Cloud Connectors: Build a Bridge Across Data Silos

Today we are announcing a new SAMI feature that marks one more big step toward true device interoperability. We call this feature Cloud Connectors, and it is the easiest way for you to bring third-party devices into the SAMI ecosystem. Because many smart devices already send their data to a proprietary cloud, Cloud Connectors allow you to bring that data to SAMI without changing existing devices. A Cloud Connector bridges SAMI to a third-party cloud, and thus allows the data on that cloud to communicate with the ecosystem. This is only possible with SAMI.

With Cloud Connectors, we provide an open framework for the development community to add any cloud to SAMI. Below is a picture of the IoT ecosystem that SAMI enables. It is simple to connect the third-party products and clouds (on the left) to SAMI, using Cloud Connectors and the third-party APIs.

How SAMI Cloud Connectors work

Device manufacturers and cloud managers can cook up a storm by enabling users to access data from any device and any cloud. Like other devices on SAMI, cloud-connected devices benefit from data aggregation and analytics, and can be controlled using SAMI Rules or cloud-to-cloud messaging, with SAMI as the translator.

By seeing every cloud as a potential node in a bigger ecosystem, we’re thinking around the problem of silos and enabling all data to share its insights, wherever it may be.

How it works

Building a SAMI Cloud Connector

Building a Cloud Connector involves creating a new Cloud Connector device type in the SAMI Developer Portal. In this case, you specify that the data source is a “cloud service” rather than a “physical device.” In the meantime, you’ll also create what we call a “SAMI Connector” application on the third-party cloud. The SAMI Connector allows the SAMI device to interact with the cloud.

The code for the Cloud Connector is written in Groovy, like an Advanced Manifest in SAMI. To help you with this, we assembled the Cloud Connector SDK on GitHub, which includes the SDK library, API doc, template project, and example code for Moves, Misfit and Instagram.

Our documentation article Using Cloud Connectors takes you through the basic principles, while the Your first Cloud Connector tutorial gives a step-by-step account of how to build and test a Cloud Connector, using Moves as a case study.

How we’re progressing

The SAMI team has made the following Cloud Connectors available in the User Portal: Moves, Misfit, Instagram, Fitbit, Withings, Jawbone, and iHealth.

Below is an example of how it looks:

Connect a Misfit Cloud Connector

Simple, right? Once a developer has created a Cloud Connector in SAMI, users can authorize SAMI to access their data, like they would with Facebook, Twitter, and so on.

Authorize a Misfit Cloud Connector

At that point, the data on the cloud is ready for applications, analytics and anything you can think of!

As part of our Cloud Connectors SDK, we released the code we used to integrate the third-party services mentioned above. What Cloud Connectors would you like to see, or build yourself? Send us a tweet and tell us where you’d like to take this feature next.