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A developer’s checklist for deploying the internet of things

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. What makes IoT different?
  3. Device and front-end concerns
  4. Back-end concerns
  5. Network concerns
  6. Big data concerns
  7. Toolkit concerns
  8. Key takeaways
  9. About Rich Morrow

1. Summary

The “things” in the “internet of things” (IoT) encompass a wide range of devices: sensors and sensor arrays like the Nest and SmartThings, wearables like the Pebble smart watch and Google Glass, and embedded technologies like Tesla and Ford’s Smart Cars. Even Samsung, the current leader of the mobile space, has its eyes set on the smart-home market, with refrigerators that will text you (or the Amazon Grocery delivery truck) when you’re out of milk.

The possibilities are staggering, but these “things” represent some significant challenges to app developers. Developers, in particular, will have to cope with an unprecedented explosion of supported devices and form factors, extensive network optimizations to make both the front end and back end more responsive, highly capable edge devices to which more processing may (and should) be pushed, and finally, a plan to capture, process, and wrangle business value and from all of the data these devices generate.

While each development project will require different skills, and the IoT is still in its earliest stages, there are certain tools with which budding IoT developers should be familiar. These include:

  • IaaS, MBaaS, and REST APIs
  • Cross-platform development tools
  • CDNs and data streaming services (like PubNub)
  • Big data ingestion, storage, and processing tools like Hadoop/HDFS, Spark, Storm, and Flume

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStock/Thinkstock.