Microsoft Azure IoT Edge – preview

Microsoft Azure IoT Edge – preview

Some weeks ago, the preview version of the Azure IoT Edge is made available. This software of Microsoft runs on Edge devices, like Linux or Windows. It brings some power of cloud computing to local Edge devices.

Why do you need an Edge Device ?

  1. Can be regulations that data cannot leave the country
  2. You need analytics near the device; for example when you have a Machine Learning model that predicts when a machine will be broken, you need to act fast. If you do this via the cloud, this can take too much time
  3. Internet; if you don’t have a good internet connection. For example slow connection on boring- or oil platforms. Then you can use the power of your Edge device at the plant and sync X time per day with the cloud.
  4. Do local things; for example you need to enable lights in a building, you don’t want to do this via the cloud, but want to have a direct connection to the light (also when the internet is down)
  5. ….

I have working for a year now with the (preview) IoT Edge software of Microsoft and this new version is really a huge step in the right direction:

Management from the Azure Portal!

You can now manage some things of the IoT Edge directly from the Azure portal.


Within the Azure IoT Hub you have now an IoT Edge(preview) button Here you can create (just like a sensor) new IoT Edge devices. You can create just one, or deploy several Edge Devices in once (IoT Edge deployment). You can manage here your modules of every Edge device and see how the runtime status is.


This concept was already in the first version, but the management of modules is totally different now. You can now manage them directly from the Azure portal. You can just upload your modules in de portal and it will directly deployed to the edge device:



The core of the Edge is free (and management of the Edge), you just need to have an Azure IoT Hub. You have the pay for the modules you use, like Stream Analytics, ML etc.:


Things I am missing or can’t find

  • Triggers when a device is down; I want to use the standard Azure alerts to trigger if an Edge device if offline for example. Yes you can program this in the Edge itself, but it would be great if I can use these Azure alerts.
  • Remote management; could be great when I complety get access to my Edge device (Windows or Linux) from Azure. Then I will have one entrance for the management of my IoT Edge devices
  • Start and stop a module on a Edge device in the Azure Portal.

New Windows 10 IoT Core insider build

New Windows 10 IoT Core insider build

Today Microsoft released a new build for Windows 10 IoT Core. Great new feature is that Cortana is enabled! Here the full list with new functionality / fixes:

New this build:

  • Cortana feature has been enabled.
  • The Dragonboard BSP in the provided FFU has been updated to the new build.
  • The Windows Device Portal (WDP/Web Management) has been extended to add a quick run portal for IoT Samples.
  • A fix was made to the Class Extensions for Hardware Notification (hwnclx) and USB Function (usbfnclx) packages so that they would be included in the default IoT Core images.
  • Changes were made to IoTShell to enable waiting for PPKG provisioned package installation to complete.
  • Updates were made to the GPIO Interrupt Buffer API.
  • Changes were made to Applyupdate.exe to add the blockrebooton/blockrebootoff flags.
  • A fix was made to the power state API to ensure the wakeup timer is cancelled upon exiting from connected standby.
  • Universal Write Filter (UWF) has been added as an option to the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD).
  • The BluetoothLE stack has been updated to address the issues seen when calling GattDeviceService.GetCharacteristics.
  • Issues with NanoRDP connecting have been addressed.

Known Issues:

  • The package version for some inbox applications may not match the installed version.
  • Store applications are not being serviced when in use or set as the default application.
  • NanoRDP does not render correctly on some platforms.
  • When multiple audio devices are present on the board audio routing changes may not persist across boots.
  • The MinnowBoard Max firmware 0.93 has a known issue which can lead to network connectivity failure.


How to use the Particle Photon with the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

How to use the Particle Photon with the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

I use the Particle Photon devices a lot in prototype project. It’s a small WiFi board (like the ESP 8X series).


I used several libraries on the particle cloud to use the Azure IoT hub. These libraries were build based on the Azure IoT SDK. But since several weeks Particle released an Azure IoT Connector on the Particle cloud. It’s still a beta function. But as a user you can send the data from the Particle Photon to the Particle Cloud. When the data has a specific name, the Particle Cloud will sent this data to the Azure IoT Hub.

Take the following steps to get this working.

1. Login to the Particle Cloud

2. Click on the integration button (the latest button) and select ‘New Integration’


3. Select the Azure IoT Hub


4. Configure the settings of your hub


5. Save and continu and the Particle Cloud is connected to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. Now you can create your code on the Particle Photon to sent data to the Azure IoT Hub.

Below the example you can add in your Particle Photon device.

void loop() {
  // Get some data
  String data = String(10);
  // Trigger the integration
  Particle.publish("datafield", data, PRIVATE);
  // Wait 60 seconds

Run the code and the messages will flow from the Particle Cloud:


and then to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub! How simple is this!

Connect a Sigfox IoT device to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

Connect a Sigfox IoT device to  the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

Since this week I have a Arduino Sigfox Snootlab IoT device connected to the ‘real’ Sigfox Backend system.(before I used an other backend system of Snootlab). With a device like this you can monitor anywhere in the Netherlands (IoT network) for example if a trashcan is full or not.

One of the reasons for doing this move to the Sigfox Backend system, is that I want to have an integration between the Sigfox IoT network and the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. The Azure IoT Hub that we are using a lot in our IoT projects at Winvision. Since a couple of weeks Sigfox has a ‘connector’ to connect your IoT device to the Microsoft Azure IoT hub, and it’s really simple. In this small tutorial I will explain how it works.

First of all, if you are using the Akene board(like below) with Arduino, here you can find the library for the board.

Sigfox Akene Arduino board
Sigfox Akene Arduino board

First of all go to the Sigfox backend:

Here you see all your Sigfox connected devices. Click on the name to get the details of the device.

Devicelist in Sigfox Backend

On the right top you can find a New button, where you can create a new callback to another system.


Select the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

Select Azure IoT Hub

After selecting the Microsoft Azure IoT hub you get in the screen where you only need to fill two configurations items(and that’s it!)

Configuration screen of the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

You need to fill in the Connection string of your IoT Hub (you can find this in de Microsoft Azure Portal) I choose the iothubowner connection string.

After that you need a JSON body for receiving the right data (and you can use off course use your custom data)

“device” : “{device}”,
“data” : “{data}”,
“time” : {time},
“duplicate” : {duplicate},
“snr” : {snr},
“station” : “{station}”,
“avgSignal” : {avgSnr},
“lat” : {lat},
“lng” : {lng},
“rssi” : {rssi},
“seqNumber” : {seqNumber}

Click save and that’s it 🙂 !

Turn your Arduino device on and it will send the data to Sigfox and Sigfxo will send it to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub.

To test if your data is received by the Azure IoT Hubyou can off course use Azure Stream Analytics with Microsoft Power BI. But for this post I just use the Iot-hub Explorer

With this tool you can see the messages that the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub is receiving in realtime.

Below you see the data of my device 77D3C on the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. I have made the keys red. And it’s working!

IoT Hub Explorer screen

Afer all Sigfox made it really SIMPLE to connect you Sigfox IoT device to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub!

Power BI Nofication Center

Power BI Nofication Center

For Internet of Things projects I use a lot Microsoft Power BI to display the telemetry of sensors of predictions from Azure Machine Learning. One thing that was always difficult when I share (or somebody shared) a dashboard with somebody else, you didn’t get any notification in Microsoft Power BI. But that changed with the Power BI Notification Center. In the menu of Power BI you see a new icon with new and old notifications:

Microsoft Power BI Notification Center
Microsoft Power BI Notification Center

The great thing with Power BI that is available on all platforms (like iOS). The notifications are shown on all platforms! See below for a iPhone screenshot:

Microsoft Power BI Notifications on the iPhone
Microsoft Power BI Notifications on the iPhone

In the menu you will also see the history of all notifications. In the future more types of notifications will be available!