The Tracking backend is a hardware-agnostic platform. As such, it can be used by any hardware that produces conforming telemetry. There are many scenarios, however, where a direct connection between the device and the Tracking API is not possible. Examples include scenarios with proprietary hardware which implements a proprietary protocol, a proprietary network stack or non-IP connectivity.
For these scenarios the Tracking API supports cloud-to-cloud connectivity. The device sends its data to an external service or network endpoint, that data is converted into the Tracking API-compatible format and forwarded on to the Tracking API.
When using an indirect connection to the Tracking API, it is no longer necessary to embed a
deviceSecret into the physical device. The connection between the hardware and the cloud it contacts directly may be authenticated and authorized by any means, including a proprietary mechanism.
Virtual devices are defined by the combination of
externalId instead of the standard
trackingId but inside the Tracking backend, virtual devices and physical devices are identical.