Getting Started With Flow

FlowCloud is a managed platform for connecting devices, people and their data in the cloud.

Devices can range from existing smart phones to small dedicated connected processors. All devices must register with the FlowCloud platform before they can be used. Devices are characterized by having a MAC address, a serial number, software version number, a Type and a name. Each device in FlowCloud is assigned a globally unique identifier, or GUID.

Discover more about FlowCloud's high level concepts

FlowCloud introductory documentation

Similarly, people must create an individual account on the FlowCloud platform, either by creating a new FlowCloud account or using a supported social media account.

FlowCloud is an enabling platform that is agnostic to the applications that use it. Instead, FlowCloud provides a range of services that enable a wide range of vertical applications to be fast tracked. As well as providing a commonly used set of services, FlowCloud also provides a means for connecting devices in completely different geographic locations through sharing data and sending notifications between devices (FlowMessaging). Furthermore, FlowCloud also provides a framework for establishing direct communication between devices (e.g. for audio/video communications). Some of the core concepts of FlowCloud are illustrated below.



Feature Description
FlowMessaging FlowCloud provides a set of services to enable remote, asynchronous interaction between FlowCloud clients. The services provided by FlowCloud include clients being able to notify each other of their ability to communicate, the ability to raise events and receive notifications, the ability to be notified of profile changes and 1:1 asynchronous messaging between FlowCloud Clients.
Core Services FlowCloud supports the concept of both users and devices and a method for authenticating (including social media credentials) and authorizing clients.

FlowCloud supports a security token service for a client to authenticate with and retrieve a session token. oAuth is also used to secure access to many of its services.

FlowCloud supports a contact service, which can be used for discovering other users and maintaining contacts and accessing social network resources.
Data Services FlowCloud supports a number of different typesdata services. The currently supported types are explained below:

The key-value store provides a simple method for storing schema-less data which can be located by an application defined key. It is possible to do some simple queries based on the key. The key value store provides a simple method for storing configuration data on a per user, per device or per user-on-a-device basis.

The NOSQL Data store is also a schema-less storage engine, but allows applications to define their own indexes and query across the data values. It is typically used for storing time series style data, such as the temperature of current readings over a period of time.

The Event Log provides a means for devices to store trace or event related data that has occurred on that device, so that an administrator can review the data remotely.

Device configuration storage can be used in conjunction with Flow Messaging to receive notifications about profile changes.
Device Services FlowCloud supports the notion of a firmware library and the ability for devices to get the latest version from the library (software upgrade) or any firmware (older or newer) from the device firmware library.
FlowFunds FlowFunds provides a set of payment services that enables e-commerce to be easily integrated into applications, including micro payments, subscriptions and vouchers.

FlowCloud has become Creator

This website has now closed. Flowcloud has evolved into Creator IoT framework. Please visit our website to learn more!

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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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