Platform provider Particle intros new IoT developer kits, Microsoft IoT coding studio
Platform provider Particle has released a round of new internet-of-things (IoT) developer tools and an IoT app design programme based on Microsoft’s coding studio.
Particle’s IoT platform underpins offerings from the likes of energy provider Engie, design studio Ideo, crops provider Grow Labs, and coffee pioneer Keurig. It says 8,500 customers, 160,000 developers and half the Fortune 500 have deployed the company’s hardware and software offerings.
Among the announcements at its Spectra developer conference in San Francisco this week, the company unveiled a beta version of its drag-and-drop IoT application builder built, or ‘rules engine’.
The programme provides developers with the building blocks for any IoT use case, including real-time alerting, data management, over-the-air (OTA) firmware automation, and third-party integrations.
The Particle rules engine is based on IBM’s open-source Node-RED platform, enabling developers to take advantage of community-contributed logic snippets, or ‘nodes’, to “supercharge their workflows”, said Particle.
Meanwhile, Particle Mesh, the company’s latest developer hardware kits for unlocking access to mesh networking technology, has finally launched. The solution will ship to around 5,700 customers this month, after pre-orders have stacked up.
Particle Mesh is based on the Nest OpenThread protocol and the Adafruit Feather development board. It works with Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, LTE-M and mesh networks. Production-ready Particle Mesh system-on-modules (SOMs) will be available in 2019, it said.
Meanwhile, Particle announced its desktop developer environment, Particle Workbench, has moved to Microsoft’s code editor programme, Visual Studio Code for developers to programme and debug apps on Particle’s own IoT platform, as well as on Microsoft Azure.
Workbench, available for free and ready-to-go, offers a broader coding environment than its internet-based Web IDE tool, extending access to over 8,000 extensions from Microsoft’s Visual Studio Marketplace, in addition to Particle’s own custom extensions.
Zach Supalla, founder and chief executive at Particle, said: “We want to ensure IoT product builders have the tools they need to build the connected solutions that are changing how we interact with the world around us.
“We’re excited to roll out these new products that not only make bringing IoT products to market achievable, but are also open source and built on open standards – moving the entire industry forward.”
He added: “We made the choice to work with Microsoft on the release of Particle Workbench in response to the urging of our customers who wanted access to a robust desktop development tool.
“Microsoft’s leadership in building developer experiences and commitment to open source made them a natural choice. Together, we’re taking IoT development to the next level to make it even easier to solve real-world problems.”
Amanda Silver, director of programme management for developer tools at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft is committed to fostering innovation, and we’re happy to work with Particle to bring Visual Studio Code to more developers so they can bring their IoT products to life.”