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Thanks for the leads, Bernie. Perhaps this is an idea whose time has not yet come. One day, though. It seems like a logical progression to me.

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i think the most likely moves into offering a real world online tool development chain are likely to be cypress with its xml based psoc software framework for everything from 8051 to ARM and possibly Microchip which has a javabeans based environment across its entire mcu family from original 8/16 bitters up to its mips based MCUs.

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Ah, well, the clock is ready to strike the hour, so we'll have to shut this down. THanks all for joining in.

But if you're still in a chatting mood, check out the Twitter chat about the IoT that Rick is hosting. Details here: >Chat With Presidential Fellows on IoT

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alex, I have the same impression. With a local tool you can optimize its behavior, add useful plugins, and the like. But I see no reaon that cannot be done on the cloud rather than on your desktop. simply a matter of progamming :-)

 

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And aside from it being on the cloud, how does it compare with eatures of offline compiler  ? i got the impression ofline compilers have more features.

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right now I mostly expect the tool as being used by DIY types and for quick evaluation by development teams, but not for full-scale commercial development.

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alex, I dont have any insight into that figure at all. It might be a good one to ask of the mbed folks.

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Are there any estimation of what percentage of the mbed users use the online tool ?

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I think Bernie is right that a cloud-based IDE is likely to be architecture specific as opposed to being useful for a wide range of microprocessors. But with ARM becoming so widely adopted, you would think that such a tool would have a large enough market. If people would use it, that is.

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Susan, that lag time would be important during debugging. Not so much so for editing, compiling, and downloading.

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@vvhelpi: Yeah fragmentation in mobile SoCs is significant but in IoT its sooo much greater. Does that mitigate against a cloud IDE for IoT?

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There could be a lag time...maybe the tool performance is better locally.

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@ Rick, blogged a bit about it on IoT World -

 
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@susan, I dont see any technical reasons why an IDE couldnt be web hosted rather than on a local machine. But there seems to be resistance to it nonetheless.

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@Rich: FYI I'd love to hear more about any outcomes from the FTC IoT workshop sometime.

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re rich comment. i agree. that is why i think that such ides will be hardware specific or vendor specific, ie mbed. if a freescale or a ti did it, they could offer a range of online development environments across a broad range of development tools, external and open source, that offers something like what is needed. 

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so ti should be possible to do this through a corporate cloud atleast..

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I had seen drivers/BSPs being tested on SBCs remotely through VPN in late 90s itself.

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@rickmerritt & @richQ: those are actual dev boards (snapdragons, tegra-based etc.) - physical real devices on you can test other things than just apps. And generally what is understood as a fragmentation on Android is not just software related but hardware has lots of things to do with it as well.

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Are there other issues besides security that may be a problem? Technical issues?

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Does the sheer diversity of IoT hardware make a cloud IDE impractical?

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ironically with a lot of corporate environments, tools and platforms have been webized to allow their developers to collaborate in real time and to synch up when they are working on code relating to same, ie versioning, other mechanims to keep programmers from stepping on each others toes. ibm is the earliest company i remember doing that. if anything like a real heavy duty online development environment for outside happens it will come out of one of those internal systems.

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it was the developing of the device itself that I was hoping to explore here.

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@Bernie, a similar point was made at the FTC's IoT workshop earlier this week. Someone said that we're going to have to deal with some security disasters before we even understand the problem well enough to come up with solutions.

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@RichQ, yes, this is a cloud that can manage/control the IoT device not for developing the device itself.

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anusure, looked at that DeviceCloud link you provided. It appears to be a toolkit for creating the apps that support the IoT device, but not for creating the IoT device itself.

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security is going to be an ongoing problem. not because engineers and developers do not want it and see its need, but because of corporate accountants and "practical business men" who are still reluctant to invest, nor see the need to, invest beyound what they perceive is the bare minumum - until they get wacked, and then everything changes.l

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@vvhelppi, Testdroid is for Android apps, not embedded systems. Different situation

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@vvhelppi: How do the cloud servcies compare to actual results on physical chips/boards?

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@Berine, security is a concern. One would hope that standard web security practices were in effect, but how about the privacy of your design information? That is a concern some have raised. How can you protect your intellectual property when it is being hosted on someone else's system?

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Testing on cloud is quite common nowadays. E.g. you don't have access to dev boards or real physical devices, but you can still test your app on those with cloud services, like Testdroid.

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anusure, other use cases might be that the cloud serves as a "co processor" for the embedded device. Collect raw data, pass it to the cloud, get the FFT back, and take action. Slow, but saves cost on the device end.

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Has anyone seen this working in a real world application : http://www.etherios.com/products/devicecloud/

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other than ec2 from amazon, no thought seems to be given at this point to security. suprisingly not even mbed for arm's cortex m0. nothing in book i read, nor online at mbed except for three questions from potential users in the sites forum: one a year ago and two others three years ago. no response to their queries. but that does not mean that mbed did not insitute security. but no indication on the site about that.

cloud services still pretty crappy and uneven not only about reliability but security as well.

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One of the things I was wondering was about the loss of control if you do development using web-based tools. What happens if the provider upgrades their tool and what you were doing suddenly no longer works?

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Anusure, if you choose a technology that allows TCP/IP all the way to the end node, it is a little easier to manage remotely. Otherwise you have to put in a translation stage somewhere to convert things.

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Let's hope it doesn't matter. Having used the cloud for my tools on a secured network, it's not always been the best. (and I'm not using embedded systems development tools).

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what other use cases would you foresee with cloud in embedded systems / devices?

 

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@RichQ, sure got it:) sorry I meant which wireless technology would best fit in the IoT application and that can be easily managed by a cloud? Firmware updagre is another use case

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anusure, you can also use the cloud to update software in deployed units, add new features, and the link

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anusure, the wireless technology you use really has nothing to do with the cloud based management system. Once you have connected to the internet, by whatever means, you can use the cloud.

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@anusuresh9039: Good point

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One possible use case with cloud management is testing of hardware/MCU boards. What are the other possible use cases , specifically in the IoT space?

 

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re security, except for amazon's cloud ec2 offering actually gives some thought to security, from what I have heard. Microchip uses it for its most recent "internet of things" tool. But its mainstream free development tool is not offered that way, although since it is based i believe on Java Beans framework could be easily adapted.

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Good to see all of you here, btw. Thanks for joining in.

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Which wireless technology in the IoT space can leverage a cloud based management system?

Will it be WiFi,Zigbee,802.22,etc.,?

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rick we could test out our app on multiple MCUs, but in today's embedded development world, that would involve a lot of work porting the C program to reflect different memory maps, then recompiling. Not something folks are willing to do without the promise of a substantial payback. Not worth doing just to find a few percent improvement

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good point Bernie. Cloud is a more recent term for something that has been going on for awhile. Web based design.

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Hi Bernie, nice to see you. Bernie is web editor on Embedded.com

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Especially in IoT where there are a bazillion MCU confiurations, would it not be great to test your app on several to figure out which to use?

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Before the so-called cloud eclipsed the use of the terminology "web services," as noted, several embedded software vendors were using online services, including several embedded linux vendors, and fpga tool vendor altium, which i think has its web capability built around Microsoft server framework. Several companies are already halfway there using tools that would allow them to easily up grade - cypress psoc software tools are built on an xml framework, for example.

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What companies are providing embedded systems development in the cloud and has anyone had any experience with the services?

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Seems like a feature every board/chip vendor ought to offer if they coud figure out how to scale it? An opportunity/challenge?

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Not familiar with any remote testing capabilities at present. There have been attempts to do this in the past, but it required scheduling of time on the testbed, and that became a logistics nightmare when scaled to more than a handful of potential users.

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At ARM Tech Con I heard the mbed service in 2014 will let engineers remotely test boards/chips  in the ARM lab. Are others doing this?

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I am not sure what that question means, exactly. Can you clarify or be more specific?

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How can a cloud environment be built for IoT application?

 

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Web and apps developers have worked with cloud-based tools for years. Why can't embedded developers do the same? Would they want to?

Join us on a live chat on this topic on Friday, Nov. 22, at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern or 1800 GMT). If you have experience doing emebdded development using cloud-based development tools, please join in and share your experiences.

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