Mainflux IoT platform is comprised of the following services:

Service Description
users Manages platform's users and auth concerns
things Manages platform's things, channels and access policies
normalizer Normalizes SenML messages and generates the "processed" messages stream
http-adapter Provides an HTTP interface for accessing communication channels
ws-adapter Provides a WebSocket interface for accessing communication channels
mqtt-adapter Provides an MQTT interface for accessing communication channels
coap-adapter Provides a CoAP interface for accessing communication channels
lora-adapter Provides a LoRa Server forwarder for accessing communication channels
mainflux-cli Command line interface


Domain model#

The platform is built around 3 main entities: users, things and channels.

User represents the real (human) user of the system. It is represented via its e-mail and password, which he uses as platform access credentials in order to obtain an access token. Once logged into the system, user can manage his resources (i.e. things and channels) in CRUD fashion, and define access control policies by connecting them.

Thing represents devices and applications connected to Mainflux. There are two types of "things" supported at the moment: device and app. While device is used to represent any physical device connected to the platform, app represents any 3rd party service that uses the platform for message exchange with other "things".

Channel represents a communication channel. It serves as message topic that can be consumed by all of the things connected to it.


Mainflux uses NATS as its messaging backbone, due to its lightweight and performant nature. You can treat its subjects as physical representation of Mainflux channels, where subject name is constructed using channel unique identifier.

In general, there is no constrained put on content that is being exchanged through channels. However, in order to be post-processed and normalized, messages should be formatted using SenML.