The ETSI Industry Specification Group for cross-cutting Context Information Management (ISG CIM) has just released a preliminary specification of an API considered to be cornerstone in the development of Smart Cities, Smart Agrifood or Smart Industry applications.

In any smart solution there is a need to gather and manage context information, processing that information and informing external actors, enabling them to actuate and therefore alter or enrich the current context. Group Specification CIM 004, referred to as the ETSI NGSI-LD API specification, defines a simple way to update or query context data within a Smart Application, including factors such as the source, meaning, licensing, or related information describing that data.

The preliminary ETSI NGSI-LD API specs have been published on April 25th, with the final version expected to be released in Q4 2018. The NGSI-LD API has been designed with the aim of producing a functionally powerful yet simple API any experienced web developer can master in a matter of days. On the other hand, the API has been designed with a view on relevant non-functional matters such as reliability, performance or the ability to support highly scalable and decentralized smart solutions.

The ETSI ISG CIM has decided to give the name “NGSI-LD” to the Context Information Management API to reinforce the fact that it leverages on the former OMA NGSI 9 and 10 and FIWARE NGSI specifications, incorporating the latest advances from Linked Data. The FIWARE Context Broker component (Orion), the core component of any “Powered by FIWARE” platform or solution, provides the open source reference implementation of the FIWARE NGSI API and will evolve to work as open source reference implementation of the new ETSI NGSI-LD API specifications.

This fact adds to the recent decision by the European Commission to select FIWARE Orion Context Broker technology as a CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) Building Block.

In “Powered by FIWARE” solutions, all interactions between applications or platform components and the Orion Context Broker take place using the FIWARE NGSI RESTful API, which will evolve to align with NGSI-LD. The open standard nature of FIWARE NGSI offers programmers the ability to port their applications across different “Powered by FIWARE” platforms and a stable framework for future development.

Complementing Orion Context Broker functionalities, FIWARE also provides cross-domain Context Information Models. These are being used primarily as Harmonised Data Models for Smart Cities, but can be adapted as common and specific models to several of the targeted domains, together with the meta models, definition languages and processes needed for the specification, curation, publication and evolution of Context Information management.

Learn more about the FIWARE Orion Context Broker, as well as the latest additions to the FIWARE catalogue at the FIWARE Global Summit in Porto. Its Developers Track will present practical use cases and useful how-to’s and tech-pills serving as a starting guide for developers who are new to FIWARE technology. It also will bring more in-depth sessions for the experienced FIWARE developers.