Our 9 Favorite IoT Developer Tools of 2020

September 2, 2020 - 7 minutes read

As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, so do the tools we use to design and develop applications for this exciting field of technology. With IoT systems, it’s imperative to plan ahead and map out goals before implementing the devices, sensors, and technology. By 2025, IoT-linked devices will amount to more than 75 billion units — with this explosive growth, it’s no wonder that we’re finding new development tools to try every couple of months! Here are our top 9 favorites from this year.

#1: Raspbian

The Raspbian IoT IDE is an incredibly invaluable tool for IoT developers: it comes with more than 35,000 packages and walkthroughs of rapid installation using pre-compiled software. It was built for the Raspberry Pi board, which is in use as a hardware component interfacing with software across many IoT systems. The best thing about this IDE? Its developer team is constantly pushing new updates to the program to keep up with the newest and best practices in IoT. And because Raspberry Pis are so accessible, beginners and experts alike can jump into the Raspbian IDE without much effort.

#2: The Arduino IDE

Another IDE we love working with is the Arduino IDE. It connects microcontroller boards with interactive kits and objects. Among expert IoT devs, the Arduino IDE is an industry favorite. The IDE is optimized, well-rounded, and equipped with several libraries and tutorials to extend its reach. This means that IoT developers across a variety of industries can focus on their code while the IDE takes care of many diverse hardware components. Like the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino is accessible and easy-to-use, allowing beginners to jump in without getting overwhelmed.

#3: OpenSCADA

OpenSCADA is a tool created by the SCADA project by Eclipse IoT. It has a modern design, and it’s known for its security and flexibility. OpenSCADA comes with front-end and back-end applications, interface apps, libraries, and configuration tools. It also supports debugging and editing. This workhorse tool supports developers in creating more advanced IoT apps. Like the other IDEs, it supports a large variety of programming languages in its editor and includes popular sub-projects like Orilla, Atlantis, Utgard, and more.

#4: DeviceHive

DeviceHive is loved by IoT developers because of its open-source code. Another huge benefit of the tool is that it has a cloud-based API that developers can leverage remotely, independent of local network configuration. It provides a framework for machine-to-machine communication, bridging the gap between the computer and individual machines to create a more holistic picture of the company’s equipment health and status. DeviceHive is a great technology for IoT applications that focus on security, automation, sensors, and smart home technology. Like the IDEs, DeviceHive’s website has a support team and tutorials from the community on how to implement this tool into your IoT system.

#5: Flutter

Flutter is a programmable processor center that is dependent on Arduino. This tool helps developers reduce repetitive and unnecessary tasks. It’s a remote transmitter with the potential to send its signal over half a mile away. Flutter is a great tool for IoT developers focused on more physically far-reaching applications.

#6: DeviceHub

DeviceHub integrates cloud integration with business intelligence, allowing developers to deliver hardware and web technologies. It’s usually offered as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that software developers can leverage to create advanced IoT applications. For companies who want to rebrand and install software to deploy enterprise-level apps, DeviceHub is a great choice. This tool has been put through the wringer in the fleet management, wearables, and smart vending machine industries, and it’s emerged as a must-have tool for many IoT devs.

#7: Azure-Adafruit IoT kits

Microsoft Azure teamed up with New York City-based Adafruit to build six IoT kits that ship Azure certified. These kits help IoT developers manage sensors, actuators, and single-board PCs. They come equipped with WiFi boards, colored LEDs, SD cards, and sensors to allow developers to creatively expand their IoT system. Some kits are made for more experienced development teams, while others are made for beginners and intermediate developers. This tool has improved access for developers while reducing steps to launch an IoT system.

#8: Home Assistant

Home Assistant is a tool focused on home automation and function using Python. It’s open-source (can you tell we love open-source?), and allows your IoT system to be controlled with both desktop and mobile devices. It operates smoothly, is built with strong privacy standards, and comes with a robust security framework. It does lack in cloud computing, and it has failed in securing data, so this is a great tool to play with and practice on, but it may not be the best solution to implement in an actual IoT system.

#9: Tessel 2

Tessel 2 is a hardware-focused tool that is used for developing basic IoT prototypes and solutions. It has several sensors and modules in a plug-and-play ecosystem that includes 10-pin modules, community-developed modules, USB modules, and high-level hardware APIs. It can be applied to a variety of hardware, like GPS, cameras, RFID, and accelerators. If you’re comfortable with JavaScript, you can use Node.js to program the Tessel to create a host of servers, among other things.

Things Move Fast With the Internet of Things

IoT is creating a more connected world in which companies and consumers benefit. With powerful tools enabling developers to create resilient, secure, and fast-deploying IoT applications, IoT is becoming more accessible to anyone who’s interested in tinkering with or implementing the technology.

If you’re looking for new IoT tools to improve your workflow or to start with, check out the technologies and tools we discussed in this article. If you’re an IoT developer and didn’t find your favorite tool on our list, let us know about it and why you love it so much in the comments below!

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