A significant number of IoT uses cases today are built on low-data rate long-battery life applications powered by LPWAN sensor and communication technologies such as Sigfox, LoRa or NB-IoT. These are used in IoT domains as diverse as smart asset management, smart metering, smart waste, smart building and more.
IoT system integrators are best positioned to understand and address the fine variations of clients’ demands for connected solutions in these domains, as they have extensive knowledge and expertise in the respective vertical market segments.
But even within the same market segment, different customers are at different stages of their IoT journey and they will each require a customized approach to their specific IoT solution. What works best for your customer’s particular business case – Sigfox, public LoRa or rather a private LoRa network? Have they already connected their devices to an LPWAN back-end or are they just starting out and looking for the best option to suit their POC?
No matter the answers to these questions, as a system integrator you will have to be ready to provide the best possible solution to all your customers.
When working with Waylay as your cloud platform provider, you have the highest flexibility to fine tune your offering to match your customer’s needs, no matter how they answer the above questions.
One of the ways Waylay enables you to do that is by allowing you to accommodate different LPWAN dialects, giving you the flexibility to ingest IoT device sensor data from a variety of back-ends such as Sigfox or various public and private LoRa networks. On top of that, you do not have to rely on us but you can easily build your own connection to a new LPWAN back-end yourself if it’s not already there. And what’s more, your customers can actually bring their own connectivity with them when you sign them up.
This is all made possible (and secure) with Waylay’s new feature release: Waylay webscripts.
What are webscripts?
Waylay webscripts are pure cloud functions (bound to a URL address) which can be invoked securely over a REST interface. They act as a metaphorical “translator” between an external system and the Waylay platform.
As an example, Waylay’s REST interface expects a JSON payload format, some back-ends may however have an XML webhook payload format – the webscripts take care of the payload transformation from XML to JSON format.
The LPWAN payload decoding happens in a second step, after the Webscripts. The payload decoder is bound to device type but not the network it’s coming on, this means that for a certain device type, irrespective of the network used, Waylay will always interpret the payload correctly. (first byte as smth, then second byte as smth else etc.)
What are webscripts for?
Waylay webscripts provide system integrators with a framework that enables them to add their own payload transformations- for a detailed technical description of how to create webscripts, visit our documentation page on webscripts here.
When it comes to creating the webscripts, you have two options:
- Create a webscript for each device type and for each back-end, so the number of webscripts will be equal to the number of backends multiplied by the number of device types
- Create a webscript for each device type with multiple LPWAN networks being supported in the same webscript.
Both options come with advantages and challenges and it’s up to the system integrator to decide whichever works best. For a detailed technical description of each of these two options please visit our documentation page on LPWAN here.
Benefits of Waylay webscripts
The new Waylay webscripts feature has three major benefits for you as a system integrator:
- Connect multiple LPWAN back-ends
There are multiple LPWAN back-ends out there that your customers may need to work with and they each come with their own webhook format. The same LPWAN devices can connect to multiple networks and some of them support multiple technologies allowing them to connect both over Sigfox and LoRa. With Waylay, you can use whichever of these back-ends you want as the webscripts will take care of the data normalisation.
- Build your own LPWAN back-end integration
When we think of LoRa networks for example, there are multiple of these out there and your customers may have a preference or requirement for one or another. With the Waylay webscripts framework it is now easy for you to add any preferred LoRa backend you may want and push data from those connected devices to the Waylay platform.
- Offer your customers the option to bring their own connectivity
Sometimes you work with customers that already have an LPWAN network connection and would prefer to continue using it for new business cases, for example they may already have a Sigfox account. With Waylay, this option is on the table and you can offer a flexible, cost-effective solution for them to easily connect their Sigfox back-end to Waylay. As webscripts enables you to attach any Sigfox back-end to one single Waylay environment in a secure way, you can set-up and configure your Waylay account for multiple end customers.
Here are the direct links to the technical documentation pages: