I might be putting this into software terms, but I just want to have all my things be the same type, but have multiple instances (multiple things). Each thing must be able to be referenced individually as well, and individually subscribe to messages. Then, I could have multiple Raspberry Pi's send data back to AWS-IoT while also each could subscribe to a unique message. Thank you.

  • Are you aware of Thing Types, and are they suitable for your problem? If not, could you clarify what features you need exactly?
    – Aurora0001
    Feb 21, 2017 at 19:35
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    Yes, I see that you can set Things to have similar attributes via Thing Types. The feature I need exactly is the ability to have multiple things send messages to the cloud, which can then be stored in Lambda uniquely (I believe this is possible) and to allow each thing to subscribe to a unique message independently. I want to have a pub-sub where (from the pub view) from a Lambda function, I send a message, and it is sent to an individual Thing (just one) which has subscribed to those messages.
    – PaulPerry
    Feb 21, 2017 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


After doing some further research, I'm pretty sure Thing Types are what you want.

Thing types allow you to store description and configuration information that is common to all things associated with the same thing type. This simplifies the management of things in the thing registry. For example, you can define a LightBulb thing type. All things associated with the LightBulb thing type share a set of attributes: serial number, manufacturer, and wattage. When you create a thing of type LightBulb (or change the type of an existing thing to LightBulb) you can specify values for each of the attributes defined in the LightBulb thing type.

Thing Types do not mean all the devices are treated as one device; each Thing receives its own ARN regardless of whether it has a Thing Type or not.

Each Thing should be able to subscribe to a custom topic (if you're using the MQTT broker), even though it has a Thing Type. The only difference is that Things with a Thing Type are given certain (immutable and fixed) attributes which can define properties for that particular type of Things.

If you want to send messages from all your Things as if they are one, just publish to a common MQTT topic not specific to one device.

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    Hi Aurora, thanks for researching this. I do think I can accomplish what I need with AWS IoT, and the Thing Types look useful, but I don't even think I need those. It seems as the key is the pub-sub architecture, and using a unique message topic (maybe a guid?) then each rasp PI can receive their unique messages.
    – PaulPerry
    Feb 23, 2017 at 0:26

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