10+ Top IoT Programming Languages and Tools
IoT, or Internet of Things, is a modern concept of creating a mesh of purposely-built small devices, connected to each other and working on a certain set of tasks, just as computers in the regular Internet. These devices can collect, transfer, analyze data and make any actions or decisions, based on this data. The IoT networks can incorporate almost any kind of data collector to enhance the IoT mesh.
IoT has lots of applications in all spheres you can imagine. Your smart home is actually a small IoT mesh. Smart dimmers, RGB bulbs, embeddables and home appliances that can do certain things based on inputs by other things (you usually call them ‘smart’ things) are basically your own IoT. But IoT is much more than that and can be used in logistics, medicine, retail, multimedia and so on. Of course, in every IoT-connected device, there is some code running and processing raw inputs to Internet data packets and vice versa. What runs it? What is the best programming language for the IoT development?
Best Programming Languages for IoT
Assembler is the first thing you may guess when thinking of programming small devices. Indeed, Assembler is the keystone of the internet of Things programming and is developed to be a direct interface between an engineer and a device. However, Assembler is comparably hard to master, as it is a low-level language, and, in fact, it is not one language at all. Almost any kind of IoT chip has its own Assembler that may be different from other ones, which makes it the best, but the hardest option for IoT programming.
After the Assembler, there was C IoT language. Being considered a low-level programming language as well, C is way more flexible and intuitive than Assembler and can be as powerful in direct cooperation with hardware while retaining a more high-level human-readable syntax. This language is extended by later C derivatives like C++ or C#, which can be compiled to the same bytecode, but make lots of IoT programming much easier.
This family has extended further by means of B#. B# is a C-based special Internet of Things programming language created for running on tiny and weak systems and keeping the code neat and readable. B# supports object-oriented paradigm on any system from 8 to 64 bits and requires only 24 kilobytes of flash memory and 2 kilobytes of RAM to run the software.
Increasing popularity and the large community of Python also promoted it to be working with IoT. Currently, Python IoT programming is a real deal, and lots of embedded systems are coded in Python. It also has the biggest library of frameworks and extensions compatible with running on small IoT devices.
If you want to learn Python programming, these free courses might be interesing for you.
There are some other languages, connected to IoT in some way and usual for the Internet of Things development. PHP is a must if your connected device includes a web interface, Golang, Parasail and Rust are useful for flexible data analysis and integration of different connected devices, and the knowledge of Swift is needed to connect your HomeKit-enabled iOS device to your own network.
Top IoT Development Tools
Arduino Prototyping Platform is one step further into the development of your own IoT. It allows you prototype your devices and simulate their behavior without building an incomplete system and then debug it in the old way. Kinoma is it’s analog for different micro-controllers, often with a certain purpose.
Eclipse IoT Project is a final tool you would need to build your network. It is an IoT development studio, which incorporates a code editor, compilers, programmator, debugger, and all others useful applications you will need for implementing your IoT mesh, in one package.
Best IoT Platforms
DeviceHub and SiteWhere are popular platforms for storing you IoT collected data in a cloud. They usually appear in your network as the other device and often offer some analytic capabilities for the data stored. These platforms allow network users or admins to view collected data in a human-friendly way, without reading tons of raw data inputs.
ThingSpeak is an application for processing your IoT data and selecting required records between insignificant ones to optimize your storing and transport capabilities. This platform can be modified to include some analytic code and to send for further storing the information that is really needed by you, not just all of it. It can run in the cloud or on your own devices as standalone application.
mangoOH is a Machine-2-Machine interface which is necessary if you build a large IoT network with lots of different devices using different protocols. Mango is a protocol translation platform which allows you to connect to your mesh devices that use different communication principles and can’t be connected directly to each other. Another analog of Mango is DeviceHive, which incorporates the same principle in centralized networks, working as a server for all devices connected to your mesh.