Apigee Helps Enterprise Customers Tie Devices to Internet via New 'Link' Service

The company wants to help its customers link their products to the IoT through standards-based APIs.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Tags: Devices
Apr 01, 2015

Apigee, which provides a platform for application programming interface (API) integration and analytics services, has launched a new offering called Apigee Link, designed to help hardware manufacturers use APIs to connect devices to the Internet quickly and with open, widely deployed standards. Apigee Link is available today as a cloud and device software offering for select customers, and is slated to become widely available later this year.

Apigee Link provides built-in REST APIs and end-to-end connectivity for devices. "Most device makers are good at firmware and hardware, but APIs are generally outside of their comfort zone," says Brian Mulloy, Apigee's VP of IoT. REST APIs are built on the REpresentational State Transfer architecture, which uses strings of characters—uniform resource identifiers (URIs)—to send and receive communication instructions for resources (discrete things, rather than processes). Apigee Link provides REST APIs with which its customers can connect devices to the cloud and access them, he says, whether the devices connect to a hub, via a wireless protocol such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee or Bluetooth, or to the cloud, using a connectivity protocol such as WebSockets, HTTP or MQTT.

CentraLite, a manufacturer of wireless building-control devices ranging from thermostats to door locks to motion sensors, will be among the first Apigee customers to use Apigee Link. The company, based in Mobile, Ala., is upgrading the devices it sells to its enterprise customers in the hospitality industry, which currently employ a proprietary interface. The products, which are used as part of energy and lighting automation systems at a number of hotels and casinos, are controlled via CentraLite software.

CentraLite's chief technology officer, John Calagaz, explains that his company's software, due to its proprietary interface, is currently not easily integrated with its customers' other software systems. Without integration, front-desk employees fielding calls from guests who find their rooms to be too hot or too cool, for example, must switch between the reservation system, which they use throughout the day, and the CentraLite control software. In some cases, this even requires that an employee move to a different computer, investigate the issue and then get back in touch with the guest to resolve it.

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