Bringing the Power of a Data Stream Network to MQTT Devices

3 min read Michael Carroll on Jan 16, 2018

A couple years ago, PubNub launched its initial support for

devices. Since then, we’ve learned a lot from IoT device control customers like Samsung, August Home, Wink, Logitech and others about the types of features they require.

We’re excited to announce that we have taken all our expanded PubNub Data Stream Network (DSN) features, like Functions, topic wildcard support, Storage & Playback, and simple setup, and have made them available to our customers with MQTT devices.

Now IoT developers can leverage the power of the PubNub DSN by simply putting your pub/sub credentials into your device identifier – no code is needed; PubNub takes care of the rest. That means you can now leverage the following features for your


  • Functions – filter, route, enhance, alter and/or integrate your MQTT messages with any external services in real time, in-flight, without having to touch your device clients. Develop and launch a new feature in your service in hours, without worrying about servers.
  • Storage & Playback – retrieve your stored MQTT messages via REST or PubNub SDK.
  • Mobile Push – MQTT messages can now trigger notifications to iOS or Android.
  • BLOCKS Catalog – quickly leverage pre-built integrations to popular IoT APIs, like machine learning, data visualization, and incident management & alerts.
  • Cloud Integrations – connect your existing MQTT devices to stream data into any of the clouds PubNub supports, including AWS, Azure and GCP.
  • Device Mixing and Matching – Seamlessly publish and subscribe between MQTT devices and any other Internet-connected devices with the 70+ SDKs PubNub supports.
  • Extreme Scalability – PubNub already supports 9 percent of the world’s Internet-connected devices, so the scalability available with the PubNub DSN is unmatched.

PubNub and MQTT together can elegantly solve many embedded device use cases. You can leverage PubNub with MQTT to satisfy use cases like low-latency, efficient anomaly detection.

MQTT / PubNub Examples

For example, say you have MQTT-based sensors on industrial, power-generating turbines. You can leverage PubNub – including Functions – to react to and transmit sensor data in real time, so an operations team can identify turbine problems before data even touches a centralized data center. You can also leverage PubNub with MQTT-based home alarms to review signals across alarms and identify if there is a bad alarm that is sending false positives. And across use cases, you can leverage PubNub’s integrations to multiple machine learning services to detect anomalies.

For a deep dive into the industrial IoT example, check out this MQTT proof-of-concept.

The Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) was originally developed at IBM, and is a publish/subscribe protocol aimed specifically at low-powered embedded devices. MQTT has picked up a lot of traction in the IoT industry, especially for its lower power requirements. There are plenty of documentation and open source client implementations if you wish to dive further into the protocol itself.

It is very simple and fast to start leveraging the power of PubNub with MQTT. Kenta Yasukawa, Co-founder and CTO of Soracom, states:

“For a developer-first IoT connectivity provider like Soracom, the benefits of integrating with PubNub’s real-time, secure, global messaging infrastructure are obvious. In fact, PubNub’s powerful, seamless MQTT support made it so easy to integrate that we were able to add the capabilities to our platform in just two days! Our users can take advantage immediately to extend the capability of their IoT devices and applications.”

Getting Started

To learn more about how to quickly leverage the PubNub DSN with your MQTT-supported devices, see this short MQTT tutorial and our MQTT documentation.