NEC Develops a FIWARE-based Fog Computing Framework for Edge-based IoT Services

Nov 27, 2017

Heidelberg, November 27, 2017 – NEC Laboratories Europe today announced the development of FogFlow, a fog computing framework that brings context information management to the edge of the networks. It enables on-demand context information processing. FogFlow extends the already unique capabilities of FIWARE context information management to bring (among other features) AI-based information processing close to the IoT devices which are sensing and controlling the activities in the real world. FogFlow is compliant with the NGSI standard utilized by FIWARE for context information management.

FogFlow achieves this by providing a programming model that packages sophisticated context processing modules and automatically distributes those components to available edge resources. The programming model is supported by a set of user tools for visually creating the information flow, as well as a data processing platform that includes an automatic optimizing runtime orchestrator.

NEC is creating customer solutions using the open-source FogFlow system together with components from its solutions portfolio, eg. Face recognition, AI engines, and connectors to existing IoT systems.

IoT service developers will benefit from faster development and deployment of IoT services with low management cost. IoT platform operators can take advantage of the automatic utilization of the available resources as well as managing the complexity of multi-tenant edge systems. The FogFlow cloud edge orchestrator has been approved by the FIWARE foundation as a new generic enabler (GE) in the FIWARE open source ecosystem.

Recently fog computing (also called edge computing) has become the new trend to efficiently provide time-sensitive IoT services with real-time local context awareness. However, IoT service providers are still facing a big challenge to quickly program, deploy, and manage services over their geo-distributed and highly heterogeneous infrastructure. With FogFlow, they can easily program IoT services with a set of data processing tasks through a graphical user interface. More importantly, FogFlow can automatically figure out how to orchestrate those tasks over cloud and edges in an optimized manner – taking into account the availability, locality, and mobility of IoT devices.

FogFlow technology can be applied in various business domains. In retail, FogFlow can be used as a cloud-edge based service platform to dynamically manage various data analytics services over thousands of in-shop sensors and cameras. Examples include monitoring the abnormal usage of electricity by defect devices or analyzing customer needs in real-time to deliver targeted advertisements. Since FogFlow is based on open standards, city authorities utilize FogFlow as a vendor-neutral and open IoT service platform to program Smart Cities. It allows car manufacturers, energy providers, and public transport to offer new business based on open city data.

Together with NEC business units – NEC Solution Innovators and NEC Iberica – NEC Laboratories Europe has demonstrated FogFlow technology and its use cases at iEXPO in Tokyo, NEC’s largest customer event, and at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. FogFlow is now promoted as a new FIWARE GE in the FIWARE community. Its code repository and detailed tutorials have been made available at github. At the upcoming FIWARE Summit in Spain (Malaga, 28-29 November), FogFlow will be presented to FIWARE developers to speed up its adoption in the FIWARE community.



FogFlow code repository: the basic version of FogFlow has been released as an open source FIWARE GE and the code repository is accessible here.

FogFlow Tutorial: the detailed tutorial for developers is available here.

About NEC Laboratories Europe

NEC Europe Ltd. established NEC Laboratories Europe in 1994. The laboratories are located in Heidelberg, Germany and South Ruislip, UK. They conduct research, development and standardization on cutting-edge ICT technologies while creating innovative social solutions. Current topics include 5G networks, data science, artificial intelligence, IoT platforms, software-defined networking, blockchain, and IoT security. These technologies will advance NEC’s Solutions for the Society, including areas such as lifeline and communication infrastructures, safer cities and public services. Special emphasis is placed on meeting the needs of NEC’s European customers. For additional information, please visit our website here.

About NEC Europe Ltd.

NEC Europe is a subsidiary of NEC Corporation, a leader in the integration of IT network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. NEC Europe is building upon its heritage and reputation for innovation and quality by providing its expertise, solutions and

services to a broad range of customers, from telecom operators to enterprises and the public sector. For additional information, please visit:

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company’s experience and global resources, NEC’s advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society.  For more information, visit NEC.

The NEC Group globally provides “Solutions for Society” that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company’s corporate message of “Orchestrating a brighter world,” NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow. For more information, please visit


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.

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