A Generic Internet of Things (IoT) Middleware for Smart City Applications

Zulfiqar Ali, Azhar Mahmood*, Shaheen Khatoon, Wajdi Alhakami, Syed Sajid Ullah*, Jawaid Iqbal, Saddam Hussain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the key components of the ICT infrastructure of smart cities due to its great potential for intelligent management of infrastructures and facilities and the enhanced delivery of services in support of sustainable cities. Smart cities typically rely on IoT, where a wide variety of devices communicate with each other and collaborate across heterogeneous and distributed computing environments to provide information and services to urban entities and urbanites. However, leveraging the IoT within software applications raises tremendous challenges, such as data acquisition, device heterogeneity, service management, security and privacy, interoperability, scalability, flexibility, data processing, and visualization. Middleware for IoT has been recognized as the system that can provide the necessary infrastructure of services and has become increasingly important for IoT over the last few years. This study aims to review and synthesize the relevant literature to identify and discuss the core challenges of existing IoT middleware. Furthermore, it augments the information landscape of IoT middleware with big data applications to achieve the required level of services supporting sustainable cities. In doing so, it proposes a novel IoT middleware for smart city applications, namely Generic Middleware for Smart City Applications (GMSCA), which brings together many studies to further capture and invigorate the application demand for sustainable solutions which IoT and big data can offer. The proposed middleware is implemented, and its feasibility is assessed by developing three applications addressing various scenarios. Finally, the GMSCA is tested by conducting load balance and performance tests. The results prove the excellent functioning and usability of the GMSCA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number743
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Internet of Things
  • microservices
  • middleware
  • service-oriented
  • smart city


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