The exponential growth of the Internet-of-Things marketplace is encouraged by new platforms to host prospective products and data – and new player to the scene is Cloudplugs – an end-to-end platform that provides cloud computing services for Internet-of-Things applications – with features including a trigger management engine, geolocation engine, database and storage engine and a billing engine.
Their new SmartPlug Apps cloud-based IDE allows the development of CloudPlugs IoT applications from the cloud, along with cloud-based automation that enables the remote deployment, configuration, update and management of devices.
CloudPlugs offers the SmartPlug agent as the backbone of their IoT platform, which they claim is the most powerful and secure agent available for IoT devices. It is a secure, robust and lightweight yet powerful software agent with full lifecycle management capabilities for IoT gateways and other devices – enabling secure and efficient communications with the CloudPlugs IoT platform through their PlugNet protocol.
The platform supports local communications through multiple interfaces and protocols simultaneously, enabling devices with different physical interfaces and protocols to communicate. Devices and gateways powered by SmartPlug can easily exchange data with and control other devices, and scripts can be developed in the cloud and deployed to thousands of SmartPlugs with one click.
CloudPlugs offers maximum flexibility by delivering its end-to-end IoT connectivity platform as a subscription service as well as for in-house deployments. There is no limit on the number of prototype virtual devices that you can create and test in CloudPlugs, even with a free account.
The free account allows you to get started with free evaluation or hobbyist use of CloudPlugs, with up to 10 physical devices, up to 100Mb of storage and 100Mb of bandwidth per month. This is designed to allow individuals or small businesses to use the CloudPlugs platform to manage IoT devices as well as providing a free evaluation platform for larger users.
Moving up to a paid business subscription allows you to use as many devices as you want, with as much storage and bandwidth as your devices need, and a pay-as-you-use elastic pricing model which scales as your IoT business grows – where you’re only paying for the bandwidth and resources you’re actually using.
You can also choose a white-label CloudPlugs deployment in order to deliver IoT services, devices and management dashboards to customers under your own brand, along with in-house deployment on your own servers if desired for security or compliance reasons.
CloudPlugs uses a flexible and powerful MQTT-based publish-and-subscribe architecture, where things and applications subscribe to channels to publish their information and to read or issue control commands. Channels are data structures that allow things and applications to publish and to read data. Things or applications publish data into channels, or subscribe to channels to read data.
Channels can be created manually through the platform, or created dynamically. This dynamic management of channels means that they will automatically disappear if all the data published to that channel is deleted and will be created on-the-fly as data gets published to a newly specified channel by devices, removing the need for manual and inflexible configuration of channels.
Your devices and applications communicate with each other by subscribing to the same channels through MQTT, REST, WebSockets or the PlugNet protocol. Devices or “things” that use MQTT can connect and exchange data with other things that use the MQTT or WebSockets protocols, and if you’ve already developed existing products or devices that communicate using MQTT then it’s easy to get started connecting them to the CloudPlugs platform by modifying the MQTT logic to communicate to the CloudPlugs backend service.
To get started connecting your IoT things to the CloudPlugs platform, you need a CloudPlugs account – along with an appropriate hardware platform such as an Android device, an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Libelium Waspmote or many others. Next you’ll need a software library that will be integrated with your controller firmware, and these are supplied for free download from CloudPlugs to cover a range of supported devices.
A wide range of different hardware and software platforms can easily and quickly be connected to the CloudPlugs platform using a lightweight REST API, which allows for almost any contemporary or future hardware platform to be integrated into the system.
These supported platforms cover a wide range of applications, including networking, development on embedded platforms such as the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone, and the Objective-C development of iOS apps.
Getting started with Cloudplugs can be easily achieved – for any purpose from initial experimenting with the Internet-of-Things to a full system. Here at the LX Group we’re ready to partner with you to meet your Internet-of-Things product goals, and can work with your ideas and more to bring them to reality. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.
LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.
Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.