It’s no secret that Microsoft wants a slice of the IoT pie. They’ve poured a lot of money into their IoT platform, Azure, and bought up a few IoT-based companies to help them achieve their goal. Now they’ve declared a whole range of updates to Azure for the future of IoT.
Improvements to Azure IoT Central
Microsoft has stated that they want to help developers of IoT deploy their projects. It’s a smart move, as a developer will steer clear of anything too complex. If developers never touch a system, nothing gets made for it, and there are no products using it.
As per the blog post, Microsoft is adding the following to Azure IoT Central:
11 new industry-focused application templates to accelerate solution builders across retail, health care, government and energy
API support for extending IoT Central or integrating it with other solutions, including API support for device modeling, provisioning, lifecycle management, operations and data querying
IoT Edge support, including management for edge devices and IoT Edge module deployments
IoT plug-and-play support for rapid device development and connectivity
The ability to save and load applications to enable application repeatability
More data export options for continually exporting data to other Azure platforms as Service (PaaS) services
Multitenancy support to build and manage a single application with multiple tenants, each with their own isolated data, devices, users and roles
Custom user roles for fine-grained access control to data, actions and configurations in the system
A new pricing model for early 2020 to provide customers and partners with predictable pricing as usage scales
This is a lot of updates! The majority of them focus on making IoT developer lives easier. Templates removes a lot of repeat legwork, application saving and loading reduces repetition, and user roles allow developers to set up a secure infrastructure quickly.
It’s important that Microsoft makes developing for Azure as easy as possible. Developers will always gravitate to the platform that makes code deployment easy, and there’s a lot of competition in the IoT world!
Improving IoT Security
Microsoft also wants to do its part in making IoT more secure. Security is a huge issue in the world of connected devices, so Microsoft is deploying what they call “Azure Sphere.”
They hope to release Azure Sphere in February 2020. The idea is that IoT developers can implement Sphere into their projects and let it handle all of the security for them.
On Microsoft’s blog on Azure Sphere, they talk more about the security protocols they’ll use. One of them is the Guardian module, which is designed to plug into “dumb” hardware to bring it online while also implementing Azure Sphere to protect the assets.
Blue Skies for Azure
Microsoft is very serious about making Azure a top contender in the IoT world. One of the key elements for promoting a platform is to get developers on board, and Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into Azure to give the best experience.
Do you think Azure will be a major contender in the future? Let us know below.