What is WolkAbout IoT Platform?WolkAbout IoT Platform is a powerful IoT application enablement platform which represents around 80% of software any IoT solution needs. Built for industries, it includes a complete set of must-have functionalities needed to navigate data-to-application integration without requiring years of IoT expertise. WolkAbout IoT Platform uses open communication standards like REST and MQTT to provide connectivity to tens of thousands of sensors, legacy and modern machines, gateways, facilities and entire systems. In this way, the connected devices can be remotely managed, monitored and controlled. The Platform also provides robust data collection, aggregation, and visualisation features to help understand and quantify vast amounts of machine data. Its drag-and-drop semantics enables you to define your own business logic, while rule engine allows you to trigger actions, notifications, and machine-to-machine communication through simple clicks. In a nutshell, WolkAbout IoT Platform combines different devices and services into a holistic, unified view of your digital enterprise.
In which verticals does WolkAbout operate?WolkAbout is a digital transformation partner proven across industries. Because WolkAbout IoT Platform is so versatile, it can be used as a core of almost any IoT solution. From smart manufacturing to intelligent supply chain and anything and everything in between, we can help you navigate your complex journey to digital transformation! Check out our solutions page to learn more.
How does WolkAbout accelerate my time-to-market?Developing a connected IoT product or service is a complex and time-consuming process requiring expertise in hardware and software development, communication technologies, cloud design and scalability, and more. WolkAbout IoT Platform provides a complete and ready-to-use end-to-end IoT platform which eliminates this complexity so you can focus your development efforts on your value-add and get products to market faster.
How does WolkAbout simplify digital transformation?Our article examines the challenges faced by companies and highlights five ways WolkAbout IoT Platform has simplified IoT to help you overcome these challenges across use-cases. Dive right in!
Can I use WolkAbout IoT Platform to build a SaaS solution?Of course, you can build almost any solution you imagine! Our unique Platform as a Product business model provides you with simple and transparent pricing and supports diverse business cases. You can even build product or software-as-a-service offerings without recurring payments to the platform vendor. Contact our team to find out which WolkAbout modules are needed for the SaaS model. Read our blog to learn more.
What are the components of an IoT solution?Generally speaking, IoT solutions are complex. They include four separate layers, usually covered by different vendors.
- First, there are different kinds of HARDWARE that need a way to send data to the Cloud and receive commands securely.
- This is done through the use of modern CONNECTIVITY networks, like 3G, 4G, WiFi, or LoRa, NB-IoT and Sigfox. However, some systems are not designed to share data (non-IP-enabled devices and legacy hardware). In those cases, there is an intermediate step between hardware and the rest of the solution, such as a gateway or a bridge device.
- Then, you need to develop end-user APPLICATIONS, like web and mobile apps, which enable you to interact with the IoT system, use all collected data and act upon it.
- And finally, to make it all work, you need a core layer that manages all the interactions between the hardware and the application layers. The world calls this layer an IOT PLATFORM. For many IoT systems, the heart, or rather, the brain is in the Cloud. Activities like data storage, processing and aggregation take place here rather than on the device itself. IoT platform enables you to manage your devices, users and data, as well as monitor and automate processes.
What is an IoT application enablement platform?When talking about an IoT platform, we Generally refer to an IoT application enablement platform (AEP). The AEP acts as a core of an IoT solution designed to provide the foundational services needed to build a solution from the ground up. It enables developers to rapidly deploy an IoT application or service without having to worry about scale-out or scale-up factor or requiring years of IoT experience. Check out our blog for more details.
Why do I need to buy an IoT platform?IoT platform represents around 80% of software every IoT solution needs. So, using an already developed IoT platform simplifies development as it solves a lot of complexities that you normally deal with while building an IoT solution. It’s a key tool for IoT developers and a huge time saver, allowing you to focus on your core business. Plus, it makes sure your applications are well-tested, more stable and easier to extend. Check out our blog for more details.
Which types of IoT platform exist?Even though many companies tend to offer a complete and mature IoT platform, there are companies whose offer consists of just a small element of an IoT solution or even something completely different. We’re currently distinguishing five types of platforms:
- IoT Application Enablement Platform
- IaaS Backends
- Hardware-Specific Software Platforms
- Analytics Platform
- Connectivity/M2M Platforms
How can I choose the right IoT platform?Evaluating the performance of 500 IoT platforms is tedious, demanding and money-draining process. To make things worse, 99% of IoT platforms are Platform as a Service, and most of them are developed to work with just one type of hardware or service. Our whitepaper answers some of the most frequent questions you might have during your decision-making process. Read on!
Should I build my IoT solution on top of an IoT platform as a product (PaaP) or do I need an IoT platform as a service (PaaS)?If you’re struggling to decide between these two, our blog has got you covered with listing a few essential criteria you need to consider. Check it out!
Lots of vendors want me to use their IoT platform - what can WolkAbout provide that they can’t?Unlike other IoT vendors, our platform is available as a product, not a service. Put simply, once you buy the Platform instance, you own it and have complete control over your business ecosystem. No hidden costs or complex calculations. Also, the Platform is built from the ground up for the IoT. This means it is ready to use and allows you to go from prototype to production in days instead of months, eliminating much of the time, effort and risk typically associated with digital transformation. Rather than spending time and resources to design, integrate and maintain a secure digitalisation infrastructure, your business can focus on your core expertise and build the best product or service possible. Check out our blog to learn more.
Glossary: Device Type? Reading? Data Semantics? What does it all mean?We want to make WolkAbout IoT Platform as transparent as possible, so we deciphered our most commonly used terms to help you figure out what’s what around our environment:
- Evaluation package/WolkAbout IoT Platform demo: At demo.wolkabout.com developers and innovators can create a free account for non-commercial use. It enables them to discover the functionalities of WolkAbout IoT Platform and to prototype connected solutions quickly by connecting up to three devices, creating up to three rules and two dashboards.
- WolkReact: A set of web and mobile (Android & iOS) applications which provide you access to all of the WolkAbout IoT Platform features through simple clicks and drag & drops.
- Context: Context is the Platform’s sandbox under which other Platform concepts, functionalities and features are defined and operate. Each context has a single owner (aka Tenant) and a context name. The Platform instance can have one or more contexts.
- Tenant: Tenant is a user who is the owner of a context. As the owner, he has full privileges in the context he owns. Tenant, in a broader way, can be used as a synonym for context, where it is easier to explain, to non-technical users, the concept of the tenancy (rather than using technical term ‘context’).
- Device: A physical device which connects to the Platform through the Internet via MQTT or HTTPs protocols. It is represented by its device key and is effectively acting as a physical source of the data. It can be created from scratch or it can belong to a certain device type (template).
- Device Type (Template): A contract between a physical device and WolkAbout IoT Platform. It describes the device and its data and is used by Platform to interpret the content so that it can be appropriately stored, or sent to targeted devices correctly.
- Reference: A key concept in the device type which uniquely identifies a device physical sensor, actuator, alarm and configuration parameters. For instance, a device which measures temperature, air pressure and air humidity may have three sensors with respective references of T, P, H. The example illustrates additional value/usage of references, which is keeping message payload minimal - which is appropriate for edge devices with limited resources.
- Readings: Measured values you are collecting and sending to the Platform. In IoT, they usually take the form of time-series data.
- Reading Type: Each reading has a tag added to it with the reading type, whether it is temperature, humidity, movement, accelerometer, voltage, etc.
- Data Semantics (Point): Data Semantics module enables you to define your own business logic by modelling data and creating virtual representations of real-world objects or systems. Users can describe their business case by creating Semantic Group hierarchies and link data (feeds and alarms) and operations (actuators) coming from one or many different devices at the same time, as well as by adding the physical world context through semantic attributes. This module provides you with rich data rules and on-the-fly data format conversion. Also, if a device breaks down, or is replaced, the data is not lost - you just need to remap the semantics to a new device.
- Feed: A representation of a single type of measurement on a single semantic group. Feed describes a specific sensor measurement by defining its type (temperature, humidity) and unit. Value of a feed is the last reported measurement of a given reading type on a given semantic group and its recent trend (rising, falling and steady). In that manner, the feed is treated as a real-time data stream.
- Calculated Feed / Synthetic Variable: Our engine enables you to combine many input sources (sensor, static and third-party data) into a new Calculated feed and monitor different KPIs. It acts like a regular feed.
- Actuator: A representation of a component of a physical device which is able to receive the command and produce change in the system - for example, an ON/OFF switch that may control light. Each actuator has its state and current value: for instance, value of light switch can be ON and state READY.
- Access and Refresh Token: Access token is a standard method of authentication when making an HTTP(s) request on a server system. It has a limited period of validity and can be obtained through a sign-in process by supplying username/password combination or by using a refresh token which is used to replace the expired access token. Access token lasts for a day, while refresh token is valid for a month or until used to obtain a new access token.
- MQTT: WolkAbout IoT Platform uses MQTT protocol to exchange data with devices. MQTT is a lightweight, subscription-based protocol, designed to minimise network bandwidth and device resource requirements. MQTT also supports secure communication using TLS. More info about MQTT may be found on MQTT official website.