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MQTT is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/”Internet of Things” connectivity protocol. It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium. For example, it has been used in sensors communicating to a broker via satellite link, over occasional dial-up connections with healthcare providers, and in a range of home automation and small device scenarios. It is also ideal for mobile applications because of its small size, low power usage, minimised data packets, and efficient distribution of information to one or many receivers.

MQTT stands for MQ Telemetry Transport. It is a publish/subscribe, extremely simple and lightweight messaging protocol, designed for constrained devices and low-bandwidth, high-latency or unreliable networks. The design principles are to minimise network bandwidth and device resource requirements whilst also attempting to ensure reliability and some degree of assurance of delivery. These principles also turn out to make the protocol ideal of the emerging “machine-to-machine” (M2M) or “Internet of Things” world of connected devices, and for mobile applications where bandwidth and battery power are at a premium.

MQTT was invented by Dr Andy Stanford-Clark of IBM, and Arlen Nipper of Arcom (now Eurotech), in 1999. MQTT has been widely implemented across a variety of industries since 1999. A few of the more interesting examples are listed on the Projects page. As of March 2013, MQTT is in the process of undergoing standardisation at OASIS. The protocol specification has been openly published with a royalty-free license for many years, and companies such as Eurotech (formerly known as Arcom) have implemented the protocol in their products. In November 2011 IBM and Eurotech announced their joint participation in the Eclipse M2M Industry Working Group and donation of MQTT code to the proposed Eclipse Paho project. The “SCADA protocol” and the “MQ Integrator SCADA Device Protocol” (MQIsdp) are both old names for what is now known as the MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT). The protocol has also been known as “WebSphere MQTT” (WMQTT), though that name is also no longer used.