm' and 'Print a test page'.

rule type

There are four types of rules: action rules, for setting up scheduled procedures; automation rules, for monitoring the state of devices and carrying out actions based on changes; data collection rules, for collecting and storing data from devices; and enrollment rules, for enrolling devices into the system and setting them up.

running state

The most recently received values of all gettable properties of a physical device. The management console stores only the running state of devices. It is possible for the running state of a device (the state in the management system) to be different from the physical state of the device. For example, if an operator manually changes the on-off state of a Hue light, a message is not automatically sent to the management server. If the on-off state is on at time T1 when a check-in occurs, the running state of the device will be equal to the physical state of the device and the value of on-off state will be on in both the running state and the physical state. However, if an operator manually turns off the light, then the physical on-off state will be off but the running on-off state will be on until the on-off state is fetched again by the management system.

semantic model

An MDL/XML file describing a device type.

SOTI Assist

A help and ticketing system designed to support computing devices and to integrate with device management software.

SOTI Central

An information hub that provides helpful support articles and community forums for SOTI products.

SOTI Connect

Device management software designed to support a wide range of IoT devices and protocols.

SOTI Identity

A centralized, cloud-hosted, authentication and authorization service that streamlines user management across SOTI applications.

SOTI Insight

An analytics tool designed to pull together different data sources related to devices and enable detailed analysis of the data.

SOTI MobiControl

A mobile device management system used for devices running iOS, macOS, Android, Windows and Linux, where the latter three allow an agent to be installed on the device to facilitate greater control.

SOTI Snap

A tool for creating mobile applications that can be distributed to many platforms.

specific

These are properties/actions defined on a real device type that correspond to abstract properties.

system logs

These record system activity at a detailed level to help administrators resolve issues and monitor the health of the system.

ticket

A support element detailing an issue identified with a device or devices, and tracking the path to resolution. While a ticket may be initiated and monitored via SOTI Connect, it actually resides in SOTI Assist.

transaction

A sequence of messages exchanged between a protocol adapter and a management server. Transactions support control flow based on message types or the values of message fields. Transactions are defined in a protocol definition XML file.

unique properties

These are properties/actions defined on the real device type that do not correspond to any abstract properties. They will still be considered 'unique' even when the property/action is defined on a higher-level concrete device model.

watchdog

The system function that manages the different services that are running to enable SOTI Connect to operate.