Guide to IOT Dashboards and Platforms

mqtt-dashboardIOT dashboards are essential for visualizing IOT data, and controlling IOT devices.

A Dashboard is a crucial component of any IOT platform.



IOT Platforms

An IOT platform is an hardware and software system for managing IOT devices and collecting, storing, visualising and analysing data from those devices.

There are many IOT platforms on the market, and the functionality of these platforms varies enormously.

Although All IOT platform will have a dashboard to display data some platforms are essentially a dashboard and are only really capable of displaying data from devices.

Dashboards vs Platforms

You will often find the terms Dashboard and platform used interchangeably.

An IOT Dashboard can be considered as a basic IOT platform

A Dashboard can Usually

  • Display data
  • Control devices

However an IOT platform can Usually

  • Collect data from various sources
  • Store data
  • Control Devices
  • Display Data
  • Run Tests
  • Deploy device updates
  • Manage device Inventory

Open Source or Proprietary

Both open source and proprietary platforms are available but open source platforms are likely to predominate.

Cloud or Local Platforms

Some platforms are available as cloud only solutions- Platform as a Service whereas others are available for local installation on your own hardware.

Enterprise and Medium/Small Business

Large vendors like IBM and SAP will focus on large organisations.

Just as happened with the web. Many Platforms targeted at small to medium sized businesses will be available and it is likely that a “WordPress” type IOT platform will eventually emerge and dominate.

Current Platforms and Usage

Thingsboard -ThingsBoard is an open-source IoT platform for device management, data collection, processing and visualization for your IoT projects

Thingstream -Thingstream’s intelligent Global Connectivity Platform provides low power, low cost, ubiquitous IoT connectivity via MQTT over GSM.

ThingWorx– ThingWorx delivers tools and technologies that empower businesses to rapidly develop and deploy powerful industrial IoT applications and augmented reality (AR) experiences.

Thingspeak -ThingSpeak is the open IoT platform with MATLAB analytics.

Wolkabout – IoT Application Enablement Platform that integrates any device, transforms real-time readings into meaningful data and combines different devices and services into a complete IoT solution.

IOTgo -IoTgo is an open source IoT platform, like WordPress, ZenCart and all other open source software, you can deploy your own IoTgo cloud platform.

kaa -Kaa is an open-source IoT platform for device management, data collection, analytics and visualization, remote control, software updates and more.

 

MQTT Dashboards

These are dashboards that support the MQTT protocol and can be used to display data from MQTT devices.

Node-RedOpen source Node js based platform for flow based programming. Device management using the node-red UI.

It can be used both for data monitoring, and device control.

This article is a good introduction to node-red. Here is the Github page.

Note: I expect this list will grow considerably in the future.

Thingsboard Open source data visualization and device management. Open source Apache license. Available as cloud service or to install on local hardware.

There is a good introductory YouTube video here

See Creating an MQTT Dashboard Using Thingsboard

Freeboard.io – Open source -Very popular but doesn’t currently support MQTT out of the box

However there is an MQTT data source plugin available here.

Available as a service but also available from Github

Looking through the Github page it doesn’t seem to be being actively developed.

Android Based MQTT Dashboards and Device Control

These are very useful for viewing and controlling individual devices and small systems.

Note: you can see an example of using MQTT Dashboard in the controllable sensor tutorial

Summary

The IOT Platform and Dashboard market is still very new and is developing rapidly and by 2023 is expected to reach $23 billion. –IOT Analytics

Just as with Operating systems one or two main platform will eventually dominate the market.

However I would expect that because of the breadth of the IOT market there will be IOT platforms for specific industries like manufacturing, cars, health care,smart home etc.

Resource Articles:

Related Turorials

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8 comments

    1. Yes it can use RPC to control devices but I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve amended the noteshttps://thingsboard.io/docs/reference/mqtt-api/#rpc-api

      1. Yes. Actually I want to make my own iot platform but I dont know exactly which broker I have to use and also how to connect that to the web site?

          1. i used thingsboard but i want to develop my own custom iot platform
            i dont want to use thingsboard.

          2. I think I understand what you mean.
            The broker can be any broker so long as the web app uses MQTT. I think that thngsboard is node.js based and node has an mqtt module.
            If you look at other dashboards like crouton that also uses mode.js. You can download the crouton source from github and that should give you an idea of how they have done it.

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