If you aren’t in the software business, you might wonder what a “platform” is and whether you should even care. To answer the second question: yes, you should care very much. As your enterprise grows, you’ll need to integrate new solutions into existing systems, whether you’re deploying a vehicle telematics solution or monitoring fixed industrial equipment.
Not every scenario can be covered by off-the-shelf M2M applications, but a scratch-built solution can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. So that’s why you should care about platforms…but what are they?
A platform lets you design a solution without worrying about the details. The platform handles the details for you. With a platform as a service (PaaS), you don’t even need to worry about the infrastructure necessary to manage the platform itself; it’s all handled in the cloud.
For example, imagine you need to monitor the temperature of a sensor. Without a platform, this might involve some or all of the following tasks:
– Understanding the remote device that manages the sensor
– Implementing the communication protocol used by the remote device
– Interfacing with a device operating system
– Reading and writing specific memory registers
– Directly managing data transmission over a network
Each of those tasks involves code that you’ll need to write. Finally, once you’ve got all that code designed and built, you can write code on top of it to read the temperature data. That is, your application has to tell all those underlying parts to do their work in order to get the temperature data back. But what if the underlying code infrastructure already knew what to do and when, and the code running on top could just ask for the temperature? Now you’re talking about a platform: the underlying infrastructure that your code runs on top of.
The point of a platform is to do the hard work for you, so you can think about your solution at a higher level. In this example, instead of doing all those complicated device communication tasks, you can just ask the platform for the temperature of the sensor. That means a lot less code you have to write, because it’s already been done for you.
The CalAmp Telematics Cloud makes data and device control available from URLs, relieving you of the need to know everything that’s going on under the hood. That means you can design your solution in simple terms, saying “when this temperature exceeds this value, do this” instead of spending your time building the underlying code infrastructure. The CalAmp Telematics Cloud knows how to talk to a broad portfolio of intelligent CalAmp devices that can monitor and control your assets directly.
If you need a custom M2M solution for fixed or mobile asset tracking or telematics, what you really need first is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS). To learn more about how the CalAmp Telematics Cloud can help you develop your solution quickly and efficiently, check out our white paper.