Over the next few years, anything that you can dream of being connected to the Internet will be, with an end goal of performing more automated, efficient tasks. The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained significant momentum in the last couple of years and is becoming one of the fastest growing technologies in the enterprise space. IoT will massively increase the amount of data available for analysis by organizations.
Middleware for IoT acts as a glue connecting the mixed domains of applications communicating over heterogeneous interfaces.
An IoT integration platform is required to collect, aggregate, and transform data from multiple sources before it can be analyzed. There should be one tool performing all the actions rather than having multiple heterogeneous services working in silos.
It is difficult to define and enforce a common standard among all the diverse devices belonging to diverse vendors and domains in IoT, with no common standards, the need for an integration platform is more prominent. It will act as a common standard amongst the diverse sensors, devices, and applications supporting numerous communication protocols, data types, and transport requirements.
Also, you need a digital fence around every IoT system, and middleware has a role to play in security as well. Integration platform should incorporate access control and data authentication mechanisms.
APIs should be the standard way of communication between devices and sensors. Enabling APIs in an IoT solution is very critical, as you do not want your IoT solution to be closed and not interoperable.
APIs can act as a standard gateway for device communication. It can be used for device registration and activation, providing a management interface for the sensors, and exposing a device capability. In an IoT world, seldom a device would be able to perform a functionality on its own, as it needs to talk to other devices and sensors. Having a middleware and API management layer to facilitate this communication is key.
Middleware and APIs are fundamental enablers of the Internet of Things; but without these two, the unique characteristics of IoT can easily lead to catastrophe, especially when it comes to:
—Devices supporting multiple communication interfaces and standards
—Monitoring and managing multiple IoT devices
—Performance and scalability
—Developer and device registration and security
—Visibility and analytics
Gone are the days of stand-alone, rigid IoT solutions that cannot evolve over time. In a fast-moving world, applications require adaptability and open integrations. Combining IoT with middleware and APIs will lead to faster, smarter, scalable, and flexible solutions.
“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”
This is the motto of French Musketeers named Athos, Porthos, and Aramis who were inseparable and stayed loyal to each other through thick and thin in Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. It is very much true in case of IoT solutions. Together, they can be the Athos, Porthos, and Aramis of the enterprise world.