What is Happening?
This week, Saugatuck attended MuleSoft Connect, the company’s annual customer event. Attendance was up from around 700 partner and customer attendees in 2014 to over 1,000 in this year. The growth of the event also heralds a growth of the integration industry – from MuleSoft’s initial forays into the iPaaS market, connected SaaS applications, to a broader platform, which helps enable the API Economy.
A key component of the API Economy – that has been center-stage at the event this year – is the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT presents key architectural and integration challenges for companies that are trying to take advantage of new capabilities. Devices, services, and analytics systems all need to be carefully connected together to create a multi-part value chain. MuleSoft had several demonstrations of complex, multi-device integrations into single applications or workflows. While these were clearly demonstrations, the underlying capabilities are becoming increasingly critical for many businesses (see IoT Platforms).
MuleSoft used their platform in several demonstrations, including controlling small robots from web applications, to complex electronic music integrations that combined touch, image, and sound sensors with Phillips Hue lightbulbs and analog guitar input, to an on stage demonstration by CTO Uri Sareed that combined flight arrival APIs with hotel check in and Uber request APIs to demonstrate a real-life case of connected APIs and devices.
Why is it Happening?
IoT devices are proliferating at a rapid rate, and at the same time, the lines between devices, services, apps, and data are blurring. One important trend, which was highlighted at the event, is that the devices themselves are becoming smarter. While connectivity is a given in devices in the IoT, it is increasingly clear that devices will become more than connected sensors, and become more autonomous and intelligent. While the bulk of devices available now do little processing on-board, instead focusing on using the cloud for data processing, the possibilities for more robust on-device analytics, processing, and communications are imminent. Continue reading