Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
190 lines (126 sloc) 9.02 KB

ARM mbed M2X MQTT Client

The ARM mbed MQTT client library is used to send/receive data to/from AT&T's M2X service from mbed LPC1768 or FRDM-K64F microcontrollers using MQTT protocol instead of HTTP protocol.

Getting Started

  1. Signup for an M2X Account.
  2. Obtain your Master Key from the Master Keys tab of your Account Settings screen.
  3. Create your first Device and copy its Device ID.
  4. Review the M2X API Documentation.
  5. You have 2 choices for hardware: you can obtain an mbed LPC1768 with an mbed application board, or you can obtain a FRDM-K64F board.

NOTE: Though similiar boards exist and may also do the job, this doc is specific to using a combination of mbed LPC1768 microcontroller and mbed application board, or a single FRDM-K64F

ublox Modem/GPS shield users can find a m2x working demo with freescale boards on the mbed website here.

Please consult the M2X glossary if you have questions about any M2X specific terms.

How to run the examples

To run the examples, please follow the steps below:

  1. Launch mbed online compiler in your browser

  2. Click New to create a new program, select Empty Program as the template and give it a name, then click OK.

  3. Right click on the project you just created, select Import Library…->From Import Wizard…, select Libraries tab, use the scrollbar or the search box at the right to find mbed library, double click it to import it.

  4. Use the same step as #3 to import mbed-rtos and EthernetInterface (mbed official) libraries.

    NOTE: To Run the PostExample example, you also need to import LM75B library in the same way to use the temperature sensor.

  5. Right click on the project, select Import Library…->From URL…, paste the following URL into Source URL box:

    Click Import to import minimal-json library.

  6. Use the same step as #5 to import minimal-mqtt library:
  7. Use the same step as #5 to import the following M2X client library:
  8. Create a file named main.cpp, and paste in any of the examples. Modify the M2X API Key, device ID or stream name as needed in the examples. You can find existing examples here.

  9. At the top right corner, make sure you are selecting the same platform as your board.

  10. When you are done, click Compile. if no error is found, a bin file will be downloaded to your computer.

  11. Copy that bin file to your mbed microcontroller, press the reset button, then you should be able to run the program!

Variables used in Examples

In order to run the given examples, different variables need to be configured. We will walk through those variables in this section.


Once you register for an AT&T M2X account, an API key is automatically generated for you. This key is called a Primary Master Key and can be found in the Master Keys tab of your Account Settings. This key cannot be edited nor deleted, but it can be regenerated. It will give you full access to all APIs.

However, you can also create a Device API Key associated with a given Device, you can use the Device API key to access the streams belonging to that Device.

You can customize this variable in the following line in the examples:

char m2xKey[] = "<M2X access key>";

Device ID

A device is associated with a source of data. It is a set of data streams, such as streams of locations, temperatures, etc. The following line is needed to configure the device used:

char deviceId[] = "<device id>";

Stream Name

A stream in a device is a set of timed series data of a specific type (i,e. humidity, temperature), you can use the M2XMQTTClient library to send stream values to M2X server, or receive stream values from M2X server. Use the following line to configure the stream if needed:

char streamName[] = "<stream name>";

Using the M2XMQTTClient library

In the M2XMQTTClient, the following API functions are provided:

  • updateStreamValue: Send stream value to M2X server
  • postDeviceUpdates: Post values from multiple streams to M2X server
  • updateLocation: Send location value of a device to M2X server

Returned values

For all those functions, the HTTP status code will be returned if we can fulfill a HTTP request. For example, 200 will be returned upon success, 401 will be returned if we didn't provide a valid M2X API Key.

Otherwise, the following error codes will be used:

static const int E_NOCONNECTION = -1;
static const int E_DISCONNECTED = -2;
static const int E_NOTREACHABLE = -3;
static const int E_INVALID = -4;
static const int E_JSON_INVALID = -5;

Update stream value

The following functions can be used to post one single value to a stream, which belongs to a device:

template <class T>
int updateStreamValue(const char* deviceId, const char* streamName, T value);

Here we use C++ templates to generate functions for different types of values, feel free to use values of float, int, long or even const char* types here.

NOTE: Our example here is configured to use a temperature sensor for generating values, this only applies to LPC1768 board with the application extention board. If you are using FRDM-K64F board, you might need to change this code or attach a separate temperature sensor.

Post device updates

M2X also supports posting multiple values to multiple streams in one call, use the following function for this:

template <class T>
int postDeviceUpdates(const char* deviceId, int streamNum,
                      const char* names[], const int counts[],
                      const char* ats[], T values[]);

Please refer to the comments in the source code on how to use this function, basically, you need to provide the list of streams you want to post to, and values for each stream.

Update Device Location

You can use the following function to update the location for a device:

template <class T>
int updateLocation(const char* deviceId, const char* name,
                   T latitude, T longitude, T elevation);

Different from stream values, locations are attached to devices rather than streams. We use templates here, since the values may be in different format, for example, you can express latitudes in both double and const char*.

How to read Serial output

Though you can use printf on a mbed microcontroller, the output is sent to Serial output. To check what your microcontroller outputs to serial ports, follow the instructions at here.


We provide a series of examples that will help you get an idea of how to use the M2XMQTTClient library to perform all kinds of tasks.

Note that the examples contain fictionary variables, and that they need to be configured as per the instructions above before running on your mbed microcontroller. Each of the examples here also needs an Internet connection setup, either via an Ethernet port or a Wifi module.

In the UpdateStreamValue example, the temperature sensor on the mbed application board is needed. For other examples, no extra modules are needed besides the network connection.


This example shows how to post temperatures to M2X server. Before running this, you need to have a valid M2X Key, a device ID and a stream name. The mbed microcontroller need to be hooked on the mbed application board in order to use the temperature sensor.


This example shows how to post multiple values to multiple streams in one API call.


This one sends location data to M2X server. Idealy a GPS device should be used here to read the cordinates, but for simplicity, we just use pre-set values here to show how to use the API.


This library is released under the MIT license. See M2XMQTTClient/LICENSE for the terms.