Signals already described what an Event in Ditto is. Events are emitted after an entity (either a digital twin or an actual device) was changed.

At the Ditto API there are different ways for getting notified of such events:


In order to not get all of the events an authenticated subject (e.g. a user added in nginx) is allowed to see, but to filter for specific criteria, events may be filtered on the Ditto backend side before they are sent to an event receiver.

The above mentioned different APIs provide their own mechanisms on how to define such filters, but they all share the common functionality of based on which information events may be filtered.

By namespaces

Filtering may be done based on a namespace name. Each Ditto Thing has an ID containing a namespace (see also the conventions for a Thing ID).

By providing the namespaces filter, a comma separated list of which namespaces to include in the result, only Things in namespaces of interest are considered and thus only events of these Things are emitted at the API.

For example, one would only subscribe for events occurring in 2 specific namespaces by defining:,org.eclipse.ditto.two

By RQL expression

If filtering by namespaces is not sufficient, Ditto also allows to provide an RQL expression specifying:

  • a Thing payload based condition determining which events should be emitted and which should not
  • a filter based on the fields of the Ditto Protocol message which should be filtered, e.g.:
    • using the topic:action placeholder as query property, filtering for lifecycle events (created, deleted) and other filter options on the Ditto Protocol topic can be done
    • using the resource:path placeholder as query property, filtering based on the affected Ditto Protocol path of a Ditto Protocol message can be done
    • for all supported placeholders, please refer to the placeholders documentation

This provides the opportunity to formulate filters like the following:


Only emit events when attribute “count” was changed to a value greater than 42:


Only emit events for Things starting with myThing when a feature “lamp” was modified:


Only emit events when the attribute “manufacturer” was changed to starting with “ACME & Sons”. The & must be escaped in that case:

filter=like(attributes/manufacturer,"ACME %26 Sons*")

Only emit events for Thing creation and deletion:


You get the idea of how mighty this becomes by utilizing Ditto’s RQL expressions.

Tags: model rql