Build 2020 What’s new for IoT (my Recap)

Hi there! This is the first post on this blog, who aim to speak about Azure IoT to developers and architects, so what a best opportunity to start with the Microsoft Build 2020. This is my recap, if you want to know more details, please watch the sessions I linked below.

Azure IoT Certification for Developer
Now there is a learning path for every Azure IoT Developers and a new certification (AZ-220)

Azure RTOS in now General Available
Azure RTOS is Real-Time operating for microcontrollers with a very small footprint (2KB for disconnected device and about 50KB for device connected to the Internet). Here more details about the size of the different libraries you can add to the base footprint image.
Azure RTOS has been released as OSS on GitHub.
Does it run on Azure Sphere? Azure Sphere can run Linux Kernel on the Cortex-A core (where you can write High Level Applications) and now Azure RTOS in the 2 Cortex-M cores (Where you can write Real-Time Applications). These 2 cores can’t connect directly to the Internet for security reason, so they can exchange data via a bridge with the Cortex-A core that can safely send and receive data from Azure.

And a cool demo, with technical details at this video

Azure IoT Edge

Windows for IoT
I liked the video that speaks about the roadmap on Windows 10 IoT.
First nice slide about all the Windows for IoT that I’m sure not everybody knows about:

Windows fo IoT

Based on customers feedbacks that were discussed in the video, the announcement of the convergence of the IoT Core and IoT Enterprise in a IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 taking the best of both worlds.

Then the discussion was in particular about Windows 10 IoT Roadmap, where most important are:

  1. The improvement Linux capability for IoT that enable Azure IoT Edge in a full Linux Environment
  2. Lowering the costs
  3. Improve Operational Control

IoT Hub Private Link support GA
IoT Hub support for virtual networks is now generally available, giving an additional option to increase connectivity security.The newly available virtual network support allows to set up a private connectivity Azure Virtual Network using VPN or even Express Route.

Azure IoT Plug and Play
Azure IoT Plug and Play that allows you to describe the interface of your device to make it simple to connect to Azure IoT services. Some news preview capabilities are:

  1. support for the same Definition Language of Azure Digital Twins v2, see later.
  2. simple to update existing devices to be IoT Plug and Play compatible
  3. the final certification process for Plug & Play device before GA

Azure Digital Twins Public Preview v2
“Digital Twin = Digital Replica of Real-world things, places, business process, people”. I like this definition from this session.
Azure Digital Twins will offer (not released at Build) expanded capabilities to allow for the creation of a digital representation of any asset and environment. From a developer perspective it will include a Digital Twins Definition Language(DTDL) to do that (see the example below), a live execution environment where the graph described by the DTDL will run, and an easy integration with Azure IoT Hub, where you will be able to use your own. From the “output” side it will be able to interact with Azure Services like Event Hub, Event Grid, Data Lake, Blob Storage etc. In a picture:

Here a very small example of the DTDL:

    "@id": “dtmi:example:Station;1",
    "@type": "Interface",
    "extends": “dtmi:example:Room;1",
    "contents": [
            "@type": "Property",
            "name": “isOccupied",
            "schema": "boolean“
            "@type": “Property",
            "name": “hasAVSystem",
            "schema": “boolean“
            "@type": "Property",
            "name": “capacity",
            "schema": “integer“
    "@context": "dtmi:dtdl:context;2"

An putting all together:

Azure Digital Twins is a developer platform, provided as REST API. The first release will be available with a C# SDK, other languages will follow.
There are some differences from the V1:

  1. Use a more general language to describe everything, not only smart spaces with a more general graph topology
  2. Use more compute models, like Azure Function.
  3. Use your own IoT Hub
  4. Improved scalability

IoT Central
There are two important new features. First the support of the IoT Edge in GA, so you can manage the IoT Edge modules directly from the IoT Central. Second the support for Azure Sphere is GA, via a new template that make it easy the connection.

Furthermore there are some improvements at the dashboard and the 2 Tier pricing model for IoT Central is in GA as well.

Azure Time Series Insights Gen v2
The new version will be soon in GA, the most important slide of this presentation I watched It’s the one with the roadmap, but I strongly suggest you to watch to the entire session, because in only 30 minutes you get: an overview if you are new to TSI, some reference architectures where TSI has been used, the internal architecture of the product and a real well done demo that explain some nice functionalities in details, like the modeling of the time series.

Azure Maps
Three new features : the Weather services integration, Power BI integration and Cloud Gov support, but the one that I like the most the public preview of Azure Maps Creator, that you can use to create private indoor and outdoor maps using DWG files!

Sessions to watch:
Microsoft IoT Vision and Roadmap
Azure Digital Twins: Powering the Next Generation of IoT
Make your IoT data useful with an end-to-end analytics platform, Azure Time Series Insights
Introduction to Azure RTOS
Azure Sphere and Azure RTOS
Windows for IoT a Roadmap update

[05-26-2020] New links:
Azure Map Creator
Azure IoT Hub VNET support

[06-09-2020] New link:
Deep Dive: Indoor Maps with Azure Maps
Linux modules on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

[06-15-2020] New link:
Deep Dive Azure RTOS

[06-30-2020] New link:
Azure Digital Twins Preview

Happy IoT coding!

Published by Pietro

Passionate Developer, family man, working at Microsoft, the creator of a beautiful Kids' app and a community contributor.

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