Direct Methods and MQTT Box in action

This is to anyone who wants to connect MQTT-Box to Azure IOT-Hub. In my last post I was changing the Microsoft.Azure.Devices.Client implementation to enable Direct Methods. In this article I am showing how to setup MQTT-Box to be able to receive Direct Messages there.

First and foremost you need to create a new IoT-Hub instance with “DeviceManagmentPreview” enabled. If you struggle with this have a look at this post.  To create the shared access signatures we use Device Explorer which you can get here. After you have set up IOT-Hub and downloaded MQTT-Box and Device Explorer start up those tools.

Copy the connection string from the IOT-Hub SAS-policy “iothubowner” to the connection info in Device Explorer:


Switch to Management-Tab and click “Create…” to create a new Device. Lets name it “myDeviceId”. Leave the suggested keys and click “Create”.   Click button “SAS Token…”. Select your device, set the time to live (TTL) to 1 and click “Generate”.


Copy the value of the SharedAccessSignature (everything after “SharedAccessSignature=”). The result should look like this

SharedAccessSignature sr=<yourIOTHubName><yourDeviceId>&sig=<signature>&se=<se>

Then start MQTT-Box and create a new MQTT Client


Copy the SAS into the password field. Set the following fields and settings:

MQTT Client Name = Something
MQTT Client Id = <your Device ID>
Append timestamp to MQTT client Id? = NO
Protocol = mqtts / tsl
Host = <yourIOTHubName>
UserName = <yourIOTHubName><your Device ID>/DeviceClientType=azure-iot-device%2F1.1.0-dtpreview&api-version=2016-09-30-preview

Click “Save” – You should get a green “Connected”-Button


Finally to receive the messages set the “Topic to subscribe” in the yellow box to:

  • $iothub/methods/POST/#

Then hit the “Subscribe”-Button. Now you need to start the node sample from this article to send a direct message to your device on your IOT-Hub. As a result you will receive the message in you MQTT-Box.

Of course, since we do not reply here the node client writes out a timeout error after a while. If you want however to send a successful response have a look at the “Topics to publish” section in MQTT Box

Prepare the “Topic to publish”: $iothub/methods/res/200/?$rid=
Payload Type: Strings /JSON / XML /Characters
Payload: “Hello”

Now use the node client to send a direct message again. Have a look at the results in the orange box and quickly copy the number after “$rid=”. After the second call it should be “2”. In the image above it is “1”.

Add this RID-Number to your Topic to publish. In this case: $iothub/methods/res/200/?$rid=2

Hit “Publish”. The message should pop up below:

In your node window you will get the result: