Yesterday, the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub was released in GA !
The public preview had a good success with a lot of people (makers) and companies (professional) try to use it for developing their IoT end to end solutions.
In a previous blog post, I have already discussed about its mean features with a comparison with AWS IoT, the Internet of Things platform by Amazon.
Relating to that article, there are the following differences it’s important to focus on :
- Azure IoT Hub now supports MQTT 3.1.1 natively ! There is no need to use a field gateway for translating MQTT to AMQP (or HTTP) to communicate with the Hub. Now, your MQTT enabled devices can connect directly to the Cloud and you can use the SDK provided by Microsoft (with an API abstraction layer on top of MQTT) or any MQTT library (and M2Mqtt is a good choice for C# applications). Of course, the connection must be always encrypted with SSL/TLS protocol. More information at official documentation page here.
- The pricing is changed : first of all, the pricing isn’t related to the number of devices (as the public preview) but only to the total number of messages/day. The bad news is that starting from April 1st the S1 and S2 plans will have a doubled price. Of course, the Free plan … will be still free !
- AMQP over WebSockets : the AMQP protocol is supported on WebSockets too (like Event Hubs for example).
With the above two major news, the Azure IoT Hub offer is closer to AWS IoT offer : it supports MQTT and removed the devices limit on pricing.
News are not only on the Cloud side but on devices side too !
In the last months, a lot of OEMs and hardware companies worked hard to support Windows 10 for IoT Core and Azure IoT Hub connection on their platforms. Today the number of Azure Certified IoT Partners is literally increased !
It’s great to see that the Hub ecosystem is growing … now we have to wait for real IoT solutions based on it !
To start learning about Azure IoT Hub, I advice you the link to the Azure IoT Hub Learning Path which will guide you through all the steps needed to use the Hub in the best way.