Sensor data is undoubtedly the most important basis for the „Internet of Things“. Information on any kind of “thing” can be collected with sensors and processed. Standards are a prerequisite in order to make this collection and processing consistent despite the enormous variety of things. OGC as one of the major international standards developing organization plays an important role in the description of sensors with spatial reference. SensorThings API is an OGC standard which uses long-term established concepts in sensor data description, while considering modern requirements for efficient interfaces. The standard was published on 26th July 2016 and is available under http://docs.opengeospatial.org/is/15-078r6/15-078r6.html
Fraunhofer IOSB has been working successfully with OGC standards for many years and realized the importance of the SensorThings API standard at a very early stage. This standard, developed with the experience of the OGC, combines well-established ideas of time and geo-referenced sensor data with a modern and lean interface concept.
With regard to the requirements coming from numerous applications in the mega-trend topic “Internet of Things”, Fraunhofer IOSB decided to develop a server for the SensorThings API. The aim of the development was to achieve high performance with a low consumption of resources and at the same time an openness to facilitate usability in research as well as in commercial applications. The requirement for openness motivated the decision to design the implementation as an open source software from the start, and thus to clear the way for innovation as far as possible.
The result is the FROST server. The name is an acronym and stands for “FRaunhofer OpenSource SensorThings API Server”. Of course the name suggests also that your data will always be kept “fresh and available” on the FROST server ;-)
On 10th August 2016 the software was certified by OGC – see http://www.opengeospatial.org/resource/products/details/?pid=1371. . The name at that time was “SensorThings Server”. It is one of the first implementations of the standard and as far as known, it is the only Open Source Implementation.
FROST Server is freely available as open source software under the GNU Lesser General Public License 3.0. LGPL 3.0 is a license that enables commercial applications on the one hand, and on the other hand ensures that further developments of the FROST Server will be available to all users.
The Software Archive can be found via GitHub under https://github.com/FraunhoferIOSB/SensorThingsServer. User instructions are on the GitHub pages and there is also a discussion forum where the community can ask questions that we will be pleased to answer as far as possible.
Although SensorThings API is very easy to use, the handling of the data and filters within an application can become a little bit more complex. This is why we provide a FROST Client Library in addition to the server for access to the SensorThings API. The library supports for example the generation of http calls, it offers help for the iteration over the data and the usage of filters is facilitated. The FROST client is also available as open source under LGPL 3.0.
So-called dashboards are often used to visualize data in a FROST Server. These are web-based applications where different visualization elements can be combined. This is also supported by the FROST Dashboard.
If you have in-depth questions, we are pleased to offer our help within projects. These can be studies, consulting, trainings or development projects. Feel free to contact us; contact data is on the right.