Build your first IoT application x Focus on IoT Central
Time has come to consider how to build your first IoT app. 1 month ago: I was in the same situation.
I had to start somewhere. Through a quick crawling of Azure Portal, I isolated many IoT related services among them IoT Hub & Central.
Good thing: I found out that they tended to be quite different from one another although complementary.
For now we'll deep dive in Azure IoT Central .
IoT central is now my personal favorite service on Azure. Few reasons to that:
1) It's code-less friendly which makes a great difference for someone like me.
2) You can build something straight away with applications templates. Without committing too much time, your packaged IoT solutions will be up & running.
3) The learning materials are great. You can have a look at Microsoft Learning Platform. You have awesome tutorials such as Create your first Azure IoT Central App & the funniest one "Monitor and manage your coffee machine with Azure IoT Central"
4) Well this reason is pretty much valid for every Microsoft IoT services but the hardware ecosystem to play with is insanely big. You can have a peak of their certified catalog here.
Ok Johan, could you be more specific now: what is IoT Central ?
Sure! IoT central is a simplify production ready IoT development. No need to to think long, the setup is simple & easy to manage. To give you a comparison, it's like picking a drag & drop website builder versus coding it entirely.
My favorite feature ? Pricing is predictable: you still pay for what you use but have a clear vision on how much is going to be billed.
Spending my days trying to convince people to move to the cloud & running different scenarios analysis for their targeted architecture: I can't tell how much this is a game changer.
Ultimately, it connects to a wide range of devices & to your productivity tools. Microsoft did a nice job into opening it to a wide range of third party.
By tools, think outside of the classic productivity suite offerings. For instance, the most relevant to me are done with Power BI & Power Apps. It's really simple: Power BI let you aggregate & visualize the data collected & Power Automate to orchestrate it within a workflow.
Who will be taking most advantage of IoT Central ?
That's again quite a personal appreciation of the market. Saying that, two personas could be considered:
- Early Stage ISVs/Start-Ups: launching your business, the first thing to do is built up a Minimum Viable Product that will help assess your market traction. Specializing in IoT this could be first step of submitting the app to a customer community. This would be a way to collect feed backs & upgrade your app features on the go.
When entering in a "scaling-up" model, you'll need to have a more granular approach in your feature development. A broader solution should then be consider such as Azure IoT Hub. We'll cover that in another article.
- Corporate CIO/Business Decision Makers of corporate: Prior to applications such as IoT Central, companies needed to contract specialized services providers to often build custom & costful applications to make us of the data collected by devices. Now with IoT Central, companies may benefit of IP-built ISV applications that is easily deployable such as AB In Dev South Africa
Now let's get started?
At AI of The Tiger, we do what we advise. We consider ourselves as an early stage start-up. Doing so, we keep on iterating & experimenting. I'm exciting to announce that we'll be releasing two line of products on two very different audiences:
- The AirBnB automated check-in & check-out by connecting camera, smartphone app & key lockers.
- The Animal facial recognition Pet Door. Only your animal would be recognized and be let in. Microsoft had release a first prototype guide back in 2017. You can find more information on Windows Central . However we now aim to make a full plug & play solution.
What about you ? Do you have any project? Are you currently using IoT Central ? If yes, let us know by dropping an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.