Recently, a team of Etherios engineers and technical consultants was invited to address the Dallas chapter of the Salesforce.com User Group regarding connected solutions and the Internet of Things (IoT). Key topics of discussion included the hardware components Etherios leverages to facilitate connectivity for devices in the field, as well as the Device Cloud by Etherios™ platform and The Social Machine®, our Salesforce.com AppExchange package.
Together, these systems enable machine data to be captured and made actionable, triggering business process workflow within the Salesforce ecosystem. A live demonstration included a connected model oil pump sending live data to Device Cloud. Pump motor faults and a low stroke rate then triggered Device Cloud alarms, resulting in the creation of Salesforce Chatter alerts, work order creation, and emails that included a link for field geolocation.
The process for creating an Etherios connected solution is quite straightforward, and begins with a selection of the appropriate hardware. A gateway unit is often employed, and interfaces with devices to feed data into Device Cloud by Etherios. Etherios frequently employs hardware from its parent company, Digi International, in its solutions.
Digi manufactures a broad array of gateway and router models that communicate natively with Device Cloud, simplifying the connectivity process by bridging disparate communication protocols and structuring data for upload. However, Digi equipment is not required for Etherios connected solutions. The Device Cloud allows for communication via a web services application programming interface (API), meaning the platform is open for use by non-Digi equipment if desired.
The Social Machine was the first application of its kind introduced in the Salesforce App Exchange. It provides a plug-and-play interface between the Device Cloud by Etherios and Salesforce.com. Customers can quickly create alarms within the Device Cloud rules engine, then easily configure “Machine Processes” in The Social Machine, specifying associated workflow that will be initiated within the Salesforce ecosystem when a Device Cloud alarm is triggered or reset. Device Cloud utilizes “push monitors” making immediate, active connections toSalesforce.com whenever a critical event occurs.
The Dallas event was a great success with a turnout of more than fifty attendees. Following the live system demonstration, which included web services examples with active device data, group members asked numerous questions related to projects and applications within their respective companies. Machine process configuration was of particular interest, as was the ability to execute custom Apex code when alarms are triggered. Altogether, the presentation and discussion lasted an hour, and the Etherios team’s efforts were well received by all in attendance.