Working with object IDs - Amazon IoT SiteWise
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Working with object IDs

Amazon IoT SiteWise defines various types of persistent objects, such as assets, asset models, properties, and hierarchies. All such objects have unique identifiers that you can use to retrieve, update, and delete them.

Amazon IoT SiteWise has different options for customers for ID creation. Amazon IoT SiteWise generates one for you by default at object creation time. Users can also provide their own IDs to your objects.

Working with object UUIDs

Every persistent object in Amazon IoT SiteWise has a UUID to identify it. For example, asset models have an asset model ID, assets have an asset ID, and so on. This ID is assigned at the time that you create the object, and remains unchanged for the object's lifetime.

When you create a new object, Amazon IoT SiteWise generates a unique ID for you by default. You can also provide your own ID at creation time in UUID format.


UUIDs must be globally unique within the Amazon Region where it's created, and for the same object type. When Amazon IoT SiteWise auto-generates an ID for you, it's always unique. If you choose your own ID, make sure that it's unique.

For example, if you create a new asset model by calling CreateAssetModel, you can provide your own UUID in the optional assetModelId field of the request.

By contrast, if you omit assetModelId from the request, Amazon IoT SiteWise generates a UUID for the new asset model.

Using external IDs

To define your own ID in some format other than UUID, you can assign an external ID. For example, you can do this if you reuse an ID that you're using in a system that's not Amazon, or to be more human-readable. External IDs have a more flexible format. You can use them to reference your objects in Amazon IoT SiteWise API operations where you would otherwise use the UUID.

Like the UUIDs, each external ID must be unique within its context. For example, you can't have two asset models with the same external ID. Also, like the UUIDs, an object can only have one external ID in its lifetime, which can't change.

Differences between external IDs and UUIDs

External IDs differ from UUIDs in the following ways:

  • Every object has a UUID, but external IDs are optional.

  • Amazon IoT SiteWise never generates external IDs. You provide these yourself.

  • If the object does not already have one, you can assign an external ID at any time.

Format of external IDs

A valid external ID has the following properties:

  • Is between 2 and 128 characters long.

  • The first and last characters must be alphanumeric (A-Z, a-z, 0-9).

  • Characters other than first and last must either be alphanumeric, or else one of the following: _-.:

For example, an external ID must conform to the following regular expression:


Referencing objects with external IDs

In many places that you could reference an object using its UUID, you can use its external ID instead, if it has one. To do so, append the external ID to the string externalId:.

For example, suppose you have an asset model whose UUID (asset model ID) is a1b2c3d4-5678-90ab-cdef-11111EXAMPLE, which also has the external ID myExternalId. Call DescribeAssetModel to get details about it. You could use either of the following as the value of assetModelId:

  • With the asset model ID (UUID) itself: a1b2c3d4-5678-90ab-cdef-11111EXAMPLE

  • With the external ID: externalId:myExternalId

aws iotsitewise describe-asset-model --asset-model-id a1b2c3d4-5678-90ab-cdef-11111EXAMPLE aws iotsitewise describe-asset-model --asset-model-id externalId:myExternalId

The externalId: prefix is not, itself, part of the external ID. You only need to provide the prefix when you supply an external ID to an API operation that accepts either UUIDs or external IDs. For example, supply the prefix when you query or update an existing object.

When you define an external ID for an object, such as when you create an asset model, don't include the prefix.

You can use external IDs in place of UUIDs in this fashion for many API operations in Amazon IoT SiteWise, but not all. For example, the GetAssetPropertyValue, must use UUIDs; it doesn't support external ID usage.

To determine whether a particular API operation supports this usage, consult the API Reference.