The future of technology seems pretty bright, considering the development we are getting to see on a global level. Some of the best technologies that we witnessed in the last few years are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT). Out of the lot, the internet of things (IoT) is growing at an exponential level, and most of the gadgets around us are working on the architecture based on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Speculations are that the IoT market will reach the mark of 30.9 billion connected devices by the year 2025. Now the intriguing part here is that the number of devices connected to IoT will be approximately three times the human population right now. Most of the top mobile application developers in USA offer IoT apps to businesses for better operations and seamless working. It is known that IoT apps can be built on cloud platforms. The reason behind developing IoT applications on the cloud is that they become more scalable and productive.
Moving further in the article, we will try to explain the procedure of building scalable IoT applications on the cloud. But before that, we will first learn about the basics of IoT and IoT app development, which is surely going to help you understand the concept better. Moreover, if you are a business that is looking for a company that provides IoT application development services, then here you will understand all that is needed to be looked out for.
Basic definition of IoT and its working explained
A network of interconnected devices on the internet is known as Internet of Things or IoT. In the current times, things like kitchen appliances, cars, cleaning devices, and even our smartwatches all work on the principles of IoT. The ecosystem of Internet of Things (IoT) consists of things like entity network layers, application layers, remotes, physical layers, networks, analytics, data storage, and dashboard.
Manufacturing, defense, retail, mining, food services, agriculture, connected homes, smart buildings, logistics, infrastructure, smart cities, banks, oil, transportation, gas and more can be said to be the major industries where the involvement of IoT is increasing with time. First things first, IoT is made up of four individual components, including hardware, software, network, and computing servers. Moving further in this article, we will briefly explain these components and how they contribute to making a scalable IoT ecosystem.
Components of IoT
Hardware: Any IoT app development services providing company should know that the hardware plays a major role in the optimization of IoT. They should go for reliable third parties that offer chips, sensors, appliances, and more. On the contrary, the hardware can also be created in-house according to the requirement of the businesses. Choosing the best hardware plays a major role in establishing a seamless connection between different components of IoT.
Cloud: The cloud is something without which the IoT ecosystem will fail and achieve scalability. This is the reason why cloud servers play a major role in IoT application development. The cloud servers are used to manage the storage, flow, and processing of the data that is produced by IoT. Having customized computing power via the cloud servers is something that is necessary at this point in time because the IoT app development company is supposed to keep the data safe from any kind of breach. For the best cloud solutions, you can contact a company that provides cloud computing consulting services.
Software: IoT software is nothing but end-user applications that can be based on the web, smartphone, or even cross-platform. The main purpose of the software is to allow the user to interact with the system. In most of the cases the IoT software or application works as a dashboard that holds all the stored data and information received via the sensors. It also helps the user in altering the settings and even making minor changes to the connected devices. This software is mainly designed to perform particular tasks, and they need only a small amount of user interface as human interaction is pretty limited.
Networks: Another significant component that plays a vital role in IoT application development. It helps in linking all the devices in an IoT ecosystem. Connectivity options ranged from MQTT, LAN to HTTP, and LPWAN for stationary devices, satellites, WiFi, wireless cellular, or Bluetooth. All of the connectivity options have their own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, WiFi offers high speed and decent compatibility, but it only works in short ranges and consumes a lot of power as compared to any other alternative. Similarly, Bluetooth offers high speed and low power consumption, but it also has a short range of operation and low bandwidth. Talking about ethernet, it offers high speed coupled with security. However, it lacks mobility and has a short range of functioning. As for cellular networks, they offer long-range, high-speed, global coverage and reliability.
Like every other network, the cellular network also has limitations, which are high cost, high power consumption, and security vulnerabilities. The satellites provide a long-range along with nearly global coverage but have disadvantages like low speed, high cost, and even high latency. LP WAN, on the other hand, delivers long-range, fast-paced performance and low power consumption. Nonetheless, it also has limitations like high latency and low bandwidth.
So, these are the four major components that are used to build an IoT ecosystem by any company that provides IoT application development services. The growth of IoT is directly proportional to the growth of smartphone users all around the globe. The reason behind the same is that smartphones can be used in two different ways – they offer users remote access to multiple services at the same time, and they pack various sensors that can establish a connection with WiFi or Bluetooth flawlessly.
How to create an IoT application on the cloud?
So, basically, any IoT app development company needs to follow a set of steps to create a scalable IoT application on the cloud. One thing to mention here is that the four components needed for the IoT app development should be taken care of. In terms of hardware, an IoT application development company is supposed to look out for things like hardware size, weight, dimensions, operation environment, sensor type, product design, appearance, connection protocols, certification standards according to the region, and power consumption method.
Once the hardware is looked after then, it comes to the protocols required for the creation of IoT-based applications. The protocols for the same can be separated into two categories – IoT data protocols that are used for establishing the connection of low-power IoT devices and offer communication with hardware on the user side. These types of protocols are represented by the CoAP, WebSocket, HTTP, and MQTT. On the other hand, there are network protocols that connect the devices across a network like LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular network, etc. The top mobile application developers in the USA need to keep a tab on factors like the distance of connections, connection speed, and device power consumption rate to make their projects highly optimized.
One of the most important factors in IoT application development is the selection of the cloud platform for the same. Here, we will explain the importance of platform selection for developing an IoT application.
What is an IoT cloud platform, and why is it important?
IoT (Internet of Things) cloud platform works in order to boost and streamline IoT app development. It offers a generic layer for the application that is being built. Now, going to a company to get cloud computing consulting services or looking for cloud service providers to build a complete IoT system is influenced by various things that are in play. Some of the factors that affect the same are data processing, storage, safety, stream, speed, process, scalability, etc.
If you are going to offer your client IoT app development services without relying on different cloud platforms, then you have to provide elements based on the aspects like tech stack, solution scalability, and security. The tech stack means that the shortlisted language for the development should have the support of the developers’ community and should be the one that is used frequently. Moreover, the IoT app development company should be able to choose between libraries and frameworks. In addition, the system should always have the scope of scalability, as without that, matching up with the latest technological trends is going to be a tough nut to crack.
Apart from that, security is also a major concern for all the IoT applications out there in the market. To tackle data breaches, all the IoT application development services providing companies should offer data encryption, filters, firewalls, authentication, and authorization of drug reports. Another factor that will impact the security of IoT apps is the use of secure protocols for inter-service communication. On top of that, companies are also supposed to make the decision of whether they are going to store the data on-premises or in the cloud.
Coming back to the point, if you go for an IoT cloud platform that helps in developing and deploying IoT applications for your clients, then there are a lot of options in the market to choose from. To make it easy for you, here we have mentioned the best cloud platforms that you can go for in order to get the best IoT app development services, along with their pros and cons.
Best cloud platforms used for IoT application development
- Microsoft Azure IoT Suite
Microsoft Azure delivers different services for the production of IoT solutions and other stuff. It works in skyrocketing productivity and profitability with the help of pre-built connected solutions. The same analyzes untapped data to revolutionize businesses and their working. A major highlight of the same is that it analyzes any new data pretty easily compared to other cloud platforms. The features offered by the Azure IoT Suite are dashboards, visualizations, easy device registry, and real-time streaming. It also provides highly optimized integration with WebSphere, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, etc. The main advantages of the same are security and scalability, and it offers third-party services. Some of the limitations are that it needs management, has no support for bugs, and is pretty expensive.
- IBM Watson IoT Platform
Without a doubt, most of the developers in the USA use the IBM Watson IoT platform for IoT application development. The platform is powered by Bluemix by IBM and a hybrid cloud PaaS (platform as a service) development platform. The company wants to make the platform approachable for beginners by delivering easy to understand sample applications and interfaces for services based on the Internet of Things (IoT). It comes with features like real-time data exchange, cognitive systems, weather data service, data sensors, and secure communications. The main advantages of the IBM Watson IoT platform are that it can process untapped data, boost customer service, and even manage huge quantities of data. Limitations of the platform are that it requires heavy maintenance, switching is costly, and it consumes higher time in Watson integration.
- Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
The IoT platform provided by Cisco works in order to speed up the journey of digital transformation of brands along with actions from the data. If you are looking for a mobile or cloud based suite then Cisco IoT cloud connect is the most appropriate platform for you. The solutions offered by the platform provide the best IoT experience to all the users. A major highlight regarding the platform by Cisco is that it gives deployment options that are pliant in nature for all the gadgets of the ecosystem. Some of the best features that Cisco Cloud Connect offers are customizable billing, session report of the device and IP address. It also offers connectivity based on data and voice.
- Kaa IoT Cloud Platform
Kaa can be said to be an open-source, middleware, multipurpose platform that is used for entire end-to-end IoT application development and smart devices. The platforms minimize the risk, cost, and market time. Additionally, Kaa also provides multiple tools that can be plugged in easily and get implemented in IoT app development. The best features of Kaa are that it lessens development time and market time, has the ability to manage millions of devices, and it is open-source and free. The platform also offers third-party integration along with data security. A major disadvantage of the platform is that it is unable to deploy PaaS model-based applications.
- Thingspeak IoT platform
We can say that the Thingspeak IoT platform is one of the most preferred ones by the companies that provide IoT application development services. It is an open-source platform that lets the user collect and store sensor data in the cloud. The platform has an application that can visualize and analyze the data in Matlab. One can use anything like Beaglebone, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino to send the data from the sensors. Major features of the Thinkgspeak IoT platform are app integration, collection of data in private channels, scheduling of events, and free hosting for channels. The platform has a couple of limitations like Its API can be a hassle for beginners and the data uploading for API is also limited.
- Google Cloud’s IoT platform
Google has never been behind other companies when it comes to the utilization of the latest technologies. Similarly, Google Cloud’s IoT is an end-to-end platform that provides solutions based on the Internet of Things (IoT). It enables quick connection, storage, and management of IoT data. We can say with complete surety that Google Cloud’s IoT platform will help any business to grow a business. The platforms work to make the operations fast-paced. The platform’s best features are that it offers huge storage, analyzes big data, gives complete protection of data, reduced the cost of server maintenance, and it also provides integration with other Google services. The disadvantages of the platform are that most of the components are based on Google technologies and it offers limited programming language choices.
- Thingsworx 8 IoT platform
Thingsworx 8 IoT platform is the first choice of a lot of companies that provide cloud computing consulting services. The platform allows businesses to connect with the real world. It offers a faster, and easier platform with the functionality to build, extend, and deploy industrial projects and applications. The platform has basic features like easy connectivity with sensors, RFIDs, remote working after the setup is completed, integrated machine learning, pre-built widgets for the dashboard, and more. It also offers easy web page designs along with straightforward connectivity solutions. The disadvantages of the same are that it has hard to manage the complicated system and difficult to use with customized programs in C#.
- AWS IoT platform
There are a lot of IoT application development services providing companies that rely on the AWS IoT platform. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT platform provides easy data collection practices with the help of sensors and internet-connected devices. The platforms help the user in collecting and sending the data to the cloud and analyze the information to generate the ability to manage devices. One can easily interact with the application even if the devices are offline. The AWS IoT platform’s main features are device management, device shadow, authentication, encryption, and a secure gateway for the devices. The limitations of the same are a big learning curve for AWS and it is not secure for hosting critical enterprise applications.
- Salesforce IoT Cloud
The Salesforce IoT cloud is backed by Salesforce Thunder and it collects data from websites, applications, devices, and partners to initiate actions in real time. When used for the purpose of IoT application development, it offers better customer service. The platforms consist of features like boosted data collection, real-time event processing, technology optimization, scalability, and easy to understand UI design. The disadvantages of the platform are that it is limited in terms of security and flexibility. However, you can have a word with the company that provides you with cloud computing consulting services to know in detail about the Salesforce IoT cloud platform.
- Oracle IoT Platform
The Oracle IoT platform is the first choice of most of the top mobile application developers in USA. It offers fast-paced messaging, and endpoint management and is based on the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. Some of the most important features of the platform are real-time insights, faster to-market, strong security protocols, and it is scalable. However, like any other platform, Oracle IoT also has its own set of limitations. Some of them are device visualization and high-speed messaging.
- GE Predix IoT platform
Predix can be dubbed the world’s first industrial IoT platform that is specially built for developing IoT applications in factories to deliver an ecosystem with less complexity. The platform can be used for the purpose of directly analyzing data from the machine and store. It comes with features like providing key performance data, real-time operational data, reducing unplanned downtime, optimizing assets and operations. This platform is the perfect fit for IoT application development companies that are going to serve factories and other large-scale entities.
So, the above-mentioned platforms can be said to be the best ones for the development of IoT applications. Whether you are going to opt for iPhone app development services, or Android app development services for IoT app development, these platforms can aid you in getting better working applications. For any further queries, you can visit a company that provides cloud consulting services.
Barriers that one can face in IoT application development
Diversity of protocols: We all know that the communications protocols are different for different IoT devices. For example, the communication protocols for a smartwatch and a smart speaker could never be the same. Keeping that in mind, when multiple devices are integrated into a single IoT solution, their communication protocols result in an enormous amount of complicated data aggregation which slows down the system.
Issues with the Internet: You have to look out for instant and continuous internet connection for all your IoT-connected devices. The absence of the internet will affect their ability to store and produce accurate data.
Security concerns: This is something that always gets associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. There can be multiple reasons to worry about security like vulnerability in the devices being used, hardware attacks, any vulnerabilities related to the network, unencrypted communication between the layers of the IoT system, and a lot more.
Here in this article, we have tried to explain how one can build scalable IoT applications with the help of the cloud. There are multiple cloud platforms available in the market and you can choose from any of them according to your preference. However, you have to make sure that any company that is providing you the IoT application development services should be well versed in the basics of the creation of an IoT app, should know the basic components to be used for the same, and should have prior and proper knowledge of popular IoT platforms that will help your business to grow.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How much cost is incurred in IoT application development?
In simple terms. IoT application development is not the whole picture, instead, it is just the start of building an IoT-based ecosystem. The cost of IoT application development lies on multiple factors like the demand for the used software, hardware, storage, and cloud platforms that will be used in the development.
Other factors that affect the pricing of IoT application development on a global level are the time taken for the coding of the application, user experience and user interface complexity, third-party services, and the prices charged by the developers. Apart from the mentioned ones, there are still a few things that you will explore only at the time of approaching the IoT application development companies.
How to integrate IoT devices into the cloud?
Establishing the connection between the IoT devices and the cloud is pretty necessary for scalability. You can simply integrate IoT Software Development Kit with the resource-rich devices or you can opt for a communication module for resource-constrained devices. Apart from that, you can also use a local gateway for non-network devices or use a cloud gateway for private-protocol devices that have network capabilities. There are multiple layers of IoT SDK including the hardware abstraction layer (HAL), the core layer, and the interface layer.
Which cloud service can be said to be the best for IoT application development?
There are multiple cloud services available in the market that offer different features. any business can go for the one that is most suitable at the point in time. Coming to the main point, there are multiple IoT cloud platform services available in the market to choose from. Some of them are Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, GE Predix IoT, Google Cloud’s IoT, Oracle IoT, IBM Watson, KAA IoT, Thingsworx 8, Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT, Cisco IoT, Salesforce IoT cloud connect, and Thingspeak IoT.
The selection of a platform plays a major role in IoT application development as it is the core requirement for the same. If the words from top mobile application developers in USA are to be believed, then a little mistake in the selection of a cloud platform could have a negative impact on the speed of your IoT application. You can have a word with the company that is providing you with cloud services providers to know which platform will be better for your business.
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