The Internet of Things is getting a lot of attention these days. The opportunities are huge for nearly every single company. Manufacturing, energy, healthcare, transportation, public sector, fiance and more will benefit from this technology. The good news for software developers is that it’s very easy to start to surf the wave right now.
During the Microsoft TechDays 2015, we created a 45 min lab for the attendees to put their hands on “real” things and live the experience. 70 lucky people took the challenge. It’s now time to enlarge the audience, so here is the complete scenario, detailed step by step, with intermediate source code.
How could a C# developer use its skills and 45 minutes to create a very simple connected light? This light should be controlable on the device itself and remotely using any smart phone.
For someone with no electronic background but a desire to explore more IoT scenarii, Gadgeteer is a great choice. Gadgeteer is one of the fantastic project created by Microsoft Research and open sourced on CodePlex with the objective to ease the conception of objects. No soldering, no resistor calculation, just plug in and it works! More than software, the hardware specifications has been open sourced too. Companies like GHI Electronics made some great boards and modules and released the plans and source code.
Gadgeteer relies on another master piece of software called .NET Micro Framework, an adjusted version of the famous .NET Framework for the very constrained micro controllers. Once again, you’ll get full control and ability to learn from the source code as it’s open sourced on CodePlex. With a very few lines of code, you’ll be able to give life to your objects and communicate with the Cloud.
With such time constrain, we need to be very effective. Microsoft Azure will allow us to code in minutes and deploy in seconds. You can run services in any language in the Cloud, including C#. We will use ASP.NET MVC for both our APIs and the web site. Oh, last but not least, it’s open source too on GitHub !
|Name||Notes||Time to install|
|Visual Studio 2013 Update 4||Visual Studio Community 2013 is freely available. You'll need at least one option during setup "Microsoft Web Developer Tools"||30 min|
|.NET Microframework SDK 4.3.2 QFE2 RTM + Visual Studio Extension||2 min|
|.NET Gadgeteer Core||2 min|
|GHI Electronics .NET Microframework SDK||The main Gadgeteer vendor has a lot of additional modules, a very active community ready to share some awesome creations||4 min|
|Microsoft Azure SDK||4 min|
|1||FEZ Cerberus Mainboard||$24.95|
|1||USB Client SP Module||$4.95|
|1||LED 7C Module||$2.95|
|1||Ethernet ENC28 Module||$14.95|
To check your configuration, launch Visual Studio, create an empty Gadgeteer project and compile it.
If you have any problem, you will probably find a solution on this troubleshooting guide.
All the source code is published on GitHub
You’re now ready to start the fun part, let’s code :)