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Table of contents
What is CoAP Protocol
Features Of CoAP Protocol
CoAP Architecture
Functions Of CoAP Protocol
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CoAP RESTful?
Is CoAP asynchronous?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

CoAP Protocol

Author Akash Nagpal
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IoT protocols are an essential component of the IoT technology stack; without them, the hardware would be rendered worthless since they allow it to share data in an organised and meaningful manner. Useful information may be retrieved from these conveyed pieces of data for the end-user, and as a result, the entire deployment becomes economically viable, particularly in terms of IoT device management.

When we talk about the Internet of Things, we always think of communication. The interaction of sensors, devices, gateways, servers, and user applications is what defines the Internet of Things. But it is the IoT protocols, which may be thought of as languages that the IoT gear employs to communicate, that allow all of these smart things to talk and interact.

What is CoAP Protocol

The CoAP Protocol (Constrained Application Protocol) is a web-based protocol created to link tiny, semi-intelligent devices to the Internet of Things (IoT). The CoAP Protocol works with restricted nodes and networks to allow for the segmented deployment of machine-to-machine (M2M) systems that include many network-enabled devices.

To put it another way, the CoAP Protocol enables the quick networking of hundreds of IoT-enabled devices to create a single networked application, such as a smart building or automated manufacturing lines.

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Features Of CoAP Protocol

  • CoAP is an easy-to-integrate protocol that can be quickly coupled with cross-protocol proxies applications. It works well with JSON, XML, CBOR, and various other data types. The web client is not informed that a sensor resource is being accessed throughout this operation.
  • CoAP Protocol uses the tried and tested REST protocol is its main distinguishing characteristic. These allow developers to use a URL to conduct API-style calls to GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE data. This makes CoAP development a breeze.
  • The effective IoT device/application requires the simultaneous use of billions of nodes. CoAP is intended to manage such large mode quantities flawlessly while keeping overheads to a minimum. It can run on many microcontrollers while utilising the fewest resources necessary. For CoAP, 10 KiB of RAM and 100 KiB of code space are sufficient.
  • The true power of adopting the entire REST protocol is the ease with which CoAP-enabled devices may be linked to existing applications. Existing REST-based apps may already receive input from CoAP-enabled devices with little or no changes.
  • Many standard date delivery formats, including CBOR, XML, and JSON, are also supported by CoAP. This makes it very simple to create applications that support CoAP capable devices.
  • Because the resources required by CoAP are minimal, wastes are kept under control. There is no need to install a large transport stack for online transfers. The message processing header and encoding are concise and do not create fragmentation on the connection layer. It may support the functions of numerous servers at the same time.
  • To locate the node's attributes, CoAP provides a comprehensive resource directory.
  • RFC 7252 verifies CoAP, it is being developed for the future, and it can handle congestion management difficulties.
    You can also read 8051 Microcontroller Pin Diagram here.

CoAP Architecture

The WWW and the constraints environment are two of the CoAP protocol's core aspects. The server monitors and assists communication through CoAP and HTTP, while proxy devices bridge the distance between these ecosystems, making communication more fluid.

CoAP allows HTTP clients (also known as CoAP clients) to speak or share data/information within resource limits.

Understanding the architecture requires familiarity with the following terms:

  • Endpoints are the nodes that the host knows of;
  • The client sends requests and replies to incoming requests;
  • The server gets and forwards requests. It also gets and forwards the messages received in response to the requests it has processed.
  • The sender creates and sends the original message.
  • The recipient gets the information sent by the client or forwarded by the server.

Image Source: ResearchGate

Functions Of CoAP Protocol

  • CoAP's primary function is to behave similarly to HTTP if limited devices are involved in communication. It bridges the HTTP gap, allowing devices like actuators and sensors to communicate over the internet.
  • Data as a system component is used to administrate and control the devices involved in the process. Because it consumes less power and network capacity, the CoAP protocol can perform its tasks in environments with limited bandwidth and high congestion.
  • TCP-based protocols cannot perform on networks with high congestion and limited connectivity. CoAP arrives as a saviour and assists with the wen transfers.
  • Web transfers over large distances utilising satellites can be completed flawlessly with CoAP. The CoAP protocol is used for information sharing in networks with billions of nodes.
  • Regardless of the function or role played, CoAP provided the greatest level of security as DTLS parameters as the default security parameter, the equivalent of 128 bit RSA keys.
  • In terms of deployment, it is basic and straightforward. For a simple application, it may be built from the ground up.
  • Generic solutions for multiple platforms are available for the application environment where CoAP is not desired. Most CoAP implementations are done privately, with just a handful published in open-source libraries such as the MIT licence.

Also see, Difference Between Verilog and Vhdl

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CoAP RESTful?

CoAP is a modified UDP transfer protocol designed for usage with limited devices. This article shows how to set up a server to forward CoAP protocol queries to IoT Core.

Is CoAP asynchronous?

CoAP employs an asynchronous transaction paradigm. These transactions convey request/response exchanges, either by employing a Method Code (GET/PUT/POST/DELETE) to initiate contact with a resource or by carrying a Response Code in an immediate or asynchronous response.


In this article, we have extensively discussed CoAP Protocol in IoT Environment. We have also discussed its features, functions, and advantages of CoAP.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding CoAP Protocols in IoT environment. Some official documentation on big data that can help you improve your understanding is Actuators in IoT.

Recommended Reading: Instruction Format in Computer Architecture

If you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Actuators in IoT, and Sensors and Actuators

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