How it works

The concept

Rightech IoT Cloud is based on the idea of controlling a network of devices the same way as a living being controls its body.
Using signals from sense organs (sensor network) that any creature’s brain is receiving and a single command to contract a muscle (control network) that it disposes, the brain is capable to form the most complicated behaviour. Whereas consciousness when modelling behaviour uses high level notions such as «jump over an obstacle». It does not need to «understand» which signals from which sense organs will be processed by the brain and which muscles will receive a contraction command to fulfil the task.
Rightech platform represents the «brain» of your devices that are the sensor and the control network of your business. It allows you to design business logic operating with high level notions without having to write any code and focusing on your customer applications and end-point solutions generating the actual value.

 

Connectivity

With Rightech platform you’re free to choose devices best suited for your business case both if purchasing specialised IoT equipment or utilising already existing devices, thus reducing the budget of the project.

The platform offers 3 device connection types:

  • direct — for devices capable of connecting to the Internet and allowing to configure connection parameters
  • by means of a software agent RIC-Agent — for devices capable of connecting to the Internet but without their own software allowing connectivity to the platform. These are Windows and Unix operating systems devices that become capable of connecting to the platform with MQTT protocol after RIC-Agent installation.
  • by means of IoT routers — for PAN-devices* operating within their own networks. There is still a huge number of devices in the world using wired interfaces (RS-485, RS-232, one-wire), short range radio channels and infrared signals. These devices can also be connected to the platform by means of special IoT routers acting as a gateway between devices and the platform.

 

Universal protocol

RIC-Gate provides connection between devices with different protocols and the platform. This is the only module of the platform that «knows» devices’ protocols. It transforms the data sent by devices into the universal platform protocol RUP. Inside the platform all data is managed using RUP.
The platform also transforms the data back from RUP into each device’s protocol to make sure they execute commands and reply to requests.

This approach allows for high devices abstraction level giving a number of advantages:

  • risks are diversified as you are able to choose multiple device suppliers
  • considerably reduced cost and time for connecting devices during system development and later when scaling after your project is launched
  • the platform does not limit your device options and lets you combine older and newer devices to perform a common business logic

 

Protocol interpretation

Easy logic design with high device abstraction level becomes possible due to Virtual Model principle implemented in the platform, that is a virtual model of device’s properties.
Virtual Model first interprets device’s parameters and commands into RUP protocol on RIC-Gate level, then it transforms it from RUP to verbal language which an ordinary user without programming skills and just familiar with the device’s functional capabilities can use to design logic patterns.
The Model is not limited by device’s hardware capabilities. It can be extended with virtual properties (i.e. result of calculation over raw data) and events (i.e. end user actions in your applications) therefore broadening the boundaries of logic pattern design.
If you choose a device with a proprietary protocol it’ll take us up to 2 weeks to add it into the platform.

 

Designing logic patterns

With Virtual Model it becomes possible to use such primitives like events, parameters and actions to create very complex business logic. RIC-Logic subsystem allows you to design and run logic patterns.
Patterns can use the results of execution of each other as logical elements giving even more freedom in logic design.
Patterns are created in a very user-friendly visual editor which does not require any technical skills or coding to use. Any of your employees understanding the business process is capable of designing, testing and running logic patterns that will manage your devices.
Such simplicity is achieved by the editor’s basic principle of describing the simplest states and transition conditions between them.
In the end your business idea will keep it’s immediate relevance due to much quicker, more flexible and cheaper logic design and modification compared to writing code.

 

Running logic patterns

In order to run a logic pattern for each device an individual container is created in the device management interface. A device can have unlimited number of containers to run different patterns.
You can also visually monitor the current state of any running template at any moment in time.

This adds to the flexibility of your business logic:

  • start and stop the execution of a template for each individual device manually or automatically via the API.
  • a single device can simultaneously participate in execution of multiple templates
  • multiple devices can execute the same template
  • quick modification of patterns involved in one business process does not require stopping and starting the entire system. It is notable that after such modification the previous version of a template will still keep running until it reaches it’s logical end or is stopped manually. That prevents your business process from errors.

 

Data processing

Any device can malfunction due to rough environment, internal components’ failures or other reasons. As a result they can send to the platform irrelevant or damaged data, which requires filtering or recovery.
You may also want to perform calculations over the raw data demanded by your business logic.
To cover these aspects the platform has a stream processing subsystem — RIC-Handler.
Stream processing is implemented with the use of handler-chains. Each next handler can receive data from previous handlers and is capable of filtering and extending raw data packets by adding processing results into the packet.
Eventually, processed and extended data may not only increase the value of the successive analytics, but also serve as additional parameters which can be used to design business logic.

 

Fault tolerance

Data storage and lossless recovery
IoT systems specifics implies that the size and structure of the data sent by devices is not always predictable. RIC-Memory subsystem is designed to store this kind of data. Storage depth and overwrite cycles can be customised. Above that not only processed data is stored but raw data as well, along with system access logs, metrics, events, executed logic patterns’ progress and current states.

Independent platform modules
The platform is based on a fundamental principle of Dataflow. According to that principle all processes inside the platform are started and stopped based on data readiness instead of a strict scenario. As a result if one of the subsystems temporarily malfunctions the other modules of the system will keep running. When the malfunctioning module is up again, it’ll proceed the exchange with the rest of the system without any data loss.

Reliability in rough environment
Platform’s Pipelines principle allows to design logic patterns even for devices operating in rough environments, which can cause data distortion or loss, making a standard «request-response» model inapplicable. Therefore the platform makes a judgement on whether an action has been executed based on the change of state of the entire system instead of based on the response of a single component.

Availability
In total Rightech IoT Cloud platform availability level is 99,8% a year.

Interfaces

RIC-Web subsystem supplies interfaces for interaction with the platform.

The user interface is a real-time web-application with several key functions:

  • display information for the user
  • device management and operational control
  • manual start and stop of logic templates’ execution
  • business logic patterns’ design
  • reports
  • user and access management

RIC-Web also has a full-featured REST API and WS API allowing you to integrate the platform with your applications.

 

Security

The platform utilises every security measure to ensure safe device connection and external connections, protected from interception and replacement:
device authentication

  • TLS 1.2 protocol support
  • А+ rating on SSL Server Test
  • data encryption on all types of connections (device-to-platform, application-to-platform, service-to-platform)
  • user rights management corresponds to the principles of the FLASK architecture with discretionary access control, as well as with «deny all» principle.

Rights can be configured both for an individual user and a «role».