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software created by a Partner to run on 3rd party mobile devices or in a web browser (e.g. Pure Connect) that allows a user to interact with one or more FlowCloud services and other FlowClients through utilising FlowMessaging services. Applications are considered to refer more to user facing and run on platforms that have a feature rich user interface.

Flow Messaging provides a mechanism for Applications to define their own events.

a more sophisticated storage option that can be used for storing data streams and allows data from those streams to be queried. For example storing and retrieving information from time series data. The document store, though not a full relational storage engine allows allocation of indexes while at the same time implementing a more relaxed schema. The document schema is defined by the application.

A process by which a device owner assigns a role to another user on their device.

represents a relationship whereby a single FlowCloud User account is considered responsible for administering a FlowCloud Device. By becoming the device’s owner, the FlowCloud User gains access to all of the device’s resources (device settings and configurations etc). In addition, the owner is then able to provision the visibility, access and assign user roles on that device so that other FlowCloud Users may access their device. The process of associating a device with a user invariably involves entering a user specific token on a device or using a web site to enter device specific details, such as its serial number or MAC address. A device can only have one owner.

all FlowCloud Devices must register before they can use the service. FlowCloud Devices must register by making an Http request to Flow. FlowCloud Devices register themselves through specifying their Device Type, MAC Address and serial number. In either case, requests to register with the service must be made using a set of pre-assigned authorisation keys and secrets (oAuth). It is the responsibility of the Partner and Application developer to keep these secure. The authorisation keys grant access to services that have been provisioned on Flow.

Are authorisation rules to control access to application specific resources. These authorisation rules are defined by a licensee when the system is being provisioned. For example, Device roles can be used to authorise access to the device settings in the KVS.

is a term used to identify the type Application or Product that connects to FlowCloud and is Partner defined. Device types have to be provisioned before applications or products can use FlowCloud.

used to indicate if a device owned by a FlowCloud User is visible to another FlowCloud User.

an abbreviated term for the FlowCloud PaaS, used within the documentation.

use of the FlowCloud Protocols requires that FlowCloud Clients are authenticated before gaining access to resources and services. When authentication by the security token service, has been granted, FlowCloud clients are allocated a session token. To support different authentication & authorisation scenarios FlowCloud supports allocating different session tokens for the following cases:
- Device Session Token – client authenticates with device credentials
- User Session Token - client authenticates with user credentials (on a web site)
- Device-User Session Token – client authenticates with user credentials (on a device)

is some physical entity or application software that registers with Flow and can be uniquely identified by a unique combination of MAC address, serial number and device Type associated with a particular partner or licensee. Device types have to be provisioned on Flow before they can be used.

All Flow Clients must register with Flow before they can use the service. Flow users typically register via a web site. Flow Devices register themselves through specifying their Device Type, MAC Address and serial number. In either case, requests to register with Flow must be made using a set of pre-assigned authorisation keys and secrets (oAuth). It is the responsibility of the Partner and Application developer to keep these secure. The authorisation keys grant access to services that have been provisioned on Flow.

a Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) that provides a set of services, tools and SDK’s to enable deployment of connected device applications in the Cloud. FlowCloud resources and services provide a paradigm for connecting devices, their users and their data in the cloud along with a set of services to support their operation and interaction. FlowCloud is designed as a multi-tenanted system in that multiple partners share the same service but their data is separated out.

access to FlowCloud resources and services are protected by permissions. Where partners have access to premium services these services are controlled both at a partner level and an individual FlowCloud User level.

a generalised term to represent an application instance communicating with the FlowCloud service using the credentials of a FlowCloud User or a FlowCloud device.

is a instance of a product or application that registers with the FlowCloud service and can be uniquely identified by a unique combination of MAC address, serial number and device Type associated with a particular partner or licensee.

These are the communication protocols that are used by a FlowCloud Client to interact with Flow. The primary protocols are the Flow REST API requests which run over Http & Https and the Session Initiation Protocols (SIP) which runs over TLS. In addition, Flow REST API’s utilises both the oAuth protocol and session tokens in securing access to its resources. REST API’s utilise Xml or JSON formatted data in requests and responses.

cloud based resources held within the service that applications interact with for the purposes of storing state and application specific data and for performing financial transactions. The first class resources used in FlowCloud are users and devices. Resources are accessed using a URI using the Flow REST API’s.

a set of platform specific libraries that allow an application to interface to Flow. These libraries abstract the use of FlowCloud without the need to understand the fine grained detail.

is a person who has created a FlowCloud User account and can be uniquely identified by their email address or user name. A FlowCloud user account is associated with a specific partner or licensee.

Represents a set of services provided to facilitate e-commerce transactions. FlowFunds supports payments by credit cards, digital wallets and Paypal in numerous countries around the world. FlowFunds also supports the concepts of subscriptions and vouchers.

represents a set of services provided by FlowCloud to enable remote, asynchronous interaction between FlowCloud Clients, including the ability of clients to notify each other of their ability to communicate, send & receive events, be notified of profile changes and 1:1 messaging between FlowCloud Clients.

a storage option for holding simple application state nad configuration data in the cloud in the form of key-value data pairs. While keys can be queried, data cannot and so applications that want to be able to query data are better off using the document store. The KVS is split into multiple segments, each providing different authorisation rules. These segments are Licensee specific storage (read only), device type specific storage (read only), per device storage (Create, read, update, delete; CRUD), per user storage (CRUD) and per device-user storage (CRUD).

FlowMessaging offers point-to-point instant messaging functionality to facilitate direct messaging between two FlowCloud clients. Flow incorporates a store-and-forward mechanism, offering guaranteed delivery to clients that may be temporarily offline.

is the protocol FlowCloud uses to secure acces to many of its resources. It relies on requests being signed using a key and secret. Partners are responsible for ensuring the oAuth secret remain secret.

An organisation that has been licensed to use the FlowCloud platform.

in general terms, indicates the willingness and availability of a FlowCloud user or FlowCloud device to communicate and is termed presence information. FlowCloud defines two types of presence notifications, those pertaining to Flow Users (‘presence events’) and those pertaining to Flow Devices (‘device-info events’). Device-info events contain the same content as ‘presence’ but can be extended in an application-defined manner to contain additional device-specific information.

software created by a Partner to run on embedded devices to achieve a specific market requirement and may have limited or no user interface.

represents configuration information about a FlowCloud User or FlowCloud Device. Profiles can be used to manage provisioning of FlowCloud devices. FlowCloud Clients can get notified about changes to their profile.

the process of configuring FlowCloud to support a Partners’ application requirements, such as defining the supported device types, allocating security keys, predefined Key-Value-Store settings, etc.

FlowMessaging facilitates a publish/subscribe model for almost all end-to-end communication between two FlowCloud Clients. Subject to authorisation, FlowCloud clients can subscribe to an array of event notifications from other FlowCloud clients. These event subscriptions allow notifications to be sent to the subscriber to advise it of application-defined events that have been generated, when a particular FlowCloud client profile has been modified or when a FlowCloud Clients presence state has changed.

UAT

stands for User Acceptance Test. All Applications must go through a development cycle on the UAT, a clone of the live service used by partners to develop their Applications. Before Partners can migrate their application from the UAT to the live system they must go through an acceptance process to avoid distrupting other users and licensees of FlowCloud.

user groups (sometimes referred to as authorisation groups) allow certain resources (such as device image firmware’s) to be restricted to authorised users. User groups are also secured using oAuth credentials (key & secret), so only users and devices in possession of those credentials can access the group. FlowCloud devices can access resources in these groups if they know the group key. Groups are typically created on an application website.

  • You can only remove users from groups in which you are an Admin.
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  • A valid FlowCloud device ID is required to subscribe to the device's events
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    Authorisation groups represent a security measure for restricting access to resources. Only users belonging to a group associated with a given resource are able to access the resource. This feature is currently limited to Firmwares.

    Using authorisation groups, firmware's can be posted to specific authorisation groups and only users that belong to the group can access the firmwares. Here you just create the group name and have the oAuth credentials used for accessing the group automatically created.

    Device Groups
    Devices and applications are categorized by a Device Type. When a device or application issues a request to FlowCloud they must use the group credentials associated with their device type.

    In reality, FlowCloud uses the oAuth protocol to secure access to its API's. Within oAuth, Product Group ID's are referred to as consumer keys and Product Group passwords are referred to as consumer secrets.

    User Groups
    Like devices, users can also group. In this case, a group ID is used to identify a group and a group password is used to authenticate access to a group. User groups are used within this site to enable group members to share resources, such as device firmware.

  • A valid FlowCloud user email address is required to send instant message
  • A valid FlowCloud device ID is required to send device controls through IM
  • What is Device Registration?
    In order to connect a device to FlowCloud, sufficient information needs to be known about the device to ensure it can be allocated a unique FlowCloud ID. The allocated unique FlowCloud device ID is used in subsequent requests to reference the device.

    To enable a device to acquire a unique identifier with FlowCloud, the device must 'Register' with FlowCloud first. When a device registers it needs to specify its Device type, MAC address, serial number, software version, a display name and a registration key.

    What is Device Registration?
    In order to connect a device to FlowCloud, sufficient information needs to be known about the device to ensure it can be allocated a unique FlowCloud ID. The allocated unique FlowCloud device ID is used in subsequent requests to reference the device.

    To enable a device to acquire a unique identifier with FlowCloud, the device must 'Register' with FlowCloud first. When a device registers it needs to specify its Device type, MAC address, serial number, software version, a display name.

    Once a device has been registered on FlowCloud it can then be associated with a Flow User account. The device is then said to be owned.

    What is Device Ownership?
    In many applications it is useful to see the resources on a device that are associated with a user and have the ability to control which users can see and control a device.

    Device ownership represents a relationship (or pairing), whereby a single FlowCloud user is considered to be ultimately responsible for administering a FlowCloud device. By becoming the device's owner, a FlowCloud user gains access to all of the device's resources (device settings and configurations etc.). In addition, the owner is then able to provision the visibility, access rights and assign user roles on that device so that other FlowCloud users can access and manage their device.

    To make a pairing between a user and device possible, various data is required that uniquely identifies both the user and the device. The process for associating a device with a user depends on the capabilities of a device and whether or not it has a user interface. FlowCloud supports a number of different scenarios for owning a device.

    The Device has a UI but no means of being able to authenticate a user. In this scenario, a user has to acquire a 'Pairing' token or a device ownership token that is unique to them. The token is entered on the device. Since the ID of the device is known by FlowCloud and the token identifies the user, a pairing can be made.

    Device has a UI and the user can be authenticated. In this scenario, since both the device and user can be easily identified, a user can log onto a device and then enter the device's MAC address into the device UI.

    Device has no UI. In this scenario, the user has to log into a web site and know a unique identifier about the device. This would ideally be its MAC Address or serial number. Assuming the device has already registered with FlowCloud, when a user authenticates on the web site, they will be able to search for a device using its MAC address. If found, the user can then claim ownership of the device from the web site.

    Private development programmes are managed by independent organizations. To join a private development programme, you need to know your organisations registration key. If you know your organisations programme key, please complete the account registration details below.

    Once you have created an account, your registration request has to be authorized by the administrator for the programme you elect to join. Once authorised, you will receive an account activation e-mail.

    The information you supply as part of you registration will be securely held and will not be passed to third parties.

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    Note on changing your e-mail address

    If you changed your e-mail address, you will be logged-out of the system and required to re-activate your FlowCloud account. A new account activation e-mail will be sent to your new e-mail inbox.

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