FAQ

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FAQ

AEP

An AEP is an acronym for an Application Enablement Platform, which is a form of Platform-as-a-Service that enables Rapid Application Development (RAD) for IoT and Digital Transformation application creation. Using a good AEP, developers don’t have to worry about the underlying platform security, reliability and scalability, as this is a core component of the AEP solution. An AEP also provides Application Development Toolsets to build essential solution components such as Connectivity, Device Management, Data Storage, Big Data Processing, Data Transformations, Actions on Events and Alarm/Alert Management, Rule-Based or AI/ML-Based Analytics, Dashboarding & Visualizations, External interface APIs, as well as System Management Services to operate the finished solution reliably at scale.
Flex83 is a secure, scalable, and reliable AEP. Build with the full flexibility of a best-in-class AEP, Flex83 provides all of the tools and capabilities your most serious coders need and expect, but it also provides intuitive Low-Code tools and workflows to enable “Citizen Coders” and Researchers high levels of productivity. Flex83 is the only platform that provides not only No-Code and Low-Code toolset but also provides your team with “Full-Code” development tools to integrate new software directly onto the AEP Service Layers. Using Flex83, your team can use the Low-Code and No-Code workflows for high speed & efficient development, but can also layer on “Full-Code” custom front-end and backend solutions and easily scale them with the underlying AEP solution. Flex83’s Top-Tier DevOps tools and highly optimized run-time cost lets you deploy solutions of any size and scale. Flex83 provides your team with a 6X Time to Market acceleration, and cuts your Cost of Ownership by 3X as well. Because you can literally build applications in hours, your product team will never have to go to a client meeting without a demo application.
Flex83 includes an API Gateway functionality to make it easy to build secure connectors to 3rd party applications via REST interfaces. The platform also includes multiple connectors to allow “Click-to-Configure” interworking with many popular applications. More Connectors are always being added depending on customer needs and demand. Also, Flex83’s has a loosely coupled architecture to allow integration of new components if needed to enable integration with any device, data source and 3rd party applications.

Pricing

IoT83 is made up of developers, not consultants. Our engagement model is always to work with customers to identify the best possible solutions for their needs, and to work with them on the most effective paths to meet their goals. Our engagement philosophy is that we are not successful until you are.

IoT83 has multiple sales engagement models to fit your application & business needs:

  1. Flex83-Core Application Package: “Pay-as-you-Grow” with our Base Package starting at $200/mo, and includes 200 devices and 50 users. This package includes “Click to Configure” out of the box a IoT System Monitoring and Management solutions.
  2. Flex83-Extend Package: This package includes all of the intuitive Low-Code workflows for fast application creation, and starts at $1,000/Month, and includes 500 devices and 100 users.
  3. Expansion and Add-Ons: With either package you can easily and affordably expand device connections or available services using IoT83’s tiered pricing and scale more or less indefinitely.
  4. Custom Development Services: As experts in using our own platform, IoT83 also offers customers the a great value in building, or assisting to build, custom applications. With our custom Development Services we can build your entire application, or partner with your team to accelerate your application development and lifecycle management.
  5. Private Cloud Deployment: IoT83 also offers the option to deploy Flex83 as a customer dedicated system on their own private or public cloud instance. Please discuss this option with your IoT83 Sales Representative.

Code

Flex83 multiple languages across the Low-Code application enablement tools, such as Python, NodeJS, Swift, Golang, PHP, Ruby, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more are being added as new needs are identified.

Data Lake

Flex83 provides over a dozen databases (including Hadoop, Mongo, MySQL, Postgress, TimescaleDB, Cassandra, Elastic, Influx, Prometheus, and more). Via the easy-to-use connector layer, Flex83 provides easy integration with 3rd party data stores like AWS S3, Azure, other public cloud databases, as well as to private/enterprise data stores.
Flex83 supports database connections to the dozens of Flex83 integrated databases as well as to securely connect to multiple external databases, all enabled via the Connection Manager.

Integrations

Flex83 provides multiple 3rd party integrations and the number of integrations increases with each release. Also, our integrations are often customer driven, so if you don’t see the integration you wish for, please let us know! Current integrations include more than 3 dozen applications, including: Amazon S3 / Redshift / Kinesis / RDS, AWS IoT, Azure IoT Hub, Google PubSub, Google IoT, Google Firebase, Elastic, CouchDB, ActiveMQ, Snowflake, MySQL, Node Red, Grafana, MongoDB, Rabbitmq, Jupyter Hub, Code Server, Kafka, and many more.

Scalable

The Flex83 elastic core has been proven to over 65 million devices connected via 5 million router flows, handling over 1 million transactions per minute (and lab-tested to 1M transactions/sec). So, the platform is highly scalable. But also, due to the integrated scale management and underlying cost optimization built into the platform, Flex83 is very efficient for lower-scale applications as well.

Dev Ops

Yes, Flex83 comes with a rich set of DevOps tools, and provides a view of every running platform service via a Grafana and PrometheusDB interface. Typically for SaaS deployments, where applications are run hosted on IoT83’s Flex83 instances, IoT83 will provide the DevOps. But where Flex83 is deployed in customer instances of public or private clouds (via AEP License), your team can easily manage DevOps using the tools provided, but can also use IoT83 services to complement your team as needed. Also note, that should your already be using specific DevOps or Network MGT tools, Flex83 can be integrated with those tools.
Yes, we can integrate your DevOps management tools. Depending on the tool flow, this may require some level of Engineering Development Services, but this is a common request and well understood.

Portable

Yes, Flex83 is a cloud-agnostic and can be deployed as a cloud-native option on any public or private cloud. Such deployments require an AEP License.
Yes, Flex83 can be deployed in a customer’s private data center, which requires an AEP license. Also Flex83 can be deployed as an “Appliance” with a smaller run-time & scaled-down feature set. Finally, Flex83 also includes Smart Edge application creation workflows where the Intelligent Edge applications created can be managed by Flex83 and pushed to various smart edge devices.
To deploy in your private datacenter, we will need the IPs, DNS, Domain Certificates, and VMs. Beyond this, no additional licenses are required as the platform is built on Curated Open Source – specifically to enable this flexibility.

Secure

By design, Flex83’s core was built to provide an extra level of security by keeping all user data separate and run in a separate VMs. Also, all transactions with the platform are secured via TLS 1.2.
All communication to the platform is secured using TLS1.2. However, hardware level security is to be handled by the hardware provider, however, edge-device upgrades and patches to edge devices can be managed using the platform Edge Manager.

Intellectual Property

Any application built for you either by your team or using IoT83 Engineering Services remains your IP, and is stored on secure software repositories (such as your private GitHub account or other similar repositories). All of your application is your IP, while the underlying platform is the IP of IoT83.

Edge Mgmt

Yes, Flex83 provides powerful workflows to build smart-edge solutions and to integrate these with the cloud application. Our Cloud IDE enables you to build and validate edge applications on the cloud, and once validated and ready to deploy, to push these applications to your edge devices. Using this capability, you can easily add new features and capabilities to your smart-edge devices and upgrade (or revert) your edge device software as needed.
Because edge devices have diverse FOTA designs and requirements, the FOTA functionality Flex83 provides integrated into your applications as needed, and once integrated this functions as and integrated part of your application as the platform. As we complete development of a more “Low-Code” Generic FOTA solution, this will be made available as part of the Device Management toolset which can still be further extended using the custom logic to cater to your business needs.
Flex83 has integrated a powerful Cloud IDE (VS Code) to enable developers to build new edge applications, validate them in the cloud, and then push them to your smart-edge devices. You can also easily connect to existing code repositories, build your smart-edge containers, and then deploy them using the Edge Manager available in the platform. All of this enables your team a streamlined path to “Build on the Cloud & Deploy on the Edge”.

AI/ML

Flex83 comes with AutoML, Zeppelin Notebook already integrated. However, the ‘Custom ML’ studio provides all the toolsets for easy data configuration, clean up, feature selection and model building tools like regression, classification, anomaly, and clustering. Further, Flex83 makes it easy to leverage 3rd party AI/ML tools such as AWS Sagemaker, Tensorflow, and others.
Yes, Flex83’s highly flexible, and extensible architecture enables not just the ability to custom build your ML models easily but also, you can easily leverage tools outside of the platform. You can easily connect the data accumulated in the platform and call the 3rd party model of your choice from within the platform as well as bringing them into the platform to call them as endpoints.

Big Data

Flex83 provides a rich “Marketplace” of multiple third party tools. For data processing tools like Zepplin and Jupyter Hub can be selected from the Marketplace and easily launched in your application. Also, Flex83 includes a proprietary notebook manager as a part of the standard big-data services.
The data transformation is done using our intuitive Dynamic ETL Studio (for Extract, Transform, Load functionality). Flex83 provides the full power of the underlying Apache Spark processing via an familiar SQL-like interface. This Low-Code workflow enables your team to easily transform the data and use the whole Apache Spark library, or User-Defined-Functions for data transformation. This can be done on streaming data (system ingress), as well as in batch processing modes. Flex83 also includes a Low-Code Action on Event workflow to trigger on single or complex combinations of events, and to associate actions with these events, such as RPCs, webhook calls, launching custom functions, or sending SMS, emails, or voice messages (outbound calls). Further, your team can also write functions in JavaScript, Pearl, of Python as Lambda/Function-as-a-Service elements to help to trigger more complex events on the streaming and batch data.

IAM

Customers access Applications created for them (role/application/tenant-based) via secure HTTP role-based access. This can apply to browser/desktop views or mobile applications.
Flex83 provides a rich IAM (Identity Access Management) service, and provides easy role-based / user-role creation. Devices can be further grouped into ‘Groups’ and users can be grouped into ‘User Groups’. This allows a cross section of your users to be assigned to different assets, logical roles & responsibilities, user access privileges, and operational assignment management.

Connectors

Flex83 natively supports the most IoT communication protocols such as MQTT, HTTP, and TCP/IP, with new protocols added frequently, with OPC-UA, Modbus, and others on the near-term roadmap. And, due to the layered architecture, adding new Low-Code Connectors that simplify connections to custom devices is a straightforward task. Also, Flex83 also comes with an integrated visual programming Flow Manager which is used to quickly create integration new protocols, or to build custom device or flow connectivity. For unique needs, please talk to our Sales Team and they can provide the timeline or try prioritize it for you.
The Flex83 Edge Manager makes it simple to integrate OPC-UA, Modbus, BacNet, and other SCADA protocols into Smart Edge applicaitons that translate this data into TCP based protocols like MQTT and HTTP.
Yes, these protocols are already supported. Also, Flex83 also comes with an integrated visual programming Flow Manager which is used to quickly create integration new protocols, or to build custom device or flow connectivity.
Yes, the Connection Manager allows you to connect your data to your public cloud, and also supports the ability to do data dumps and export them in different formats. Flex83 supports database connections to the dozens of Flex83 integrated databases as well as to securely connect to multiple external databases, all enabled via the Connection Manager.
A Gateway function will provide the bridge from South Bound Interfaces, such as Modbus, to North Bound Interfaces, such as MQTT or HTTP, etc., to Flex83 via one of the many Connectors provided. Should such gateway function be required to be co-resident / integrated with the Flex83, the architecture fully supports this, and IoT83 has implemented this for other customers.

Where Flex83 is deployed as an on-premise appliance, yes, multiple data forwarding re-try and validation options can be provided by simple modifications to the connectors and internal logic. Also note that the Flex83 platform supports high availability and fault tolerance.

And, where there are poor connectivity channels between the gateway and the Flex83 solution – whether on-premise, or in the cloud – implementation of re-try mechanisms are typically a part of the gateway’s internal logic. Where this is not available, custom application logic will need to be implemented in both the edge gateway and Flex83 solution to monitor and manage un-sent data.

Where Flex83 is deployed as an on-premise appliance, yes, multiple data forwarding re-try and validation options can be provided by simple modifications to the connectors and internal logic. Also note that the Flex83 platform supports high availability and fault tolerance.

And, where there are poor connectivity channels between the gateway and the Flex83 solution – whether on-premise, or in the cloud – implementation of re-try mechanisms are typically a part of the gateway’s internal logic. Where this is not available, custom application logic will need to be implemented in both the edge gateway and Flex83 solution to monitor and manage un-sent data.

Market

Yes, the visual programming tool Node Red is already integrated in Flex83 and is available under ‘Flows’.

Portable

Yes, Flex83 is a cloud-agnostic and can be deployed as a cloud-native option on any public or private cloud. Such deployments require an AEP License.
Yes, Flex83 can be deployed in a customer’s private data center, which requires an AEP license. Also Flex83 can be deployed as an “Appliance” with a smaller run-time & scaled-down feature set. Finally, Flex83 also includes Smart Edge application creation workflows where the Intelligent Edge applications created can be managed by Flex83 and pushed to various smart edge devices.
To deploy in your private datacenter, we will need the IPs, DNS, Domain Certificates, and VMs. Beyond this, no additional licenses are required as the platform is built on Curated Open Source – specifically to enable this flexibility.

Fault Tolerance

Flex83 services are deployed in a Kubernetes Cluster. Fault Tolerance is achieved by setting the Cluster sizing and Pods availability to assure that there are available resources in the case of any server or infrastructure failure. Further, each platform service is monitored to re-launch in the case of any service-level system failures.

Device Management

Yes, Flex83’s No-Code Toolset lets you “Click-to-Configure” a powerful device management application. The dynamically created application comes with a complete operations management and Identity Access Management (IAM) modules. This No-Code path is a highly accelerated path to building your MVP, validating this with your market, and scaled deployments. Subsequently, you can further enhance your solutions using the platform’s Low-Code workflows.

Containers

Yes, the Flex83 platform provides multiple No-Code and Low-Code workflows that make it easy for your team to build powerful IoT custom applications. You can also leverage the IoT83 Development Services to partner with your teams to accelerate initial product creation and helping your team master the full potential of what the Flex83 Application Enablement Platform provides.

License

Your Custom Application is your Intellectual Property and can be transferred to anyone as long as the terms and conditions of the IoT83 AEP License Agreement are honored and also transferred along in any such transaction.

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