Azure Functions as watchdog for missing telemetry or devices

Once you are working with the Azure IoT platform, there comes a moment where you want to add notifications.

In a previous blog, we looked at how to send notifications when telemetry values did not match certain ranges. Although this is great, there are even more cases where we want notifications.

Here I am referring to watchdog functionality. When no telemetry is arriving anymore or devices are disconnected, the complete IoT platform is not working as designed. So we want to be informed when something fails.

In this blog, we will build a simple watchdog using Azure Functions.

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Test the protocol availability of your Azure IoT Hub

Yesterday I discovered this little gem on Github. This NodeJS tool is advertised as:

“This tool is provided to help diagnose issues with a device connecting to Azure IoT Hubs.”

What it basically does, is calling your IoT Hub and trying to make a connection using Ping, AMQP, AMQP-WS, HTTPS and MQTT. It just checks the availability.

This is the outcome of a typical call:

I can think of calling your service once or more times every day, to check the availability.

What do I have to do for this to get it running?

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Working with the IoT Hub using Azure Command Line Interface (CLI 2.0)

In my previous blog, I introduced you to the Azure Command Line Interface (CLI). We ended with creating a resource group just to show how easy it is to create it using nothing more than the command line.

From there, large parts of Azure are available using the CLI, including the IoT Platform.

In this blog, we dive deeper into the world of CLI and we will see how easy it is to manage devices. The tag line is ‘Connect, monitor, and control millions of IoT assets’. Let’s start with just one…

So let’s proceed where we left at the previous blog, let’s create an IoT Hub inside the newly created resource group.

Continue reading “Working with the IoT Hub using Azure Command Line Interface (CLI 2.0)”

Azure Stream Analytics job exposes IoT Hub values

Whenever I build a new IoT solution in Azure, I have to build this service chain. I have to connect a string of services like IoT Hub, Stream Analytics Job, Event Hub and Azure Function to have a quick insight in the telemetry coming in.

Today I found out a little feature which saves me a lot of time and now lesser data must be put in the telemetry.

I was under the assumption that a Stream Analytics job just handled plain (json) messages from their input. Now I am able to pinpoint the device the telemetry is coming from, for free, using a nifty feature of the IoT Hub!

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Azure IoT Hub video’s at Microsoft Ignite Australia 2015

One of my biggest resources of knowledge about Software Development is Channel 9 from Microsoft.

My second best source is visiting meeting, seminars, events, etc. But this is not always possible 🙂

fatfight3 Get it on Windows 10

But MSFT is so kind to provide video’s from sessions presented at their  events. And recently they had an Ignite in Australia.

Here is a slide from one of them with all the IoT sessions.


I looked them up and these are the links:

Internet of Your Things: Starting with the end in mind (video)

Windows IoT, UWP and the Remote Wiring API (Video) (Sourcecode)

Windows 10 for IoT: What is it and how do you develop for it (Just the PPT)

Connecting Your Devices to the Azure IoT Hub (video)

Seamless bi-directional communication between devices and Azure IoT Hub via Azure IoT Protocol Gateway (video)

But the video “Create the Internet of your things: The Microsoft IoT Suite” from Ulrich Homann is missing. Can somebody call him to get it fixed? Thanks. (perhaps this session from may 2015 has the same information?)

The reason to put the links here is because the search engine of Channel 9 would not provide these as a collection. It is a good thing some presenters take time to put a slide like this one in their presentation.

Update: The video “Windows 10 for IoT” is now not actually shown at which is the wrong Channel 9 page. The advertisement image is shown (MOB324) which seems to be the first still from the High-definition video. So download that one (it’s 3+ Gb) and you can enjoy MOB324.

Update 2: There is another video from Ignite in may 2015 about the Alljoyn / Allseen commitment. In my opinion Alljoyn is brilliant for accessing devices over the local network using this consumer/producer relationship.