Technology Fridays: IOT is a Bright Spot in Oracle Cloud’s Portfolio

Welcome to Technology Fridays! Today we are going back to the internet of things(IOT) market with a platform that has been, little by little, gaining a lot of traction in the space; we are talking about the Oracle IOT Cloud Service.

Oracle Cloud has a lot of work to do to become competitive with market leaders such as Azure, AWS, Bluemix or Google Cloud. While Oracle Cloud is certainly a contender when comes to traditional storage and compute cloud technologies, the platform has fallen behind incumbents in new technology areas such as artificial intelligence(AI), machine learning, serverless computing, cyber-security and others. IOT seems to be the exception to that rule. Oracle IOT Cloud Service has established itself as one of the most sophisticated cloud IOT platforms in the market frequently outperforming competitive offerings from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM or Google.

From a featureset standpoint, Oracle IOT Cloud Service looks generally similar to its competitors. The platform provides a suite of infrastructure and platform services that enable backend capabilities of IOT solutions in areas such as device management, messaging, security, stream data processing ,analytics and several others. However, Oracle IOT Cloud Service also provides some very differentiated innovations in several of those areas.

Developers can start using Oracle IOT Cloud Service by logging into the platform’s Management Console UI. The Console UI is the main user interface to configure the different component of IOT solutions such as applications, devices, objects, business rules and many others. Using the IOT Cloud Console UI, developers can also configure integrations with other Oracle Cloud services such as Cloud Storage.

No IOT platform is complete without a robust device management layer and Oracle IOT Cloud Service definitely excels in this area. The Oracle IOT Cloud Service Gateway efficiently brokers the communication between IOT devices and the platform’s endpoints using protocols such as MQTT. The IOT Service Gateway also performs smart message processing routines such as message throttling or roaming which are indispensable in high volume message IOT topologies. One of my favorite features of the Oracle IOT Cloud Service is the IOT Device Simulator that enables the creation of simulated devices without requiring any hardware deployments. Needles to say that the IOT Device Simulator results incredibly useful to simulate complex device topologies in IOT scenarios.

Oracle Cloud IOT Service provinces a rich set of options for developers implementing IOT applications. The platform includes client libraries for common IOT runtimes such as JavaScript, Java Android, IOT, C POSIX and others. Those client libraries are abstractions on top of the Oracle IOT Cloud Service REST API that provides programmable interfaces for the main capabilities of the platform. The Oracle IOT Cloud Service also operates on low-level architectures such as the ARM mbed OS. Most client libraries provide support for MQTT as the main protocol to exchange messages between IOT devices and cloud endpoints.

Another cool innovation of the Oracle IOT Cloud Service platform is the use of BOPs(Business Object Providers) that can ne directly integrated into the Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service(ABCs) to create rich mashups and dashboards. IOT Cloud Service BOPs include devices, models, messages, and others. Device provisioning is enables in Oracle IOT Cloud Service via the Interactive Provisioning Tool. That utility is, essentially, a shell script that enables the creation and onboarding of trusted assets in IOT devices. Once provisioned, devices can start exchanging messages with the platform’s endpoints. Typically, Oracle IOT Cloud Service processes those messages using its stream data processing capabilities and integrates them into Oracle Cloud Big Data infrastructure for further analytics. Oracle IOT Analytics is the component responsible for those processes.

Competitors?

Oracle IOT Cloud Services faces strong competition on several segments of the IOT platform market. PaaS-centric IOT services such as Azure IOT Suite, AWS, IOT, Google Cloud IOT Core or Watson IOT Platform are formidable competitors. Industrial IOT platforms such as GE Predix, C3IOT or ThingWorx are strong contenders in the industrial enterprise space. Finally, IOT startups such as Xively have enough traction to be considered relevant competitors of the Oracle IOT Cloud Service.

Written by

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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