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Azure IoT Tools Update Brings Standalone Simulator

Microsoft updated its Azure IoT tooling for the open-source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor, adding a standalone simulator that doesn't require Python, an Event Grid module, support for Vcpkg for IoT Plug and Play development and more.

Azure IoT Tools for Visual Studio Code, developed on GitHub, provides a set of extensions to help developers discover and interact with Azure IoT Hub ("managed service to enable bi-directional communication between IoT devices and Azure"), which is used to power IoT Edge ("cloud intelligence deployed locally on IoT edge devices") and device applications.

Leading the update is a standalone simulator for Azure IoT Edge developers using the Azure IoT EdgeHub Dev Tool, helping to create, develop, test, run, and debug Azure IoT Edge modules and solutions, which was tightly bound to Python and required running on top of Python environments.

However, "Not every Azure IoT Edge developer, especially those using Windows as development environment, has Python and Pip installed," Microsoft said in a post last week. "Therefore, we have shipped a standalone simulator for Azure IoT EdgeHub Dev Tool so that developers who use Windows as development environment no longer need to setup Python environment. The standalone simulator has already been integrated in the latest release of Azure IoT Tools for Visual Studio Code."

Microsoft also announced support for Vcpkg -- a cross-platform library manager that helps manage C and C++ libraries on Windows, Linux and MacOS -- for IoT Plug and Play development. Previously developers needed to work with source code to work with the Azure IoT C device SDK, but now device code stubs of IoT Plug and Play can be generated with Vcpkg and source code also.

Last week's post also detailed working with the new Event Grid module on Azure IoT Edge, useful for pub/sub and event-driven scenarios, along with the ability to configure an Embedded Linux C project using a containerized device toolchain.

"We release the preview experience of containerized toolchain months ago aiming to simplify the toolchain acquisition efforts for device developers working on C / C++ project for Embedded Linux that requires the cross-compiling toolchain, device SDK and dependent libraries set up properly," Microsoft said. "Instead of doing this on local machine, which could lead to a messed-up environment, we provided a couple of common container images for devices with various architectures (e.g. ARMv7, ARM64 and x86).

"And now you can further use this feature by configuring an existing C / C++ project you have to be able to compile in the container, and then deploy to the target device you use. If you want to further customize the container, we provided with extra device libraries and packages that are required for your device."

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About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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