A Comparison of 5 IoT Development Platforms: 6 Key factors for IoT Devices & Apps Success

Enterprise companies around the world are getting reliant on the IoT development platforms to measure and report data, from a small sensor and stationary device to more scalable, high-functional devices. A reliable, well-defined IoT platform allows you to combine various advanced tools and techniques required to connect, monitor, and handle devices online, manage deployments and offer analytics and insights in a service. In this manner, they can efficiently, productively deal with their big, collected data, devices, end-to-end nodes, and interconnections. Since IoT is remarkably impacting our day-to-day life, businesses have started integrated this constructive technology to store, track, and make efficient use of big data in a sensible, aligned manner.

Table of contents
Key factors for IoT Devices & Apps Success
A Quick Comparison of IoT development platforms
Final Verdict

Instead of worrying about infrastructure hassles, vendor lock-ins, and other technical issues, you can employ an IoT software platform that has the ability to rapidly provision, configure, and maintain resources required to host and support apps. One important point of consideration here would be the implementation of robust security measures throughout the entire system. When large business infrastructure is involved, it would be prudent to make necessary Cyber Security action plans and have expert teams in place to monitor and thwart any potential attack risks. This has been highlighted further in the course of this article. Here, we’ve compared the top five open-source IoT Development platforms based on different factors. But first, let’s take a look at significant factors that every SMB, enterprise, and startup should consider when hiring an IoT service provider.

Factor #1: Device Development and Management

Development and maintenance of the device, app, or infrastructure are some of the most critical characteristics of a reliable IoT development platform. An application probably should be capable of connecting and integrating with any machine, device, and sensor over the desired network, even if there is a problem with the hardware or software. Especially, when standard applications crash, affecting the functionality of the whole system, for example, Windows error like ‘Microsoft App Keeps Crashing‘. Also make sure that the platform offers modular solutions with flexible deployment choices, including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, hybrid, on-premises, or edge. It should also create a reliable, secure bridge to enable bi-directional communication between the cloud platform and devices. These days various platforms like M2M or connectivity platforms, enterprise/consumer software extensions, and IaaS backends are being referred to IoT development platforms. However, a complete comparison uncovers a vast difference between them. For this reason, your IoT system or network needs to created and deployed in such a way that it is completely secured and can be easily maintained.

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Factor #2: IoT Architecture

IoT is an emerging, flexible technology that is being used by not only big companies and enterprises but SMB and even startups. Every business is in need to visualize the data delivered by the device or sensor, analyze it for gaining deep, accurate insights, and enable connectivity between the device and services. That’s why they need to personalize their model for compartmentalizing each service or function of their IoT process into different stages. An effective IoT software platform uses multi-tenant architecture to rapidly release the resources and capabilities needed to serve multiple customers through a single instance of an app. Benefits of a multi-tenancy model over a traditional, single tenancy design:

  • Decreased investment and operational costs in the long run
  • Optimized efficiency and productivity in the performance and speed
  • Low downtime
  • Expedient updates, maintenance, and upgrades
  • Convenient and smooth onboarding of new and multiple clients
  • Better user experience and customer support service

Here are the four significant structure elements that are accountable to develop a sophisticated end-to-end IoT architecture and platforms:

  • Connectivity or Sensors/Actuators
  • Gateway and Data Acquisition
  • Analytics
  • Data Center or Cloud Solution

IoT, cloud computing, big data, and a few others, might be some of the most demanded career options currently. People can be found seeking certification and attempting exams to reach the eligibility criteria required for these jobs. One such exam is saa-c02, intended to examine the performance of an individual in a Solution Architect role.

Factor #3: System Integration Support

When building an IoT device, it’s critical to implement a framework that facilitates the integration with third-party services & external devices and also supports different industry-grade protocols. The platform should easily connect hardware with a wide range of user-specific libraries, SDKs, and APIs over different customized industrial-level IoT communication protocols, such as HTTP, DSS, TCP, MQTT, and so on. RESTful APIs and other notable integration approaches enable businesses to efficiently connect functionalities and services to their on-premise devices, backends, and products. They can also integrate their hardware or systems with various web-based services and external IoT Suite software such as Microsoft Azure, AWS.

In a nutshell, advocating the technical interoperability between different platforms and the whole IoT infrastructure/ecosystem helps businesses exceed the needs of their specific IoT project as well as deployment.

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Factor #4: Privacy & Information Security

As your business starts growing and data scales, it becomes critical to create a snapshot, backup, or clone of your live production and ensure all datasets stored are encrypted. With a vast ecosystem of connected devices and IoT data being conveyed continuously, your virtually-connected data and systems might be at the potential security risks. Compared to a standard software app or service, an IoT platform requires strong security protocols in place because your ecosystem needs to protect itself against all possible types of inevitable exposure to threats, bugs, and vulnerabilities. The scopes, roles, and privileges, like secure, reliable connectivity and access control capabilities for users are being offered by IoT software companies.

By allowing you to protect the veracity and effectiveness of your IoT project or solution, these secure-by-design, powerful end-to-end protection techniques help you take a break from long periods of worrying about a proportional number of security and scalability issues. Here are some benefits of employing a professional IoT company that caters to your privacy and security needs:

  • Greater Agility
  • Easier Compliance With Regulation
  • Better Business Continuity
  • Improved Security
  • Protected Business and Personal Data
  • Reduced Risk and Improved Flexibility

You can efficiently blend the threat intelligence with base & advanced security to predict critical security dangers and also automate various operational responses. Additionally, having complete control over your data and environment enables you to assign authority for task distribution and management and give your software/app development teams and users access to specific parts of the infrastructure and consumer base.

Factor #5: IoT Networking & Communication Protocols

To collect and transfer data effectively, IoT supports different types of industry-grade networking and communication protocols, including MQTT, DSS, HTTP, WebSockets, APIs, etc.

Factor #6: Data Analytics and Reporting

Most of the data analytics consulting companies tend to rely on business intelligence (BI) as well as predictive analytics to analyze their data points, usage, and productivity with graphical charts in order to make quick and informed decisions. IoT platforms automatically store as well as analyze datasets and support analytics, metering, and reporting capabilities at different levels of services. Such usage cases improve the transparency and loyalty factor for not only the admin but users also. The IoT framework uses advanced statistical and machine learning algorithms to develop and test systems or apps centrally and then scale them when needed.

A Quick Comparison of IoT development platforms:

IoT Software Development Platforms
Google Cloud AWS IoT Microsoft Azure IBM Watson Oracle
Integration Heroku, Salesforce, ThingWorx APIs REST API Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Oracle Database Real-time & REST APIs AIC, SAP, V2, POST, Salesforce, DeviceModels, REST APIs
Device Management YES YES YES YES YES
Protocols CoAP, MQTT,
Security Link Encryption or SSL, Standard Securities (SAS70 audit, ISO 27001) Certificate-based Authentication (X.509, SigV4,) and Link Encryption (TLS) Link Encryption (TLS), Infrastructure Support (PSK), OAuth, Certificate-based Authentication Certificate-based Authentication (IBM Cloud SSO), Link Encryption ( TLS), Identity management (LDAP) Identity Management (LDAP), Link Encryption (TLS), Certificate-based Authentication (X.509, SSL)
Analytics Real-time Analytics, Asset Tracking Real-time analytics (Rules Engine, Amazon Kinesis, AWS Lambda) Big Data Analytics (ADL, Stream), Real-time Analytics, Azure Synapse Real-time analytics (IBM IoT Real-Time Insights) Oracle Analytics, OAD, Augmented Analytics

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Final Verdict

The aim of an IoT software platform is to improve the productivity and efficiency of your development teams by offering them infrastructure and capabilities that are continuously updated and maintained. It allows them to stay focused on the product or service rather than wasting their efforts on investing in upfront operational costs and handling technical bottlenecks.

The assets offered to the IoT user are to eradicate the need for possessing own physical and virtual resources and maintaining them to optimum levels, so you can dedicate more time and work to your mobile app development project at hand. You will have one software interface at your disposal that allows you to combine different data formats and protocols in a single package. Additionally, every update regarding your IoT system should be centered on gradually making it more productive. Since IoT technology is intended to provide a high quality of service and capabilities at low cost, it’s turning out to be a big hit among developers and organizations of all sizes.