IoT developers are now able to create solutions using the collaboration of services between AT&T’s “internet of things” platform and Microsoft’s Azure cloud, analytics and visualization tools. The collaboration is said to link AT&T’s M2X data storage tool and Flow Designer application management solution with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.
Flow Designer is said to let developers connect their IoT devices using AT&T Global SIM and manage them with AT&T Control Center to run the solutions and store their data in Azure.
“A good example: Let’s say you are running a restaurant and you want to be alerted if the refrigerator door is left open for more than five minutes,” said Chris Penrose, SVP, AT&T IoT Solutions, in an interview with RCR Wireless News. “The data might flow up to the cloud environment, but we can also write the logic to say ‘if the door is open for more than five minutes then send a message to the store manager,’ that would be written in Flow Designer and executed easily as the data is in transit to the cloud. Then we could write other programs looking at the data and run analytics on it.”
Benefits of cloud integration with Azure
AT&T claims the integration of the two technologies offers several benefits for developers:
- Makes it easier for developers to build IoT apps in a highly secure cloud environment.
- Allows developers better data management.
- Makes it easier and quicker to launch IoT applications.
“We want to fuel innovation in the IoT industry,” Penrose said. “Using Azure, we’ve created a one-stop shop for developers to turn ideas into solutions. They now have platforms, connectivity and cloud services in one package to launch products and support their developer ecosystem. More and more customers are wanting to put their data into a cloud storage environment to begin to do analytics against it and take action against that data. Azure, as a cloud environment, has been selected by many, many businesses as the place where they want to put those analytics and also the visualization behind that data.”
An all-inclusive kit for developers
AT&T also is working with Microsoft on a new starter kit for IoT developers. Customers will be able to purchase the combined AT&T and Microsoft technologies in one toolkit for a complete set of IoT tools to start their specific projects right away.
“The internet of things is not about ‘things’ – it’s about service,” said Martyn Etherington, head of IoT cloud marketing at Cisco. “IoT developers play a critical role in the development of applications that deliver new, valuable services through connected devices. With this all-in-one starter kit, we’re helping to accelerate IoT success for developers looking to build or enable connected service businesses.”
The starter kit is said to include:
- An AT&T Global SIM that works in 200-plus countries and territories.
- An LTE modem that runs on the AT&T LTE network.
- Access to AT&T Control Center.
- An expandable development board designed to work with a range of plug-in sensors.
- An API to monitor the network connection and data transfer.
- Representational state transfer APIs, including documentation and the ability to test APIs without any coding.
- Cloud storage to host, manage and share data across multiple groups.
- Access to AT&T Flow Designer, which is designed to help developers launch IoT apps.
- A microcontroller carrier board with Arduino compatible expansion slot.
“Developers can connect their device data to Azure and rapidly deploy IoT applications. We’re working with AT&T to give developers a broad ecosystem of tools to get the job done right. Together, our technologies can help tech innovators create impactful solutions for businesses,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate VP, developer experience and evangelism and chief evangelist at Microsoft.
More to come from AT&T?
Today’s news is part of a partnership with Microsoft announced back in February, one of many AT&T is looking to create to solidify its IoT offerings.
AT&T is offering variations of the IoT starter kit that work with third-party IoT solutions. This includes versions made specifically for developers using IBM Watson IoT and the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite – which also integrate with the Cisco IoT service platform.