Unified Namespace: Work Principles & Use Examples

May 28, 2024

Greetings from the world of Unified Namespace, an idea that is transforming the way we arrange and communicate with networks of systems. A unified method for combining various services, devices, and data streams into easily understood categories is represented by Unified Namespace. Here, we explore the complexities of Unified namespace and see how it may alter many fields.

What is a unified namespace?

A Unified namespace (UNS) is a centralized, standardized, event-driven data architecture that facilitates easy integration and communication between diverse devices and systems in an industrial setting. It functions on the tenet that all data ought to be disclosed and made accessible for consumption, regardless of whether there is an immediate consumer. Unified namespace architecture provides real-time data processing and communication across various components within an industrial setting, and it forms the basis for systems such as the United Manufacturing Hub.

The SCADA system was used to handle all data in an industrial setting, and the data was frequently unified across the screens. The production process was shown on these screens. The quality team could set up test stands or specialized equipment and use their logging procedure, which they recorded into a local computer database. After this, reports including the number of problems would be prepared and forwarded to the Quality team. The Asset Maintenance team initiated and managed maintenance work orders using an ERP or CMMS such as Maximo. Because these systems were disjointed and disconnected, each user could only view data from their system.

Over time, these teams realized how important it was to have cross-team data to do their jobs more efficiently, so they decided to use point-to-point connections to connect the various systems. The Quality database that was linked to the CMMS/ERP system was linked to SCADA. But as the integrations were developed, the teams found that, often, there were distinct databases for every stage of every line, rather than simply one Quality database. The central SCADA system oversaw some machines in the Asset maintenance department, while others were outfitted with a local human-machine interface (HMI). Rockwell PLC-equipped machines used symbolic addressing, but a map was needed to communicate with numerous outdated PLCs that used memory-based addressing.

It is precisely these difficulties that have increased demand for a Unified namespace. Each data source can be integrated by users using a Unified namespace architecture, making it simple for any system or individual in need of industrial data to locate and choose the information they require. The lack of standardization in data from many sources presents a barrier to the development of a UNS. Sometimes the source systems might be unable to communicate over MQTT, and the necessary context might be kept in a system owned by a third party.

Principles of Unified namespace architecture

Devices, data points, and services are arranged according to the principles of Unified namespace architecture into a logical topic structure depending on characteristics such as kind, function, and location. In addition to facilitating the integration of various systems and protocols, improving interoperability, enhancing scalability, and enabling centralized data access for real-time monitoring and decision-making in industrial environments, this organized approach streamlines device connection and data administration.

The Unified namespace offers an alternative to traditional industrial data architecture. Conventional approaches generally implement the network-and-system architectural paradigm of ISA 95 pyramids, which depend on data propagation upwards for centralized storage and later analysis.

The key idea behind the UNS architecture is that for a manufacturing company to take full advantage of decentralized real-time data sharing, each component operating within a particular functional domain needs to send data into a shared data infrastructure from its point of origin at the edge. These functional domains usually encompass control, operations, information, applications, and business in the manufacturing industry. Updates from sensors, events, alerts, status changes, commands, and configuration changes are a few examples of the data that can be shared. According to the edge-driven principle, data can only be transmitted report-by-exception if a change is found in the monitored item.

Establishing a data infrastructure that supports an open architecture is essential to the UNS's efficient operation. This involves using a generally accepted, open, and standardized system for information exchange. A "Publish-Subscribe" paradigm should also be incorporated into the infrastructure, as this allows for flexible and decoupled data sharing both within and between functional domains within your organization.

Unified namespace MQTT

Unified namespace MQTT is a concept that entails hierarchically organizing MQTT devices to produce a standardized and unified data architecture for easy integration and communication between diverse industrial systems and devices. In industrial contexts, it makes cooperation, information exchange, and efficiency simpler by providing a standard and systematic method of organizing and accessing data.

Equipment data is arranged, for example, under namespaces such as Equipment/Pump, Equipment/Motor, and Equipment/Sensor, with particular themes for publishing relevant data, such as Equipment/pump/temperature and Equipment/motor/speed. To remotely monitor and control industrial equipment, this method standardizes data organization, streamlines integration, and improves data accessibility. Nonetheless, there are difficulties in controlling data complexity, guaranteeing data consistency, and upholding data transmission security protocols.

Unified namespace MQTT is a useful tool in smart manufacturing environments as it allows MQTT topics to be organized hierarchically for effective monitoring and control of facilities, logistics, and production processes. The data from the factory is arranged into namespaces such as Factory/Production, Factory/Facilities, and Factory/Logistics. To publish pertinent data, particular subjects like factory/production/line1/speed and factory/facilities/energy/consumption are included. This strategy facilitates data-driven decision-making for factory management, centralizes data access, and improves operational effectiveness. Establishing data governance, integrating systems,

Unified namespace IIoT

Unified namespace IIoT

Through the hierarchical topic structure that it creates, the Unified Namespace in IIoT streamlines device communication, data management, and system integration. It facilitates smooth communication between various industrial network protocols and systems, increasing productivity, efficiency, and overall performance.

Unified namespace IIoT streamlines system integration, data management, and device communication. Because devices only need to know the subject they are publishing to or subscribing to, rather than the precise location or network of the device or data, this organized method simplifies device communication and data management.

The UNS makes it simple for data producers and consumers to integrate, doing away with the requirement for specialist engineering services to do data integration at every level of the company hierarchy. As data producers and consumers are not directly connected but instead communicate through a central hub, allowing for smooth communication between millions of nodes, this lowers integration costs and improves scalability.

Among the essential benefits of a Unified namespace IIot are:

Hierarchical topic structure

Using criteria including kind, location, and function, the UNS arranges devices, data points, and services into a hierarchical subject structure. Device communication and data management are made easier by this structured approach since devices only need to be aware of the topic they are publishing to or subscribing to.

Centralized data access

Serving as a single point of contact for all smart devices and IT infrastructure, the Unified namespace offers data and information from one source of accuracy to another. This facilitates instantaneous access to the present condition of the entire organization, enhancing flexibility and decision-making.

Data management

Easy data point identification, access, and analysis amongst various systems and applications are made possible by the UNS's standard naming convention. This enhances one's capacity for insight extraction and data-driven decision-making.

Improved interoperability

Because all UNS topics have the same naming convention, integrating various systems and protocols is made easier by the UNS's hierarchical subject structure. System integration is made simpler as a result of the decreased requirement for point-to-point integrations and specialist engineering.

Unified namespace examples

Smart home devices

Products from many manufacturers, such as locks, thermostats, and lights, might be consolidated under universal namespaces like "Lights," "Climate Control," and "Security," in a smart home ecosystem. Users may now easily control every gadget in each category thanks to this.

All installed smart lights in the home can be consolidated under a single namespace called "Lights".  This enables customers to utilize voice commands, smartphone apps, or smart home hubs to control every light in their home simultaneously.

Smart locks, motion sensors, doorbell cameras, and other smart home security equipment can all be grouped under a single namespace.  With this, homeowners can keep an eye on the security situation in their house, get notifications when anything strange is happening, and manage who has access to their property from anywhere.

Industrial sensors

Unified namespaces for Industrial sensors offer a comprehensive method for keeping an eye on and managing crucial variables in production settings.

For example, a wide range of sensors are used in manufacturing facilities to monitor health indicators like vibration, temperature, pressure, humidity, and more. Plant managers and operators can obtain centralized visibility into major production aspects by grouping these sensors under unified namespaces, like "Environmental Monitoring" or "Process Control." They can effortlessly monitor the environmental conditions in each zone of the building, guaranteeing adherence to rules and regulations and preserving the best possible working environment for staff members.

Fleet management

All GPS trackers that are installed in the cars are included in this namespace. Fleet managers can use it to track each vehicle's route, follow its current location, and optimize routing for punctuality and efficiency. It also makes geofencing possible, allowing you to draw imaginary borders and get notifications when cars approach or leave designated zones.

Under this namespace, fuel sensors integrated into the vehicles furnish real-time data regarding gasoline levels, consumption rates, and refilling events. To cut expenses and downtime, fleet managers may optimize refueling schedules, detect abnormalities like gasoline theft or leaks, and monitor fuel efficiency.

Healthcare monitoring

A single namespace for healthcare monitoring in a healthcare context could include a variety of medical equipment and systems meant to guarantee patient safety and optimize healthcare operations.

Devices including temperature sensors, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors, and heart rate monitors are grouped. Real-time remote vital sign monitoring by medical professionals enables the early identification of any irregularities or changes in a patient's health status.

Devices that measure patients' health data over time, such as activity trackers to gauge physical activity levels, spirometers to check lung function, and glucose meters for diabetic patients, are included in the unified namespace. Caregivers can obtain insights into patients' general health trends and modify treatment strategies by combining various devices.


Unified namespace has pushed the boundaries of efficiency and user experience with its clear organization and simplified interface. We are at the cusp of a time when divergent technologies will work together smoothly, driven by the unifying principles of Unified namespace, as we wrap up our research. We set out on a path toward innovation, connectedness, and limitless possibilities by embracing this paradigm change.


Is the UNS standard or is it private property?

Generally speaking, UNS is not private property, but rather a concept or standard. It facilitates interoperability and simplicity in networked systems by acting as a framework for arranging and integrating various hardware, applications, and data streams.

How do I use the Unified namespace after building it?

After it is built, take advantage of the Unified Namespace to simplify communication with networked computers. Employ user-friendly categories to easily access devices, services, and data, improving productivity and user experience in a variety of contexts.

Is Unified namespace a data lake?

A data lake is not what a unified namespace is. A data lake is a centralized location for storing enormous volumes of unprocessed data in its original format, whereas a data lake is a conceptual framework for managing and accessing related systems.

What is a UNS thread?

UNS issues and discussions centered around the implementation and optimization of the framework for arranging networked systems are commonly referred to as UNS threads.

What is a UNS used for?

Through the use of intuitive categories, UNS organizes and facilitates access to related systems, devices, and data, improving efficiency and streamlining interaction across several domains.

What is a UNS connection?

When devices, services, or data streams are integrated into a Unified namespace framework, it creates a link that makes networked systems easier to engage with and interoperate with.