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IoT App Development: Shifting to Apps in Industrial IoT 

Why bring the app economy to industrial IoT? Imagine you can have your IoT use cases in seconds, by simply installing an IoT application. Asset tracking, condition monitoring, anomaly detection – what if there were an app for each of those scenarios, you could download these apps instantly, and install them on your machines within minutes? Some decades ago, the app economy – then confined to mobile app platforms – started with the slogan ‘there’s an app for that’.

Now, apps are coming to the world of IIoT. Mobile app development is extending to IoT application development and IoT solution building. Complex use cases – packaged as IoT apps – can run on industrial PC , LPCs, sensors, or legacy machines and send out alerts to mobile devices. Here is how.

IoT orchestration is complex and costly. In-house software development is expensive. Security, privacy, and performance issues are omnipresent. Against this backdrop, a shift towards modular services and service-centric site-specific use case management becomes an exciting alternative to classic ways of doing IoT.

Using IoT apps installed on local edge devices holds the promise of being user-centric, open to non-specialists, and taking on a democratic approach to data. Further, apps are easy to use, lightweight, and do not require specialized knowledge to operate. So here are some of the greatest advantages of using platform-based IoT app development services:

  • high usability
  • a flat learning curve
  • simple functionality 
  • control of the full app lifecycle
  • highly affordable 

Driving the Transition to an Industrial IoT App Economy

At Record Evolution, we drive the transition to an industrial IoT app economy. We have built an overarching management architecture for web app development including an IoT app store, device management, and data management functionalities. With our IoT development services, we offer a multi-tenancy environment for the development, distribution, deployment, and management of IoT apps.

This way, we achieve high levels of service modularisation and significantly reduce the complexity of building and implementing IoT use cases. 

How do we do this?

Reusable IoT Building Blocks & Orchestration Services

Complex applications are modularised into smaller microservices that implement reusable building blocks. At the same time, orchestration services dynamically compose other services for implementing complex scenarios. 

Image 1. IoT apps for different use cases

And our focus is on IoT at the edge so that our approach is edge-based while we cater to the entire IoT development cycle from the edge to the cloud. 

Enlisting Creativity: Third-party App Developers

Shifting to IoT app development services and driving an app ecosystem can unleash tremendous creative potential. It enables the launch of IoT use cases at a significantly greater pace and lower cost as compared to conventional implementation scenarios. But even more so, it gives third-party app developers the needed visibility in the form of a platform where they showcase their work.

This way, the app economy bridges the gap between industrial enterprises and individual creators. Companies are now in a position to communicate with app developers directly, make use of ready-made IoT application development services, or co-develop custom IoT applications with them, and so further contribute to expanding the wealth of knowledge around IIoT. 


In such settings, multi-tenancy is key and the app economy differentiates between various types of independent actors. At the app store level, these include third-party developers, IoT app store operators, IoT infrastructure enablers, and IoT app store users. On the user end, we can differentiate between plant operators, suppliers, external experts, creators, and more. Each user profile can be set up using granular access management features. 

Elements of the IoT App Economy Infrastructure

The Record Evolution IoT app store comes with a solid infrastructure that makes it possible to perform app lifecycle management at scale, enabling any of the following:

  • App development 
  • Release management 
  • Configuration management 
  • Deployment 
  • Update management 
  • Lifecycle management
  • Security management

This way, the IoT app store is not simply an open and inclusive ecosystem that connects app creators with app users and enables the formation of a network of third-party app development services. It is also a solid tool, equipped with all the necessary functionalities to enable hardware-independent apps for industrial IoT use cases on any device, with no change in the existing device landscape. 

In the IoT marketplace, again, there are at least three different types of actors:

  • App users explore, buy, and provision apps to enhance their existing application ecosystems. 
  • An IoT developer sells their apps through the app store and occasionally collaborate on the creation of custom apps. Using the built-in IoT technology, an IoT app developer can build and deploy an IoT mobile application within days, then scale to multiple IoT sensors and devices.
  • Plant operators in industrial settings can buy, download, and run the apps on their local machines within the context of various use cases that increase operational efficiency.

Utilising IoT app development services, companies can create an entirely new IoT system without changing the existing hardware setup. Key here is the ability to roll out lightweight artificial intelligence solutions packaged as IoT apps at the level of any smart device. Thanks to container technology, this means rolling out directly to IPCs, legacy machines, and any piece of industrial equipment.

Elements of the Open Marketplace 

The IoT app store is an open ecosystem where app developers offer their products and where app users can search, buy, and install IoT apps directly on their devices. An IoT application can be utilised in a variety of scenarios, and can be installed on an IoT device directly from within the app store. Users are able to deploy apps over the air to any IPC, PLC, sensor, or piece of legacy industrial equipment.

AI development takes place directly in the cloud IDE. Developers create and sell IoT services as apps globally while offering ongoing support to a global user community or consulting companies on a specific IoT project. To make this level of openness and high availability a reality, the IoT app store comes with the following components:

  • Device certification to ensure compatibility between the IoT apps and the connected devices. Individual certificates are issued for each connected device.
  • App certification that extends to the app itself and all subsequent app updates, ensuring high performance, security and privacy.
  • Support for various architectures, operating systems, and industry protocols. In order to guarantee true interoperability, the IoT app store needs to support a broad range of edge devices.
  • Over-the-air deployment directly from the app store, with bulk one-click deployments to multiple devices and device groups. 
  • App monitoring and control from within the app store, with an overview of all apps on a device, the app status (stopped, running or failed), and various app maintenance options. 
  • App licensing to protect developer IP and regulate illegal use.
  • Global accessibility and support. 

Curious? Visit our app store here or schedule a call for a full demo. 

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About Record Evolution

We are a data science and IoT team based in Frankfurt, Germany, that helps companies of all sizes innovate at scale. That’s why we’ve developed an easy-to-use industrial IoT platform that enables fast development cycles and allows everyone to benefit from the possibilities of IoT and AI.