Recently, Amazon Web Services announced the launch of its new IoT platform, AWS IoT. This managed cloud platform enables companies to connect sensor data from their IoT-enabled devices to AWS IoT, so that they can access their data and manage their devices in real-time from anywhere in the world.
AWS is advocating a shift in the way applications are built, by eliminating rigid and monolithic apps that aren’t able to update in relation to real-time data. AWS is moving towards a more fluid process, in which systems are architected across multiple services and executed through transactions between those services. This results in a far more agile process for businesses, but it is also very complex system to manage.
While AWS IoT is a tremendously powerful platform, it can’t operate alone without intensive support from a development team or an external solution. ThingLogix Foundry is an IoT management platform that makes the process seamless with three key functions: Certificate Management, Rules Management, and Developer Tools. It enables internal development teams to reduce the time spent on getting their devices connected, freeing them up to focus on solving genuine business problems with the IoT data they’re gathering.
Here’s a look at the three major challenges that Foundry solves for development teams:
Step 1: Authentication
Security is an important concern when working with IoT data, and it’s essential to develop a clear authentication system that will enable your business stakeholders to eliminate the risk of fraudulent logins. In order to enable devices to connect with the AWS IoT platform, your company must be able to provide certification that it is authorized to access the platform by first getting an authentication key from AWS IoT. ThingLogix Foundry does this with asymmetric-key encryption, which includes a private key (which is provided to your connected devices), and a public key (provided by AWS IoT). This enables your devices to instantly access authentication tokens from AWS and securely connect to the IoT platform, with no need for human interaction. Without this automated system, a developer must spend hours coding manually in order to generate a secure connection to the AWS IoT platform.
Step 2: Subscription
Once your devices are authorized to interact with the AWS IoT platform, you’ll need an interface to see the raw, real-time data feeds coming in from your IoT devices. ThingLogix’ Foundry enables developers to subscribe to feeds and get a real-time visual picture of all available data regarding your attached devices. You’ll also be able to interact with the data by writing applications to debug your devices. Using the Asset Manager, you can get a real-time picture of the status of any connected device that your business maintains: For instance, is a dishwasher running? What’s the water temperature? All of this data is available to scan at any point in time, so that your team can always gain access to the status of its equipment.
Step 3: Rules Engine
Data isn’t much good if you can’t do anything with it, however. That’s where the rules engine comes in: ThingLogix Foundry enables developers to set up custom business logic rules, in which you can automatically trigger certain reactions based on set data values. You can input the data into a database, run a custom code against it, or send it to another program, such as your Salesforce CRM.
If a dishwasher’s water temperature is too hot, for instance, your rules engine could trigger an automated temperature adjustment, which will lower energy consumption costs. If you are seeing data values outside of historical norms for any of your devices, that can also indicate a need for maintenance or repair, and can trigger an alert to a service technician. Such indicators often occur long before any signs of equipment failure are outwardly visible, so this predictive maintenance helps companies save money and reduce equipment downtime.
Why businesses need Foundry
As an enterprise developer, you’re accustomed to writing code—but when launching a new IoT initiative, you shouldn’t need to start from the ground up to get your devices talking to each other. Our Foundry platform covers the basic operational side of helping you get hooked up to AWS IoT, run common programs associated with connected devices, and integrate your devices with other applications you frequently use.
With the authentication process, the MQTT client, and the rules engine, developers can quickly and seamlessly sync up their companies’ IoT initiatives and draw out data in a real-time feed—enabling them to build on the process by writing their own custom applications.
Instead of spending hours on basic programs that do nothing more than allow your company to interact with AWS IoT, you can use our platform to set up a secure connection and help you build a templated set of rules—allowing you to focus your energy on building custom applications that will make use of AWS IoT’s powerful data analysis.
Foundry tames the chaos of managing multiple systems. The platform simplifies the orchestration of services and provides the context as to which devices are consuming application resources and why. Foundry allows users to draw the relationships between the data a device produces, how it exists in the real world, and what that all means to the business. IoT won’t make an impact on your business unless you’re able to derive true insights from your data — Foundry empowers your organization to realize the true value of the Internet of Things.