Today, specialized software (called IoT platforms or, alternatively, IoT middleware) is available to build and manage IoT solutions from scratch, without having to write endless lines of code. Unfortunately, the selection of the IoT platform that best fits the requirements of the application of interest is not trivial and may take a long time. The challenge comes from the huge number of today available candidates. IoT Analytics’s latest research found 613 IoT platform companies currently operating.
The present work aims to relieve IT developers of the need to take charge of the IoT platform selection process. A Systematic Mapping Study was carried out.
The SMS was devoted to search the state-of-the-art of open source projects with the final aim of maturing an overall picture about IoT platforms ready to be used for the prototyping of IoT applications. According to the guidelines in [Kitchenham & Charters, 2007], our SMS comprised the following three main phases: Planning, Conducting and Reporting the review results. The third phase is self-explanatory, while the second one consists in the implementation of the first phase. Therefore, in the paper, we detail the Conducting phase of the SMS which has been articulated in terms of three activities: (a) definition of the study need; (b) definition of the research questions; and (c) definition of the mapping protocol. The latter, in turn, comprised six activities. Section “Materials & Methods” of the paper provides full details of the mapping protocol, too.
At the end of the SMS, ThingsBoard emerged as the most mature open source IoT platform to be used for the prototyping of IoT applications without having to be an expert programmer.
The target audience of the present paper are IT firms (in special way, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Very Small Entities) who are interested in expanding the number of their clients without being forced to allocate money to designing and developing sophisticated IoT systems before they have got a formal assignment by the potential stakeholders.