Context Broker Documentation
What is Context Broker?
Context Broker is a digital platform component that enables the integration of gathered data including insights for further exploitation.
Assemble information from different systems, eventually belonging to different organisations, instead of having them perform in separate silos.
Enable the creation in the Digital Single Market (of portable and interoperable solutions) a data marketplace.
Reduce costs and time in the development of context information based platforms and solutions. Experience has shown that it is possible to create meaningful dashboards in a few days!
Who can benefit from Context Broker?
Any public entity
Based on your specific needs and analyses, we can help you start making insightful, data-driven decisions.
Solution and service providers
Software and service providers
Our team has the tools and support you need to expand your offering around smart applications.
We provide software components, documentation and a variety of support services to help you develop and design your smart application.
How to start using the solution
Get familiar with current standards, based on the existing global specifications on how to contextualise data.
Evaluate Context Broker in light of your specific goal. You can search the CEF Marketplace to discover Context Broker based solutions and get inputs for your analyses.
Define your project’s scope, whether you need a data model to study and improve your organisation or you wish to develop and sell a smart app.
Use our services to develop your solution! Our Onboarding Manager will help you detail each of these steps and set you in the right direction
“The smart irrigation and air quality monitoring solutions built with CEF Context Broker and the FIWARE ecosystem allow our city managers both to create efficient air pollution mitigation strategies, thanks to an early detection of harmful air pollutants from traffic and industry, and to carry out an efficient management of urban irrigation water. Consequently, we are approaching the expected targets in air pollution and water usage for 2020.”
Jaime Gragera Rodriguez Director of the Information Technology - OAR- Deputacion de Badajoz
Context Broker FAQ
The CEF Context Broker enables organisations (including but not limited to public administrations) to manage and share data in real-time describing “what is currently happening” within their organisations, in the real world they manage or where they run their daily business processes.
Thus, for example, Smart Cities can share information about what is happening in streets (e.g., traffic status, quality of air data, available parking slots, location). Similarly, a packet delivery service company may share data about orders (e.g., current location and expected delivery time). This information describing what is currently happening is referred as “context information”.
The CEF Context Broker enables the publication of context information by entities, referred as Context Producers, that is available to other entities, referred as Context Consumers, which are interested in processing this context information. Applications or even other platform components may play the role of Context Producers, Context Consumers or both. On the other hand, updates on context information are considered as events that can be handled by applications or platform components which subscribe to those events.
The Context Broker supports two ways of communications: push and pull towards both Context Producers and the Context Consumers. It does mean that a Context Producer with a minimal or very simple logic may continuously push the context information into the Context Broker, when the information is available or due to the internal logic of the Context Producer. The Context Broker, respectively, can request the context information from Context Producers if they provide the ability to be queried (Context Producers which are able to act as servers are also referred as Context Providers). In a similar way, Context Consumers can pull the context information from the Context Broker (query mode), while the Context Broker can notify on updates in context to Context Consumers interested in such updates (subscription mode).
CEF Context Broker has been designed to be the core component of Smart Applications independent of the domain that the application serves. Therefore, it can be used in every policy domain of the EU. This is done by adopting the existing technical specifications and standards underlying Context Broker, the FIWARE NGSIv2 API, rather than trying to define new ones. More information about FIWARE NGSI V2 API (opens in a new tab) specifications can be found here(opens in a new tab).
CEF Context Broker is free of charge and available to all projects that are interested in using it to implement and deploy their solution.
In general, there are three ways of using Context Broker:
- Use the CEF Context Broker reference implementation
- Either buy or re-use any software that is conformant to FIWARE NGSIv2 API (opens in a new tab)
- Build their own based on FIWARE NGSIv2 API specifications.(opens in a new tab)
No matter what the preferred option is, CEF offers services to help throughout the implementation process. CEF services include testing, deploying and operating the solution, and training support.
CEF Context Broker is also intended to enable interoperability among existing archives and databases, in other words, it should allow to create an ecosystem of smart solutions which can evolve over time and which leverage existing investments. Adopting CEF Context Broker does not necessarily mean superseding existing systems, on the contrary, it means leveraging existing infrastructures and systems.
Once your business needs are clear, you can translate them into requirements and build your case to implement a smart application based on CEF Context Broker.
This phase will result in having:
- A clear and well defined set of business requirements that your smart application shall satisfy;
- A feasibility study to estimate the necessary investments and expected benefits of deploying the CEF Context Broker based smart application satisfying the defined business requirements.
The Stakeholder Management Office and CEF Context Broker technical office teams of CEF can help in this phase by providing guidance and onboarding support.