Tutorial: Deploy and walk through the water consumption monitoring application

Use the IoT Central water consumption monitoring application template and the guidance in this article to develop an end-to-end water consumption monitoring solution.

Water consumption monitoring architecture

Devices and connectivity

Water management solutions use smart water devices such as flow meters, water quality monitors, smart valves, leak detectors.

Devices in smart water solutions may connect through low-power wide area networks (LPWAN) or through a third-party network operator. For these types of devices, use the Azure IoT Central Device Bridge to send your device data to your IoT application in Azure IoT Central. You can also use device gateways that are IP capable and that can connect directly to IoT Central.

IoT Central

Azure IoT Central is an IoT App platform that helps you quickly build and deploy an IoT solution. You can brand, customize, and integrate your solution with third-party services.

When you connect your smart water devices to IoT Central, the application provides device command and control, monitoring and alerting, a user interface with built-in RBAC, configurable dashboards, and extensibility options.

Extensibility and integrations

You can extend your IoT application in IoT Central and optionally:

  • Transform and integrate your IoT data for advanced analytics, for example training machine learning models, through continuous data export from IoT Central application.
  • Automate workflows in other systems by triggering actions using Power Automate or webhooks from IoT Central application.
  • Programmatically access your IoT application in IoT Central through IoT Central APIs.

Business applications

You can use IoT data to power various business applications within a water utility. In your IoT Central water consumption monitoring application you can configure rules and actions, and set them to create alerts in Connected Field Service. Configure Power Automate in IoT Central rules to automate workflows across applications and services. Additionally, based on service activities in Connected Field Service, information can be sent back to Azure IoT Central.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Use the Azure IoT Central water consumption monitoring template to create your water consumption monitoring application.
  • Explore and customize the dashboard.
  • Explore device templates.
  • Explore simulated devices.
  • Explore and configure rules.
  • Configure jobs.
  • Customize your application branding by using white labeling.

Prerequisites

  • There are no specific prerequisites required to deploy this app.
  • You can use the free pricing plan or use an Azure subscription.

Create water consumption monitoring application

Create the application using following steps:

  1. Navigate to the Azure IoT Central Build site. Then sign in with a Microsoft personal, work, or school account. Select Build from the left-hand navigation bar and then select the Government tab: Application template

  2. Select Create app under Water consumption monitoring.

To learn more, see Create an IoT Central application.

Walk through the application

The following sections walk you through the key features of the application:

Dashboard

After you create the application, the sample Wide World water consumption dashboard opens.

Water consumption monitoring dashboard.

You can create and customize views on the dashboard for operators.

Note

All data displayed on the dashboard is based on simulated device data, which you will explore in the next section.

The dashboard consists of different kinds of tiles:

  • Wide World Water Utility image tile: The first tile in the dashboard is an image tile of the fictitious water utility Wide World Water. You can customize the tile by inserting your own image or removing it.

  • Average water flow KPI tile: The KPI tile is configured to display as an example the average in the last 30 minutes. You can customize the KPI tile and set it to a different type and time range.

  • Device command tiles: These tiles include the Close valve, Open valve, and Set valve position tiles. Selecting the commands takes you to the simulated device command page. In Azure IoT Central, a command is a device capability type. We'll explore this concept later in the Device template section of this tutorial.

  • Water distribution area map: The map uses Azure Maps, which you can configure directly in Azure IoT Central. The map tile displays the device location. Hover over the map and try the controls over the map, like zoom in, zoom out, or expand.

    Water consumption monitoring dashboard map

  • Average water flow line chart and Environmental condition line chart: You can visualize one or multiple device telemetries plotted as a line chart over a desired time range.

  • Average valve pressure heatmap chart: You can choose the heatmap visualization type of device telemetry data you want to see distributed over a time range with a color index.

  • Reset alert thresholds content tile: You can include call-to-action content tiles and embed a link to an action page. In this case, the reset alert threshold takes you to the application Jobs, where you can run updates to device properties. You'll explore this option later in the Configure jobs section of this tutorial.

  • Property tiles: The dashboard displays Valve operational info, Flow alert thresholds, and Maintenance info tiles.

Customize the dashboard

You can customize views in the dashboard for operators.

  1. Select Edit to customize the Wide World water consumption dashboard. You can customize the dashboard by selecting the Edit menu. After the dashboard is in edit mode, you can add new tiles or you can configure it.

    Edit dashboard

To learn more, see Create and customize dashboards.

Explore the device template

In Azure IoT Central, a device template defines the capabilities of a device. Device capabilities include telemetry sent by device sensors, device properties, and commands the device can execute. You can define one or more device templates in Azure IoT Central that represent the capability of the devices that you'll connect.

The water consumption monitoring application comes with two reference device templates that represent a flow meter and a smart valve device.

To view the device template:

  1. Select Device templates on the left pane of your application in Azure IoT Central. In the Device templates list, you'll see two device templates, Smart Valve and Flow meter.

    Device template

  2. Select the Flow meter device template, and familiarize yourself with the device capabilities.

    Device template Flow meter

Customize the device template

To customize the device template:

  1. Go to Customize on the Device templates menu.

  2. Find the Temperature telemetry type.

  3. Update the Display Name of Temperature to Reported temperature.

  4. Update the unit of measurement, or set the Min value and Max value.

  5. Select Save to save any changes.

    Customize the device template.

Add a cloud property

  1. Go to Cloud Properties on the Device templates menu.
  2. Add a new cloud property by selecting + Add Cloud Property. In Azure IoT Central, you can add a property that's relevant to the device. As an example, a cloud property could be an alerting threshold specific to an installation area, asset information, or other maintenance information.
  3. Select Save to save any changes.

To learn more, see Cloud properties.

Views

The water consumption monitor device template comes with predefined views. The views define how operators see the device data, and set the values of cloud properties.

Device template views

To learn more, see Views.

Publish the device template

Navigate to device templates page and select Publish to save any changes made to the device template.

To learn more, see How to publish templates.

Create a new device template

Select + New to create a new device template and follow the creation process. You can create a custom device template from scratch, or you can choose a device template from the Azure Device Catalog.

To learn more, see How to add device templates.

Explore simulated devices

In Azure IoT Central, you can create simulated devices to test your device template and application. The water consumption monitoring application has two simulated devices mapped to the Flow meter and Smart Valve device templates.

View the devices

  1. Select Devices > All devices on the left pane.

    All devices pane

  2. Select Smart Valve 1.

    Smart Valve 1

  3. On the Commands tab, you can see the three device commands (Close valve, Open valve, and Set valve position) that are capabilities defined in the Smart Valve device template.

  4. Explore the Device Properties tab and the Device Dashboard tab.

Note

The views you see on this page are configured using the Device Template > Views page.

Add new devices

Add new devices by selecting + New on the Devices tab.

To learn more, see Manage devices.

Explore rules

In Azure IoT Central, you can create rules to automatically monitor device telemetry and trigger actions when one or more conditions are met. The actions might include sending email notifications or triggering a Microsoft Power Automate action or a webhook action to send data to other services.

The water consumption monitoring application you created has three preconfigured rules.

View rules

  1. Select Rules on the left pane.

    Rules pane

  2. Select High water flow alert, which is one of the preconfigured rules in the application.

    High pH alert

    The High water flow alert rule is configured to check against the condition Flow is greater than the Max flow threshold. Flow threshold is a cloud property defined in the Smart Valve device template. The value of Max flow threshold is set per device instance.

Next, you can create an email action.

To add an action to the rule:

  1. Select + Email.
  2. Enter High flow alert as the friendly Display name for the action.
  3. Enter the email address associated with your Azure IoT Central account in To.
  4. Optionally, enter a note to include in the text of the email.
  5. Select Done to complete the action.
  6. Select Save to save the new rule.
  7. Enable the rule.

Within a few minutes, you'll receive an email after the configured condition is met.

Note

The application sends an email each time a condition is met. Select Disable to disable the rule to stop receiving email from the automated rule.

To create a new rule:

To create a new rule, select + New on the Rules tab on the left pane.

Configure jobs

In Azure IoT Central, jobs allow you to trigger device or cloud property updates on multiple devices. In addition to properties, you can also use jobs to trigger device commands on multiple devices. Azure IoT Central automates the workflow for you.

  1. Select Jobs on the left pane.
  2. Select + New, and configure one or more jobs.

To learn more, see How to run a job.

Customize your application

As a administrator, you can change several settings to customize the user experience in your application.

  1. Select Administration > Customize your application.

  2. To choose an image to upload as the Application logo, select the Change button.

  3. To choose a Browser icon image that will appear on browser tabs, select the Change button.

  4. You can also replace the default Browser colors by adding HTML hexadecimal color codes. For more information about HEX Value color notation, see HTML Colors.

    Selections for application logo, browser icon, and browser colors

  5. You can also change application images by selecting Administration > Application settings. To choose an image to upload as the application image, select the Select image button.

Clean up resources

If you're not going to continue to use this application, delete it.

  1. Select Administration on the left pane of your Azure IoT Central application.
  2. Select Application settings, and then select Delete at the bottom of the page.

Next steps

The suggested next step is to learn about Water quality monitoring.