Environmental Monitoring with TPS, Azure, and PowerBI

Datetime:2016-08-23 01:31:05         Topic: Windows Azure          Share        Original >>
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Сollect environmental data with Tibbo Project System devices, process it with Azure Stream Analytics and visualize using Power BI.

Configure and Assemble the TPS

  • Open LTPS Web Interface by simply entering its IP address in your browser, select the "Tibbits Layout" tab, and push the "Launch TPS Configurator..." button.

  • Setup Tibbits Layout as shown on the screenshot below and click File/Save

Note: TPS needs to be rebooted to take new Tibbits Layout into effect.

  • Assemble TPS according to the Tibbits Layout

Attention: it's strongly recommended to shut down TPS before placing/removing Tibbits.

Step 1: First Application

Node.js, Git and Python 2.7 are installed on each LTPS by default, but NPM is not.

  • For installing, connect it to your device with SSH and do the following:
# Setup package repositories
    smart channel --add 150a type=rpm-md name="LTPS all" baseurl=http://tibbo.com/downloads/LTPS/packets/all/ -y
    smart channel --add 150c type=rpm-md name="LTPS cortexa" baseurl=http://tibbo.com/downloads/LTPS/packets/cortexa8hf_neon/ -y
    smart update
# Install NPM
    smart install nodejs-npm -y
  • Then:

# Create folder for application
    cd /opt/node-apps/
    mkdir environment
    cd environment
# Install required modules
    npm install @tibbo-tps/tibbit-28
    npm install @tibbo-tps/tibbit-30
    npm install @tibbo-tps/tibbit-35

Note: opt/node-apps/ folder is proposed to be used for your Node.JS apps.

  • In any IDE or even a text editor create azure-app-0.js file with you application:
var tibbit28 = require("@tibbo-tps/tibbit-28").init("S11");
var tibbit35 = require("@tibbo-tps/tibbit-35").init("S13");
var tibbit30 = require("@tibbo-tps/tibbit-30").init("S15");

    var illuminationData = tibbit28.getData();
    var humidityData = tibbit30.getData();
    var pressureData = tibbit35.getData();
    var dateTime = new Date();

    console.log("Date/Time: "+dateTime);
    console.log("Illumination: "+illuminationData.illumination);
    console.log("Humidity: "+humidityData.humidity);
    console.log("Temperature: "+humidityData.temperature);
    console.log("Pressure: "+pressureData.pressure);
  • Upload it to /environment folder and run:
$ node azure-app-0.js
    Date/Time: Tue Jul 19 2016 13:50:54 GMT+0000 (UTC)
    Illumination: 115
    Humidity: 43.755340576171875
    Temperature: 28.05670928955078
    Pressure: 738.7398681640625

Step 2: Setting Up Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

Microsoft Azure IoT Hub is a service that allows bi-directional communications between your devices and a solution back end. To complete this part of the tutorial you'll need:

  • TPS device(s) prepared as shown on Step 0
  • An active Azure account
  • A PC with installed Node.js

Create an IoT Hub

  • Sign in to the Azure Portal
  • Choose New > Internet of Things > Azure IoT Hub
  • Configure your IoT Hub, then click "Create".

  • Wait a few minutes until your IoT Hub has been created then select All Resources > [name of your IoT hub] and click "Keys" icon.
  • In the Shared access policies blade select the "iothubowner" item and then copy the value of "Connection string" field.

Step 3: Registering Device Identities

There are three ways to register device identities: with a script using Azure API, with GUI App (for Windows only) and with multiplatform CLI tool. The third way seems to be the most convenient one.

Note: To use iothub-explorer you need Node.js version 4.x or later installed.

  • On your PC run:
npm install -g iothub-explorer@latest
  • Then:
$ iothub-explorer login <connection-string>
    Session started, expires Thu Jul 21 2016 13:22:10 GMT+0400

Where <connection-string> is an iothubowner connection string from Step 2.

  • To register a new device and get its connection string:
$ iothub-explorer create <device-name> --connection-string
    Created device tps-centreville
    connectionString: HostName=iot-tps.azure-devices.net;DeviceId=tps-centreville;SharedAccessKey=fSCVQIY..TOprSsDE=

Where <device-name> is e.g. "tps-centreville".

  • Make note of the connections string.

Step 4: Making Devices IoT-Enabled

  • Connect with SSH to the TPS , change folder to /environment and do:
npm install azure-iot-device
npm install azure-iot-device-amqp
  • Create azure-app-1.js file with the following app:
var clientFromConnectionString = require('azure-iot-device-amqp').clientFromConnectionString;
var Message = require('azure-iot-device').Message;
var connectionString = '<THE DEVICE CONNECTION STRING FROM STEP 3>';
var client = clientFromConnectionString(connectionString);
var tibbit28 = require("@tibbo-tps/tibbit-28").init("S11");
var tibbit35 = require("@tibbo-tps/tibbit-35").init("S13");
var tibbit30 = require("@tibbo-tps/tibbit-30").init("S15");
    console.log('Could not connect: ' + err);
    console.log('Client connected');
        var illuminationData = tibbit28.getData();
        var humidityData = tibbit30.getData();
        var pressureData = tibbit35.getData();
        var time = new Date().toISOString();
        var data = JSON.stringify({
            deviceId: 'tps-centreville',
            humidity: humidityData.humidity,
            temperature: humidityData.temperature,
            pressure: pressureData.pressure,
            illumination: illuminationData.illumination,
            time: time
        var message = new Message(data);
        client.sendEvent(message, function (err) {
                console.log("Message sent: " + message.getData());
  • Upload it to /opt/node-apps/environment folder on the TPS and run:
$ node azure-app-1.js
    Client connected
        Message sent: {"deviceId":"tps-centreville","humidity":37.1016960144043,"temperature":31.370407104492188,"pressure":742.8632202148438,"illumination":136,"time":"2016-07-21T10:19:07.490Z"}
        Message sent: {"deviceId":"tps-centreville","humidity":37.1016960144043,"temperature":31.370407104492188,"pressure":743.2034301757812,"illumination":137,"time":"2016-07-21T10:20:10.582Z"}
        Message sent: {"deviceId":"tps-centreville","humidity":37.1016960144043,"temperature":31.380477905273438,"pressure":743.2034301757812,"illumination":138,"time":"2016-07-21T10:21:12.003Z"}

Event monitoring is the most remarkable and very useful feature for the purpose of debugging iothub-explorer. With iot-explorer, you can easily observe events sent by your devices to cloud and vice versa.

Note: this command requires providing iothubowner connection string even if you're already logged in.

  • On your PC do:
$ iothub-explorer <connection-string> monitor-events tps-centreville
    Monitoring events from device tps-centreville
    Event received:
        { deviceId: 'tps-centreville',
            humidity: 37.1016960144043,
            temperature: 31.380477905273438,
            pressure: 743.2034301757812,
            illumination: 138,
            time: '2016-07-21T10:21:12.003Z' }

You can see every event as soon as it's sent to IoT hub.

Step 5: Configure Stream Analytics

Note: To complete this part of the tutorial you'll need an active Microsoft Power BI subscription.

Before the information can be delivered to Power BI, it must be processed by a Azure Stream Analytics job.

  • Choose New > Internet of Things > Stream Analytics Job
  • Configure the Job, then click "Create"
  • Wait a couple of minutes until the Job has been created, then select All resources > name of your Stream Analytics Job
  • Click Inputs > Add

Set up input in the following way:

  • Input alias : data-from-tps
  • Source Type : Data stream
  • Source : IoT Hub
  • Subscription : Use IoT hub from current subscription
  • Endpoint : Messaging
  • Shared access policy name : iothubowner
  • Consumer group : powerbi
  • Click "Create"

Set up output:

  • Output alias : data-to-powerbi
  • Click Outputs > Add
  • Choose Power Bi as sink
  • Click Authorize and enter your Power BI credentials in the appearing window
  • Enter Dataset Name and Table Name , e.g. "telemetry" and "environment", respectively
  • Click "Create"

Now it's time to enter the query:

  • Click Query
  • Enter the following:
    AVG(humidity) AS humidity,
    AVG(temperature) AS temperature,
    AVG(pressure) AS pressure,
    AVG(illumination) AS illumination,
    System.Timestamp AS time,
    IoTHub.ConnectionDeviceId AS deviceId
    [data-from-tps] TIMESTAMP by time
    TumblingWindow(Second, 60), IoTHub.ConnectionDeviceId
  • Click Save

Stream Analytics Query Language is a subset of SQL. Complete language documentation can be found here. There is also a very useful set of examples.

The query above, in short words, splits the timeline into 60-second periods and returns average values of humidity, temperature, pressure, and illumination for each period and each deviceld.

  • Start your job

Step 6: Visualizing Your Data

Open your Power BI workspace. Soon after you started the Stream Analytics job, a new dataset appears in the Navigation Bar. Report creation should not be a great challenge. Use "time" as Axis, "deviceId" as Legend and temperature/humidity/illumination/pressure as Value.

Step 7: Adding Devices

  • Register second device as described in Step 3.
  • Upload and run code from Step 4 with modified connectionString value.

In a short time, the second curve appears in the report.


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