My Study Notes on AWS IoT Core

(Illustration: Let’s build some things! Image source: Image by Jorge Ramirez from Unsplash。)


AWS IoT Big Picture

If your devices can connect to AWS IoT, AWS IoT can connect them to the cloud services that AWS provides:

graph LR; A(IoT device A) --- AWSIoT; B(IoT device B) --- AWSIoT; C(IoT device C) --- AWSIoT; AWSIoT(AWS IoT) --- AWS1(AWS service 1); AWSIoT(AWS IoT) --- AWS2(AWS service 2); AWSIoT(AWS IoT) --- AWS3(AWS service 3); class AWSIoT mermaidTier1;

AWS IoT Core Protocols

AWS IoT Core supports these protocols:

  • MQTT (Message Queuing and Telemetry Transport)
  • MQTT over WSS (Websockets Secure)
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol - Secure)
  • LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network)

AWS IoT Implementation Interfaces

AWS IoT provides the following interfaces to implement on your IoT devices:

  • AWS IoT Device SDKs
  • AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN
  • AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI)
  • AWS SDKs

Simpler Solution

If you don’t require AWS IoT features such as device communications, rules, or jobs, see AWS Messaging for information about other AWS IoT messaging services that might better fit your requirements.


From ancient to modern times. Get through all the context.


Here is a list of nouns that appear on the scene, and the full name of the original text, noun definition and source are noted.

The IoT universe

graph LR; A(IoT devices at home) --- AWSIoT(AWS IoT); B(IoT devices at work) --- AWSIoT(AWS IoT); C(IoT devices in the community) --- AWSIoT(AWS IoT); AWSIoT(AWS IoT) --- Cloud(Cloud services); Cloud --- Apps(Apps); class AWSIoT mermaidTier1;


  • Apps give end users access to IoT devices and the features provided by the cloud services to which those devices are connected.

Cloud services

  • Cloud services are distributed, large-scale data storage and processing services that are connected to the internet. Examples:
    • IoT connection and management services. e.g. AWS IoT is an example of an IoT connection and management service.
    • Compute services, e.g. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon ECS) and AWS Lambda.
    • Database services, e.g. Amazon DynamoDB

graph LR; World(Physical world) -- Interfaces --- D(Devices); D -- Communications --- AWS(Cloud services);


  • Between devices and cloud services.
  • Devices communicate with cloud services by using various technologies and protocols. Examples:
    • Wi-Fi/Broadband internet
    • Broadband cellular data
    • Narrow-band cellular data
    • Long-range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN)
    • Proprietary RF communications


  • A device is a type of hardware that manages interfaces and communications.
  • Devices are usually located in close proximity to the real-world interfaces they monitor and control.
  • Devices can include computing and storage resources, such as microcontrollers, CPU, memory.
  • Examples:
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Arduino
    • Voice-interface assistants
    • LoRaWAN and devices
    • Amazon Sidewalk devices
    • Custom IoT devices


  • Between devices and the physical world.
  • An interface is a component that connects a device to the physical world.
  • Examples:
    • User interfaces
      • Input interfaces
        • Examples: keypad, button
      • Output interfaces
        • Examples: Alpha-numeric display, graphical display, indicator light, alarm bell
    • Sensors
      • Input components that measure or sense something in the outside world in a way that a device understands. Examples:
        • Temperature sensor (converts temperature to an analog voltage)
        • Camera (converts image data to digital data)
    • Actuators
      • Output components that the device can use to control something in the outside world. Examples:
        • Stepper motors (convert electric signals to movement)
        • Relays (control high electric voltages and currents)

AWS IoT Services

graph LR; A(AWS IoT) --- Data(Data services); A(AWS IoT) --- Control(Control services); Device(Device software) --- A(AWS IoT); class A mermaidTier1; class Data,Control,Device mermaidTier2;

AWS IoT services covers three parts:

  • Device software
  • Data services
  • Control services

(I will follow my groundrules within this note to put the physical world on the left-hand side, and cloud on the right-hand side.)

AWS IoT device software

graph LR; Greengrass(AWS IoT Greengrass) --- Device(AWS IoT device software); FreeRTOS(FreeRTOS) --- Device; SDK(AWS IoT Device SDKs) --- Device; class Device mermaidTier2; class Greengrass,FreeRTOS,SDK mermaidTier3;
  • AWS IoT Greengrass
  • FreeRTOS
  • AWS IoT Device Tester
    • AWS IoT Device Tester for FreeRTOS and AWS IoT Greengrass
    • A test automation tool for microcontrollers.
    • Test your device to determine if it will run FreeRTOS or AWS IoT Greengrass and interoperate with AWS IoT services.
  • AWS IoT Device SDKs

AWS IoT control services

graph LR; Control(Control services) --- Core(AWS IoT Core); Control --- DM(AWS IoT Device Management); Control --- DD(AWS IoT Device Defender); Control --- TG(AWS IoT Things Graph); class Control mermaidTier2; class Core,DM,DD,TG mermaidTier3;
  • AWS IoT Core
    • AWS IoT Core is a managed cloud service that enables connected devices to securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.
    • With AWS IoT Core, your applications can interact with all of your devices even when they aren’t connected.
  • AWS IoT Device Management
    • AWS IoT Device Management services help you track, monitor, and manage the plethora of connected devices that make up your devices fleets.
    • provide secure tunneling to access your devices, monitor their health, detect and remotely troubleshoot problems, as well as services to manage device software and firmware updates.
  • AWS IoT Device Defender
  • AWS IoT Things Graph

AWS IoT data services

graph LR; Data(Data services) --- ANA(AWS IoT Analytics); Data --- SW(AWS IoT SiteWise); Data --- Events(AWS IoT Events); class Data mermaidTier2; class ANA,SW,Events mermaidTier3;
  • AWS IoT Analytics
  • AWS IoT SiteWise
    • AWS IoT SiteWise collects, stores, organizes, and monitors data passed from industrial equipment by MQTT messages or APIs at scale by providing software that runs on a gateway in your facilities.
  • AWS IoT Events
    • AWS IoT Events detects and responds to events from IoT sensors and applications.

AWS IoT Core services

graph LR; Core(AWS IoT Core) --- M(messaging services); Core --- C(control services); Core --- D(data services); Core --- S(support service); class Core mermaidTier3; class M,C,D,S mermaidTier4;

AWS IoT Core messaging services

  • Device gateway
    • Enables devices to securely and efficiently communicate with AWS IoT by using X.509 certificates.
  • Message broker
  • AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN
  • Rules engine

AWS IoT Core control services

AWS IoT Core data services

  • Device shadow
    • A JSON document used to store and retrieve current state information for a device.
  • Device Shadow service

AWS IoT Core support service

Use Cases

graph LR; A(IoT devices at home) --- AWSIoT(AWS IoT); B(IoT devices at work) --- AWSIoT(AWS IoT); C(IoT devices in the community) --- AWSIoT(AWS IoT); class AWSIoT mermaidTier1;



Getting Started

Articles & Talks

Loading comments…