• Elisabeth Nebster

IoT Platform Development. How to start with an IoT low code platform


Thousands of sensors and hundreds of devices - what we expect to manage in any office or household in four years. Over 75 billion IoT devices would be in public use by 2025, to operate them IoT platforms should be used and designed. Digital service platforms for smart devices and sensors are already in use by manufacturers and telecommunication companies. Public services and private use are next in line.


Companies resort to creating an IoT platform not only to expand revenue streams but also to move forward. They want to fix hardware on time, save energy consumption, and improve the employee experience.


Here, the question "Where to get an IoT platform?" arises. Exactly this thing we invite you to figure out. Scroll down to discover what options your company has and how to deal with the hardest of them.


3 Options On How To Get IoT Device Management Platform




Option 1. Use a ready-made IoT device management platform


The easiest way to receive a robust IoT platform is to buy an off-the-shelf, proven product like AWS IoT Device Management or Google Cloud IoT Core. By the way, it's what Intel, PayPal, and UPS used to manage devices worldwide.


The procedure is simple: you need to buy a subscription, connect devices with the cloud software and create an IoT infrastructure.


Ready-made product modules cover all vital processes, such as data analysis, remote updates, etc.


A striking example of such an approach is Smart Parking's experience. The company needed to create parking lots for smart cities and manage over 50K sensors. Using Google Cloud IoT Core, the enterprise built a full-fledged IoT infrastructure for this purpose in less than 4 months.



Option 2. Purchase a PaaS for rapid creation of IoT ecosystem components


This path is suitable for companies that need to develop specific IoT platform modules. It is too expensive to customize ready-made products. That's why, in this case, companies choose PaaS.


It enables rapid IoT ecosystem components development. Meanwhile, Platform as a Service helps to control devices and provide users with capabilities for management.


On platforms like IBM Watson Studio and Bosch IoT Suite, you'll find beloved drag-and-drop and visual development features. It's a sort of an open-source low code platform focused on IoT solutions management & development.


The Hager Group, a provider of building automation systems, liked this way. The company used Bosch IoT Suite to create a home electricity management solution for Audi vehicles. Thus, Hager tried to unify electric cars and the smart home concept.


Consequently, the system distributes electricity throughout homes, eliminating the risks of failures and provides a full charge of cars.


Option 3. IoT platform development from scratch


The most challenging but almost always working option is custom development from scratch. It requires advanced expertise from engineers as well as investment and time from the business. It is used when none of the above scenarios can cover a company's needs.


IoT Platform Creation: 5 Steps To Start





If your company has chosen development from scratch, you may wonder where to start a project like this.


Step 1. Analysis and updating of business processes


Our expectations do not always match our capabilities. The IoT platform operation directly depends on your current business processes. If they are poorly organized, you should take care of them first. Otherwise, the platform won't operate efficiently.


Step 2. Checking devices


Moreover, make sure that IoT devices are available to integrate with the IoT platform and do not have critical operating issues.


Step 3. Determine the requirements for IoT platform


You should think over the functionality of your platform in detail and outline the requirements for engineers.


Step 4. Architecture creation


Based on the above data, an architect simulates the situation "as is" and "to be". It helps define what architecture should be to make a product work in this case.


Step 5. Road Map


At this stage, engineers develop an action plan on how they are going to achieve results.



What Should You Do To Create A Scalable Architecture


Use microservices


It enables the creation of scalable products due to the load distribution among services. If one process equals one service, then each service has limited functionality and can flawlessly perform its scope of tasks. Thanks to this approach, the IoT platform will simultaneously carry out countless operations without failures.


Determine the number of IoT platform's features


For example, software utility devices management should:

  • perform data analysis and processing

  • generate reports

  • provide real-time data exchange

  • make predictions

  • ensure role level access control

  • provide device management

  • have an alert feature

  • perform a remote troubleshooting

  • have a data backup


Clear requirements are crucial for building integrations based on a suitable data exchange algorithm.


Middleware usage


Point-to-point integration between services often limits the platform's capabilities. Middleware eliminates this issue. Meanwhile, it also prevents microservices failure and minimizes downtime risks. It handles the load and ensures flawless communication between services.


How To Integrate IoT Platform With IoT Infrastructure


Implementing a platform in the IoT ecosystem is no easier than the development itself. Your product should:

  • mate all devices among themselves

  • communicate freely with each of them

  • transfer data to the web app in real-time


As seen, you can't do without robust integrations. Among tools you may find useful to accomplish this goal are the following:


Middleware

Again. It is a truly versatile tool for quality internal and external integrations.

If you have more connected devices, let the middleware act as a buffer that delivers requests in turn. Thus, the product will take the entire burden of managing the data flow on itself. Besides, it also will provide secure communication between sensors and the IoT platform.


IoT gateways

The way an IoT platform and devices interact directly depends on the latter.

For example, some groups of motion sensors communicate with cloud software directly.

Some perform a limited number of actions, and data transferring is not among them. In such cases, engineers use IoT gateways. They help to connect an IoT platform and sensors like these.


Communication protocols

Engineers build integrations between IoT ecosystem components applying different protocols.


Each type of protocol is responsible for a specific type of data exchange. For example, LoRaWan is suitable for transferring small amounts of information over long distances, MQTT allows messaging between devices, etc.


Protocol used in the right way will allow organizing the uninterrupted operation of cloud software and devices.


The Bottom Line


Choosing a way to get a robust IoT platform, you should not focus on competitors or choose the cheapest option. The only thing that matters is the correspondence of the received product to your business needs.


Contact our experts to discover what option is suitable in your case.









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