Thousands of devices means thousands of software components, metadata items, and builds. Coordinating all that data for an Internet of Things system requires a binaries manager built for reliability and scale.
That’s the challenge that faced MicroEJ, a software vendor of cost-driven solutions for embedded and IoT devices. MicroEJ Forge, recently unveiled at International CES, provides IoT ecosystems with a next-generation, white-branded application store for IoT devices, in order to securely manage and distribute software assets across large fleets of heterogeneous devices.
MicroEJ chose to integrate Artifactory as Forge’s main, scalable orchestrator for the tasks that operate thousands of software assets in an IoT ecosystem.
Application Store for IoT Devices
Built for low-cost, microcontroller hardware, MicroEJ is often referred to as “the tiny sibling of Android for Things.” By drastically down-sizing the standard virtualization technology used by Android to work on small devices, MicroEJ VEE technology opens the everyday smart things to millions of developers knowlable in Java to write apps for devices such as healthcare products, telecommunications, wearables, industrial devices, and more generally speaking, all kinds of embedded systems.
In order to manage these apps, MicroEJ Forge enables companies to create their own safe, dedicated application marketplaces for their devices. For developers, it helps achieve fast time-to-production by administering life cycles to deliver the right asset, right version, and right metadata to the right device with confidence.
Device users can browse and administer available apps for their devices, helping companies develop application ecosystems that generate new revenue streams, and contribute to extending market share.
Artifactory as an Orchestrator for Software Assets Management
Forge provides a continuous delivery link directly from the MicroEJ build server to the end user, dispatching verified builds of apps or firmware for deployment.
Artifactory acts as the central source of truth for binaries in Forge, managing packages for the build server, and housing the completed builds and metadata that stock the application store’s virtual shelves. Artifactory orchestrates the delivery of those binaries for developers and users.
When a new application or file is added by a developer, Forge adds an event to a queue managed by a MicroEJ plugin. This drives the MicroEJ build server to produce final binaries for the user and push them to Artifactory with metadata that identifies the build’s name and version, the app’s icons, and the ID of the app’s compatible device.
Artifactory manages all of Forge builds within its repositories, delivering metadata to the Forge application store UI for listing the apps that are compatible with a given device. When an end-user requests an app, Artifactory provides the build to Forge for deployment.
In selecting Artifactory as an integration partner, MicroEJ recognized that Artifactory’s repository management provides several ready benefits for Forge:
Storage Where It’s Needed
Artifactory’s flexible file storage support means that Forge can be readily configured to store artifacts and metadata on-premises or in any of the major cloud storage providers.
For on-prem file storage, Artifactory makes it easy to add more when storage starts to get full. Administrators can migrate data elsewhere if needed, without losing any data along the way.
Forge relies on Artifactory’s metadata storage to mark the app with the information needed to display it in the store’s listing. This includes essential data such as its name, size, icon, and description, as well as version information.
Forge can make sure that builds stay up to date by receiving triggers from Artifactory when a new artifact is added or modified. These events are sent to Forge to produce final binaries for the user.
Artifactory’s REST APIs for managing files, retrieving metadata, managing authentication and more significantly accelerated the task of integrating with Forge, helping MicroEJ bring Forge quickly to market.
A Solidly Tooled Technology Partnership
For MicroEJ, Artifactory’s binary repository management fulfills a critical set of needs that enable Forge to reliably deliver the right application or firmware to its matched device, no matter the scale. Artifactory was a ready solution that helped MicroEJ integrate a robust product that could work seamlessly with file storage on-prem or in the cloud.
Working together, Forge and Artifactory can support a complex IoT application ecosystem of thousands of versioned components across a wide array of device types.