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InfoQ Homepage News Facebook’s Parse Launches SDK for Internet of Things

Facebook’s Parse Launches SDK for Internet of Things

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At the F8 developer conference last week, Facebook announced Parse for IoT , a Backend as a Service (BaaS) for microcontrollers and realtime operating systems (RTOS).

Facebook acquired Parse in 2013 to add Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) capabilities to its platform. Popular among developers building consumer and social apps, Parse offers user management, data storage, background jobs, custom code, push notifications and analytics. Developers consume the REST API or use native SDKs for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. With the latest announcement, Parse has shipped SDK for Arduino Yún, Raspberry Pi and Texas Instruments CC3200 devices. The source code for the new SDK is available on GitHub.

Arduino Yún is a microcontroller board based on ATmega32u4 and Atheros AR9331 chips. A flavour of Linux called OpenWrt-Yun runs on the Atheros processor. The uniqueness of Arduino Yún is in its built-in support for Ethernet and WiFi. Combined with the on-board Linux and WiFi functionality, Yún offers integrated networking platform that can be accessed through simple Arduino Sketch programming model. Developers can download and copy the Parse Linux runtime package to OpenWrt-Yun and import the Parse libraries into Arduino IDE. The SDK offers familiar Parse object model to store objects in the Parse data store. Developers can also create custom events that can be tracked within Parse Analytics. Through push notifications, custom messages can be sent to the microcontrollers. By consuming these services, developers can build powerful IoT applications that can be controlled through cloud.

Developers can get started with the quick start guide. Detailed documentation for Arduino SDK is available at

Parse is not the first platform to support IoT scenarios. Temboo, a New York based startup built a middleware service that can connect IoT devices to over 2000 APIs including Facebook, Twitter, Twilio, AWS, Salesforce and Google Apps. Temboo’s SDK is included in Arduino Yún enabling developers to quickly connect IoT devices with the cloud.

IoT backends are the logical extension of mobile backends. Existing MBaaS players like AnyPresence, FeedHenry and Kinvey are expected to add native support for Internet of Things.

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