Citrix’s Octoblu platform is a powerful iSaaS (integration SaaS) automation platform. Gartner defines iSaaS as:
Integration SaaS (iSaaS), aka cloud citizen integrator services, provide integration tools and cloud-based prepackaged and configurable integration flows (“cloudstreams”) aimed at helping consumers and business users solve simple application and data integration issues. Its value proposition is that integration tasks can be carried out by business users with minimal IT skills (“citizen integrators”) and without support from professional developers or integration specialists.
Our drag-and-drop automation designer allows users (engineers and citizen developers) to create workflows for automating digital transformation. For example, the flow below was created by a non-IT employee (citizen developer) to automatically move all of their Dropbox files to Sharefile when an event happens. The event could be triggered by a tweet, a Slack notification, a Salesforce event or even a webhook from a web page, mobile device, or any application. This makes Octoblu perfect for connecting and automating Citrix services together, as well as over 125 other third-party SaaS services and IoT devices.
Like IFTTT and Zapier (personal automation engines), Octoblu can also interact with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as Phillips Hue lights, Nest thermostats, and Belkin Wemo smart outlets. Unlike these services, Octoblu communicates and controls these devices using native IoT protocols rather than REST APIs. This is made possible by Octoblu’s open source IoT platform called Meshblu. With over 13,000 registered users, over 1,500,000 connected IoT devices, and over 5 billion IoT messages processed per month, Meshblu has proven to be a very powerful differentiator for the Octoblu iSaaS platform. Rather than only automating REST API-based services, Octoblu can automate events to and from any IoT devices and sensors using their native communications protocols!
Officially, Meshblu is a secure cross-protocol, machine-to-machine instant messaging platform with an open plugin architecture for connectors. Unofficially, Meshblu could be better explained as “Twitter + Firebase for IoT”.
Twitter vs. Meshblu Explained
Twitter is designed for human communications. Meshblu is designed for machine communications. Like Twitter, Meshblu allows machines to “follow” or subscribe to other machines messages. Machines can “tweet” or broadcast messages to any other machine subscribed to its events. Machines can “direct message” or private message one or more other machines.
Like Twitter, Meshblu has a messaging firehose. With the proper permissions, machines can subscribe to other machines or groups of machines and receive all events and messages related to a machine or group of machines. Meshblu firehose data can stream directly into private datastores, such as Splunk, Mongo, or even Hadoop.
Unlike Twitter, Meshblu’s communications between machines are encrypted with private/public keys. Meshblu also institudes a set of whitelists and blacklists to determine which other machines are allowed (or not allowed) to discover, message, subscribe, and configure each machine. In addition to HTTP protocol traffic, Meshblu has APIs for communicating with other IoT protocols including: WebSockets, MQTT, CoAP, AMQP, and XMPP. Machines speaking any of these protocols can communicate to any other machine connected to Meshblu regardless of protocol. Here’s more information on the Meshblu architecture and APIs.
Firebase vs. Meshblu Explained
Meshblu has a built-in device directory. Each machine, smart device, and REST API service is represented as a unique UUID in our device directory. Each UUID in the device directory is basically a JSON document store allowing you to get and set properties, permissions, and even data associated with the UUID.
The current state of each machine or device can also be stored in the device directory. This allows you to tell a device that it should be green rather than sending it a message to turn green. Regardless if the message is received or missed, the smart device turns green as soon as the state is update and/or the device has internet connectivity to read its state.
Meshblu supports an open plugin architecture for connecting smart IoT devices and REST APIs / SaaS services to its messaging engine. Once connected to Meshblu, our JSON Rules Engine can be used to automate events and messages based on state or messages received from these devices and services. Here’s more information on our device connectors and REST connectors.
Join the Internet of Things Revolution by signing up today for a free Octoblu account! What will you build?