First of all, I’m a frequent customer of all the cool widgets you make. I also was part of the small team at Saleae that developed the next-gen of logic analyzers that you’re now selling, so although you don’t know my name, you’re probably already familiar with my work. While my day job is still being a hardware engineer at a startup, I’ve spent my nights and weekends over the past few months working on a website which I hope will be of great use to all the hobbyists/makers working on IoT projects, particularly anyone using your Huzzah line of IoT devices & ESP8266 modules that you sell.
The website aims to provide quality IoT/Machine-to-Machine web services which are tailored specifically to hobbyist/maker community & small startups, and not chasing after enterprise-level deployments. I’ve personally become a big fan of the ESP8266 and really like all the progress in making connectivity possible in hobbyist projects. It’s now so easy to set up the devices, however setting up the infrastructure / MQTT broker isn’t quite as accessible. Sure, there are some sandbox brokers out there, but then anyone and their mother can see your data or publish to topics you’re using. That’s not cool. There are some enterprise services which have free plans for hobbyists, but getting up and can be configuration heavy (not to mention intimidating for hobbyists). I wanted to remove these barriers, so with IoTPortal, users can have PRIVATE topics on an MQTT broker set up in less than 30 seconds from the moment they sign up. No need to use an API to configure the topics, that can be done right on the web page. Another thing that the site aims to overcome is data logging on your MQTT messages. MQTT is great for real-time, but there’s also a lot of value in retaining data for later analysis as well. For subscribers, another few clicks and they can configure to log the data on their topics. The data logged can be retrieved from the web interface, or through the REST API. This basically creates an easy method for users to have data posted on their website from their IoT devices over MQTT. The API also exposes a method to publish messages, essentially creating a REST-to-MQTT bridge, which can be used in an unlimited number of ways. Oh yeah, there’s also Dynamic DNS available to put your device on an easy to remember, short, url. It’s handy. The service is FREE, with option to subscribe to a premium service with extremely high limits for just $4.99/month. Again, this site is to cater to hobbyists/makers, and not enterprise deployments, so the fee is flat and not based on the number of devices using the services. For example, even on the free plan, there are 8 private MQTT topics available, and you can have an unlimited number of concurrent devices accessing them.
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