There are many, many services available that have been designed for storing, connecting, configuring and visualizing your IoT projects. From giant corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, to smaller, IoT-focused companies like PubNub, Initial State and Adafruit, you’re likely to find that many of the services you need have already been built, allowing you to focus more on your project rather than designing, building and maintaining a complete service infrastructure. Even if you want to host your own data, there are open source IoT platforms that allow you to self host your entire service infrastructure, much like privately hosting your own database or web servers.
Like transports and protocols, choosing the right service providers will depend a lot on your project requirements. What’s “best” can depend on whether you’re looking to create a personal project, quickly iterate on a prototype, manage an industrial deployment, or support the needs of a popular consumer product.
Most of the services currently available have been designed with one or more of these needs in mind, and can be roughly divided into the following categories:
- analytics and data visualization
- prototype-friendly infrastructure
- hardware-specific end to end solutions
- and large scale infrastructure
Even if you end up changing your mind, there’s a good chance another service out there will support your transport and protocol, so you don’t have to start all over.
Let’s take a look at some examples of each.