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Microsoft launches IoT Translators to Things platform

William Payne
April 7, 2016
Microsoft has launched a middleware platform to allow developers to create IoT applications that can be used with multiple devices and processes. The Open Translators to Things (OpenT2T) platform has been posted on the open software GitHub repository website, and is designed to run either on public clouds or IoT gateways.

Announcing the development in a blog post, Microsoft’s president for open technologies, Jean Pauli, said “there are just too many different APIs that application developers need to use today to control very similar “Things” created by different manufacturers or by using different protocols.” Microsoft, he writes, believes that “application developers need a consistent way to control similar devices as they create apps that can support, at scale, many manufacturers.”

An OpenT2T translator is designed to hide the implementation details about particular data models and protocols while exposing functionalities directly as programmable APIs.

“Turn a lightbulb on? No need for an app developer to think about RPC vs. REST, HTTP vs. MQTT, CoAP vs. ZigBee,” wrote Mr Pauli. “What is needed is myBulb.turnOn() and the translator will map the API common schema call to the appropriate libraries to perform the operation. Cortana or other voice assistants could turn your bulb on whether it comes from Philips, Samsung, Wink, or another manufacturer.”

OpenT2T translators can run on local devices such as PCs, tablets or smartphones, or in the cloud or on gateways and marshalled from the cloud.

The OpenT2T platform is based on the server-side JavaScript Node.js framework. As an open source framework, it can be extended and deployed at will by developers and enterprises.