Microsoft and Particle make connected devices simple with new Azure integration

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Last week at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft and Particle announced a collaboration focused on enabling customers to rapidly develop connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT is already transforming the way we work, live, and interact with our world, with estimates showing that in five years we can expect to see over 25 billion connected things. This collaboration uses Particle’s cloud platform coupled with its hardware prototyping kit to provide the infrastructure to easily connect these devices to Azure. Integration with Microsoft Azure IoT services enables device makers to connect with powerful capabilities that scale from 10 devices to millions of devices.

“Microsoft and Particle are bringing their IoT development tools to the maker communities. These tools, which include Azure IoT services, Particle’s IoT platform, and a hardware development kit, are easy to use for makers and are production-grade for professionals,” said Zach Supalla, CEO of Particle.IO. “Microsoft’s Azure platform has built a strong reputation in cloud services, and runs many of the largest and most complex software applications out there. By combining Azure with Particle’s IoT-specific software tools, your prototype will be ready for production from the first moment that you blink an LED.”

As part of working together, the two companies have developed a device maker kit complete with Particle’s hardware and development platform, a shield with sensors to get the early projects jump-started, and detailed tutorials. This device maker kit was used in the live demonstration of the current Azure IoT services integrated with Particle’s cloud service at WPC. Microsoft’s Sam George, partner director of Program Management for Azure IoT, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Particle to dramatically accelerate time to value for customers looking to get a jump on IoT.”

This first phase of integration uses Microsoft Azure IoT services and Particle Webhooks, with the result that events can be streamed seamlessly from Particle Photons to Microsoft Azure Event Hubs  and Azure Stream Analytics. This fall Microsoft and Particle will reach leading device makers around the world through hackathons and by jointly helping customers build and market their IoT offerings.

Particle is a leader in the IoT device prototyping and cloud management space, with tens of thousands of device makers using its platform to approach the development of connected devices. Device hardware, firmware, connectivity, and provisioning are seamlessly handled by Particle’s platform, effectively abstracting the hardware and enabling developers to focus on delivering value through software applications. Supalla adds, “If you’re already familiar with Azure and Microsoft’s other software tools, building an Azure and Particle IoT product will feel like a natural extension to the platform you already know and love. IoT is an exciting new industry, and using familiar tools will better prepare your team to deliver an outstanding product quickly.”

Particle is a complete, open source, full-stack solution for cloud-connected devices – ideal for integrating with Microsoft, a member of the AllSeen Alliance. Recently Microsoft released open-source code to the alliance that will make it easier to connect devices on older networks to IoT.

Additional details on this new collaboration can be found at particle.io/microsoft.