Microsoft announces several breakthrough features for Azure IoT Central

Back in 2017, Microsoft first announced Azure IoT central, a new end-to-end IoT software as a service (SaaS) solution in the cloud that helps customers build, use, and maintain internet connected products. With several improvements over the years, Microsoft now claims that you can use IoT Central to provision an IoT application in 15 seconds, customize it in an hour and go to production the same day. At IoT Solutions World Congress this week, Microsoft announced several breakthrough features for Azure IoT Central and other IoT services. Read about them below.

IoT Central features:

  • 11 new industry-focusedapplication templates to accelerate solution builders across retail, healthcare, government, and energy
  • API Support forextending IoT Central or integrating it with other solutions, including API support for device modelling, provisioning, lifecycle management, operations, and data querying
  • IoT Edge support, including management for edge devices and IoT Edge moduledeployments, which enable customers to deploy cloud workloads, including AI, directly to connected devices.
  • IoT Plug and Play support, for rapid device development and connectivity
  • The ability toSave & Load applications to enable application reusability
  • MoreData Export options for continually exporting data to other Azure PaaS services such as storage for rich analytics.
  • Multitenancy support– build and manage a single application with multiple tenants, each with their own isolated data, devices, users and roles.  And updates to that single application are visible to all tenants for easy manageability.
  • Custom user roles– for fine grained access control to data, actions, and configurations in the system
  • New pricing modelfor early 2020 designed to help customers and partners have predictable pricing as usage scales

Azure Time Series Insights:

  • Multi-layered storage provides the best of both worlds: lightning fast access to frequently used data (“warm data”) and fast access to infrequently used historical data (“cold data”).
  • Flexible cold storage:Historical data is stored in customer’s own Azure Storage account, giving customers complete control of their IoT data. Data is stored in open source Apache Parquet format, enabling predictive analytics, machine learning and other custom computations using familiar technologies including Spark, Databricks, and Jupyter.
  • Rich analytics:Rich query APIs and user experience support interpolation, new scalar and aggregate functions, categorical variables, scatter plots, and time shifting between time series signals for in-depth analysis.
  • Enterprise grade scale:Scale and performance improvements at all layers, including ingestion, storage, query and metadata/model.
  • Extensibility and integration:New Time Series Insights Power BI connector allows customers to take queries from Time Series Insights into Power BI to get a unified view in a single pane of glass.

Apart from the above, Microsoft announced that Azure Maps will now be available on Gov Cloud and customers can now add geospatial weather intelligence into their applications. Also, IoT Hub message enrichment will get the ability to stamp messages coming from devices with rich information before they are sent to downstream cloud services, making integration easy.

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