IBM Opens Developer Community For IoT

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

IBM developerWorks Recipe IoT developer hangout created to share learning experiences and offer tips and advice

IBM has launched a new Internet of Things developer community aimed at reducing the complexity of M2M projectsa

The IBM developerWorks Recipes network is aimed at both novice and experienced developers and hopes to make it easier to connect devices to the cloud and find out to best to exploit the resulting data.

IoT Community

M2MThe community includes step-by-step tutorials for embedding advanced analytics and machine learning into IoT devices and applications.

Example tutorials include ‘understanding vehicle performance by analysing data from its On-Board Diagnostic system’; ‘linking real-time machine condition monitoring with IBM asset management to monitor everything from the health of household appliances to wheels on a railroad car’; as well as ‘spotting trends and obtaining solutions to common problems through graphical representation of historical and real-time data from IoT devices.’

These step-by-step tutorials can be implemented into IoT devices using IBM’s platform-as-a-service, Bluemix. This PaaS has more than 100 open-source tools and services and allows developers to run advanced analytics, utilise machine learning and tap into additional Bluemix services such as data storage, predictive modeling and geospatial analytics.

“IBM has long been a leader in offering innovative tools for developers to create the applications of our future,” said Christopher O’Connor, IBM’s General Manager for Internet of Things. “Now, IBM is expanding that focus so anyone – from the software novice to the experienced hardware engineer – can easily and quickly access materials providing guidance in the creation, management and connection of IoT devices to each other and the cloud.

“With developerWorks Recipes, IBM provides easy access to new analytics and operational insight capabilities that tap into the vast data from many connected devices, home appliances or cars.”

“For years, companies have been building their machine-to-machine and IoT applications essentially from scratch,” added Daniel Quant, vice president of Product Management at MultiTech Systems. “IBM developerWorks Recipes enables companies to leverage the hard lessons learned by other developers in order to simplify the process.”

“Developers just can’t be experts on each new ‘thing’ that gets added to the IoT,” added Jone Rasmussen, General Manager of IoT developer tool startup Bitreactive. “To control costs of IoT projects, developers need easy, repeatable ways to quickly extract data from devices. IBM developerWorks Recipes is the perfect platform to do just that.”

Bright Future

Earlier this month, Juniper Research predicted that 38.5 billion units will be hooked up to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020, as the number of connected devices across the world triples in number over the next few years.

Indeed, IBM is a big believer in IoT. In April this year it announced a major expansion of its IoT business. It pledged $3 billion (£2bn) over the next four years to build up the unit so that it can deal with the increasingly huge amounts of data being produced every day.

But IoT does face some challenges. Analytics has been highlighted as being one of the key uses for IoT to overcome, in that it is crucial that gathered data taken from a wide range of sources is used to create useful conclusions.

Interoperability is also a hurdle that needs to be overcome. The range of conflicting IoT standards continues to slow progress, but there there are signs that standards bodies and alliances are beginning to engage to overcome these issues.

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