This week at Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, US, Microsoft has showcased some of the new capabilities and programmes that are designed to empower its partners and customers to create enterprise-grade internet of things (IoT) solutions.
Microsoft’s software-as-a-service Azure IoT Central platform has been enhanced with several new features to help partners manage and extend their customers’ IoT solutions. The platform now supports Azure CSP subscriptions, allowing cloud solution provider partners to easily provision and manage Azure IoT Central applications.
Another new capability enables users to view their IoT data and related analytics in Microsoft Power BI, enabling them to get real-time insights and data visualisations, and analyse long-term trends to make better informed business decisions. Microsoft has also added support for customers to continually export data from Azure IoT Central to Azure Storage and consume it in Azure Machine Learning.
Meanwhile, a new connector in Microsoft Flow allows customers to use a drag-and-drop function from a library of published connectors to build workflows more easily.
“We heard early on that IoT’s complexity was impeding innovation and impacting business results,” said Sam George, partner director of Azure IoT at Microsoft, in a blog post. “We have made it our mission to provide powerful, yet simple to use, IoT offerings across cloud and edge so that our partners and customers can quickly move from idea, to pilot to production without requiring deep expertise.”
Building on recent announcements for Azure Maps portfolio of geospatial APIs , Microsoft has also introduced features to enable users to customise services based on country, as well as satellite, aerial photography and grey-scale vector maps, and support for batch services to power search, routing and geocoding. There al=re also new capabilities to support advanced geospatial scenarios, which will make it easy for users to deploy commercial mapping and mission-critical geospatial solutions at scale across multiple geographies.
In addition, Microsoft has added two new programmes to enhance its recently released Azure IoT Edge ecosystem: Azure Certified for IoT and Azure Marketplace. The company has expanded its existing Certified for IoT programme to cover certification for core edge functionalities, such as security, device management analytics and devices from third-party hardware partners. Meanwhile, the Azure Marketplace enables Microsoft’s software partners to showcase their pre-built IoT Edge software modules to customers.
“As we move toward a world of ubiquitous computing, the opportunity and the complexity of the IoT has never been greater,” said George. “That is why we are investing US$5 billion over the next four years in IoT to enable partner and customer innovation through research and development, new programmes and offerings.”