With the release of HCP IoT Services at SAPPHIRE this year, there are lot of questions about what these HCP IoT services are and how to get started with them. As a product manager for HANA Cloud Platform, focusing mainly on IoT, I would like to explain a bit more about it here.
Here is a general overview of HCP IoT Services:
Internet of Things means that millions of devices are connected and networked together and they have ability to communicate and exchange data. IoT will eventually touch all SAP customers in all industries. From R&D to logistics to service operations, we will get IoT-relevant data from everywhere, and based on that data, we can enhance business processes– such as, for example, with Predictive Maintenance. This is why it important for enterprise systems and enterprises like SAP to focus on IoT.
But when we have such a massive amount of data, it may easily become overwhelming, so we need to manage that data. For that, SAP has provided a generic platform with HCP IoT services for device management and application enablement. HCP IoT services are also well integrated, like everything else in HCP, with other HCP services. A developer does not have to worry about device management and can focus instead on building apps on top of this gathered data and tying it all together using other HCP services.
There are 3 building blocks of IoT Services:
1. IoT Cockpit: It is an interface for accessing device management and message management services
2. Remote Device management Service (RDMS):
- One of the two IoT Services, this provides APIs to create device types and message types; then you can register devices for particular device type.
- Once you enter the IoT world, there are several things you‘ll need. For instance, you may have lots of devices. You need to have a way to control them. This service securely on boards the device. It allows to connect to the device and makes it available in the platform. You can define which messages you can exchange with certain devices by creating message types. Once you register devices to the RDMS service, you get an OAuth token and Endpoint URL and this should be embedded into the device. With each request from the device to the platform, this token has to be sent in the header that ensures that platform is communicating to the authorized device
- We also provide APIs in the platform to on board multiple devices.
- You can also send commands to the device to update parameters or even firmware on the device.
3. Message Management Service (MMS):
- Once you establish connection with the device, you want to collect the data from the device and store it somewhere. MMS collects data and stores it in the HCP Persistence service (currently in HANA or ASE — in future, we plan to support Hadoop as well).
- Currently HTTPS and WebSocket transport protocols are supported while data is exchanged in JSON format. For both protocols, there is a test client in the cockpit.Support for additional protocols such as MQTT is planned.
In order to get you started with these IoT Services, we published several tutorials a while ago that explain step-by-step instructions. Since the service has evolved, so have the steps required to onboard, and so I am happy to announce that I have updated those tutorials and here are the latest ones:
- Getting started with the IoT Services– Get your SAP HCP IoT services up and running. And then see the device data stored in the tables.
- Connecting a Java HTML UI5 GUI– To set up a JAVA HTML UI5 application that will serve as a simple GUI for your IoT project.
- Connecting a UI5 GUI using Web IDE– This uses the SAP Web IDE to build everything. It shows details on how to have both the Web IDE and Java working. It shows how to expose database table as an OData Service
- Nodejs and Python– It shows how you can post data to your HCP IoT Services account, using Nodejs and Python.
- Building up the hardware– It shows how you can post data to your HCP IoT Services account, using a Tessel as your hardware device.
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