Ratatosk context broker

A drop-in replacement for the Fiware Orion context broker in Node.js
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The Ratatosk project is an implementation of the FIWARE Orion Publish/Subscribe Context Broker GE. It is powering our horizontal IoT integration platform Yggio 3, as open-source with a permissive Apache 2.0 license for everyone to use.

Fiware

Orion Context Broker allows you to manage the entire lifecycle of context information including updates, queries, registrations, and subscriptions. It is an NGSIv2 server implementation to manage context information and its availability. Using the Orion Context Broker, you are able to create context elements and manage them through updates and queries. In addition, you can subscribe to context information so when some condition occurs (e.g. the context elements have changed) you receive a notification. Read more here.

The motivation behind Ratatosk is to provide a modern and well-structured implementation the can be easily understood and expanded by anyone who understands Node JS.

Ratatosk is written entirely in Node JS.

The name Yggio comes from the immense tree of life, Yggdrasilwhich supports the universe in old Norse mythologyRatatosk is a red squirrel that runs up and down the tree to quickly bring information from Mimer, the dwell of wisdom connected through the roots, to the Gods sitting in the crown of Yggdrasil and back. 

That is the purpose of the context broker in Yggio 3; to carry messages between connected IoT devices and applications while handling any type of context information. To name the new Yggio 3NGSI v2 context broker after Yggdrasil’s squirrel, Ratatosk was a fitting choice.

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Ratatosk context broker is written in node.js

Compared with the original FIWARE Orion NGSI v2 context broker written in C++, Ratatosk is written in node.js Javascript instead and enables an entirely new security level, which we believe is a non-negotiable, mandatory requirement for Yggio.

The architecture enables developers to add a plug-in to enforce Zero Trust (ZTA) access and identity management. When accessing Ratatosk with enabled security, you must provide an authorized access token in the request header. Otherwise, it will get rejected.

Like the FIWARE Orion context broker, Ratatosk can create, manage, and subscribe to context elements. Since Yggio can connect any device, Ratatosk will then grant access to all IoT devices that a provided access token authorizes.

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Fully compliant with European standard

The new generation of Yggio, Yggio 3, was commercially released in early 2021 and is now, thanks to Ratatosk, fully compliant with the FIWARE NGSI v2 European standard. This brings excellent benefits since applications written to work with Yggio 3 will now work with other NGSI v2 compliant platforms and vice versa and thus avoid lock-in effects and large software porting efforts.

To release Ratatosk as open source with a permissive license to enhance the FIWARE community is entirely in line with Sensative’s company values: to bring openness, transparency, and choice to the IoT industry. 

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