The Internet of Things and the Third Wave

Abstract fractal waves, lights and abstract design elements: AVS Integration Blog

The major technological periods in history have often come in waves – from the Stone Age to the Industrial Revolution to the Space Age.

In more modern times, the First Wave (machine to person) occurred with the use of mainframe computer systems for operations management. The Second Wave (person to person) was ushered in with the rise of smartphones and social Internet. We are now poised to enter the Third Wave (machine to machine) with the Internet of Things (IoT).

What does IoT mean for you? It means that items we may have only dreamed of can become reality.  Items once thought as “dumb” – like our homes or our cars – become connected and through that connection, smart.

Here’s a timeline of what your daily routine might look like in the Third Wave:

6am- Your alarm chimes. You exit bed and walk to the bathroom. Since it’s a workday, your presence and time indicates your shower to turn on.

6:05am- Your bed determines that you’re starting your day and instructs the coffee pot to brew. Your thermostat adjusts to make you comfortable downstairs.

6:45am- While you’re drinking coffee, your house reads you the paper. Upon learning the weather is cold, you ask your house to start your car because it’s too cold to walk.

7:00am- Ready to leave, your garage opens and the car—a comfortable 74º F—pulls out automatically.

7:02am- Your watch notifies you that you forgot your medicine, so you run back to the front door and touch the lock, which unlocks and turns off the alarm thanks to biometrics. Medicine in hand, you shut the door and leave—the house automatically locks and sets the alarm.

7:15am- Your normal route to work is congested, so your GPS automatically re-routes. This route takes you past your normal grocery store. Your refrigerator notices this and sends you a notification that you’re out of milk and you defer the notification for later.

7:25-11:55am- Work is relatively uneventful—you receive several notifications from customer machines about low supplies. You double check and ensure that the technicians have already confirmed their supply shipments.

12:00pm- You take your medication at lunch. By placing a finger on your biometrically secure pill dispensation unit (TAD) you receive a dosage.

5:00pm- On your way home from work, you reroute and stop at the hospital to see your newborn niece. Since your niece was premature, she is connected to a Suck-Swallow-Breathe sensor, collects all of the data about how she is feeding. The data indicates that she will be able to leave the hospital without a feeding tube in the next few days. You add this date to your calendar via your watch.

5:25pm- To your surprise, when you glance at your sister, you notice she’s not hooked to the machines in her room—they’re all reading her vitals wirelessly.

5:45pm- To satisfy your refrigerator, you make a stop at the store for milk and dinner on your way home. At the register, you have your watch tell the house turn your oven on to preheat. Also, you pay at the register by placing a finger on the fingerprint reader and confirm the charge.

5:47pm- Your car notifies you that it will take you 10 minutes to arrive home. Your house responds by adjusting your lighting and the temperature. Upon pulling into the driveway, your garage opens and your car pulls into the garage as you walk to your door. Your car docks itself, begins charging and runs a diagnostic of the car’s operating systems, which is sent to its manufacturer and your mechanic.

10:00pm- The house receives notification that your car needs maintenance; however, your house determines you’ve fallen asleep. It, therefore, defers the notification until morning and schedules a car service to pick you up for work so a technician can work on your car.

To learn more about what we could expect from the third wave, continue reading in our article: Welcome to the Third Wave.

Within the next decade, you should expect all of these things to be widely accepted parts of society. As the Third Wave of technology crests, ensure that your company keeps up, contact our innovative IoT solutions specialists at Ad Victoriam Solutions.

Unlocking Affordable and Scalable Hybrid Cloud Integration

In this article, we will focus on how using Azure Logic Apps can provide an effective and affordable iPaaS solution for companies of any size.

Companies today, large and small, are using a mixture of on premise and SaaS applications to run their business.  Systems such as an ERP, POS, or a home-grown application will live within the company’s four walls, while services such as Salesforce, QuickBooks Online, and Office 365 will live in a cloud based environment.

One of the challenges that many companies face is integrating on-premise and cloud systems, so that data can flow between the two systems and prevent duplication or inconsistencies.

Introducing the Azure Enterprise Cloud Solution

Microsoft Azure, the cloud platform from Microsoft, provides what is called an “Integration Platform as a Service” (or iPaaS) to integrate across enterprise and cloud systems.  With Azure’s cloud based suite of integration tools and services, companies can connect disparate systems, automate processes, and integrate with partners using hybrid cloud solutions (on-premise to SaaS, SaaS to SaaS, PaaS to SaaS, etc.).  As with all of the Azure offerings, their iPaaS tools provide enterprise-class solutions with ability to scale up and down with the company’s needs, allowing companies to pay only for what is utilized.

Azure Logic Apps are part of the iPaaS tool suite, and makes integrating disparate data sources achievable, scalable, and affordable.  Many connectors are provided free of charge to allow the Logic App to connect different SaaS systems (list of available connectors), and you have the ability to create your own connectors as well.  These connectors provide the ability to trigger a Logic App to run, and they are also used to perform actions (or operations) within that Logic App.

Example Case Study

As an example scenario, let’s say that we would like to integrate Salesforce Accounts into an on-premise ERP system, and provide a two-way integration.  The first Logic App would be created using the Salesforce connector, with the trigger of “When an Object is created/updated” using the object class Account, and the action would be to send an API call to the on-premise ERP system to update the Customer record associated with the Salesforce Account.  The second Logic App would be created in the reverse order, listening for new/updated Customers from the ERP, and using the Salesforce connector to push that change to Salesforce.  This would provide near real-time integration between Salesforce and the ERP system for Accounts and Customers.

This real world scenario is just a simple example of how the Azure iPaaS can provide an affordable and scalable integration solution for on-premise and cloud systems.  For more information on hybrid cloud solutions and how they can solve your integration challenges, please contact Ad Victoriam Solutions, or call (77) 691-1642 and ask for Eric Philips.

Why Communication is Key: Integrating Your Data

Bringing various applications to effectively work together to enhance your business operations can be complex. Data integration solutions from AdVictoriam.

Your business uses many applications and software already to bring in useful data to grow and better serve your customers. These applications, though they can be very different, can also work together to bring you even more success in learning your market, expanding your business, and making sense of the mountain of data. All of this is done through data integration.

According to IBM, data integration is the process of combining “data from disparate sources into meaningful and valuable information.” The data gathered from one application can easily be translated to any other application instantly, connecting all of the software your business uses with one another in a way that keeps up with how businesses work in this day and age.

Faster Access

By utilizing data integration, every bit of data your business receives on a daily basis is available on all platforms instantly, eliminating the hassle of switching back and forth to view, analyze, and act on the data collected.

Faster Decision-Making

With the implementation of data integration, and the faster access mentioned above, comes the ability to make business decisions many times faster than was previously possible, letting businesses stay up to date with their market. Data that is integrated and viewable from all sources also offers a more holistic view of your business, allowing decisions to be made based on the whole picture – not just a piece of the pie.

Faster Adjustments

When one piece of data changes within one application, businesses no longer have to enter other enterprise applications to change the data manually. With data integration, these changes and adjustments can be taken care of in moments, making faster turnaround for your business the new reality.

Many say that the first step to efficient data integration is realizing its high importance in the business world. Luckily, Ad Victoriam Solutions offers many data integration options to help your business keep track of its data and maintain beneficial communication between applications. Contact us to find out how we can help your systems and applications communicate better.

Making Integration Simpler with an ESB

Making Integration Simpler with an ESB

For those who are new to the term ESB, here’s a crash course:

Enterprise service bus (ESB) software works to help design and implement a line of communication across various programs that are a part of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) application solution. ESB applications are used most frequently as a part of enterprise application integration (EAI), which allows for the creation of heterogeneous and even complex application landscapes across the cloud. Additionally, ESB has become an important tool for application integration.

ESBs can be used to facilitate administration, deployment and runtime monitoring, as well as other basic integration functions. The biggest advantage that companies will find using ESBs versus a traditional framework is easier tooling because better tools leads to lower costs and reduced complexity.

There are numerous ESBs on the market, but the two best on the market are Microsoft BizTalk and MuleSoft.

Now that we’ve provided an expedited education about what ESB is and what it does, let’s explore these two popular ESB options a little bit…

Microsoft BizTalk

BizTalk was originally designed to help facilitate communication between businesses (thus the name). It works by storing any message it receives and converting it to a readable format for the user – from any format to any format. The advantage of using BizTalk rather than coding your own program is that it’s guaranteed to work without having to recode if you didn’t plan for a given language.

In terms of using an ESB for integration, BizTalk is tough to beat. It will allow any systems you have in place that don’t play nice with others to bridge together. BizTalk also makes it possible to create your applications in the cloud, making integration between SaaS (Software as a Service) and existing applications seamless. Additionally, BizTalk software allows you to extend the applications you use to mobile devices easily.

A downside of BizTalk that some businesses run into is the program’s size. In this aspect, MuleSoft picks up the slack…

MuleSoft

While BizTalk is a heavy piece of software, MuleSoft is lightweight. But don’t let the size of Mule’s ESB deter you. You can easily start small and scale MuleSoft up to meet your specific needs and requirements. MuleSoft also gives your business the benefit of communicating across applications regardless of whether they’re on the same machine or via the web.

Mule ESB offers adaptive integration, which means the program provides:

  • Smooth integration across any existing infrastructure
  • Ease of use with standing application servers or as a standalone
  • Vender neutral
  • Ability to build the system up with plug-in architecture

MuleSoft is increasingly gaining popularity and traction in the business world due to its scalability and cloud integration features.

Ask the Integration Pros

Here at AVS, we understand that integration is important to your business, and we’re happy to help! We invite you to contact us or browse our blog or for more information about our comprehensive integration, Salesforce® and cloud computing services.