From Sensor to Cloud: A Plug and Play Approach Evolving

Standardised building blocks are becoming a new imperative in cloud system and application development-Zeljko Loncaric is marketing engineer at Congatec


For real development value, plug-and-play convenience must also extend to the configuration of IoT gateways. This is illustrated by the People-System-Things (PST) cloud framework—a device and data management system that seamlessly integrates with the cloud API for IoT gateways. In addition, PST users can generate fully-featured web apps using only the framework’s drag-and-drop editing tool. No programming is required, and depending on devices available to the system, applications for mobile end users may even be created automatically.

Simplifying and accelerating cloud deployments

In the real world, an IoT appliance is characterised differently according to who is asked to define it. For example, hardware vendors focus primarily on functions of the embedded system itself, including the device and its embedded software. IoT application service providers may have relatively little knowledge of hardware design, and focus their interests on user interfaces and experience, website design, databases, middleware and apps. Lastly, system integrators or OEMs’ product owners focus on configuring, deploying, maintaining and supporting products that are flexible, customisable and cost-effective through standardisation.

To restrain the complexity represented by all these diverse priorities, standardised building blocks are becoming a new imperative in cloud system and application development. A strong standards-based ecosystem is critical to forward progress, with all major vendors of embedded computer technology, peripherals and clouds commiting to support these types of cloud APIs. Each hardware device demands its dedicated sensor engine, and each cloud its corresponding cloud engine. The sensor engine quickly and easily reads, translates and processes IoT gateway data in the particular language of the cloud; users view processed information on a web application that is created automatically, with no need to program or develop processes for each sensor. Ultimately, this dramatically minimises development efforts and resources required for connecting to the cloud.

With standardised function blocks, supply chains can be flexible and OEM migration strategies remain smart. Developers pick up tremendous speed in time-to-market by designing their IoT application only once, even as it remains portable to any combination of sensors, gateways and clouds. When OEMs’ individual gateways support a standardised cloud API, only the cloud engine changes with new customer clouds. The rest of the solution can stay as it is, or only needs to be configured upon customers’ needs. It’s a new and more practical approach to cloud connectivity for any sensor or device in the industrial fields—for diverse interests across the embedded value chain.



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