Enablers Catalogue: Micro services for manufacturing
Industry is moving towards smart systems and automation, a trend that is leading modern factories to demand a new set of tools and services that support them. A specific case of such services that are emerging as core to industry 4.0 are known as generic and specific enablers, such as the ones developed by FIWARE on the context of the open source platform for the smart digital future.
Enablers provide the software services that the Factories of the Future require. In particular, thisset of micro-services exposes heterogeneous open-source software in different domains such as IoT, data management, cloud hosting, security platforms, among others. One of the best known, the Orion Context Broker generic enabler from the FIWARE foundation, is being used in vf-OS to manage actuation of factory resources in defined contexts. Additionally, other enablers were developed and are being used in vf-OS to support specific requirements of the vf-OS use cases, namely the Notification Enabler that manages and sends Notifications (messages) depending if some variables’ conditions are met and specific events occur.
Technically, to integrate the several enablers with the applications that use them, vf-OS developed the Enablers Framework. It acts as a catalogue and also provides a solution for integration, exposition of, and uniform access to functionalities of such enablers in a single service-based component. The Enablers Frameworkbridges between the service provider and service consumer, providing support for enablers’ integration, installation and instantiation. The main added value of this component is to ensure a catalogue with a unique interface and common access for all registered enablers, acting as a wrapper engine for the different enablers and the vApps developed in the project use cases. In terms of technical architecture, the main modules are the:
Enablers Registry that provides the necessary functionalities for collecting and persisting configurations and registration details of the framework and integrated enablers. It abstracts all the data models corresponding to configuration and registrations details and provides functionalities for performing CRUD operations. This module also provides the necessary services that are directed to the vf-OS Store (marketplace) and Process Enabler so that the vApp developer can search for enablers based on their functional and non-functional requirements and then to easily design vApps.
Request Handler that implements all necessary functionalities for translating requests to/from vApps and enablers. It uses the registry and includes suitable proxies to invoke methods of the enabler when requested by the vApp. This module handles asynchronous communication between enablers and vApps.