My experiences with SAP HANA Cloud Platform IoT Service
In part 1 (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-experiences-sap-abap-web-application-server-cloud-mohapatra)
of the blog, you read about my experiences about performance issues in SAP Web Application Server and SAP Cloud Platform.
In part 2, I am sharing my experience about SAP HCP Internet of Things (IoT) services available with SAP Cloud Platform. I started my proof-of-concept with IoT services with certain expectations and compared the same with other market-leading IoT platforms (blog uses IBM Bluemix Watson platform information for comparison).
An administrator of IoT service platform expects to monitor sensors, carry out firmware upgrade and re-boot the sensors remotely using the services available within platform.
Power consumption is main constraint in IoT world. A sensor requires support of a light weight protocol from the IoT service platform so that power consumption is significantly reduced. A developer will require support of generic IoT protocols to integrate any sensor without issues.
There are many more expectations but in this blog I have only covered above two important expectations.
For an administrator of IoT services, the SAP Cloud Platform provides sensors data in tabular and graphical format. Apart from this administrator cannot perform any action on sensors such as firmware upgrade or re-boot. The screenshot below displays possibilities with SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
Device data view in SAP Cloud Platform
Device data in tabular format in SAP Cloud Platform
SAP Cloud Platform provides additional services for sensors management(Just an entity in DB), message type management(Just an entity in DB) and APIs for HTTP, WS, MQTT over TCP(As a client) & Web Sockets.
Now let’s shift focus to IoT services in IBM Bluemix Watson and see what it offers in comparison to SAP Cloud Platform. For an administrator, you can easily monitor sensor status and find out if it is connected or disconnected. You can also perform firmware upgrade and re-boot the sensors if required.
Action on Devices
In summary, IBM Bluemix platform offers richer experience to an administrator together with possibility to initiate actions on sensors such as update of firmware, re-boot and reset of sensors in case of any issue spotted with sensors in the dashboard.
Now from sensor and developer perspective, it is well known that MQTT is the best protocol for device level communication. It is a light-weight protocol and helps devices consume less power. SAP Cloud Platform is not equipped with MQTT broker. You have to depend on other MQTT brokers available in the cloud or on premise. In this case, your sensor data will route to SAP Cloud Platform via MQTT broker available either in cloud or on premise. This will have a definite impact on the performance and add an additional level of dependency in the landscape. Currently SAP Cloud Platform will only supports HTTP and Web Sockets. If you want to use MQTT broker, SAP Cloud Platform provides external MQTT broker configuration option. See below:
Other IoT Platform including IBM Bluemix are providing MQTT broker. For SAP HCP we have to use external.. HCP also not providing BlockChain as a service for that also you have to depend BlockChain(cloud/On-premise).
To conclude, SAP HCP IoT services on SAP Cloud Platform has miles to go before it can compete with other market leading platforms and become a platform of choice. Hope SAP is listening and all of these gaps are already part of future roadmap of the product.