When creating the architecture for an Internet of Things (IoT) connected product, there’s one thing that engineers often forget about: topic structure. A well thought-out and organized topic structure is key to creating the flexibility, scalability, and security needed for a successful IoT solution. To deliver these qualities in the high-level architecture phase means designing a topic structure that takes full advantage of MQTT as a protocol and that uses the IoT platform.

The problem is, many engineers set up a topic structure reactively or without much thought. They later realize that it’s not ideal—but they don’t know how to fix it. To make matters worse, best practices for creating a topic structure are hard to come by.

For Xively, we consider best practices for creating a topic structure. Our method is based on our extensive experience implementing IoT solutions with a single, centralized broker that uses the MQTT protocol. Here, in no particular order, are our top five best practices.

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