The main purpose of these 2 blogs is to share my experiences of using the new HCP IoT service, to give my opinion on it and to suggest some potential use cases, which could offer value in your workplace.
Everything you read these days that has a technology focus, seems to be talking about the Internet of Things, the famous quote being, that by 2020 there will be 26 billion+ devices connected to the internet (Gartner).
Even if you pick up a copy of the latest “Wired” magazine, pretty much every other article or advert is describing smart devices in your workplace, at home and in your leisure activities, the list of use cases in different business verticals goes on and on!
Perhaps all the commotion is explained by Gartner’s hyper curve – IoT is at the “Peak of inflated expectations”, it will be interesting to see what we all think in a few years about IoT!
When you think about the number of connected devices by 2020 that is going to be a lot of device chatter, generating huge amounts of data, ready for something useful to be done with it. I believe the main success criteria that will make IoT a success, will be capturing device data and doing something really smart and valuable = a compelling value proposition to perhaps:
- Save lives / improve health
- Save the planet and its’ natural resources
- Improve efficiencies in existing processes
- Disrupt existing business models and provide new ways to service your customers
- Provide predictive maintenance at your plant, so you know parts are about to break before they do, with a business process (BPM) to send for an engineer.
The Internet of Things is not a new concept, far from it – the term “Internet of Things” was coined by the British Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton in 1999. It is interesting to see how 2015 is the year that IoT seems to be starting to gain traction, is this because of:1) Advances in cloud platforms that can help a scenario to be realised and implemented by fantastically talented IoT developers?2) Due to point 1, you can now get started at a much lower cost, without the need for expensive hardware setups?3) Device chips are getting smarter and cheaper (look at the raspberry pi or spark)?Of late I have been looking into two platforms as a service that I am particularly interested in:
- SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform (http://hcp.sap.com/index.html)
- Red Hat’s Open shift platform (https://www.openshift.com/)
It is good to see that both platforms now provide the latest set of tools to enable you to capture device data from sensors, or to send to actuators and start doing something useful with it. In its simplest form, capturing device data using Red Hat’s Open Shift platform was as easy as using a Node.Js cartridge and coding a set of HTTP rest services for your devices to publish to. It works a treat, but you need to know what you are doing with Node.Js and have a basic understanding of Java Script, I found the node module restify really good for this.In comparison with SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform, I was missing this capability until they released Internet of Things Services at Sapphire 2015 – I was curious to learn how they have approached implementing this functionality.Naturally, being a techie at heart, I wanted to get an example up and running quickly, so I followed a few excellent blogs from the guys on SCN:Getting started – what I needed:
- A trial account to the HANA Cloud Platform (get from here)
- A desire to learn about different protocols:
- An understanding of what a sensor is – a physical world electronic device that can capture something about its environment, for example temperature, noise and moisture.
- An understanding of what an actuator is – a physical world electronic device that can act on its environment and do something useful, for example a relay switch to activate a motor or pump.
In my next blog I will explain in more detail how I used HCP and my findings 🙂