We like to say that if you don't know ThingWorx you don't know M2M. There is good reason, in my opinion, to say this. From a certain perspective connecting M2M endpoints (those "things" in Internet of Things, or IoT) is the easy end of it. But once they are connected, then what? Well, in some cases it's all about collecting endless streams of data and spotting the one thing in that stream that you need to know about right away - an alert for example, with some data relevant to that alert.
In other cases, you need to build out more complex applications - and you need to build them out quickly and efficiently. As well, the ability to test, tweak and quickly redeploy is also critical. And this is where ThingWorx becomes indispensable. We've previously outlined the core ThingWorx platform capabilities. ThingWorx claims to reduce application development efforts by as much as 10x and customers have confirmed this to us. Now, ThingWorx has upped the bar with today's announcement of the availability of version 4.0 of the platform.
First and foremost, v4.0 introduces the ThingWorx Composer. This is essentially a unified HTML5-based development environment that offers an interesting alternative for building and deploying ThingWorx applications.
With Composer, developers, IT specialists, and business analysts can quickly model the connectivity, data storage, collaboration, business logic, and security required for connecting smart “things,” and then use these elements to create rich, interactive applications without writing code using the ThingWorx drag-and-drop Mashup Builder. These development tools work to further reduce the time required to build and deploy new user experiences. It should improve on the claimed 10x speed advantage already claimed by ThingWorx.
We'll need to chat with ThingWorx customers here to confirm that, but either way, HTML5 certainly lowers the bar for the types of developer skill sets companies are likely to need to develop their apps. This in itself is likely to further reduce development costs.
Additional new features include:
-The ability to build and integrate context aware search - through the platform's Integrated Search feature - directly into applications and runtimes.
-The ability for developers to simply and automatically add edge devices, machines, and systems to ThingWorx applications with nearly zero effort through new Device Browsing capabilities.
-Newly expanded capabilities for integration with a variety of enterprise CRM and ERP systems, big data analytics tools and public web services.
-ThingWorx already regularly works with partners to integrate its platform with partner platforms. With v4.0, ThingWorx adds an enhanced Extensibility Toolkit that further adds to the ability of partners, customers, and OEMs to extend their platforms through ThingWorx. This is an important means to ThingWorx expanding its own footprint to the targeted markets of its partners, customers and OEMs.
-New project team development features to improve productivity for distributed development teams. These include chat and online collaboration, audit trail documentation and configuration management.
-New connectivity extensions provide integration to M2M and industrial protocols such as, among others, MQTT, OData, OPC, Modbus and Zigbee/ZWave.
ThingWorx v4.0 further enhances the advantage of participating the ThingWorx Ready program that allows both hardware and software companies to pre-integrate their products with ThingWorx - such as, for example, ThingWorx partner Libelium has done.
ThingWorx' CEO Russ Fadel notes that, "The ThingWorx Ready program combined with the new development and extensibility features in our new platform release definitely reduces the costs and risks of building and delivering connected device, sensor, and IoT applications for customers. "
Speed to market with M2M applications is critical to success. Along with its partners who are able to add their own IP to the mix, v4.0 of ThingWorx and its new HTML5 and other new capabilities definitely raises the bar on M2M development overall.
Edited by Brooke Neuman