IoT-Enabled Desktop Applications Using Electron

Each day Internet of Things connects more and more devices. Often IoT means the presence of a dashboard/Web UI. But it can also be useful in desktop applications.

Let’s imagine we want to perform some action on the desktop each time the user interacts with some device. It can be easily implemented using the AWS IoT and the Electron framework.

As you may know, AWS IoT provides an MQTT-over-websockets support that can be used to build IoT-enabled web applications. While it’s a great feature, sometimes we may want to provide an interface that will be more high-level. In this case, the client application doesn’t need to know anything about the MQTT protocol or AWS IoT. Unfortunately, at this moment AWS doesn’t provide any ready-to-use service for sending notifications via websockets.

Since it’s not always possible to use a third-party service for push notifications, and data streaming, we can create a custom one. It will have an architecture like this:

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Easily Create Complex Workflows With AWS Step Functions

Often applications, especially if we are talking about e-Commerce or enterprise software, consist of complex repeatable scenarios(workflows) that must be executed in a response to some event. Let’s take a look at a typical example of such workflow that we can see in e-Commerce software — order processing:

In the world of serveless solutions, each action(node) of the workflow can be represented as a corresponding AWS Lambda function. It will be short, easy to test and will have a single responsibility — doing its actual job. But who will be responsible for coordinating those functions, chaining them, checking conditions and deciding what to do next? Earlier, it was the responsibility of the developer to implement the way multiple connected Lambda functions should interact. But recently Amazon has announced a new service that allows coordinating various AWS services by using the workflow abstraction and visual tools — AWS Step Functions.

In this article, I’m going to demonstrate some basic features of AWS Step Functions and how they can be executed in a response to any event.

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Beacons — Enriching your applications with real-world context data

Just imagine how great it could be if your mobile applications were aware of physical things nearby — personal stuff, vending machines, your car or bicycle… But how one can achieve that? Do we need to make all those things “smart” and put an OS inside to make them a part of the Internet of Things? What if I told you there is an amazing technology that can bring online even your old sneakers just by attaching a small sticker to them? Continue reading to learn more about that technology.

This blog post contains information on approaches we used to build a PoC for the Reality Hack event held on the Tauron Arena Krakow and challenges we faced. The event was supported by the world’s leading beacon devices manufacturer — Estimote.

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