Developers out there know Particle as a company that makes connected boards, and that is certainly part of their business. But, they’re also bringing IoT to maturity with an entire development, deployment, and maintenance platform that scales all the way up to the enterprise level by design. Today at Spectra, Particle’s annual conference, they’ve announced three new products designed to streamline enterprise-level IoT development.
The Particle IoT Rules Engine is a visual drag-and-drop IoT application builder. While many veteran programmers scoff at the idea of visual programming, it’s a great solution when you take pride out of the equation. You could spend hours writing a simple IoT application, or you can use the IoT Rules Engine to drop a few blocks into place and be done in minutes.
That works thanks to the nature of IoT, and because of the Particle team’s thorough understanding of the hardware involved. When you look at them from a high level, the vast majority of IoT devices follow simple “if this, then that” flows. If the temperature goes higher than 75°, turn the air conditioning on. If the temperature doesn’t go back down, notify maintenance. The logic trees are straightforward, and represented visually with ease.
The hard part of IoT application development is in the nitty-gritty details, like reading and processing sensor data or integrating third-party APIs. That’s where the Particle team’s experience comes into play. Their building blocks take care of those details for you. And, because the IoT Rules Engine is built on IBM’s popular Node-RED tool, thousands of logic snippets developed by the community are readily available for you to use.
Sometimes, however, you still want a full-fledged development environment. Particle Workbench is a cross-platform desktop development environment powered by Microsoft Visual Studio Code that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s a complete code editor that includes everything you’d expect from a modern tool, including Particle hardware-specific debugging tools.
With Particle Workbench, you have access to more than 3,000 official libraries, plus another 8,000+ extensions in the Visual Studio Marketplace. It has features you’d expect like intelligent autocomplete via Intellisense and local compilation. You won’t have to code in one editor and then deploy the code in a separate interface anymore, you can do it all from Particle Workbench.
The groundbreaking new Particle Mesh development boards that we covered a few months ago are now shipping to pre-order customers, and are available to purchase. Those are fantastic for maker builds, small-scale deployments, and enterprise prototypes. But, for high-volume production, enterprise developers want system on a modules (SoMs).
Particle is launching two new mesh-ready SoMs: the A Series and the B Series. The A Series is similar to the Particle Mesh Argon development board, and has onboard Wi-Fi and mesh networking. The B Series is more like the Particle Mesh Boron, and includes built-in LTE and mesh networking. Both modules share the characteristics of their bigger brothers, but without the relatively large breakout board and pins. That makes them perfect for use in mass production.