SDK - Using the Application Framework


To simplify application development, the OpenMTC SDK provides an application framework for writing oneM2M compliant applications with minimal effort.

This framework allows specifying application parameters in a declarative way and is furthermore fully event driven.

The OpenMTC application framework resides in the openmtc_app.onem2m module.

Application Basics

To write an application a conventional Python class has to be implemented. There are only two restrictions on this class:

  • It must derive from the provided base class openmtc_app.onem2m.XAE
  • It must override the _on_register method.

The overall flow of operations is simple. Upon startup, the framework will register the application with the CSE and once that has successfully happened, call the _on_register method of the application. This is the entry point where the application can start actually doing things. This includes:

  • Creating some containers
  • Creating more applications
  • Subscribe for data from the CSE
  • Setup any device specific communication

Upon shutdown, the application itself and any resources it has created will automatically be deleted by the framework.

Note: The framework also automatically handles expiration time updates for all resources that have been created.


The following properties are available on objects of type openmtc_app.onem2m.XAE:

  • application - the Application object that represents this application in the CSE's resource tree.
  • client - an instance of openmtc_onem2m.client.http.OneM2MHTTPClient connected to the CSE
  • logger - a logging.Logger object. Please refer to the Python logging documentation for details.


The following methods are available on an openmtc_app.onem2m.XAE object:

  • get_application(application, path)
  • used to retrieve an Application resource.
  • application old app instance or appId
  • path (optional) path in the resource tree
  • Returns the Application object that was retrieved

  • create_application(application, path)

  • used to create a new Application resource in the CSE's resource tree, besides the one that has been registered at startup.
  • application Application instance or appId as str
  • path (optional) path in the resource tree at which the new application should be created.
  • Returns the Application object that represents the application that has been created at the CSE.

  • discover(path, filter_criteria, unstructured)

  • used to discover resources.
  • path the target resource/path parenting the Container. e.g. the remote CSE
  • filter_criteria (optional) FilterCriteria for the for the discovery
  • unstructured (optional) set discovery_result_type
  • Returns the content of the discovery

  • create_container(target, container, labels, max_nr_of_instances)

  • used to create a Container resource as children of an application.
  • target the target resource/path parenting the Container
  • container the Container resource or a valid container ID
  • labels (optional) the container's searchStrings
  • max_nr_of_instances the container's maximum number of instances (0=unlimited)
  • Returns the container that was created

  • get_resource(path, app_local)

  • used to retrieve a resource
  • path is the path to the resource
  • app_local if set to True path will be appended to the path of the Application

  • push_content(container, content, fmt, text)

  • used to push actual data into a container. Therefore creates a ContentInstance resource in the given container, wrapping the content. Defaults to serialising the content as JSON and base64 encodes it. Will attempt to create the container, if not found.
  • container container at which the content should be created
  • content the actual data. Currently, only Python string, list and dict objects are supported.
  • fmt (optional)
  • text (optional)
  • Returns the created ContentInstance resource

  • get_content(container)

  • used to retrieve the latest ContentInstance of a Container.
  • container container to retrieve content from
  • Returns the latest ContentInstance of the specified Container

  • add_container_subscription(container, handler, data_handler, filter_criteria)

  • used to create a Subscription to the ContentInstances of the given Container.
  • container the Container or it's path
  • handler reference of the notification handling function
  • data_handler (optional) reference of the function parsing/decoding the data
  • filter_criteria (optional) FilterCriteria for the subscription

  • emit(message, event)

  • publish data via to all connected clients.
  • message is the data to be pushed.
  • event specifies the event channel name.

Application Shutdown

Upon shutdown, the shutdown method will be called with no arguments. Implementations may override it to implement their own clean-up facilities.

After the shutdown method has finished, all resources created by the application framework, including the application itself, will be removed.

Writing Applications

This example shows how a simple device application might be written. The goal of this application is to first register itself with the CSE and then continuously read sensor data from some hardware device and push it to the CSE.

Note that the actual sensor reading parts of the application is left out - it is represented simply by an imagined read_sensor_data method. This example will solely focus on the OpenMTC SDK aspects of the application.

A minimal Application

A minimal application is simply a class that extends the application base class openmtc_app.onem2m.XAE and overrides the _on_register method. Such an application could look like this.

This file can be found here.

# Example 13: Minimal application

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE

class MyAE(XAE):
    # when this is called the application is registered 
    # and can start doing something
    def _on_register(self):

Upon running, this application would be registered under the name MyAE.

Running the Application

Applications are run by encapsulating them in a so-called runner. These runners provide external functions such as maintaining a server component for receiving notifications.

Currently, two runner implementations are provided, both built upon the popular Flask framework. These are:

  • openmtc_app.flask_runner.SimpleFlaskRunner
  • openmtc_app.flask_runner.FlaskRunner

The difference between these two is that FlaskRunner provides some additional functionality, which is not included in SimpleFlaskRunner. This is mainly related to web-browser support/integration:

  • FlaskRunner supports websocksets through the abstraction layer.
  • FlaskRunner is more scalable.

However, in certain cases the simpler implementation of SimpleFlaskRunner can have advantages as well:

  • FlaskRunner is built upon the gevent asynchronous I/O framework. While this provides for a very scalable solution, it might produce undesirable results and strange behaviour when applications implement their own I/O mechanisms, e.g. for communicating with a device. In contrast SimpleFlaskRunner will not exhibit these pitfalls.
  • While FlaskRunner provides a more scalable solution when a lot of I/O happens, the resource consumption of SimpleFlaskRunner will be less in cases where only few requests are performed - especially when requests are performed strictly sequential.

Hint: Both implementations will automatically serve static www content from a static directory in the application's root directory.

To invoke a runner, we have to:

  1. instantiate our application class
  2. instantiate the runner class, passing in the application object in the runner's constructor
  3. invoke the runner's run method, passing the URI of the CSE we want to communicate with

The following example shows how this is done:

This file can be found here.

# Example 14a: Invoking a FlaskRunner

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE
from openmtc_app.flask_runner import FlaskRunner

class MyAE(XAE):
    def _on_register(self):

app_instance = MyAE()
runner = FlaskRunner(app_instance)"http://localhost:8000")

Note: This example (and most of the following ones) will only work as shown, if a gateway instance is running in the background of the localhost. This can be launched by running the openmtc-open-source/openmtc-gevent/run_gateway script.

At this point the runner will start the app which results in the app being registered at the CSE. Once that has happened, the _on_register method will be called upon which our application can actually start its operation.

The above example will register the application under its default application ID, which in this case, is derived from the name of the application's class: MyAE. In some cases - for example when multiple instances of the same application class are run against the same CSE - it may be desirable to override the default application ID. This can be achieved simply by setting the name parameter when instantiating the application class.

This file can be found here.

# Example 14b: Invoking a FlaskRunner with custom name

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE
from openmtc_app.flask_runner import FlaskRunner

class MyAE(XAE):
    def _on_register(self):

app_instance = MyAE(name="someAppName")
runner = FlaskRunner(app_instance)"http://localhost:8000")

The invocation in this example tells the framework to register the application under the ID someAppName.

Providing additional Information

We can provide/override some static configuration information about our application in a declarative manner. This information includes:

  • app_id - The default application ID.
  • name - The default application name. (default = None)
  • labels - The default application labels.
  • default_lifetime - The default application lifetime. (default = 3600)
  • max_nr_of_instances - The default application maximum number of instances. (default = 3)
  • cse_base - The default application CSE-base. (default = "onem2m")

This file can be found here.

# Example 15: Running App with Static Information

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE

class MyAE(XAE):
    app_id = "AnotherAppID"
    labels =["keyword1", "keyword2"]

In the above example, the application would by default be registered under the ID anotherAppID. Moreover, its labels attribute would be set to ["keyword1", "keyword2"].

Creating a Container

At this point, the next step for most if not all device applications will be to create a container to store any sensor data it reads. This is achieved by calling the create_container method.

This file can be found here.

# Example 16: Creating a simple Container

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE
from openmtc_app.flask_runner import FlaskRunner

class MyAE(XAE):
    def _on_register(self):
        container = self.create_container(None, "myContainer")

app_instance = MyAE()
runner = FlaskRunner(app_instance)"http://localhost:8000")

Note how we pass None as the first parameter to create_container. This implies to the framework that the container should be created as a child of the registered application (this invocation is thus equivalent to self.create_container(self.application, "myContainer"). We could pass different application objects in the first parameter which we would have obtained by calling self.create_application.

Also note how we pass a simple string object as the second parameter. This will serve as the id attribute of the container. The framework will internally create a Container object with the specified ID which will otherwise be configured with some default parameters. If we wanted to provide more details upon container creation, we would have to pass in a full container object.

This file can be found here.

# Example 17: Creating a custom Container

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE
from openmtc_app.flask_runner import FlaskRunner
from openmtc_onem2m.model import Container

class MyAE(XAE):
    def _on_register(self):
        # create a container
        container = Container(
            resourceName = "myContainer",
            maxByteSize=1024 ** 3 )
        container = self.create_container(None, container)

app_instance = MyAE()
runner = FlaskRunner(app_instance)"http://localhost:8000")

Here we create an explicit Container object which limits the size of the container to a maximum of 100 content instances and a maximum size of 3 MByte.

Pushing Data

The final step for our application is to read data from the actual sensor hardware and forward it to the CSE as a content instance. As mentioned before, reading the data is represented by a fictional function read_sensor_data, the implementation of which is out of scope for the purpose of this document. In our imagination it will return a single value.

The modus operandi of this particular application is to simply read sensor data using the aforementioned function, forward it to the CSE and then wait 60 seconds before starting the whole procedure again. This will be done over and over again, thus we will encapsulate this scheme in an endless loop.

This file can be found here.

# Example 18: Pushing Data

from openmtc_app.onem2m import XAE
from openmtc_app.flask_runner import FlaskRunner
from time import sleep
from somewhere import read_sensor_data

class MyAE(XAE):
    def _on_register(self):
        container = self.create_container(None, "myContainer")

    while True:
        value = read_sensor_data() # read measurements
        data = {"value": value}
        self.push_content(container, data)

app_instance = MyAE()
runner = FlaskRunner(app_instance)"http://localhost:8000")

Note how the actual forwarding of the data is performed by using the push_content method. push_content takes as first argument a Container object that specifies the destination container of the data. The second argument is simply the data that is to be pushed in the form of a Python dict or list object. Internally, the framework will wrap this in a ContentInstance object and forward it to the CSE.