This is a short blog to give you a high-level overview on a product called Azure IoT Central. I saw this fairly new Azure product (GA Sept 2018) in use for the first time at a large manufacturing company who was using it at their manufacturing facility (see Grupo Bimbo takes a bite out of production costs with Azure IoT throughout factories). They have thousands of sensors that are collecting data for all the machines used in producing their products. In short, think of it as an “Application Platform as a Service (aPaas)” for quickly building IoT solutions. It’s boxing up IoT hub, Device Provisioning Service (DPS), Stream Analytics, Data Explorer, SQL Database, Time Series Intelligence and Cosmos DB to make it easy to quickly build a solution and get value out of the IoT data. To get an idea of the what this solution would look like, check out the IoT Central sample for calculating Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of industrial equipment.
I haven’t seen much use of this service, as generally any use case I’ve seen around IoT quickly turns into using IoT Hub and IoT Edge to develop custom code.