How to start with Azure IOT

19 06 2016

If you are a newbie to Azure or Azure IOT, you are certainly questioning yourself how to get into this new environment most efficiently.
Well, I just had to do this myself and here are the learnings!

As a prerequisite it would be great to be familiar with writing code and doing architectures for enterprise solutions, because Azure solutions are not so different per se. They only leverage new building blocks and occasionally have specialties emerging of their new type of infrastructure.

For a start it is good to have a look at the Azure IOT templates Microsoft is offering (currently for remote monitoring and predictive maintenance). With the templates, one should especially focus on the architecture, which is something that provides great insight into how Azure IOT solutions work and should be created.
However, I have found the implementation to be state of the art from an enterprise perspective, which means it really is very generic, but the bad thing about this approach for newbies is that due to lack of documentation it makes it very time-consuming to understand, what really is  going on in the solution. This is especially true, if you want to hook in to extend it!
In addition, I experienced some nasty PowerShell versioning issues using the deployment scripts for the templates. Not really fun.

 

Football goalman on the stadium field

Due this, I recommend to approach Azure IOT with the normal Azure documentation having the template architectures in mind. If you are doing a first POC or similar based on this, you may not create the most clean and generic architecture, but you will end up with a first solution to your problem you fully comprehend and that was fun to create!

Why? Well, because the general Azure documentation on the services used for Azure IOT is easy to understand and has great samples, which are fun to reuse in your own code.

So – do not loose time. I really liked how Azure IOT Hub compensates schema changes in e.g. telemetry messages (which normally break classical solutions!) and the flexibility as well as the potential of Stream Jobs / Web Jobs, which could be a killer feature in any of your next solutions.

Winking smile

Alexander

PS:
Yes sorry, it is European Soccer Championships over here currently! Therefore the soccer goalkeeper image, that has absolutely nothing to do with this entry’s content!


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