Data serialization for embedded platforms: ASN.1, JSON, Protocol Buffers....

It's a long time I work with embedded platforms, however I never used a well-defined and "standard" data serialization format. I often had the need to exchange data between platforms (Wifi, Ethernet, RS485...) and I always find a custom solution.

I perfectly understood the problem with this approach. Keeping the two (or more) side synchronized is very difficult and error-prone. When the sides are designed and maintaned by a single person/company, this approach could be sufficient. However I started to interface with other people, companies, very difficult techologies.

For example, I'm working on a IoT device that connects with AWS through MQTT protocol. I have to decide the data format of MQTT packets. They will be processed by AWS services, so JSON seems the perfect choice (maybe someone remember an old post where I was asking how to use a JSON in C for embedded platforms). However JSON, considering it's a schema-less data format, is very complex to manage in C without using dynamic memory. So I'm thinking to use another data format, fithing with guys that will work with AWS, Javascript, Typescript, and so on (they doesn't understand why JSON isn't good on my side).

ASN.1 (mainly in uPER mode) and protobuf could be a good choice. However the backend/frontend guys don't know ASN.1, some has heard about protobuf. I could insist to use ASN.1, however I'm not sure it is a good choice. And I don't know if they will be able to decode uPER messages in Typescript (for example). It seems they found something for BER, nothing for PER.

So this post just to discuss and share some experience on this topic.

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

Or perhaps you're working with unreliable and/or incompetent people? :P

If you think it's "very complex" then perhaps you're taking a suboptimal approach. Even in a schema-less data format you can agree on how to lay out the necessary information. If you have an event-based JSON parser then it should be pretty easy (even with static allocation).

Reply to
Boudewijn Dijkstra

ElectronDepot website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.