Connecting Internet of Things to the Cloud never have been easier and it is free to get started.
The race to dominate the Internet of Things is well underway. Microsoft is ahead with Azure IoT an end-to-end IoT platform. Not only is Microsoft offering everything needed to connect devices to the cloud and build large scale enterprise solutions, they also make it really easy and free to boot.
Don't Miss: See the first leaked Black Friday 2016 Ad
I have a computer science degree and was decades ago programming Windows applications when Visual Studio was still called Visual C++ and running on Windows NT. Now I am just doing the occasional hack in php.
IoT, wearables and how to connect them to the cloud came up in a discussion recently and at the same time I stumbled over a developer introduction to Azure IoT. This recent post by Microsoft's Olivier Bloch is a great introduction to Microsoft's Azure IoT.
Microsoft IoT solution includes Azure IoT Suite and Azure IoT Hub. The Azure IoT Hub enables developers to quickly connect IoT devices and get data from and to the cloud. The full Azure IoT Suite offers data and analytics modules and complete pre-configured solutions for fast deployment of IoT implementations.
Microsoft has made the Azure IoT SDKs, samples and preconfigured solutions open source on GitHub. This is not the only free offering that helps developers get started with the Azure IoT solution. Microsoft offers a free trial of the Azure cloud, free Azure IoT account and also Microsoft's Visual Studio 2015 is free in the community edition.
With this you are set to connect your first device ot the cloud. Microsoft's Dominic Betts explains in this tutorial how to connect a device. The tutorial shows how to build a simulated device and a client to send and receive data using the NuGet Package. As said I am decades away from Windows development, but developing a IoT solution with the Azure IoT Hub is easy to understand and almost just click and play.
The Azure IoT developer center is providing comprehensive access to the tools and information needed. On the homepage a big button invites you to connect your device that guides you with preconfigured solutions for devices ranging from Beaglebone Green, Intel Edison and Rasperry Pi.
Microsoft launched Azure IoT Hub last month, with the general availability pricing going into effect on April 1. Azure IoT Hub is free to try with 8,000 messages a day. Microsoft offers two tires with IoT Hub S1 edition and IoT Hub S2 edition.
IoT Hub S1 edition is designed for IoT solutions that generate relatively small amounts of data. Each unit of the S1 edition allows up to 400,000 messages per day across all connected devices. S1 is priced at $50/month for 400,000 messages per day.
IoT Hub S2 edition is designed for IoT solutions that generate large amounts of data. Each unit of the S2 edition will allow up to 6 million messages per day across all connected devices. S2 is priced at $500 per day allowing for 6m messages per day.
Microsoft also offers Windows 10 Core, completing the whole IoT offering. Windows 10 IoT Core runs on Raspberry Pi 2, MinnowBoard Max, DragonBoard 410c. A new Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview released in February supports Raspberry Pi 3. Windows 10 Core is free to download here.
Microsoft removed the complexity of developing an end-to-end IoT solution and makes developing with it free. Only once the IoT solution is in production fees are charged.