Key Concepts

New to IOTICS? Or just after a refresher? This page takes a high-level look at some of the key concepts of IOTICS.
You can find more in-depth information throughout our pages as well, they're linked in the description where available.

Brush up on these concepts:

Digital Twins

What is an IOTICS Digital Twin?

An IOTICS Digital Twin is a virtual representation in IOTICS of a real entity. An entity can be a physical device, a person, a data source, a database, or whatever is _real _for the domain.

An IOTICS Digital Twin is made of 4 parts:

  1. Basic Structure
  2. Metadata
  3. Feeds
  4. Inputs

In practice, to create a Twin in IOTICS you just:

  • Create its identity
  • Define a model representing the twin metadata: properties, feeds and controls
  • Build a program that makes the twin in IOTICS and manages the:
    • interaction with the entity in the real world,
    • interaction with other twins, and
    • permissions on what data to share or what inputs to process

For more details, including how to create them, go to Digital Twins

Visibility and Accessibility

The owner of an IOTICSpace is in control of all its Digital Twins, and therefore of all the data stored and streaming through them. Owners can decide to make their twins visible - or not - and to share - or not - data with all, none, or a select number of parties and, by extension, join one or more data ecosystems or consortia. For more details please see Selective Sharing for Metadata and Data.


In a data ecosystem implemented with IOTICS, each party has its own IOTICSpace, which together form a larger data ecosystem.
Your Digital Twins reside in your own IOTICSpace, where their metadata, is securely stored. They can also interact and share data with other Digital Twins, whether they are in your IOTICSpace or belong to others.

IOTICS is secure by design, meaning each IOTICSpace comes fully deployed and set up on the IOTICS Cloud. The ecosystem is built on a decentralised infrastructure, so each IOTICSpace is deployed on its own and data and resource separation is guaranteed. Each IOTICSpace also presents its own API. For more technical information go to IOTICSpace.


Connectors are the generic term we use for applications that manage one or more twin agents. The name is a reference to the fact that these applications typically connect the external world to IOTICS. Designing and building connectors is an important part of IOTICS, and will help you to connect your world easily.

Connectors that normally only ingest data into IOTICS are referred to as integrators or publishers while connectors that only extract data from IOTICS are referred to as followers. Connectors that do both and also apply some transformation logic are addressed loosely as synthesisers.

For more information, check our dedicated Connectors page.

Users, Agents, and Twins - IOTICS entities' identity.

The IOTICS entities - Users, Agents and Twins - are uniquely identified using W3C DIDs. The application owner is responsible for creating and managing these IDs.

The IOTICS Identity Library is used to manufacture the IDs and register them in IOTICS so that authentication and authorisation can be achieved.

The decentralised nature of the IOTICS concept and middleware fits very well with the concept of DID and IOTICS Implements the necessary crypto verifications to prove ownership of a private key.

If you'd like to know more about DIDs and how they work, you can check out the Decentralised Identity page, for an overview and the Identity API and Credentials page for a more in-depth explanation.

Decentralised Identity

IOTICS handles credentials through Decentralized Identity (DID) Documents. They are built based on the W3C's decentralized ID standard.

DIDs are an emerging effort for establishing a standard for self-sovereign digital identities. They provide entities with the ability to self-manage cryptographic key material and other metadata about their identity. This data can be used to authenticate an entity to third parties or to request authorisation for access to a given resource.

You can learn more by reading our Decentralised Identity page.

Security by Design

The secure flow of data has been a guiding principle since the very beginning of IOTICS, and we are proud of our
Security by Design principles:

  • Reduce attack surface
  • Reduce attack vectors
  • Increase resilience and scalability
  • Make provenance verifiable
  • Mitigate against stolen credentials

You can read more about these principles by reading our Security by Design page.


FAIR Data is a set of principles applied to data to make it:

  • Findable: metadata and data should be easy to find for both humans and machines. In IOTICS Digital Twins, metadata is machine-readable making it suitable for automatic discovery by other twins.
  • Accessible: once data has been found, it must be easily and securely accessible. IOTICS allows secure access to enterprise’s data both within and without company boundaries by means of Digital Twins publishing and receiving data via feeds and inputs.
  • Interoperable: once data has been safely accessed it can be automatically processed for integration with other data and applications. In IOTICS Digital Twins, metada and data are semantically modelled to enable true trusted interoperability.
  • Reusable: integrate data only once then easily share all or part of your data with trusted parties, removing the need for traditional point-to-point integrations and centralised data storage

You can read more about how we use these principles by reading our FAIR Data page.

And you can read about the origins of FAIR data at the Go Fair website.