Basic: A channel is an entry point for messages from tracking devices or other platforms. A channel operates via a single protocol which means that one channel can receive messages from tracking devices of one manufacturer. Channel provides you with a dedicated IP:port to point your tracking devices to. Channel handles the connection from tracking devices, parses the data received, and stores parsed messages in the internal buffer (100 MB for the free account, 1 GB for the commercial account) with 30 days storage limit. It's important to promptly take parsed messages away from the channel’s buffer and clear it to avoid channel block due to the buffer overflow. This article explains how to get messages from flespi.
As the channel is responsible for connections to devices you can manage them via API. You can manually close each connection with DELETE /channels/connections request or send a custom configurational command to a certain device.
Advanced: Channels can accept data from some custom solutions. Customizable functionality is covered by special protocols:
MQTT channel — subscribes for the specified topic of any MQTT 3.1.1 or 5.0 compliant broker and accepts plain JSON-formatted messages.
HTTP channel — accepts HTTP POST request with messages as request’s data parameter.
Wialon IPS, Wialon Combine — open protocols specifications (text and binary). May be used by device manufacturers or applications that must reduce traffic usage.
Wiatag — accepts data from Wiatag mobile application. Can be used for debugging, prototyping or small projects.
Telegram — pulls messages received by Telegram bot.
Proxy — can be used to split TCP traffic from one device to several platforms and to see HEX data from connections.
There are several types of devices that can work with one pre-configured platform and cannot be re-configured. These platforms provide API (HTTP, XML, SOAP etc) to integrate data from these devices to other platforms. flespi supports receiving messages from such platforms as omnicomm, fleetboard, scania-fms etc. Wialon retranslator protocol is supported by many telematics platforms and can be used for cross-platform integrations too.