Interoperability has emerged as one of the greatest obstacles inhibiting the growth of connected smart buildings today. This may come as no surprise considering the vast number of device types and vendors catering to the multitude of disparate systems that make up a truly integrated “Smart Building” environment.
The wide variety of different proprietary communication protocols paired with the difficulty of integrating new emerging technologies and standards with existing legacy systems and equipment has created a complex environment of disjointed data silos.
Here at MachineShop, we have made it our mission to break down these data silos and allow every data source, device, and system to be represented as a service which developers can easily utilize and interface with via a simple, RESTful API. It is our belief that developers should be focused on building mission-critical business applications and not be burdened with the complex, time consuming, and costly process of traditional data and systems integration. In addition to multiprotocol data ingestion and normalization, MachineShop also offers a number of other API-based tools and services for things like device management, rules and event management, administration & security, and API management.
To provide one example, one of our clients is a global integrator of electronic security systems whose customers use a wide range of different security devices, like surveillance cameras and intrusion alarms, often from multiple manufacturers. Additionally, many of their customers had very specialized systems and legacy equipment in place to meet their specific needs – thus a full technology overhaul would’ve been impossible. This type of brownfield deployment called for a new, innovative approach that would be both scalable and flexible to the customers’ needs.
The client utilized our API-based services platform to integrate and manage 100’s of thousands of devices and ingest all device data in its native signal without having to install agent software on any device. In just 90 days, they were able to bring to market an intuitive web portal that allowed customers to remotely manage any number of devices and systems from multiple vendors at any facility around the world.
Long story short, the benefits of a cohesive smart building are clear – improved energy efficiency, reduced costs, optimized building operations, and reduced operational risk – but up until this point, the road to success has been daunting. Integrating disparate building systems is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. By employing an API-centric, services-oriented approach, like MachineShop’s, everyone from Solution Providers to System Integrators, and even OEMs can significantly simplify integration and ensure that their solutions provide the maximum flexibility and interoperability to meet their customers’ present and future needs.