Groups provides a logical method for managing multiple devices in your account and easily performing bulk operations. Groups can be used with Soracom Air for Cellular, Air for Sigfox, and Air for LoRaWAN, as well as devices managed by Soracom Inventory.
There are no restrictions with how groups can be structured. You can create groups and manage devices by the device type, geographical location, project, and so on, depending on the nature of your application. At a basic level, Groups can be used to quickly filter or identify a particular set of devices for performing bulk management operations, such as activating or deactivating devices and managing their sessions.
In addition to general device management, Groups are used to configure device integration with other Soracom platform services, such as Beam, Funnel, Funk, and Harvest. When a particular Soracom service is configured for a group, all devices that belong to that group will automatically integrate with that service. This allows you to easily manage detailed configuration of device behavior from a single location, without having to configure each individual device. For example, when using Beam, you can easily switch endpoints to forward device data from a staging server to a production server with just a few clicks, and all devices within that group will automatically update accordingly.
As Groups provide the mechanism for integration with other Soracom platform services, each device can only belong to one group at any given time. However, you can add multiple Tags to each device, for filtering and identification functionality beyond the 1-group-per-device limit.
When a Group is created, it is globally available within your account, meaning that you can freely add Cellular, Sigfox, LoRaWAN, and Soracom Inventory devices to the same group. However, certain Group configuration options do not apply to specific device types. For example, Custom DNS settings only apply to Air for Cellular devices, and have no effect on Sigfox and LoRa devices.
Group configuration options are therefore separated into different namespaces, with each namespace containing options that are applicable for the device type. Group configuration namespaces are as follows:
Air for Cellular Groups
- SoracomAir - Configuration options that apply specifically to Air for Cellular devices
- Custom DNS
- Metadata Service
- Virtual Private Gateway
- CHAP Authentication
- Binary Parser
While the Air for Cellular Group configuration also includes Watch settings, its configuration is managed by the Event Handler and is not treated as a Group configuration namespace.
Air for Sigfox Device Groups
- SoracomAir - Configuration options that apply specifically to Air for Sigfox devices
- Binary Parser
Air for LoRaWAN Groups
- SoracomAir - Configuration options that apply specifically to Air for LoRa devices
- LoRa Space
- Binary Parser
Soracom Inventory Groups
When configuring a Group from the Cellular Groups screen, the Air for Cellular Groups namespace options will be available. Similarly, when configuring a group from the Sigfox Sigfox Device Groups screen, the Air for Sigfox Device Groups namespace options will be available, and so on.
Namespace options that are available for different device types (namely, Soracom Beam, Funnel, Funk, and Harvest, as well as Binary Parser) are shared within the group. This means that, for instance, a Group with Binary Parser enabled will apply the Binary Parser configuration to all devices within that group regardless of device type, rather than having separate settings for each device type.
The only exception is Soracom Beam, where the type of device determines the incoming method of communication. While Beam can be configured with Air for Cellular to forward data using an HTTP entry point, MQTT entry point, TCP → HTTP/HTTPS entry point and so on, Beam configuration for Air for Sigfox and Air for LoRaWAN are limited to Sigfox → HTTP/HTTPS entry point and LoRa → HTTP/HTTPS entry point, respectively.
While Groups are globally available for all device types, each group is restricted to its Global or Japan coverage type, meaning that a Group that belongs to the Global coverage region cannot be used in the Japan coverage region.
As Groups provides extensive configurability, there is generally no significant limitation to most types of integration.
Any difficulty in customizing Group configuration can typically be addressed by utilizing multiple groups. For example:
- To forward data from all devices with Beam, but only process the data from certain devices using Binary Parser: Create two groups, both with the same Beam configuration, and only one with the appropriate Binary Parser configuration, then assign devices to each group as required.
- To attach all Air for Cellular subscribers to the same VPG, but configure only a portion of them to use Custom DNS (or another option): Create two groups, both with the same VPG configuration, and only one with Custom DNS enabled, then assign devices to each group as required.
As platform fees are assessed on a per-device or per-request basis, there is no additional overhead for configuring multiple groups, allowing you to achieve complex configurations with no additional fees.