IoT connectivity platform now available

SORACOM Air, SORACOM Beam… What comes next?

SORACOM Air, SORACOM Beam… What comes next?
Yesterday we announced that our cloud-native IoT connectivity platform, SORACOM, is now available in the U.S. We are already working with a wide range of launch partners and thrilled to begin connecting a huge number of things in the U.S. to the cloud through our platform. We also know how quickly the IoT space is evolving, and so we are equally thrilled to be expanding our suite of services as quickly as we expand our global footprint.

When we launched SORACOM one year ago, we began with just two services: SORACOM Air, our foundational over-the-air connectivity service; and SORACOM Beam, a data transfer support service that leverages cloud resources to minimize resource load on connected devices.

We have added more services since then but our goal has not changed. We deliver secure, scalable, IoT connectivity (SORACOM Air) and core services (like SORACOM Beam) so that our customers can keep their own focus squarely on innovation. That is what we mean by our slogan “You create. We connect.” on our website. To that end, we launched four additional services in January 2016 and two more in July.

The services we offer are categorised as follows. On top of the data communication or connectivity layer offered by SORACOM Air, we have Network services and Application Integration services.

Application Integration services
Network services let customers build secure private networks for their IoT devices and servers. SORACOM prepares a virtual private gateway and makes it possible for them to connect their devices and servers without going through the public Internet.

Application services help developers implement their applications more easily. In addition to SORACOM Beam we offer SORACOM Funnel, which transfers data directly to customer cloud resources such as Amazon Kinesis and Microsoft EventHub, and SORACOM Endorse, which extends SIM card authentication to external applications such as website and wifi hotspot authentication.

If you arrange the names of these services by launch date, you might notice a pattern in the naming.

Name pattern for Soracom Services
Yes, the service names are in the alphabetical order! And yes, you are correct to assume that the newest SORACOM service will follow this convention. Today, we announce a new member in our service portfolio: SORACOM Harvest!

Where Soracom Harvest fits in
SORACOM Harvest is one of Application Integration services that makes it easy for our customers to collect and store data from their connected devices.

Although SORACOM Beam and Funnel help send data from devices to backend servers and/or cloud resources, we often get feedback from customers seeking an even simpler way to collect and store data for future as-needed retrieval.

SORACOM Harvest addresses this directly, offering a data collection endpoint and managed data storage for connected devices. When a device sends data to the data collection endpoint, additional metadata is automatically set and data is indexed and stored for 40 days.

The user can query data sent from devices using the SORACOM cloud side API. Since data is automatically indexed with the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of the sender’s SIM and sorted based on timestamp, the user can easily utilize the data in their applications.

a diagram of how it works
The data collection endpoint supports HTTP and TCP/UDP raw sockets, allowing devices to send data with minimal overhead. Also, since each data entry sent by a device is recognised by SORACOM and indexed with IMSI and timestamp, a device does not need its own precise clock or authentication credentials to authenticate itself to its backend server.

Moreover, the user console has built-in support for data stored with JSON format. So if your device sends data in JSON key value map, the data is automatically visualised on the console. The feature makes it a lot easier for developers to monitor data originating from devices.

inside SORACOM Harvest
To start using SORACOM Harvest and view data sent from devices on SORACOM user console.

  1. Enable SORACOM Harvest on your SIM card,
  2. Send data from a device, and
  3. Click on the SIM card on user console and see the data in a nice graphical user interface.

Check out our getting started guide to walk through the new service!

As I mentioned in the above, SORACOM Harvest was born from customer feedback. It is not just one such example. We develop services and features based on what we hear from the customers.

What we do is not easy, but it is simple: We listen to customers, identify what the platform should offer in common, implement minimum viable product and release it to customers to get more feedback to learn from. We continuously run this loop in our development work. We believe that is the best way for us to improve our platform that accelerates development of innovative IoT applications.

Please do try out our platform and give us your feedback!

“You create. We connect.”

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