Build Siemens MindSphere Apps in Days - Without Coding!

This page provides content related to a webinar hosted by Edge2Web and Siemens on 28th March 2018 entitled Build Siemens MindSphere Apps in Days – Without Coding! The goals of this webinar were to discuss the need for visual app builder tools to operationalize IIoT analytics, review essentials of Siemens’ MindSphere industrial cloud platform, and demonstrate Edge2Web’s visual tools accessing data from MindSphere Asset and Timeseries platform services.

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Webinar Video Index:

00:00 – Webinar Intro

02:39 – Industrial IoT Market Drivers

04:11 – Edge2Web Intro

05:44 – MindSphere Intro

12:21 – IIoT Technology Stack

17:59 – Edge2Web on MindSphere Essentials

23:08 – Demo – Edge2Web on MindSphere

36:32 – Summary & Early Experience Program

38:04 – Webinar Q&A

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Webinar Questions & Answers

Why should an organization consider MindSphere when compared to your competitors?

Siemens is the only company on the market right now that combines the latest software for product lifecycle management with powerful automation technologies and services under one roof. With Siemens global installed base of millions of devices (30 million automation systems, 70 million contracted smart meters, 800 thousand connected products), Siemens and its partners can develop high-value applications through MindSphere’s rich application programming interfaces (APIs) and deliver digital services leveraging deep industry knowledge and experience.

MindSphere on AWS offers an open, highly available platform. The Open Platform as a Service (PaaS) model with native cloud accessibility allows for faster development of robust industrial IOT solutions, with extensive device and enterprise connectivity and a global partner ecosystem.

Is MindSphere Academy free / available today? A link?

MindSphere Academy trainings are available today and are open to all who want to learn about MindSphere including Siemens employees, external customers and partners. MindSphere Academy training experts offer a variety of classroom trainings aimed to help you unlock the full potential of the data you are sending through MindSphere. Current course topics include:

  • Intro to MindSphere
  • MindConnect training
  • Basic & Advanced Application Development training
  • and more

For more information, and to see a list of upcoming dates/locations and pricing, please visit the following link:

What do you mean by “OPEN” platform

MindSphere is a cloud-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) – creating an “open” interface for the development of customer and industry specific applications and for scalable, global IOT connectivity. The open ecosystem of MindSphere is further supported by the integration of a wide range of partners to leverage broad domain expertise and IT capabilities.

  • MindAccess Developer enables every application developer to create their own app as a basis for providing digital services
  • MindSphere supports open standards for data acquisition and transfer
  • MindConnect provides open libraries for supporting non-Siemens automation products
Is the Edge2Web product open source?

No, Edge2Web’s source code is not available under an open source license.

However, our roadmap includes published APIs for our key interfaces, including connectivity, visual rendering, etc. And given our service-based architecture, it is already very easy to extend our core functionality with value-added services.

In the webinar demo, it looks like you’re running on MindSphere v2. Plans for upgrading to MindSphere v3?

Yes, Edge2Web’s support for MindSphere v3 is underway and will be completed by the beginning of the Early Experience Program.

What is Edge2Web’s pricing model?

Edge2Web Director will be generally available in Q4 2018, and we will announce pricing details as we reach GA.

Our plan is to use a tiered subscription model, with lower tiers targeted at developers and small work groups, and higher tiers at enterprise deployments.

Are you selling Edge2Web through the MindSphere online store?

There were a few questions similar to this one asked by webinar attendees, so we are responding to them collectively here.

Yes, our goal is to make Edge2Web available to users through the MindSphere online store at the time our service is generally available.

How can I get trained on Edge2Web on MindSphere?

The easiest way to get training for Edge2Web on MindSphere is to enroll in the Early Experience Program. We will offer training and portal-based support through the EEP.

Edge2Web will also offer training for MindSphere pre-sales engineers and solutions architects who would like to use Edge2Web Director in sales demos and POCs.

Can I build POCs using your tools before having a MindSphere data connection in place?

Yes, this is the pattern we recommend for organizations that do not yet have an industrial cloud infrastructure in place.

Imagine a scenario where you need to do a MindSphere POC, but you have yet to integrate your back-end OT data with MindSphere Asset and Timeseries. Your alternatives are:

    1. Wait until your MindSphere “first mile” connectivity and data flows are in place before before building your POC app.
    2. Build your POC app in parallel with the implementation of your back-end data connectivity and flows.

The single biggest point of friction associated with digital industrial POCs is lack of live connectivity to back-end data sources. Using Edge2Web, you can overcome that obstacle by executing on parallel tracks (alternative 2 above). The parallel approach breaks the “first mile” data dependency and compresses the time needed to deliver functional POCs, allowing you to engage users and iterate with them early in your implementation plan.

Assuming you prefer the parallel path, Edge2Web gives you three choices for the data that initially drives your POCs:

    1. Load a meaningful subset of your asset and timeseries data into flat files (Excel or CSV), upload those files into your secure Edge2Web instance, and build your POC on (your own) static data. The benefit of this choice is that users will recognize that data when you show them your POC dashboards and apps. The limitation is that your data will be static, so users may not get a complete sense of how the POC apps will behave when deployed into production.
    2. Use the live test data that comes with your Edge2Web account. Our live test data includes time series arrays, temperature and volume metrics, process stages, a batch counter, and alarms/events data. Although the source use case for this data is a chemical batch production (SCADA) system, you can easily re-purpose the data elements to represent meaningful elements of your POC use case. The benefit of this approach is that your users will see POC components executing in “real-time”; the limitation is that some of the data may not look familiar to users who know your production systems.
    3. Do a combination of 1 and 2, where you bring infrequently changing data (e.g., asset hierarchies) in via flat files and selectively re-purpose our live test data (e.g., timeseries). This choice allows you to show data your users will recognize while also giving your POC apps a dynamic, real-time flavor.

If you are embarking on a MindSphere POC (or any industrial POC for that matter), we invite you to sign up for our Early Experience Program and build your apps using Edge2Web Director and MindSphere. Your EEP account includes an extensive library of pre-built sample dashboards and apps, as well as access to the live test data described above. You can view these apps in runtime and use our visual editors to quickly learn how we built them. And, of course, if you would like us to help you plan and execute your Edge2Web projects, we invite you to contact us to schedule a demo and POC strategy session or contact MindSphere sales at +1.866.274.6503.

How would you differentiate Edge2Web from a product like OSIsoft’s Coresight?

We have looked briefly at Coresight, but we do not know the product in detail – so the answer provided here should be supplemented/corrected by your own learning and observation.

Coresight seems like a fine product. We observe that Coresight has data-aware visual components similar to Edge2Web Director’s platform-aware page components. Coresight also has a visual layout editor similar in concept to Director’s page editor. As with Director, users can link Coresight pages and pass data context between them, supporting popular drill-down compositions.

In addition to page-based navigation, however, many industrial applications require a high degree of user interactivity, as well as the ability to integrate with enterprise applications such as ERP, Service Management, and CRM. Edge2Web Director’s flow engine uniquely supports a vast array of interactive, device responsive visual applications, and can also be used to drive a variety of enterprise data integrations.

From a platform perspective, Edge2Web aims to deliver connectivity to all of the leading industrial data platforms, including MindSphere, Predix, and others yet to come. Coresight, by comparison, appears to be primarily targeting OSIsoft’s PI, OPC UA, and SQL accessible data sources.

Can we try Edge2Web on our MindSphere v3 tenant now?

Not quite yet, but very soon. Please enroll in the Edge2Web for MindSphere Early Experience Program and we will get you onboarded as soon as our v3 support is available.

*** Update – Edge2Web Director is now available on MindSphere v3 under our Early Experience Program.  Support for MindSphere v2 has now been deprecated.

Do you expect Edge2Web to be used by integrators or customer end users?

We believe Edge2Web solutions add value to four industrial user audiences:

  • End user enterprises. Apps created with Edge2Web tools help organizations identify and repair problems, streamline plant and fleet operations, and scale the expertise of their industrial domain experts.
  • Systems integrators and manages service providers. Edge2Web tools empower industrial service companies to quickly build IIoT fulfillment capacity and POC delivery competence. Sales teams can engage new business opportunities aggressively, partnering with practice leaders to win deals and deliver insightful, high-value industrial solutions.
  • Industrial equipment manufacturers. Many equipment manufacturers are driving to provide asset-connected operator guides, monitoring dashboards, and diagnostic playbooks. Edge2Web allows manufacturers to deliver interactive, cloud-based applications that can be improved continuously based on data science and field performance.
  • Software vendors and platform providers. Many industrial application vendors need to extend their products to the cloud and deliver new IIoT-flavored solutions. Likewise, analytics vendors need tools to easily showcase their insights and allow their users to build analytics-driven applications. Edge2Web is an excellent alternative in both scenarios, giving ISVs fast, powerful tools for a wide range of data and app integration needs.
Edge2Web looks very interesting and powerful. How does it relate to Node Red?

Edge2Web and Node Red both use process flow tooling and execution to support a wide variety of data and service integration use cases.

Node Red is a useful framework for point-to-point data and service integrations. It would be an alternative for organizations aiming to create home-brew IoT service backbones. Node Red supports generic IoT dashboarding, but has no inherent “understanding” of industrial data sources and applications.

Edge2Web Director was designed from the ground up to support a wide range of industrial applications. Director delivers:

  • Deep integration with leading IIoT platforms like MindSphere
  • A growing list of renderers for visualizing industrial data
  • Platform-aware asset browsers and dashboard components
  • Integration with platform security and tenant models
  • Integration with platform analytic and eventing services

Edge2Web Director’s visual tools deliver a unified, high productivity user experience for industrial application builders. Edge2Web’s secure cloud runtime platform allows you to deploy industrial applications quickly and scale them elastically.

What is Edge2Web’s business model?

Our business model begins with the premise that, to achieve transformative changes, digital industrial stakeholders require rapid application builder tools like Edge2Web Director. Our goal is to deliver solutions that make it easy to build, deploy, and scale a new generation of industrial applications.

We will address the following industrial markets with our products and services:

  • End user enterprises. We will offer tiered subscription plans directly to the end user industrial market.
  • Systems integrators. We will partner with leading SIs who deliver Edge2Web-based solutions to our shared customers.
  • Industrial equipment manufacturers. We will offer white label services to OEMs, managed service providers, resellers, and other indirect channel players.
  • Software vendors and platform providers. We will offer white label services to ISVs and industrial cloud platform providers.
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