Analyze the decision criteria

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In this unit, we'll analyze the criteria that experts employ when they decide which IoT service to use for a given business need. Understanding the criteria can also help you better understand the nuanced differences between each product.

Is it critical to ensure that the device is not compromised?

Not in every case. Manufacturers and customers would rather not have their devices to be maliciously compromised and used for nefarious purposes, however in some cases it's more critical to ensure the integrity than others. An example would be that of an ATM in comparison to a washing machine. When security is a critical consideration in your product's design, the best product option is Azure Sphere, which provides a comprehensive end-to-end solution for IoT devices.

As we mentioned in the previous unit, Azure Sphere ensures a secure channel of communication between the device and Azure by controlling everything from the hardware to the operating system and the authentication process. This ensures that the integrity of the device is uncompromised. After a secure channel is established, messages can be received from the device securely, and messages or software updates can be sent to the device remotely.

Do I need a dashboard for reporting and management?

Your next decision will be the level of services you require from your IoT solution. If you merely want to connect to your remote devices to receive telemetry and occasionally push updates, and you don't need any reporting capabilities, you might prefer to implement Azure IoT Hub by itself. Your programmers can still create a customized set of management tools and reports by using the IoT Hub RESTful API.

However, if you want a pre-built customizable user interface with which you can view and control your devices remotely, you might prefer to start with IoT Central. With this solution, you can control a single device or all devices at once, and you can set up alerts for certain conditions, such as a device failure.

IoT Central integrates with many different Azure products, including IoT Hub, to create a dashboard with reports and management features. The dashboard is based on starter templates for common industry and usage scenarios. You can use the dashboard that's generated by the starter template as is or customize it to suit your needs. You can have multiple dashboards and target them at a variety of users.