Author: James Butcher, Edge Xpert Product Manager | IOTech
IOTech Announces Edge Xpert 1.7 - The latest version of its open edge computing platform with an additional focus on ease-of-use and connectivity for the edge.
I am delighted to announce that the latest version of IOTech’s Edge Xpert open edge computing platform is now released and available to download and deploy.
Edge Xpert 1.7 is another leap forward in both the usability of the product and further expansion of the edge connectivity options provided out-of-the-box.
The main aim of Edge Xpert is to make life easy for developers of IoT edge solutions. It is an edge computing platform that enables the simple integration of OT and IT systems with a number of connectivity and edge computing features delivered as standard. It is a testament to the endeavours of the IOTech engineering team that so many new features and enhancements have been added since the last version, despite the obvious restrictions and changes to working practices brought about by Covid-19.
Easier to Use and New Tooling
Easy to use software equates to reduced development time and ultimately helps gets solutions to market quicker. In this release, we’ve really tried to focus on improving usability as much as possible. Edge Xpert already lets you collect data from different edge devices via configuration (called Device Profiles), rather than needing to write any code. To further simplify and save the user even more time, we’ve created a Device Profile Modeling tool that makes this job even smoother.
We’ve also been working hard on expanding the product documentation and adopted a new docs engine to present everything more clearly. Install Edge Xpert and take a look, I think you’ll like the improvements.
On the connectivity side, IOTech is known as experts in the field of industrial OT protocols. Alongside all the previously available connectors, this release adds new support for EtherNet/IP, OPC-UA Publish/Subscribe and CANopen. We’ve also added a REST device connector. While REST is usually more prevalent on the northbound side, this new connector enables REST-based devices and subsystems to easily integrate with the platform. With this detailed set of connectors, we are confident we have a solution to most edge connectivity requirements.
Cameras and Videos
A new and exciting area of development for us is our connectivity options for smart IP-based cameras. Our new ‘ONVIF’ device service allows users to integrate a whole range of cameras and other security devices into Edge Xpert. This will be a huge growth area for edge computing and we’re delighted to be part of that. Watch out for more updates here shortly.
Edge IoT systems often work in conjunction with a Cloud strategy. This release of Edge Xpert adds Kafka alongside MQTT and REST as communication options northbound. We have also added out-of-the-box support for IBM Watson IoT to complete the pre-integrated support for the ‘Big-4’ Clouds (AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure and IBM). The new northbound Application SDK means Edge Xpert users can be integrate to pretty much any IT system or communication mechanism.
EdgeX Foundry 'Geneva' Release
Finally, let me mention that this release incorporates a lot of new updates from the EdgeX Foundry – the baseline open-source platform from which Edge Xpert is based. EdgeX release 1.2 codenamed ‘Geneva’ includes the following features which are now also available in Edge Xpert:
- New lightweight Go-based rules microservice in the form of EMQ’s Kuiper rules engine
- Dynamic device provisioning capability enabling protocols that support discovery to automatically onboard devices
- Alternate and pluggable messaging support between the EdgeX microservices (use MQTT or ZeroMQ if you like)
- Better security with secrets stored per microservice
We are very proud of the comprehensive edge computing platform that Edge Xpert has become. Thanks to all of the engineering effort that has gone into this release. You can see at a glance all of the available features here.
Download Edge Xpert here and let me know the feedback.