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Data Management // IoT
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2/29/2016
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10 IoT Development Best Practices For Success

IoT development is more than embedded programming and more than enterprise application building. Here are 10 things you should know about building applications that require a bit of everything.
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(Image: jeferrb via Pixabay)

(Image: jeferrb via Pixabay)

The Internet of Things means different things to different companies. One of the things it means to most organizations, though, is that a pile of new development is in order. For some of those companies, even those that have been developing in-house software for years, it also means learning a new way of building software.

Here's the issue: For many years, enterprise software development and embedded control development have been two entirely separate disciplines. The tools are different, the platforms are very different, and it's rare to find a professional who's competent in both. The IoT changes all of that.

IoT development spans traditional enterprise programming and embedded systems programming in ways that we've only rarely seen before. The remote devices and sensors have to be programmed to both do their jobs and pass data back to the enterprise core for analysis and subsequent action. The core itself must support applications that can accept and process vast quantities of data in predictable, real-time fashion. Then there are the layers in between.

[See 14 Ways IoT Will Change Big Data and Business Forever.]

The bottom line is that successful IoT development has to incorporate the best practices and processes of both embedded control and enterprise software development. And the person managing the development has to do something truly difficult -- bring two distinct and quite different cultures together on a single team.

Succeeding at this bifurcated development effort requires figuring out which techniques are best used where and getting a handle on a handful of key points. Some of the points will shift with the seasons as new platforms come into the field or new vulnerabilities are found. Others are evergreen, defining good development practices regardless of the specific project. In any case there are a number of things you should know about developing successful IoT projects for the enterprise.

Here are 10 of those key points. It's not like these are huge secrets, but it can be easy to lose sight of them in the heat of project deadlines. The real question, though, is whether you've come up with key IoT points through your development work. Is it all about choosing the right tools or picking the right pizza for those late-night coding marathons? Is there some magical quality you look for when selecting members of the team for an IoT project?

Let me know what you think. The IoT is changing the way the enterprise looks at development projects and there are plenty of key factors to know and adopt. Your peers are waiting to hear yours.

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is executive editor for technical content at InformationWeek. In this role he oversees product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he acts as executive producer for InformationWeek Radio and Interop Radio where he works with ... View Full Bio

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