Tracking the location of your IoT Central devices

Recently IoT Central added location tracking.

In the past, it was already possible to add a location to your IoT Central devices. And these locations were shown on a map. But these locations were fixed, part of the device template properties. So it was only present in the metadata.

But now we can pass a location in the telemetry which is produced by your device.

Let’s see how it’s done and how the location is integrated into the various IoT Central dashboards.

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Use FTPS to deploy your WebApp using Azure DevOps

It’s obvious, there is a strong relationship between Microsoft Azure and Azure DevOps.

And that is OK.

One of the most used features by my colleagues is the deployment of WebApps using Azure DevOps continuous integration.

The build pipeline has specific tasks to support this great feature.

You can also see it in the Azure portal when checking out the deployment center of a WebApp:

waftp01

There is one thing you need to know though: you need to have access to the Azure portal to get access to a WebApp.

So I checked out FTP. Yes, this is a simple protocol to move files from ‘A’ to ‘B’.

Secure FTP is supported too by an Azure WebApp:

waftp02

And it already provides a ‘generic’ name and password.

Let’s check out how this works in Azure DevOps.

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C# Unity dependency injection primer

Recently, I got a question on how to start Dependency injection in C#. For those already familiar with DI, this is both a simple and hard question.

Dependency injection is a common technique to make source code more modular and to prevent hardcoded relations between classes. This makes it possible to configure which code to use at runtime. This is also known as ‘injection’.

Below I will show a simple example. It is based on the Unity framework (not related to the Unity 3D modeling editor or game engine). According to this blog, this is the second most popular framework. Choosing the right DI framework for you depends on many factors. I normally choose Unity because this was created by Microsoft (Stay close to the Vorlons).

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When your clone is several commits behind the master

Once in a while, I clone a project just to check out the code, have it compiled or even to request a pull for an update.

That’s ok.

But what if my clone gets stale? What if it is several commits behind the original repository? You see a message like this:

git1

How do you fix it? Is there a hidden button somewhere in the GitHub portal?

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Azure Security Center for IoT on the Edge

During the last Microsoft Build event this year, Microsoft announced support for IoT devices in their Azure Security Center.

This is a potentially interesting solution for checking all your IoT devices for security issues and a centralized way to react to these issues. There are both recommendations and imminent alerts to respond to:

 

asc-for-iot-architecture

It is advertised like this:

“Azure Security Center for IoT provides visibility into the security posture and state of your Azure IoT solution – from devices to applications”

This is a promising solution for the S of security in IoT (yes, there is no security in IoT 🙂 ).

Azure Security Center for IoT is currently in public preview but we can already try out its functionality.

ASC for IoT is presented in the Azure portal as being part of the IoT Hub. There’s a thirty days trial, I have not calculated the costs yet but you can try it out for yourself here.

There is a free tier but the standard tier is much more interesting. We will see that eg. the security event collection is very powerful:

ai-06

In this blog, we check out How we can combine Azure Security Center for IoT with IoT Edge. This seems surprisingly easy.

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Connection a cheap ESP8266 to Azure IoT Central

IoT Central supports multiple devices at this moment if you start a new IoT Central application:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • MXChip Developer kit
  • Windows 10 IoT Core device

iesp-05

But what if you have other types of devices you want to connect?

Luckily, Microsoft offers help in the form of a GitHub repository. These you find the source code for the devices shown above and several other devices.

This repository is a great way if you want to start connecting with IoT Central with:

  • ESP32
  • ESP8266
  • MBED OS 5.X+ basic example
  • HTTP Only

If your device is not shown at the top of this list, you can fall back on HTTP only as long as your device is capable of executing REST calls.

In this blog, we check how well the cheapest device is supported. This is the ESP8266. You can get an ESP8266 for less than three dollars so this is a fun and easy way to start using IoT Central.

nodemcu-lua-cp2102-1

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