Remote Device Management and Digi XBee® Cellular
Welcome to the next post in our series on IoT device management with Digi Remote Manager® (DRM). In the first post in this series, we talked about the range of capabilities of DRM, including the ability to monitor and control distributed IoT devices and manage your edge compute application logic. The second post talked about DRM integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
This post shares an exciting new development — the integration of DRM and Digi XBee® Cellular. To understand the role Digi XBee plays in IoT applications, it helps to illustrate the entire ecosystem of hardware, software and middleware as the “IoT stack.” Digi XBee resides in the “Edge Devices and Machines” layer. DRM supports connectivity between XBee and other devices and applications.
Introducing Digi Remote Manager Integration with Digi XBee
Digi XBee accelerates time to market for designers, OEMs and solution providers by quickly enabling wireless connectivity and easy-to-add functionality. Now Digi has made it easier to manage your remote devices with Digi XBee Cellular modems using Digi Remote Manager.
With DRM, Digi XBee modules can be easily configured and controlled from a simple, central platform. Standard Digi XBee API frames and AT commands, MicroPython and XCTU software tools simplify adding functionality, set-up, configuration and testing.
Digi XBee Cellular modems are the latest addition to the expanding Digi XBee Ecosystem of wireless modules, gateways, software and development tools – all engineered to accelerate development and deployment. Ideal for compact, low-power, low-cost applications, Digi XBee 3 Cellular LTE-M/NB-IoT modules feature power-saving modes that extend sleep time and battery life.
Connecting your device is just the first step in building an IoT system. The next steps including building your application and deploying your devices – sometimes in hard-to-reach areas. That is when connectivity and device management challenges can arise.
With Digi XBee products, you can keep your data flowing with automated mass firmware and software updates that can patch and maintain configuration of all your units in the field. DRM will help you diagnose and even fix remote devices over-the-air. This becomes especially valuable when you can ensure that the right technician with the right equipment can fix it the first time, or better yet, avoid the truck roll altogether by handling the issue remotely.
It all starts with Digi Remote Manager’s IoT network management capabilities, which allow you to securely access your devices and assets after deployment and not only update firmware, but ensure security of your entire network by monitoring and evaluating its status and health.
With Digi XBee3 Cellular products, you can use DRM to directly interact with the filesystem on your XBee via over-the-air (OTA) updates. Not only can you upload your Python code, but you can set it so updates only occur when sleeping devices wake, for optimal battery usage. This capability uses a feature unique to Digi devices connected to DRM called Short Message (SM) Query. It allows you to minimize data usage and even to connect on demand via SMS or at the next check-in interval via UDP.
Review Device Status Information from Digi Remote Manager
Through a “single pane of glass,” network managers can view the address, BLE settings, cellular data usage, firmware, and I/O sampling status information for Digi XBee Cellular in DRM. Network managers can interact with files directly on the Digi XBee device from DRM, using web services, the SCI (Server command interface) or the File Management view.
Custom Business Logic with MicroPython
Digi XBee and DRM support MicroPython capabilities that can scale across your network, enabling you to add intelligence to your application and perform everything from simple tasks like starting a process or turning a light on or off, to more complex processes like interfacing to an I2C sensor.
With the ability to perform over-the-air updates (OTA), you can quickly perform security upgrades or enhance the capabilities of your devices in the field by push new code to your XBee devices.
Related blog post: Employing Wireless Edge Intelligence with Digi XBee MicroPython
The Digi Remote Manager Mobile App
Now it’s even easier for users to configure and manage devices, using the Digi DRM Mobile app. Once a device is registered into a customer account, custom configurations can be automatically downloaded using the profile management feature. View the overall health of your network as well as individual devices status using the new DRM mobile app, manage firmware updates, configurations, files and handle tasks remotely from your mobile device.
Digi XBee and Digi Remote Manager combine the rapid time-to-market advantage with DRM’s remote device management capabilities. Here a just a few of the many benefits of the combination of the XBee ecosystem and DRM cloud and edge tools:
- Perform rapid device deployment and asset and inventory management
- Monitor network, device and asset performance and security with bi-directional communications
- Access data from edge devices that were previously out of reach and define precisely where you want the business logic
- Automate mass firmware and software updates to stay in compliance
- Integrate device data through open APIs to gain deeper insights
- Receive detailed reports and real-time alerts on network health and device conditions.