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Pelion Device Management (January 2020)

Pelion Device Management

Legacy Device Bridge

Before selecting Pelion as a device management solution, customers may already have deployed IoT devices as part of their previous solutions, or as initial pilot phases preceding wider deployments. In these situations, the customer might prefer to consolidate their estate into a single management solution, covering both their existing deployed devices as well as new devices that include Pelion Device Management Client.

Pelion Device Management provides a new feature called Legacy Device Bridge. This is a new capability to on-board and manage devices that use proprietary connection protocols, whether for existing devices, or in order to support newly specified protocols.

Customers of Pelion Device Management can now bring existing devices under management without reimplementing and rereleasing product firmware for devices already in the field, and benefit from a unified interface for device management and device data access. It also potentially enables the consolidation of maintenance effort and service fees for different generations of devices under one management system.

The new feature includes a Legacy Device Bridge framework in which proprietary protocol translation plugin components can be implemented based on customer needs. The custom-made protocol translation is implemented as part of our Professional Services offering. The features provided are tailored to suit the device capabilities and the customer’s existing infrastructure and needs. Once developed and deployed, the functionality is supported as part of the Device Management services solution.

Device to Data

Pelion Device Management and Pelion Data Management can now be hooked together for selected customers, enabling them to extract big data value from their IoT devices.

This end-to-end solution is provided by the Pelion IoT Platform - with no additional development needs for the customer. There is no need to implement additional device-side logic, and no need to implement a web service to capture, process, and store the data.

Pelion IoT Platform provides a new device data collector which automatically sends data to a specific database table within Pelion Data Management. Built-in features enable customers to subscribe to specific data resource values, and to set the frequency with which the device sends observations.

This configurability enables customers to optimize device battery lifetime whilst capturing precisely the data needed for further analysis. Furthermore, a single connection from device to cloud can be utilized for Device Management and for data collection. This solution means optimal use of connection bandwidth for constrained networks and devices.

Device to Data is available for selected customers.

Continuous campaigns

Pelion Device Management provides existing functionality enabling IoT device fleet operators to perform “one-shot” firmware update campaigns with a predefined list of devices that match a set of criteria.

A new feature extension called continuous campaigns allows newly added, installed or connected devices to be automatically included in an existing campaign. This ensures that all devices which match the initial criteria – even those devices that registered with Device Management after the campaign was launched – receive the latest firmware versions.

As devices are created, registered or re-registered, the campaign service will evaluate whether a device should be added to a continuous campaign. Each device can only be in one campaign at a time, but as soon as a device is updated to a new firmware version, it is evaluated against other running continuous campaign filters, and in this way multiple delta updates can be applied to the same collection of devices.

In the case of a typical IoT device installation, there may be a delay between device manufacturing and provisioning, so devices may be installed and brought online periodically over time. The continuous campaign feature allows customers to ensure that all relevant devices will be updated to the latest firmware version whenever they appear online.

This feature is available for all customers.

See the continuous campaigns documentation.

Portal supports branding customization

Pelion Device Management Portal provides a comprehensive user interface for device fleet operators who are actively commissioning and managing IoT devices. In order to integrate seamlessly into corporate intranet environments, the portal now includes branding customization features.

This enables system administrators to provide custom login screen artwork, custom icons, and to define color palettes compatible with corporate brand guidelines. Light and dark themes are optionally supported.

The custom branding also enables benefits for our on-premises and reseller customers, who can now enable a branded experience for their tenant customers.

The feature is available for all customers.

See the branding documentation.

Websocket-based event notification channel

Pelion Device Management provides a new integration option for customers’ own systems to receive events and data in the event notification channel.

The Websocket interface is easy to set up, as firewall configurations are not needed. The connection is opened from the customer system directly, so a typical firewall configuration should allow the connection by default.

See the WebSocket interface documentation for the additional channel configuration options for the event data format.

Pelion Device Management On-Premises

Flexibility and scalability

The latest update provides further enhancements to Pelion Device Management On-Premises. The introduction of entry-level scaling options, streamlined implementation and integration, and increased virtualization flexibility, further lowers the barrier-to-entry for customers embarking on their IoT journey.

While some organisations have detailed deployment plans, others will opt for a more agile approach; either way, every IoT deployment starts small, and most often as a proof-of-concept or test deployment. The potential to scale up as the business or product grows is critical. The new flexibility and scaling options specifically aim to enable this approach.

The Pelion Device Management On-Premises scalability options provide:

  • Reduced time and complexity of deployments, decreasing the burden on in-house resources and avoiding the need to negotiate service contracts with third-party providers. The latest enhancements reduce up to 75% implementation time and effort.
  • Scalability - from ten thousand to millions of devices under management - fully integrates with allied services to create full-featured solutions. The new entry-level options deliver savings of up to 60% in terms of host hardware requirements.
  • Robust and predictable service, seamlessly integrating with optional security and high-availability technologies, giving organisations both choice and control. Flexible solution architecture reduces overall infrastructure requirements, resulting in remarkable savings.
  • Flexible deployment options support seamless integration to existing On-Premises environments, whilst the solution is sufficiently full-featured to operate as a standalone solution, as well.
  • Greater control over component deployment satisfies regulatory or compliance requirements and mitigates on-shoring or commercial-in-confidence obligations.

Device Management On-Premises enables companies of all shapes and sizes, from any vertical, operating in any geography, to access a comprehensive range of features and capabilities, with a wide variety of hosting and deployment options. This empowers organisations to succeed early, and ramp up seamlessly from trial to production.

Pelion Device Management Edge

Pelion Device Management Mobile Application

Many customers of Pelion Device Management will be installing numerous gateways with the Pelion Device Management Edge solution in the field. The Mobile Application provides features to support the installation and management of the gateways. It enables users to view the gateways in the field and control all devices attached to them from the application.

The following features are now available in the latest version from the App Store and Google Play Store:

  • Gateways can be onboarded using a QR code scanner to read the device credentials with reduced time and reduced risk of human error.
  • Two-factor authentication enables the app to be used by organizations where an additional security step has been enforced, or where users have opted to use it.
  • Ability to provision Wi-Fi credentials to the gateway when it broadcasts its SSID.
  • Monitor and control various devices, including for example Nordic Thingy, EP Agora Bulb, Thermostat, Sensors and Switches
  • Local network support, including mDNS.
  • Light and dark themes support the same branded experience as Device Management Portal.
  • Ability to group Resources.
  • User activity logs.

See further details on the app store pages:

Pelion Device Management Client

Device Management Client supports more boards and newest Mbed OS releases. The new boards supported are:

  • STM’s popular Discovery L475VG IoT Kit using its built-in Wi-Fi. This serves as a good starting point for enabling additional boards from the same STM32L4 chipset family, with minimal additional effort.
  • NXP’s LPC55S69 board using ESP8266 Wi-Fi. This board is Platform Security Architecture (PSA) enabled.

We have integrated Pelion Device Management Client with both Mbed OS 5.14 and 5.15 to support the latest versions of Mbed OS codeline and features.

See the more detailed Device Management Client release note.

New public Device Management Client example for Mbed OS

Pelion Device Management Client has a new public reference example available. It allows partners to submit their own pull requests for their board enablements.

The repository also includes fully automated test cases, that our partners can use for verification. In particular, this enables our partners to include the example in their own continuous integration workflows.

The reference example.

Mbed Studio

Repository publishing

The latest release of Mbed Studio introduces the ability to publish programs and libraries, allowing developers to publish repositories directly to the Mbed website. We have also enhanced our support for GitHub integration.

Miscellaneous features

Mbed Studio now automatically launches a serial viewer and provides support for creating log points.

On Windows, Mbed Studio can now be installed for all users on a system. This is a feature requested by many universities who base their embedded courses around Mbed OS.

Boards and releases

The range of development boards that can be debugged, with the latest including the Embedded Planet Agora dev kit and uBlox Nina B1.

Arm Compiler version has been updated to 6.13, bringing the newest compiler enhancements and fixes. We have also updated the bundled examples in Mbed Studio, including the new Pelion Device Management Client example, with the cached Mbed OS version now at 5.15 by default.

Mbed OS

Mbed OS Compiler Support for GCC Compiler 9 and Arm Compiler 6.13

The support for the GCC compiler has been updated from version 6 to version 9. This gives developers and partners access to the latest compiler optimizations GCC offers. It also means that the v8-M Arm architecture is now supported for all three compilers we use in Mbed OS.

For the details, see:

Mbed OS now supports version 6.13 of the Arm Compiler by default. It delivers a new functionality around Link Time Optimization (LTO), providing image size savings from 1.5% up to 10%.

For details, see:

Mbed OS Python 3 support

Many of the Mbed OS tools use Python as the underlying scripting language. In version 5.15, we have added Python 3 support in:

  • Mbed Studio
  • Online Compiler
  • Mbed OS tools
  • Mbed OS repository
  • Mbed OS CI scripts
  • Mbed OS CI
  • Mbed OS testing tools (Greentea, HTrun, Mbed test, and Mbed LS).

Python 2 will be deprecated early next year. Support for Python 3 ensures our tools, and our partners' tools can take advantage of the later version, enabling developers to complete their own migration process.

Mbed OS support for static pin map tables

In modern MCUs, peripherals can often be mapped to different pins, and each pin can have multiple functions.

Mbed OS supports dynamic pin mapping, meaning the pins can be reconfigured at runtime for different drivers. This feature provides great flexibility with ROM cost. To provide meaningful memory optimizations in Mbed, we have added support for static pin map tables.

The pin configuration is often frozen at the hardware design stage and doesn't require runtime modification. Supporting static pin map tables and moving this configuration to compile time allows small but significant memory savings.

For detailed documentation, see the porting guide.