Architecture Blueprint Canvas for IoT


Architecting IoT solutions can become complex very quickly considering the various components involved and multiple interactions between device-services-external sources. In this post, I would like to share a set of Visio templates with the goals to assist a collaborative and brainstorming discussion during IoT design workshops and architectural discussions with customers and teams.

The templates are based on the building blocks of Azure IoT reference architecture but extend it to other attributes such as integration, extensibility etc and can be used for any IoT platform.

The templates are available here: https://github.com/niksacdev/abcforiot

Would love to hear your feedback on relevance on any improvements we can make to these.☺

The template provides the following features:

  • A systematic approach for eliciting business and technical requirements, identifying priorities and recording decisions and next steps for the following components in an IoT Solution: Devices, Messages, Field Gateway, Protocol Gateway, Device Registry, Device Management, Hot Path Analytics, Warm Path Analytics, Cold Path Analytics, Reporting, Client Applications, Integration and Extensibility.
  • It allows evaluating nonfunctional requirements including Security, Scalability, Supportability, and Governance.
  • IoT project teams can expedite their planning and requirement elicitation phase, identify dependencies and design constraints, and solidify design and architecture elements of their IoT Solution.

There are two flavors of the templates available today:

  • Basic: This is primarily the bare bone template for architecting a solution without documenting any decision points or brainstorming discussion. It is targeted towards an individual architect or a team that has already formulated an architecture and want to document their design across the different IoT components.
  • Collaborative: This is an advanced version of the basic template. It allows for team collaboration and brainstorming by providing sections for taking a decision and defining action items. A team can leverage the template to brainstorm ideas for problems for each component and then document them as a design decision in the template itself. For more information on how to use the template, refer here

 

A future goal is to develop some pre-configured scenarios (e.g. Connected Car, Manufacturing etc.) using these templates that can then be used to jump-start IoT Architecture discussions.

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