Modules, Platforms

How to Integrate IoT Edge Data with Microsoft Azure

January 6, 2021

As cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure become more ubiquitous, OEMs and box makers want their IoT edge devices to integrate with them easily. Programming edge devices can be time-consuming and tedious, but a solution is emerging. IoT Plug-and-Play allows IoT developers to integrate their products with Azure without writing embedded code.

Microsoft Azure integration shown with Azure logo on blue technology background with laptop and smartphone symbols.

IoT Plug-and-Play with Microsoft Azure

Learn more about Telit's Microsoft Azure Pre-Certified Plug-and-Play Portfolio

An IoT device connects to an application via a data model, which clearly defines the device’s properties (read-only and writable), telemetry and commands. Once these elements are defined, designers can gather and reuse them in other models to accelerate development and enable better collaboration.

IoT Plug-and-Play is an open approach that Microsoft took to allow IoT devices to declare their capabilities. This approach empowers hardware partners to develop devices able to integrate with Azure IoT Central-based cloud solutions and solutions from third parties that are built on top of Azure IoT Hub or Azure Digital Twins. Azure IoT Central is a managed IoT solution that simplifies setup and reduces management burdens along with operational and overhead costs.

To take advantage of the streamlining from IoT Plug-and-Play, designers should choose a device pre-certified by Microsoft as part of the Azure Certified for IoT device catalog to ensure their IoT device can integrate quickly and optimally with Azure’s IoT solutions. Telit enables hardware partners by providing wireless modules that feature IoT Plug-and-Play technology ready to use in their hardware applications.

Azure IoT Plug-and-Play Use Case: Tracking Refrigerated Trucks

Let’s consider an example of how device integration works. A food distribution company’s fleet of refrigerated trucks distributes frozen foods throughout a broad region. They want to install an IoT device in each truck to monitor the freezer boxes’ temperature and send an alert if something goes wrong.

To accomplish this, the company decides to build an IoT Central app and equip their trucks with Azure Plug-and-Play capabilities. They browse the Azure IoT Plug-and-Play catalog and look for a black box that’s equipped with temperature, humidity and vibration sensors, along with a certified module to provide connectivity. Let’s take the Telit Bravo evaluation board, for example. Being a rapid-IoT development board, Bravo comes with all the sensors and the application samples needed to run this solution.

Once the box is mounted in a truck and equipped with a SIM card, it can connect immediately with Azure IoT and start communicating with IoT Central app with real data — because the app is already programmed to receive and interpret it correctly. Each IoT device that comes online fits like a puzzle piece into a seamless whole, without the need for adjustments or additional programming.

On IoT Central, the company can configure triggers and alerts and build a full-fledged dashboard with time series, pie charts, traffic lights, location maps and more. They can also connect their IoT Central app with other cloud services, such as Azure Machine Learning and PowerBI.

Endless Possibilities with Azure IoT Integration

The combination of Azure Plug-and-Play with IoT Central and pre-certified connectivity modules creates a world of simple scalability for IoT designers. Box makers and OEMs are populating the Azure IoT catalog with a range of devices with Plug-and-Play capabilities and Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity.

Telit helps those box makers join the catalog with a fast-track certification program for Azure IoT Plug-and-Play and a collection of pre-certified IoT modules.

Do you want to accelerate the integration of your products on Azure IoT?

Learn more by checking out “Data Management at Scale in the MS Azure IoT Environment” with IoT expert Enrico Marongiu.