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There is an ongoing transition from a world where having an internet connection was sufficient, to a world where ubiquitous connectivity is quickly becoming the norm. The ability to gather and transport data at high speeds from anywhere is leading to increased automation, smart-everything (vehicles, homes, appliances – you name it), and a standardization of languages and protocols that make the possibilities nearly endless.

Recently, IEEE and Eclipse Foundation completed surveys that provided a snapshot on tools, platforms and solutions being used by engineers and programmers alike to build the Internet of Things. According to Joe McKendrick for RTInsights.com, there were several notable conclusions to be drawn from the results, including the revelation that, of the 713 tech professionals surveyed, nearly 42 percent said their companies currently deploy an IoT solution, and 32 percent said they will be deploying/working with an IoT solution over the next 18 months. Additionally, RT Insights writes:

“In terms of areas of concentration, 42% report they are working with IoT-ready middleware, while 41% are concentrating on home automation solutions. Another 36% are working with industrial automation as part of their IoT efforts. One-third are working on IoT for smart cities, and the same number are building smart energy solutions.”

An interesting note from those conclusions is that 36 percent are working with industrial automation as part of their IoT efforts. Earlier this year, we predicted that Industrial IoT (IIoT) app development would outpace consumer IoT apps, and although this sample size is somewhat limited, it still bodes well for the development of the IIoT sector that is just starting to come into its own.

Among IoT developers, there has been a bit of debate over the programming languages that best suit IoT apps. There are situationally appropriate uses for the main languages, but currently, the majority of developers prefer Java and the C language. For developers, being able to build out IoT apps that can work across platforms is a giant step toward standardization. Specifically, in the Industrial IoT, being able to build apps that can function at the Edge to enable smart data collection is a becoming an unofficial mandate for any companies hoping to transition legacy OT operations into the IT/OT convergence movement taking place across critical industries.

Of course, building apps is a meaningless task if the hardware being deployed can’t host those apps, a finding that was demonstrated by the survey:

Hardware associated with IoT implementations include sensors, used at 87% of sites, along with actuators (51%), gateways and hub devices (50%), and edge node devices (36%).

This Edge functionality and sensor deployment are two pieces that are driving the adaption of IoT technology across industries that have traditionally relied on data as the main tool for decision making. However, with smarter hardware, these industries now have the opportunity to improve the efficiency of that decision making – a transformative capability in the industrial realm.

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Read more…

IoT Developer Trends 2017 Edition

Guest post by Ian Skerrett

For the last 3 years we have been tracking the trends of the IoT developer community through the IoT Developer Survey [2015] [2016]. Today, we released the third edition of the IoT Developer Survey 2017. As in previous years, the report provides some interesting insights into what IoT developers are thinking and using to build IoT solutions. Below are some of the key trends we identified in the results.

The survey is the results of a collaboration between the Eclipse IoT Working GroupIEEEAgile-IoT EU and the IoT Council. Each partner promoted the survey to their respective communities. A total of 713 individuals participated in the survey. The complete report is available for everyone and we also make available the detailed data [xlsodf].

As with any survey of this type, I always caution people to see these results as one data point that should be compared to other industry reports. All of these surveys have inherent biases so identifying trends that span surveys is important.

Key Trends from 2017 Survey

 1. Expanding Industry Adoption of IoT

The 2017 survey participants appear to be involved in a more diverse set of industries. IoT Platform and Home Automation industries continue to lead but industries such as Industrial Automation, Smart Cities, Energy Management experience significant growth between 2016 to 2017.

industries

2. Security is the key concern but….

Security continues to be the main concern IoT developers with 46.7% respondents indicating it was a concern. Interoperability (24.4%) and Connectivity (21.4%) are the next most popular concerns mentioned. It would appear that Interoperability is on a downward trend for 2015 (30.7%) and 2016 (29.4%) potentially indicating the work on standards and IoT middleware are lessening this concern.

concerns2017

This year we asked what security-related technologies were being used for IoT solutions. The top two security technologies selected were the existing software technologies, ie. Communication Security (TLS, DTLS) (48.3%) and Data Encryption (43.2%). Hardware oriented security solutions were less popular, ex. Trusted Platform Modules (10%) and Hardware Security Modules (10.6%). Even Over the Air Update was only being used by 18.5% of the respondents. Security may be a key concern but it certainly seems like the adoption of security technology is lagging.

security

3. Top IoT Programming Language Depends…

Java and C are the primary IoT programming languages, along with significant usage of C++, Python and JavaScript. New this year we asked in the survey, language usage by IoT categories: Constrained Devices, IoT Gateway and IoT Cloud Platform. Broken down by these categories it is apparent that language usage depends on the target destination for the developed software:

  • On constrained devices, C (56.4%) and C++ (38.3%) and the dominant languages being used. Java (21.2%) and Python (20.8%) have some usage but JavaScript (10.3%) is minimal.
  • On IoT Gateways, the language of choice is more diverse, Java (40.8%), C (30.4%), Python (29.9%) and C++ (28.1%) are all being used. JavaScript and Node.js have some use.
  • On IoT Cloud Platforms, Java (46.3%) emerges as the dominant language. JavaScript (33.6%), Node.js (26.3%) and Python (26.2%) have some usage. Not surprisingly, C (7.3%) and C++ (11.6%) usage drops off significantly.

Overall, it is clear IoT solution development requires a diverse set of language programming skills. The specific language of choice really depends on the target destination.

4. Linux is key OS; Raspbian and Ubuntu top IoT Linux distros

Linux continues to be the main operating system for IoT. This year we asked to identify OS by the categories: Constrained Device and IoT Gateway. On Constrained Devices, Linux (44.1%) is the most popular OS but the second most popular is No OS/ Bar Metal (27.6%). On IoT Gateway, Linux (66.9%) becomes even more popular and Windows (20.5%) becomes the second choice.

The survey also asked which Linux distro is being used. Raspbian (45.5%) and Ubuntu (44.%) are the two top distros for IoT.

linuxdistros

If Linux is the dominant operating system for IoT, how are the alternative IoT operating systems doing? In 2017, Windows definitely experienced a big jump from previous years. It also seems like FreeRTOS and Contiki are experiencing growth in their usage.

 5. Amazon, MS and Google Top IoT Cloud Platforms

Amazon (42.7%) continues to be the leading IoT Cloud Platform followed by MS Azure (26.7%) and Google Cloud Platform (20.4%). A significant change this year has been the drop of Private / On-premise cloud usage, from 34.9% in 2016 to 18.4% in 2017. This might be an indication that IoT Cloud Platforms are now more mature and developers are ready to embrace them.

cloud

6. Bluetooth, LPWAN protocols and 6LowPAN trending up; Thread sees little adoption

For the last 3 years we have asked what connectivity protocols developers use for IoT solutions. The main response has been TCP/IP and Wi-Fi. However, there are a number of connectivity standards and technologies that are being developed for IoT so it has been interesting to track their adoption within the IoT developer community. Based on the 2017 data, it would appear Bluetooth/Bluetooth Smart (48.2%), LPWAN technologies (ex LoRa, Sigfox, LTE-M) (22.4%) and 6LoWPAN (21.4%) are being adopted by the IoT developer community. However, it would appear Thread (6.4%) is still having limited success with developer adoption.

connectivity2017

Summary

Overall, the survey results are showing some common patterns for IoT developers. The report also looks at common IoT hardware architecture, IDE usage, perceptions of IoT Consortiums, adoption of IoT standards, open source participation in IoT and lots more. I hope the report provides useful information source to the wider IoT industry.

Next week we will be doing a webinar to go through the details of the results. Please join us on April 26 at 10:30amET/16:30pmCET.

2017 IoT Survey - webinar 2

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey, the individual input is what makes these surveys useful. Also, thank you to our co-sponsors Eclipse IoT Working GroupIEEEAgile IoT and the IoT Council. It is great to be able to collaborate with other successful IoT communities.

We will plan to do another survey next year. Feel free to leave any comments or thoughts on how we can improve it.

This post originally appeared here.

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