iot development studio image

How to Cover Your IoT Development Cycle with One Platform

For a fully rounded IoT development cycle, data scientists and data engineers can benefit from a comprehensive offering that distinguishes itself by its scope. The Record Evolution IoT development studio allows different experts to close communication gaps by working together on a single platform and collaborate across locations. One IoT development studio unites:

App development and over-the-air deployment

The integrated cloud IDE radically simplifies the development of new apps using any programming language. Users can program apps directly on the connected device. Code is deployed instantly over the air on IoT devices and device groups globally.

Device management

The IoT development studio offers a device management hub for the orchestration of IoT devices. It helps you to stay on top of your growing device fleet and volumes of generated data.

As devices and technologies can quickly become obsolete, the orchestration capabilities, coupled with the advantages of an open platform, make sure that enterprises can quickly adapt to volatile innovation landscapes, changing standards, and new business models.

End-to-end data science capabilities

A complete IoT development cycle involves a bringing together of Engineering and Data Science capabilities in a unified collaborative environment. Through integration with a data science studio, the IoT development studio combines engineering tasks with data science competencies. This way, you cover the entire IoT process from data extraction, cleansing, and transformation, to visualization and monitoring, building ML models, and packaging these as IoT apps to deploy to production:

IoT and AI in automotive - the five steps of the development process
Image 1. The end-to-end IoT development studio

The key capabilities of the IoT development studio:

  • remote live development of apps in a cloud IDE using any programming language,
  • over-the-air deployment of apps on any connected IoT device worldwide,
  • remote device management, including the grouping, monitoring, and control of devices,
  • multiple-user collaboration within swarms including granular user privileges on the swarm, app, and device level,
  • end-to-end data science integrations for data collection, data transformation,  analysis, and data visualization.

Download this resource as a whitepaper. See how the Record Evolution IoT development studio can help you accelerate IoT development in your organization.

The IoT landscape today

Machine data is one of the most underutilized assets of any company. Yet some of the most valuable insights to be gleaned within an organization are hidden in machine data.

The data tells you where to streamline processes and optimize customer experience, when to change business models, how to save time, learn from errors, and improve security.

Today, machine data comes in an overwhelming array of formats and is characterized by high variety, velocity, volume, and heterogeneity. Industrial equipment, sensors, and other devices utilized in an industrial setting usually have embedded processors and networking capabilities that allow them to store and transmit data. This data provides insight into business-critical information such as performance parameters and anomalies.

Leveraging the potentials of the Internet of Things to access this data has become established practice in predictive maintenance, asset lifecycle management, performance management, monitoring, and diagnostics. Sensor data, for instance, provides information about asset deployment, resource utilization, and resource consumption.

The data coming from sensors also delivers insights that help identify outliers, or understand the cause of failure. This is why connecting machines to the Internet of Things has become synonymous with decreased downtime, improved productivity, and more customer-centric service.

Growth projections

Today’s IoT landscape is driven by unprecedented growth. There were 26.6 billion active IoT devices globally in 2019. Some 127 new IoT devices are connected to the internet every second. A recent report by Business Insider Intelligence estimates that there will be more than 64 billion IoT devices by 2025. And Cisco expects 500 billion devices to be connected to the Internet by 2030.

Market projections also confirm a surge in IoT utilization. A BII study expects the global IoT market to grow to over $3 trillion annually by 2026. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the Internet of Things may generate $4 to $11 trillion in economic value by 2025.

Along with an ongoing proliferation of IoT services, the innovation landscape has been changing. Organizations are rethinking their core capabilities in the light of IoT enablement and are continuously at pains to enhance their relevant know-how to capture new market potentials. SMEs are picking up pace too as they are increasingly turning towards integrated platform solutions. One part of this development is the emerging phenomenon of the IoT platform. Gartner projects that 30% of industrial enterprises will have full, on-premises deployments of IoT platforms by 2023.

The IoT platform: Any machine, any technology, any network

An IoT platform is a facilitating solution that brings together the hardware, connectivity, software, and application layers to offer a comprehensive service for device management and configuration, the development and enablement of applications, connection with the cloud or an on-site server, as well as integrations for data collection and data analysis. Combining the features of a technology suite and an open application platform, IoT platforms serve as supporting, enhancing, and streamlining hubs for connected IoT devices.

Serving as interfaces between different IoT services, IoT platforms have established themselves as enterprise enablers that limit risk, accelerate time-to-market, decrease costs, and reduce the complexity of deploying IoT solutions.

Further, the IoT development platform covers safety, security, and mission criticality requirements within an organization while delivering a comprehensive IoT offering. The so-called distributed IoT platform additionally encompasses the software on devices including controllers, routers, access points, gateways, and edge computing systems.

With their specific type of infrastructural offering, IoT platforms are the enablers for the IoT ecosystem.

And within this dynamic setting, an enterprise’s choice of an IoT platform is weaved into every aspect of its business. This encompasses the core operations strategy and technology systems of an organization, as well as an organization’s very ability to innovate in a sustainable way. This means benefiting from increased operational efficiency and avoiding the pitfalls of a complex technological overhaul to enable future IoT implementation.

The Record Evolution IoT Development Studio

IoT development studio screenshot
Image 2. Installing IoT apps on device groups within the IoT platform

Building on years of consulting work on IoT initiatives for industrial enterprises, Record Evolution has built a fully scalable and lightweight IoT development enabler for engineers and data scientists. The Record Evolution IoT development studio comes with a built-in infrastructure for IoT device management, IoT app development, and app deployment over the air. As an IoT self-service platform, the studio makes it possible to easily and securely add and manage devices remotely, develop applications in the platform’s cloud IDE, and deploy code instantly on any number of devices globally.

Because of the possibility to combine applications and software with services, the IoT development studio enables us to do things in a different way, contributing to a seamless IoT development cycle.

Driving an ecosystem of applications, services, and everything that surrounds them, the IoT studio makes IoT development faster, easier, and more streamlined.

The IoT development platform is construed as an open-ended facilitation interface. Delivered as a SaaS platform, it offers maximum user comfort and is intuitive to navigate. The platform enables its users to connect their unconnected assets with ease, tapping into the potential of data from legacy equipment. Because of the ability to connect to any device using container technology, the platform offers full flexibility. Built on open technology and intended as a solution available to all, the IoT development studio gives users a low-risk accelerated start into the Internet of Things.

Scalability

Starting with just one IoT device, platform users can add IoT devices gradually with no upper limit. The platform allows scalability at any endpoint. It offers the maximum performance of connectivity regardless of the number of connected IoT devices. Further, all services are scalable by default.

Interoperability

The Record Evolution IoT development studio has been built to work in heterogeneous IoT ecosystems, also known as brownfield environments. Using container technology and app development capabilities, the platform can connect to any device. Full flexibility in device selection provides multiple possibilities for the effective handling of different types of machines, legacy equipment, or IoT devices from different vendors using any communication protocol.

Integrations

As an open platform, the Record Evolution IoT development studio has been built to accommodate services from different providers, effectively avoiding vendor lock-in. Using open programming and integration tools and approaches, the platform allows users to benefit from a vast range of available products and services to both enhance scale and attune to future IoT innovation.

Flexibility

The platform offers full flexibility of the integration API and the ability to control user code. Using any programming language, developers can customize the functions of IoT devices and their applications or develop additional modules.

Implementation

Deploying the IoT platform technology can take place both in the cloud or as part of a local IoT ecosystem. The IoT development studio is consumable as a cloud solution by default. For enterprises seeking greater privacy, we deploy the platform only locally, without access to the cloud, on on-premises servers.

Device management: enable IoT

screenshot showing IoT device groups
Image 3. Arranging IoT devices in groups

The Record Evolution IoT development studio offers a device management hub for the orchestration of IoT devices, the building and monitoring of device groups in device swarms, as well as the installation and monitoring of apps running on groups of devices. You have three device management levels: an individual IoT device, a group of devices, and a swarm.

IoT device

Within the platform ecosystem, this is an individual device powered by container technology. Users can program their apps directly on the IoT device and deploy applications over the air, in real-time. On the IoT device level, users have an overview of the device name, time of creation, coordinates, device ID, groups to which the IoT device is assigned, and the corresponding architecture. From the device panel, users also view and monitor the apps and the development containers installed on the IoT device.

Group of devices

This is the level where various IoT devices are arranged according to user-specific criteria. With the help of tags, users can manage the heterogeneity of IoT devices within a swarm. IoT devices can be assigned to multiple groups within a swarm and can be organized in such a way that apps and updates are rolled out to a specific group only.

On the device group level, users view, monitor, and change the status of existing apps running on the devices belonging to that group, or install new apps on the dedicated device group. This is where you monitor the connectivity history of individual devices within the group, assign privileges to users working on that particular device group, or perform maintenance tasks.

Device swarm

This is the basic, fully autonomous device management hub within the IoT development studio. A device swarm is the basic user environment where users connect IoT devices, form device groups, and assign user privileges. Separate swarms do not share assets. The swarm level accommodates the individual IoT devices, all device groups to which the individual IoT devices are assigned, plus all swarm settings including the assignment of user privileges.

Operational lifecycle management

In providing full operational support and high levels of operational hygiene, the Record Evolution IoT development studio ensures healthy deployment in an open ecosystem. While maintaining IoT device registration procedures and an asset registry with an operational inventory of the IoT devices in deployment, the IoT studio fully orchestrates operational work to stay on top of the growing number of IoT devices and volumes of generated data.

As devices and technologies can quickly become obsolete, the platform’s orchestration capabilities, coupled with the advantages of an open platform and a collaborative environment for the IoT developer(s), make sure that enterprises can quickly adapt to volatile innovation landscapes, changing standards, and new business models. Developed as a maximally open and adaptable infrastructure, the device management functionality makes an organization future-ready and allows for high levels of flexibility when managing deployments and lifecycles.

App development: build your IoT solution

screenshot of the IoT app development environment
Image 4. The platform’s cloud IDE

The integrated app development environment radically simplifies the development of new apps and custom software development. Any app developer can program apps directly on the device and deploy code instantly on IoT devices, device groups, or entire swarms. There are no upper limits for the number of devices, device groups, and swarms on which apps are rolled out.

Integrated code editor

The IoT application development environment enables the programming of apps within a swarm using any programming language. Open programming, together with open tools and approaches, ensures the extensibility of IoT solutions created in the cloud IDE. The integrated code editor allows developers to code in languages ranging from Java or JavaScript to C/C++, Node.js and Python. The integrated development environment supports the duplication of existing apps for further customization, the management of apps on devices powered by container technology, as well as the instant over-the-air deployment on multiple IoT devices.

App settings

Within the app settings panel, users can view and retrieve basic app information. Here is where you publish your apps intended for deployment. Granular privileges on the app level can also be assigned. The IoT studio differentiates between the following app types:

  • App: An IoT application that is under development, together with its entire update history.
  • Release: An application that is ready for use in production or is already deployed. This is a snapshot of an app at a specific point in time, as prepared for use in production.

Live coding of apps

You can code live, programming directly on the IoT device and receiving real-time feedback from the device. In using popular, general-purpose languages, IoT software or other products developed on the platform can integrate seamlessly both with other internal systems and with external future enhancements.

Integrations with GitHub and GitLab

You benefit from the IoT technology and the know-how of co-developers working on the same app. Also, you remain connected to your developer community. To fetch your existing code or make use of open-source code, you simply integrate GitHub, the collaborative cloud service for the remote hosting of git repositories. Similarly, you can integrate the collaborative DevOps cloud platform GitLab. You access and integrate existing repositories, enable integration of prior projects, and write code while remaining connected to your developer community. You enable professional code development processes whereby you work with tested, reviewed, and auditable code.

Management of releases

At the click of a button, users deploy their developed apps on any number of IoT devices, assign a release to a specific device group, or deploy on entire swarms anywhere across the globe. In the app development center, you deploy your data collection apps or even your trained machine learning models on your selected IoT devices.

In sum, you can move your entire app development company to the platform. This way, you use the platform as a foundation to build your own hub for IoT software development together with IoT consulting and a product development service. In this sense, the platform is truly an enabler for the internet of things companies. It provides the infrastructure and the building blocks for IoT development, making everything easier and more streamlined.

IoT collaboration: security, reliability, data protection

With the Record Evolution IoT development studio, organizations can bring their experts on a single platform to collaborate on joint projects. You set an environment where different specialists—from engineers to data scientists—can work together, with each expert bringing in their unique expertise. The platform streamlines workflows and facilitates knowledge exchange across company functions. In minimizing communication gaps and creating full transparency across processes, your organization benefits from an accelerated IoT development cycle.

To achieve this collaborative goal, the IoT platform ecosystem is operated from within a cloud environment that supports users in overcoming various data security challenges. In the security layer of the platform, users manage who has access to what information, and when. To protect user information and know-how, the IoT development studio offers an array of project role assignments and classes of data. Thanks to the robust privilege mechanism, separate roles are assigned with high levels of granularity.

Project role assignment

Any user can create as many swarms as they wish. By creating a swarm, a user is automatically assigned the role of a swarm owner. Each swarm owner can invite other users to become team members and work on various tasks within the designated swarm. The swarm owner can assign user privileges on the level of the swarm as well as on the device, group, app development (App), and app deployment (Release) levels. Each of these levels allows for a granular privilege structure.

Types of data in the platform ecosystem

  • User data: This is the personal information of the registered user.
  • Device data: This is the data collected from IoT devices.
  • Code data: This data is the code that users create and store inside the platform. This content is protected by the system’s authentication and authorization methods. This data constitutes the users’ intellectual property.
  • Accumulated data: This is the data collected from devices and accumulated inside the system database.

All forms of data indicated above are protected against unauthorized access by the platform’s authentication and authorization mechanisms. The authentication consists of an industry-standard authentication by username and password and by unique access tokens issued by the system. A high-level authorization gateway checks basic role requirements for general function invocation. A fine-grained authorization mechanism uses the implemented privilege mechanism to check for action privileges on each asset.

Security by design

Data integrity and cybersecurity go hand in hand in the platform ecosystem. This is how you create digital identities that are bulletproof and can trust the data coming from IoT devices. This includes the encryption of all information transmitted via IoT devices and the server across different communication channels. Further, this involves the control of user access and full ownership of the processed data.

Individual certificates for IoT devices are used to connect to the platform and encrypt the data traffic. The IoT devices connected to the platform have no open ports; the connection can only be initiated by the IoT device. Over-the-air update functionalities make for full transparency. And the platform allows for a bird-eye overview of all processes taking place on connected IoT devices. In creating a chain of trust in the security-building process, the IoT development studio allows you to create strong, reliable outcomes based on your data.

Highlights: handling data at the IoT edge

image showing the complete IoT development cycle from data collection to IoT deployment on edge devices
Image 5. The complete IoT development cycle

Using compute and analytics at the edge is beginning to slowly outpace cloud computing. Depending on needs, immediate and fast insight may be a more pressing need than in-depth yet time-intensive cloud computing. A major driver behind this trend is simultaneously a common challenge in big data systems. This is the need to capture massive amounts of data from various heterogeneous IoT devices with different syntax and semantics.

IoT edge computing represents a distributed technology and IoT architecture that introduces both computational capabilities and analytics to the remote areas of an IoT network. An IoT deployment using edge computing partakes in a decentralized topology whereby decentralization leads to structural resilience. IoT devices or gateways offer services and application functionality in areas such as machine integration, device management, data ingestion and processing, as well as data analytics. IoT edge computing thus facilitates process distribution near the source of data generation.

Edge computing becomes increasingly critical to IoT success. So IoT platforms need to make sure they do not stand in the way of edge capabilities. Considering the challenges posed by heterogeneous IoT landscapes, the Record Evolution IoT development studio is fully integratable into the existing organizational setting. The platform is seamlessly adjustable to early-stage edge implementation design decisions. To serve as enablers for edge computing, IoT platforms need to respond to an array of requirements. The IoT development studio addresses the typical challenges associated with processing data at the edge in heterogeneous IoT environments.

IoT development meets data science

To facilitate the process of handling data at the edge and managing edge devices, the IoT development studio supports enterprises in consolidating an array of edge capabilities on a single platform.

Typically, edge devices process massive amounts of raw heterogeneous data. In enhancing the IoT development studio with a data science studio for handling large volumes of collected IoT data from different sources, data transformation, data modeling, analysis, and data visualization, the platform offers a fully rounded IoT development cycle.

With the data science studio, you create machine learning models in the cloud. Then you use the IoT development platform to deploy them on IoT devices. The IoT devices are sending data back to the data science hub. This allows for the continuous update and adjustment of machine learning models. IoT development thus comes full circle. The complete solution of an IoT studio with integrated data science services has the following capabilities:

  • Remote management for edge devices including monitoring, updates, and upgrades;
  • Over-the-air deployment of applications/logic on the edge device;
  • Data storing and forwarding capabilities;
  • Bidirectional integrations enablement;
  • Support for different industrial devices and protocols;
  • Data processing capabilities for handling large volumes of data from ingestion up to data cleansing and data transformation;
  • Near real-time data analytics.

Record Evolution combines the forces of IoT development and end-to-end data science to offer comprehensive functionality extending from the edge to the cloud and enabling the creation of multiple IoT solutions for a variety of use cases. This is how you bring AI and IoT together to take intelligence to the edge of a network.

Download this resource as a whitepaper. See how the Record Evolution IoT development studio can help you accelerate IoT development in your organization.