At the heart of any IoT system are devices talking to one another and/or the cloud. These devices talk with messages and these messages are the conversations we care about when building an IoT Application.

The languages that these devices speak in can be anything – JSON, XML, CSV or binary just to name a few. In addition, the sentence structure for a specific device within any of those languages can be unique. This is one of the key challenges of building an IoT Application, how can you interpret what the devices are saying into something useful for your business.

A good test I devised early on in my consulting career was after a system was deployed and a single field needed to be added to the database, how much work was involved in making the modification and letting that change flow through to the system. The same test applies here, when you are looking at an IoT platform, if your message structure changes or new devices is added in a completely different language, how much time, money and risk is involved to update and deploy your changes so you can start having conversations with those devices?

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