Actility LoRa


Cumulocity IoT can interface with LoRa devices through Actility’s ThingPark Wireless. You can:

The following illustration gives an overview of the Cumulocity IoT Actility LoRa integration.

Cumulocity IoT Actility LoRa integration

The following sections describe how to:

Moreover you find details on:

Note that your subscription needs to include this feature. If you do not see the functionality described in this document, please contact product support.

Configuring ThingPark account credentials and application EUI

Before using LoRa devices with Cumulocity IoT, you need to configure your ThingPark account details in the Administration application. In order to create new credentials or replace existing ones, go to the Administration application and select Connectivity in the Settings menu in the navigator.

Creating new account credentials

If you select Connectivity for the first time, you are asked to provide the Actility ThingPark URL, credentials and application EUI which is used for LoRa device provisioning.

Enter the following information:

Do not use the same ThingPark login (username and password) for other tenants. The profile ID, username and password are used to retrieve an access token to send further requests to the ThingPark platform. It is possible to renew the access token by replacing the account credentials.

Setting provider credentials

Click Save connectivity settings. If you have entered the correct information, you see the message “Connectivity settings saved”.

Updating connectivity settings

In order to update your connectivity settings, go to the Administration and click Update connectivity settings in the Settings menu.

Enter your Actility ThingPark URL, profile ID, username, password and application EUI as requested. For details on these information see Creating new account credentials.

Update connectivity settings

Click Save connectivity settings, the old settings are now replaced with your new connectivity settings.

Creating device protocols

To process data from LoRa devices, Cumulocity IoT needs to understand the payload format of the devices. Mapping a payload data to Cumulocity IoT data can be done by creating a LoRa device protocol.

During the device registration, you can associate this device protocol. The received uplink callbacks for this device with a hexadecimal payload will then be mapped to the ones you have configured in your device protocol.

The device protocol assigned during device registration can be changed from the LPWAN tab in the device details page.

Actility LPWAN Tab

Info: Device protocol mapping only supports decoding for fixed byte positions based on the message type. The length for the device payload parts, which is set in the Number of bits field, can be maximum 32 bits (4 bytes).

In order to create a device protocol, navigate to the Device Management application and select Device protocols in the Device types menu in the navigator. You can either import an existing device protocol or create a new one or use the device protocols created by an LPWAN custom codec microservice.

Importing a predefined device protocol

In the Device protocols page, click Import.

Select the predefined device type, for example “LoRaWAN Demonstrator” or upload from a file. Click Import.

Import device protocol

Alternatively, you may also load the device protocol from a file and import it.

Creating a new device protocol

In the Device protocols page, click New device protocol in the top menu bar. The following window will open:

Create new LoRa protocol

Select LoRa as the device protocol type, provide a name for it and click Create.

Under Message types, specify the message types. LoRa devices can send messages of different types with different encodings per type.

Select the way the message type is encoded in the Source dropdown box:

In the following example payload structure, the first byte indicates the message type source (as highlighted).

Example payload: message type source

In the user interface you can enter this type of message type source information as follows: In the Start bit field, indicate where the message type information starts in the payload and in the Number of bits field, indicate how long this information is, for example start bit = “0” and number of bits = “8”.

LoRa protocol payload

Click Add value to create the value configuration.

LoRa protocol add value

In the upcoming window, configure the relevant values as shown in this example.

New value window part 1 LoRa protocol add new value

New value window part 2 LoRa protocol add new value

The value configuration maps the value in the payload of a message type to the Cumulocity IoT data.

Under Message type, configure the Message ID according to your device message specification and map it to the Cumulocity IoT data. The message ID is the numeric value identifying the message type. It will be matched with the message ID found in the source specified on the device protocol main page (that is, Payload or FPort). The message ID needs to be entered in decimal numbers (not hex).

In this example payload structure the message ID is “1”.

Example payload: message type source

LoRa bits

Under General, specify a name for the value and the category under which it will be displayed in the values list. The associated name for this value will be displayed under the Display category given.

Under Value selection, define from where the value should be extracted. In order to do so, indicate where the value information starts in the Start bit field and how long this information is in the Number of bits field. The maximum value for the number of bits is 32 bits (4 bytes).

In this example the “Channel 1 Type” information starts in byte 2 (that means, start bit = “16”) and is 1 byte long (that means, number of bits = “8”).

Example payload: value selection

LoRa bits

The hexadecimal value is converted to a decimal number and afterwards a “value normalisation” is applied.

Under Value normalisation define how the raw value should be transformed before being stored in the platform and enter the appropriate values for:

For detailed information on how to decode the payload, refer to the documentation of the device.

Info: “Little endian” support to decode the payload has been added.

Under Options, select one of the following options, if required:

Under Functionalities, specify how this device protocol should behave:

You can also have a nested structure with several values within a measurement, event or managed object fragment. In case of a measurement all the properties of the same type will be merged to create a nested structure. In case of an event or a managed object all the properties with the same fragment are merged to create a nested structure. Also refer to the example of a nested structure for a “Position” device protocol below.

Click OK to add the values to your device protocol.

Value configurations of created device protocol

After clicking Save, your device protocol is created with the values you defined.

Example with single property

The following image shows an example for a message which sends a measurement when the battery level changes.

New value window part 1 Battery level changes example

New value window part 2

Battery level changes example

Example with nested structure

The following image shows an example of a nested structure for a device protocol reporting the current position of a GPS device. The display category is named “Position” and contains values for longitude and latitude.

The message ID should be the same for all the values. Enter the rest of the parameters according to the instructions above. Enter “c8y_Position” in the Managed object fragment field and create a new value for each: longitude and latitude.

New value window, Longitude

Value creation: Longitude-nested

New value window, Latitude

Value creation: Latitude-nested

This will be the result:

Value configuration in detail: nested structure

Using Custom decoding/encoding

The Actility agent also supports the decoding/encoding functionality by plugging in Custom microservice. Refer LPWAN custom codec for further details.

Registering LoRa devices

To register a LoRa device, navigate to the Device Management application and click Registration in the Devices menu in the navigator. Click Register device.

In the upcoming window, click Custom device registration and select LoRa:

Register devices

Cumulocity IoT fully supports the LoRa device provisioning with Over-the-Air Activation (OTAA) which is the preferred and most secure way to connect with the LoRa network. If Activation by Personalization (ABP) is required to be used, refer to the LoRa device registration with ABP section.

In the next window fill in the required information:

Register devices

Click Next to submit the device registration request and create the device.

You can verify that the device is really connected by checking that events are actually coming in. You can do so by clicking on a device and opening the Events tab. All events related to this device are listed here.

The provision status is shown under Device data in the Info tab of the device.

Device data

For more information on viewing and managing your connected devices, also refer to Device Management.

LoRa device registration process

A device is created based on the above workflow.

First it is checked, if the device already exists. If no device exists with the same device EUI in the ThingPark account, the device is first provisioned on the ThingPark platform and then created on the Cumulocity IoT platform with a link to the device in the ThingPark platform. If the device exists in the ThingPark account, a validation will be applied to compare these devices based on application EUI (for OTAA activation) and device profile. If the validation is successful, the device is created only in Cumulocity IoT with a link to the device in the ThingPark platform. If the validation fails, a failure message will be shown (see the device registration subsection of the troubleshooting section and the device is not created in Cumulocity IoT.

LoRa device registration with Activation by Personalization (ABP)

Activating the device by personalization is not recommended and not fully supported in Cumulocity IoT LoRa device registration.

However, if you would like to create a device with this activation type in Cumulocity IoT and use the LoRa features - such as sending operations to a device, deprovisioning a device and setting LoRa device protocol type with custom device protocol configuration - you must first provision the device in the ThingPark platform. Moreover you must create “AS Routing Profile” for Cumulocity IoT using the destination as a “Third Party AS (HTTP)” and assign it to your devices manually. Afterwards, you can register this device using LoRa device registration. In this case, the Application key field in the LoRa device registration is invalid.

Limitations for LoRa devices created with general device registration

The general device registration for LoRa devices is no longer supported.

Existing LoRa devices that have been created in Cumulocity IoT with the general device registration process have limitations. For those devices, it is not possible to send operations to the device, deprovision the device and set the LoRa device protocol type with custom device protocol configuration.

It is recommended to delete and re-register these devices using LoRa device registration to fully use the LoRa feature.

Deprovisioning LoRa devices

You can deprovision a LoRa device in the ThingPark platform. This means that the device will no longer be connected to the network. Its history data will still be available in Cumulocity IoT, but the device will be deleted in ThingPark.

To deprovision a device, navigate to the respective device in the Device Management application under All devices. Click More in the top right and select Deprovision device.

Deprovision device

After confirming the deprovisioning, the device will be deprovisioned in ThingPark.

To provision the device again, the device should be deleted and re-registered using LoRa device registration.

Sending operations

If a LoRa device supports receiving hexadecimal commands, you can send them using shell operations. Notice that these commands are not serial monitor commands. In order to send an operation, navigate to the device you want to send an operation to in the Device Management application under All devices. Switch to the Shell tab.

In the following screenshot you can find some examples of a device protocol’s predefined commands and their format.

Predefined shell commands

Enter the shell command or view/edit the predefined command in the >_Command field.

If you enter the command without defining a port, it will be sent to the default target port (that is, port 1) of the device. If you enter the command and define a port (format “command:port”), it will be sent to the specified target port instead of the default port.

Port configuration

Click Execute. The operation will be sent to the device. The timing depends on Actility ThingPark.

The status of the operation is set to SUCCESSFUL when the operation has successfully been sent to the ThingPark platform. The status of the operation is set to FAILED when a problem occurred with the validation of the command or after the operation has been sent to the Thingpark platform.

ThingPark API availability monitoring

The ThingPark API is monitored and if it is not reachable, an alarm is created to notify all subscribed tenants using this feature. The alarm is cleared right after the ThingPark API is reachable again.

ThingPark API monitoring alarm



Authorization to the LoRa platform failed

This warning message shows up if a provided profile ID, username or password is invalid.

Account credentials
To resolve this, provide correct credentials and try again.

Device registration

Access to device denied

This warning message shows up when there already exists a provisioned device in ThingPark with the same device EUI used for device registration and the validation comparing those devices based on application EUI (for OTAA activation) and device profile has failed.

Device registration failure for comparison validation

To resolve this, provide the correct application EUI from Connectivity application and device profile and try again.

No LoRa provider settings found

This warning message shows up when there are no credentials set up for the ThingPark account.

Device registration failure without credentials

To resolve this, refer to Configure ThingPark credentials.

Getting device profiles from provider failed

This warning message shows up when the tenant’s access token to Thingpark becomes invalid. Invalidation of the token might happen when the same ThingPark credentials are used for another tenant.

Device registration failure with invalidated token

This issue can be solved by reconfiguring the ThingPark credentials to renew the access token. Refer to configure ThingPark credentials for reconfiguration of the credentials.

No device protocols configured

This warning message shows up when no LoRa device protocol exists to be used for device registration.

No device protocol given for LoRa

To resolve this, configure at least one device protocol in the Device database.

No connectivity plans with free slots available

This warning message shows up when the connectivity plan in ThingPark has reached the limit for the device count.

No free slots by device registration

To resolve this, either contact ThingPark on the device quota limits for your connectivity plans or remove unused devices from ThingPark and retry registering the device in Cumulocity IoT.