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ObjectBox Python Alpha

ObjectBox Python Alpha

As of today, you’ll be able to start using ObjectBox from the comfort of Python.

Whether you’re building an IoT solution, a desktop utility or a webservice, you’ll find the ObjectBox database handy to help you with data persistence on the edge. Among other features, ObjectBox provides implicit ACID transactions so there’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Let’s take a look at an example to see how ObjectBox lets you work with your data using Python:

Aside from x64 CPUs, ObjectBox supports ARMv6 and ARMv7, allowing you to benefit from a super-fast and scalable database on IoT devices, for example, the Raspberry Pi family (from the minimalistic Pi Zero to the high-spec Pi 3B+). You can also target desktop and server apps running on Linux, MacOS, or Windows using Python.

ObjectBox Python: How to get started

While this is still an early release in Python, it’s based on the proven ObjectBox core so you can already start building your applications today. Just install using

and head over to our GitHub repo at http://github.com/objectbox/objectbox-python to see some examples.

Your feedback helps us to improve ObjectBox, please share your thoughts and comments 🙂

Which edge consortia are there?

Which edge consortia are there?

There is no lack of consortia defining terms around edge computing – it’s a lot like the Judean People’s Front against the People’s Front of Judea. After a year of battle, the most prominent edge consortium emerging currently seem to be EdgeX under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation – fully open source, while also largely supported and driven by Dell, who initiated it. Other notable players trying to get a foothold in this space is the Deutsche Telekom with MobiledgeX and HPE with Edge Worx. A European counterpart, ECCE, formed in spring 2019 and might be worthwhile watching, as it is supported by many industry players like e.g. KUKA, Intel, and Huawei.

ObjectBox EdgeX Release (Beta)

ObjectBox EdgeX Release (Beta)

ObjectBox now runs on the EdgeX Foundry IoT Edge Platform. Utilizing ObjectBox’ speed and ease of use, EdgeX users can now compute millions of data points on the edge with minimal latency. ObjectBox’ small footprint of less than 1MB makes the database uniquely optimized for high performance on IoT edge devices and gateways, as well as fog nodes. Combining the speed and size advantages of ObjectBox on the EdgeX platform, we empower companies to analyze more data locally on the machine, faster than ever before.

As an object oriented database, ObjectBox is the perfect solution for structuring data within complex data models, from artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, as well as image recognition software that is beginning to be used more commonly on the edge.

With ObjectBox-backed EdgeX we’re bringing the efficiency, performance and small footprint of ObjectBox to all EdgeX applications. It is fully compatible, so you can use it as a drop-in replacement. And if you call against existing REST or Go EdgeX APIs, you do not need to change the code. Our version is based on the latest sources leading to  EdgeX 1.0, which is scheduled for June. And once EdgeX 1.0 is finalized, we will be ready to upgrade the ObjectBox Edition to 1.0 right away.

Get started with ObjectBox EdgeX

The simplest way to get started is to fetch the latest docker-compose.yml and start the containers:

You can check the status of your running services by going to http://localhost:8500/. At this point, you have the REST services running at their respective ports, available to access from your EdgeX applications.

Find more details and sources in our GitHub repo at  https://github.com/objectbox/edgex-objectbox.

If you’re new to EdgeX, you can visit the EdgeX Foundry IoT Edge Platform home page to find out more.

Feedback

Last not least, we are always happy to hear from you. Post any questions you may have on stack overflow tagged ObjectBox. Please share your thoughts on ObjectBox EdgeX with us via TwitterFacebook, or Mail (contact [at] objectbox . io).

Azure Sphere & ObjectBox: IoT Sensor Demo

Azure Sphere & ObjectBox: IoT Sensor Demo

A few weeks ago, we published ObjectBox for Azure Sphere. Today, we are adding IoT sensor data collection to this. It’s a working demonstration that you can run on your machine along with an Azure Sphere board. To jump straight to it, here is the repository.

Forwarding Sensor Data to ObjectBox Database

We added an example to the Azure Sphere ObjectBox repository illustrating how to read IoT sensor data and forward them to an ObjectBox database. For integrating the sensors, the example relies on the Grove Shield library from the manufacturers of Azure Sphere, Seeed Studio. This library makes reading sensor information super simple. Next, the collected sensor data is sent via an ObjectBox REST Client to a device running a ObjectBox database. Here, sensor data can be processed further.

The demo setup comes with a ready-made ObjectBox HTTP server for download. The Azure Sphere client application has to be built from sources as the IP of the server needs to be white-listed here. Please find a step-by-step guide in the repository.

Setup Overview

Have a look at the general application architecture to get the gist of the demo:

Browsing collected Sensor Data

Once you collected sensor information like light intensity, temperature, and humidity, you may want to view it. The most simple option is the “ObjectBox Browser” that comes embedded with the ObjectBox HTTP server.

Let us know what you think

So, of course we are looking forward to your feedback again! Do you have a use case in mind that you want to discuss with us? Also, please feel free to open a new GitHub issue if you run into a problem or ask a question tagged ObjectBox on Stack Overflow. And finally, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on ObjectBox / Azure Sphere with us via Twitter, Facebook, or Mail (contact [at] objectbox . io).

ObjectBox on Azure Sphere: Efficient IoT data persistence

ObjectBox on Azure Sphere: Efficient IoT data persistence

Listening to our IoT users, we implemented ObjectBox support for Microsoft’s Azure Sphere. With this extension, you can use ObjectBox on tiny devices now. But let us explain a bit more…

What is Edge computing?

Centralized computing entails a central computer storing and processing all data with multiple machines (clients) accessing it. Decentralized computing has no central instance and data is stored and processed on the machine it is used on. The currently predominant computing paradigm, namely cloud computing, is centralized.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is pushing the industry once again towards a distributed computing paradigm. In this context it is called Edge computing. Edge Computing aims to store and process data on end devices (so called edge devices or nodes) like smartphones, routers, and the IoT end devices. We view Edge Computing as an extension of the cloud, adding value and functionality on the edge of the network. 

Note: Fog Computing and Edge Computing definitions vary and overlap widely. This is just the definition we use.

What is the Azure Sphere?

The Azure Sphere is foremost an operating system for “small chips”, or more exactly, Internet-connected microcontroller units (MCUs). It was developed by Microsoft for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and comes with integrated cloud security services. As of today, it runs on a MT3620 MCU produced by MediaTek in collaboration with Microsoft.

Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud solution is closely related to the Azure Sphere. Security and user management, configuration and deployment can be analyzed and modified using that web interface.

ObjectBox on Azure Sphere 

There were a couple of reasons why we at ObjectBox support Azure Sphere:

Furthermore, we looked at the lifetime costs: Firstly, we chose Azure Sphere, because it can save maintenance costs. Secondly, because there is one unified interface to the platform, the platform itself may be used for any task imaginable (e.g. facility management, real time inventory, etc.). Thirdly, Microsoft’s security solution provides Over-the-air (OTA) updates. Therefore, it takes care of keeping the operating system up to date for you.

Azure Sphere use cases

These use cases exemplify a key consequence of using the Internet of Things in everyday devices: they may not only read and analyze sensor data, but also control the machine they are attached to, even autonomously. In connection with intelligent algorithms, these devices are able to make far-reaching decisions and thus maximize overall efficiency.

Benefits of ObjectBox on Azure Sphere

ObjectBox can greatly simplify the process of data collection, transmission, and processing. Let’s now see how ObjectBox is able to solve common problems encountered when integrating IoT into any kind of environment.

Let’s now see how ObjectBox is able to solve common problems encountered when integrating IoT into any kind of environment.

Scalability, i.e. integrating new devices into a fleet of existing ones, can be challenging because of the gigantic amount of data it generates and that must be transferred to a high-level entity. ObjectBox’s speed advantage provides a solution to this. Confirmed by 3rd party reviewers, ObjectBox outperforms alternatives in all areas. Thus, it offers higher rates for data transmission, storage and retrieval.

ObjectBox is created from developers for developers. Because ObjectBox’s programming interfaces are exceptionally easy to use, development time can be minimized and first prototypes can be delivered after a very short time.

Additionally, it is necessary to make sure data is always up-to-date and prevent unintentionally storing redundant or meaningless data. Our synchronization feature, coming up soon, will solve that out-of-the-box for you.

Find the full technical description and download on GitHub.

Let us know what you think

Last not least, we are always happy to hear from you. Post any questions you may have on stack overflow tagged ObjectBox. Please share your thoughts on ObjectBox on Azure Sphere with us via Twitter, Facebook, or Mail (contact [at] objectbox . io).

Go, ObjectBox Golang!

Go, ObjectBox Golang!

Today, we are bringing the power of ObjectBox to Go. Whatever solution you are building, be it a web service, an IoT/IIoT solution, or any data-driven application, you will benefit from the efficiency and speed of ObjectBox (see benchmarks below). Let us know what you think!

Let’s look at some code, and see how ObjectBox persists Go structs (objects):

The ObjectBox Go API allows you to create data-driven cross-platform apps. ObjectBox supports x64 and 32 bit ARM (ARMv6 and ARMv7) CPUs, enabling you to benefit from a super-fast scalable database on IoT devices, industrial edge gateways or, for example, the Raspberry Pi family (from the minimalistic Pi Zero to the high-spec Pi 3B+). At the same time, you can now target desktop and server apps running on Linux, MacOS, or Windows using Go.

How to get started

To get started, please have a look at the ObjectBox Go docs. Here’s the TL;DR version for your bash:

This will clone the repository to your GOPATH, download the objectbox-c library and install the ObjectBox code generator.

At this point you can start using ObjectBox in your project – just define a struct you want to persist, add  //go:generate objectbox-gogen  comment in the same file and run go generate ./… on your project. See Getting started for more details.

Performance benchmarks

We have done some quick CRUD performance tests to give you an impression about the speed ObjectBox provides. On a i7-8850H CPU, ObjectBox consistently processes over 1.5 million CRUD operations per second with 4.4 million object reads per second:

The sources for the performance tests are part of the GitHub repository.

To put these numbers into perspective, we also did a comparison using an edge computing platform and two leading NoSQL databases. We won’t spill the names and final numbers just yet, as we are going to release all the details very soon. 😉

Disclaimer: ObjectBox was the only database running in embedded mode, which is not supported by the others in this setup. Obviously this can have a significant impact on performance. On the other hand, this is the most resource friendly mode of operation (RAM and CPU), which might be very relevant if you target restricted ARM32 devices.

Your feedback

This is the first public version of ObjectBox for Go and we are more than excited to get your feedback on it. We have prepared a short questionnaire for you, which should only take 1-2 minutes. Your feedback is extremely valuable to make ObjectBox a fun tool to use.

Future work

While this initial release covers all basic features, the native core of ObjectBox offers much more than what is currently exposed to Go. For example, a complete set of query conditions and relations between objects. Also, we will introduce a client/server operation mode. This will allow ObjectBox to run in Containers (e.g. Docker) and in classic server setups. As a major theme, the ObjectBox team is also working on data synchronization across devices. This keeps edge devices and gateways “in-sync”. Sync also enables seamless integration with mobile apps (Android and iOS) pushing relevant data to mobile clients and back.  Of course sync will also be available for Go. You can sign up here for updates on sync.