Platform Approach for IoT
- By /
Sujata Tilak MD, Ascent Intellimation
09 Jul 2018
Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology paradigm and it fits very well for thousands of types of applications. More types are evolving every day. Now developing tailor made software for each of these application types will require huge resources and time. Also by the time these applications are ready, requirements will further evolve necessitating further development.
So a platform driven approach must be used where a generic platform offers base functionality and specific business functionality of an IoT application is realized by configuration of the platform and custom development of specific components that fit seamlessly into the platform. IoT architecture model is fairly well defined and hence suitable for platform driven approach. The architecture is divided in - ‘Edge Tier’ and ‘Platform Tier’. There is also an ‘Enterprise Tier’ in Industrial IoT systems. Please refer to Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) put together by Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) - http://www.iiconsortium.org/IIRA.htm.
The ‘Edge Tier’ is distributed and has ‘things’ and ‘edge gateway’. The edge gateway collects data from things and does some ‘edge processing’. The ‘Platform Tier’ is usually in cloud. It collates data from all edge gateways, runs business rules on this data and provides visualization and analytics. Thus any IoT system has some essential building blocks or components like data acquisition, edge processing, edge analytics, device management, stream analytics, data aggregation, business rule engine, business analytics to name a few.
Thus following is required to create a flexible and adaptable IoT platform –
- An architecture model that defines various components listed above, relationships between the components, interfaces of each component and a mechanism to add custom plug-ins
- A generic platform based on this architecture model
- A comprehensive configuration / parameterization tool to customize the platform for specific IoT applications
IIoT platform PlantConnect is developed with above philosophy in mind. Thus it can be easily adapted for various applications.