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Context Broker Documentation

Background


Section 4.1 (Building a data economy) of the Communication 'A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe’ states that the Commission ‘will encourage access to public data to help drive innovation’. However, data publication platforms have been mostly focused on publication of static historic information so far. While analysis of historic information, particularly when there is a large amount of historic data available, is useful for extracting relevant insights which may be helpful in supporting smart decisions, real-time data (e.g., the current traffic in a road, or the current location of a train) is needed to fuel the kind of innovative services which will impact the daily life of people and businesses (e.g., mobility services). On the other hand, managing real-time data gathered from the different vertical systems within an organisation is crucial for generating a holistic view on what is currently going on within the organisation itself.

In order to address the above issues, the CEF Context Broker technology was developed as the core component of the FIWARE platform, created under the umbrella of the FIWARE initiative which was born in Europe, partially funded by the European Commission under the Future Internet PPP Programme, but has reached a global dimension. The aim of FIWARE is to provide open platform standards easing the development of smart solutions and this required the development of an open standard technology for context information management.

The CEF Context Broker specifications were initially based on the NGSI-9 and NGSI-10 interface specifications defined by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). That was the origin of the name of the FIWARE Context Broker API (FIWARE NGSI), also referred to as CEF Context Broker.

After its creation, FIWARE/CEF Context Broker technology has been adopted by several relevant bodies like GSMA, TMForum or initiatives like OASC (Open and Agile Smart Cities).  It has gained momentum as an open de-facto standard for context information management, enabling a faster and easier development of smart solutions as well as the materialisation of a “system of systems” architecture in multiple application domains, particularly the domains of Smart Cities, Smart Agrifood and Smart Industry.