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IBM Launches Internet of Things Developer Community

31 Jul, 2015

IBM remains active in its quest for developer support for the IBM Cloud by launching a cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) developer community. According to Darryl K. Taft in eWeek, a week after launching a broad-based community destination for cloud developers focusing on open-source technologies—IBM developerWorks Open—Big Blue has announced a new community aimed at Internet of things (IoT) developers.

Says Taft: IBM's new IBM developerWorks Recipes community is designed to help developers—from novice to experienced—quickly and easily learn how to connect Internet of things (IoT) devices to the cloud and how to use data coming from those connected devices. Users of developerWorks Recipes can tap into IBM's Bluemix platform as a service (PaaS) to implement step-by-step tutorials for embedding advanced analytics and machine learning into IoT devices and applications.

Industry research firm Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and that number will reach 25 billion by 2020. Research firm IoT Analytics ranked IBM No. 1 in IoT investment based on IBM's launch of an IoT business unit and its pledge to invest $3 billion into it.

According to IoT Analytics, IBM—with that huge $3 billion commitment—is now No. 1 in the world in IoT investment, followed by Google, Intel, Microsoft and Cisco Systems. Apple, SAP, Oracle, Samsung and Hewlett-Packard round out the top 10.

"IBM has long been a leader in offering innovative tools for developers to create the applications of our future. Now, IBM is expanding that focus so anyone—from the software novice to the experienced hardware engineer—can easily and quickly access materials providing guidance in the creation, management and connection of IoT devices to each other and the cloud," said Christopher O'Connor, general manager of IoT offerings at IBM, in a statement. "With developerWorks Recipes, IBM provides easy access to new analytics and operational insight capabilities that tap into the vast data from many connected devices, home appliances or cars."

Examples of what IBM is hoping to help developers do include understanding vehicle performance by analyzing data from its onboard diagnostic system, linking real-time machine condition monitoring with IBM asset management to monitor everything from the health of household appliances to wheels on a railroad car, and spotting trends, and obtaining solutions to common problems through graphical representation of historical and real-time data from IoT devices.

IBM is leading with Bluemix to entice developers to the IBM Cloud platform. By helping users connect their IoT devices to Bluemix, IBM is helping them run advanced analytics, utilize machine learning and tap into additional Bluemix services. For example, data storage, predictive modeling and geospatial analytics can help users better understand the data on their devices and also help to accelerate the IoT ecosystem.

"Developers just can't be experts on each new 'thing' that gets added to the IoT," said Jone Rasmussen, general manager at IoT developer tool startup Bitreactive, in a statement. "To control costs of IoT projects, developers need easy, repeatable ways to quickly extract data from devices. IBM developerWorks Recipes is the perfect platform to do just that. It brings the embedded and cloud developer communities together in one place. Any cloud IoT developer can now easily find and reuse our templates for producing intelligent data at the edge of the network. With developerWorks Recipes, IBM shows it understands what's needed to make developers' lives easier."

Daniel Quant, vice president of product management at MultiTech Systems, said for the longest time, companies have been building their machine-to-machine and IoT applications essentially from scratch. "IBM developerWorks Recipes enables companies to leverage the hard lessons learned by other developers in order to simplify the process—a goal to which MultiTech has been committed for more than 40 years. IBM is helping to enable us and our customers to connect devices quickly and with security features to the IBM Cloud—with the ultimate goal of transforming our business processes and efficiencies."

Tony Milbourn, vice president of corporate strategy at u-blox, said IBM's new community will help reduce risk for IoT developers. Headquartered in Thalwil, Switzerland, u-blox creates wireless semiconductors and modules for consumer, automotive and industrial markets.

"The ecosystems around the IoT are complex and that complexity makes it more difficult for companies to get the true business benefits from IoT," Milbourn said. "To cut through this complexity, particularly in the Internet of Things that Really Matter, u-blox has combined its robust cellular, short-range and positioning products and solutions with IBM's deep data analytics and management capabilities in the IBM Bluemix cloud platform. developerWorks Recipes brings recipes, tools and prototypes that show customers the benefits, support ease of deployment, and most importantly provide information about how to best reduce risk. The combination of IBM and u-blox is ideal for key global players in the automotive, industrial and professional markets."

In March, IBM said it was building a cloud-based open platform to help customers and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions. The company also said it was creating new IBM IoT cloud services to drive insights into business operations. More than 2,000 IBM consultants, researchers and developers are working on the IoT initiative.

 "Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, in a statement. "IBM will enable clients and industry partners to apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform. This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it's a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters."

 Last week, IBM launched developerWorks Open, a cloud-based environment for developers to access emerging IBM technologies and technical expertise and to collaborate with a global network to accelerate projects. IBM also said it would release 50 projects to the open-source community to help speed enterprise adoption and spur a new class of cloud innovations around mobile, analytics and other growth areas. The company made the announcement at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2015 conference in Portland, Ore.

"IBM firmly believes that open source is the foundation of innovative application development in the cloud," said Dr. Angel Diaz, IBM vice president of Cloud Architecture and Technology, in a statement. "With developerWorks Open, we are open sourcing additional IBM innovations that we feel have the potential to grow community and ecosystem and eventually become established technologies."

On developerWorks Open, developers can download code and access blogs, videos, tools and techniques to accelerate their efforts.

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