Microsoft Azure Announces New Acquisitions and Functionality

Upgrades to dashboarding and SDK announced alongside by Solair acquisition.

The Microsoft Azure IoT team has been quite busy these past few weeks. First, the organization came out with a new software development kit (SDK) and improved dashboarding functionality for its IoT platform. Then the crew at Microsoft announced the IoT acquisition of Solair.

The team is certainly moving fast. Here is a deeper look into what Azure is up to.

Azure Stream Analytics and Power BI integration for Real-Time Dashboards

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Azure Stream Analytics and Power BI demonstration of real-time dashboards. Image courtesy of Microsoft. 

With the integration of Azure Stream Analytics and Power BI, engineers will be able to create interactive dashboards that operate in real-time.

These dashboards will be able to improve the user experience and data accuracy of IoT devices.

Traditionally, this level of dashboarding with Azure would involve ingesting the data, processing it, storing it on the cloud, pulling the data from a custom application and then displaying it on a dashboard.

This process could take minutes, which is an eternity from a user experience standpoint.

However, Microsoft reports that the new system is able to perform this task within seconds.

Azure Stream Analytics performs this analysis with in-motion data using a language similar to SQL. The Power BI connector then streams this data to the dashboard.

For more on Azure Stream Analytics and Power PI integration, watch the product demo below:

Azure Gateway SDK Beta

Using the Azure Gateway SDK, engineers will be able to add intelligence to gateways, which will be specific to their IoT use case. The SDK gives the user code that will reduce the work needed to produce gateway logic, allowing products to go to market more quickly.

Using ANSI C, a platform abstraction layer and a cross-platform library, Microsoft is aiming to make the SDK platform operating system and hardware agnostic. Currently, the system is compatible with Windows and Linux.

The SDK allows engineers to create customized gateways which can:

  • Support legacy hardware
  • Run edge analytics
  • Reduce latency
  • Reduce network bandwidth
  • Access reliable operations
  • Minimize security concerns

Microsoft’s Acquisition of Solair’s IoT Customization and Deployment Solution

Microsoft has also announced its acquisition of Solair, which has been offering IoT services to companies in the manufacturing, retail, food and beverage and transportation industries. Its goal is to help organizations parse through their big data and use it for some IoT intelligence.

Solair has created an IoT customization and deployment solution that functions within the Azure cloud platform. By collecting this data on the cloud and performing analytics, Solair can help organizations to reduce their costs, improve their products and increase manufacturing throughput.

However, any IoT regular will note that the capabilities of the Solair platform sound typical for the IoT. The release is also cryptic as to how Solair will fit in with Microsoft.

To that end, Microsoft promises that more details about the integration of the platforms and how they will complement each other will be available soon.

To see more on Azure and other IoT platforms read Comparing Platforms for Developing New Internet of Things Products.

Written by

Shawn Wasserman

For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.