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HANA Cloud Platform Technical Academy (Melbourne) – IoT Focus

It was a busy week in Australia with lot of events happening around HANA Cloud Platform. On May 19th we hosted the first IoT focused workshop as part of the HANA Cloud Platform Technical Academy. We had our local experts in IoT space (Malcolm Yeoman and Thorsten Freitag) and HCP expert Nash Gajic facilitate the workshop. We had about 10 participants representing customers and partners in Melbourne.  All the participants were greeted with a pack which contained an ESP8266 microcontroller, Ultrasonic distance sensor, breadboard and few resistors and cables.

The objective of this workshop was to get the participants assemble the kit themselves and use the Ultra sonic distance sensor to stream the data HANA Cloud Platform. This forms the base for all the exercises used throughout the workshop. We helped each of the participant to assemble the kit by providing a circuit diagram and walked through the steps to setup Arduino IDE on their laptops.

We provided code snippets (C programs) which they pasted into a new sketch in Arduino and could upload it to the microcontroller and see the output in the IDE monitor. It was good to see most of the participants get this far with ease.  This is how our device would look after setting it up. We also provided battery packs to provide power to the below device rather than connecting it to the laptop via USB.

We provided a brief overview of HCP and in particular the IoT services. We discussed about the steps required to enable and setup IoT services on their HCP trial account. We configured a device and message type for ESP8266 and prepared the HCP account to be able to accept messages from their respective devices.

We provided code snippets to the participants which they could modify with their account details and then upload it once again to the microcontroller. This time, the program reads the sensor data from the Ultrasonic sensor and streams the data using Web sockets to the persistency layer in HCP. Participants also learnt how to setup destinations in the HCP cockpit pointing to the standard IoT OData APIs and use SAP WebIDE to build a simple Fiori App which provides a table output with the sensor information which is getting streamed. We also explored how to upload an existing HTML5 app which has charting controls to display the same sensor data in Line charts consuming the IoT OData APIs.

We then had a break for lunch and began to network with the participants. It was interesting to find few of the customers already had a use case for HCP IoT services and we got to discuss on some of the possible strategies which they could adopt.

The second half of the event was focused on MQTT protocol, a low latency messaging protocol. As most of you may be aware, HCP IoT services currently support HTTP and Web sockets protocol. We spoke about the significance of MQTT protocol in IoT scenarios and the role of MQTT broker and subscribers.

We provided code snippets to the participants which would now enable them to publish the sensor data from their device to a MQTT broker hosted externally. We demonstrated how they could use a simple online client (provided by Hive MQ) to verify that their messages are reaching the broker and also use this online tool to push messages back to the device, thereby allowing us to control a device from the internet.

Towards the end of the workshop, we introduced the participants to a MQTT adapter built by Thorsten. We helped them to upload the MQTT Adapter into their HCP trial accounts and set it up to be able to communicate with the MQTT broker and broadcast the messages on its own web socket. Participants got to deploy few real-time HTML5 applications on their HCP accounts which shows charts and dashboards with real time information which is getting streamed from the respective IoT devices.

We concluded the workshop by emphasizing on the different types of IoT services which are available in HCP and talked about how we could use each of them for different scenarios. Thanks to all the participants for making it a great event.

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