Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Particle unveils rules engine for IoT

Steve Rogerson
October 9, 2018

Californian IoT platform provider Particle has unveiled its IoT Rules Engine and announced a professional desktop environment powered by Microsoft Visual Studio Code.
At last week’s Spectra, the company's annual customer conference, in San Francisco, Particle showed its IoT Rules Engine, a drag-and-drop editor built on IBM Node-Red, announced the shipping of over 35,000 Particle Mesh IoT developer kits and revealed mesh-enabled enterprise scale hardware SoMs (systems on module).
Particle also announced the launch of Particle Workbench, its professional desktop developer environment powered by Microsoft Visual Studio Code, a streamlined code editor for developers.
"We want to ensure IoT product builders have the tools they need to build the connected solutions that are changing how we interact with the world around us," said Zach Supalla, Particle's founder and CEO. "We're excited to roll out these new products that not only make bringing IoT products to market achievable, but are also open source and built on open standards, moving the entire industry forward."
Specifically, Particle announced:

  • Particle IoT Rules Engine: Particle unveiled a beta version of the engine, a drag-and-drop application builder built on IBM's Node-Red open-source platform that makes it easier for any IoT product developer to create app logic and get their product to market faster.
  • Particle Mesh ships to 5800-plus customers: More than 35,000 pre-ordered units of Particle Mesh hardware development kits that unlock developer access to mesh networking technology are shipping this month.
  • Particle Mesh SoMs: The enterprise-grade, production-scale versions of Particle Mesh, which let product builders iterate and transition to scale much faster and easier; they are being developed for release in 2019.
  • Professional desktop developer tool: Powered by Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Particle Workbench is an all-in-one, robust desktop experience to build and debug professional-grade apps optimised for Particle developers.
The IoT Rules Engine accelerates time to market for IoT builders. It provides a visual interface to access the full power of the Particle platform using if-this-then-that style logic, letting users create business rules in the cloud that react to events in the physical world.
The engine provides flexible building blocks to create the rules needed for IoT use cases. These include real-time alerting, IoT data management, over-the-air firmware automation and seamless, third-party integrations. Because it is built on Node-Red – IBM's open-source tool for IoT – builders can benefit from thousands of community-contributed logic snippets, called nodes, to supercharge their workflows.
"The Rules Engine has saved us time in building logical systems of our own for processing of IoT data," said Sunny Pack, co-founder and lead engineer at Symbiot. "It's been crucial in flagging down potential issues in production, helping us build supplementary support for our devices in conjunction with our existing infrastructure."
Particle Mesh, Particle's third-generation hardware, ships to over 5700 pre-order customers this month and is available for purchase. Built on the Nest OpenThread protocol and in the Adafruit Feather standard form factor, Particle Mesh (wifi, 2G, 3G, LTE-M1 and mesh) brings accessible local networking to IoT to cover more ground and capture more data.
In addition to the release of Particle Mesh developer kits, Particle Mesh SoMs – the production-ready hardware to support scaled IoT deployments – are under development and will be available in 2019. These mesh-enabled SoMs will be available with wifi and LTE/GSM connectivity, allowing product builders to transition from prototyping to enterprise-scale products.
"Particle's next-generation IoT connectivity platform allows IoT developers to quickly develop and scale their fleets of devices," Supalla said. "Our product roadmap is informed by the needs of our customers. We saw customers struggling to build homegrown solutions to create local wireless networks of IoT devices, reinventing the wheel every time. Our goal is to help our customers succeed by giving them the infrastructure they need to deploy the next wave of real IoT products."