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IoT & Edge Developer Priorities and Challenges

Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 09:00 by Mike Milinkovich

The results of the Eclipse Foundation’s seventh annual IoT & Edge Developer Survey have been compiled and the report is available to download. As in previous years, this year’s survey provides important insights into developer trends and challenges, platform choices, and target markets. 

Administered by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, the Edge Native Working Group, and the Sparkplug Working Group, this year’s survey was conducted over a period of seven weeks, starting in late August. We received responses from more than 660 developers, committers, architects, and decision-makers from a broad set of industries and organizations globally. 

What Technologies are Developers Choosing?

  • IoT and edge developers told us they’re using C and C++ for constrained devices, but prefer Python over Java for edge servers, IoT and edge gateways, and cloud platform development.
  • MQTT has emerged as the clear leader in industrial IoT (IIoT) communications protocols. It showed solid growth in adoption over the past year, while protocols such as REST, HTTP/HTTPS, and TCP/IP showed a significant decline in IIoT usage compared to 2020.
  • AWS IoT is the preferred middleware, with a significant lead over Microsoft Azure IoT and Google Cloud IoT Platform.
  • Artificial intelligence is still the most frequently selected edge computing workload.
  • While Arm continues to dominate hardware architectures for constrained devices, gateways, and edge servers, RISC-V and OpenHW Group CORE-V architectures are showing strong market share gains.

Industrial Automation Is the Top Industry Focus Area

While industrial automation has displaced smart agriculture as the leading industry focus area, that doesn’t mean efforts on smart agriculture applications are dropping off. In fact, developer focus on smart agriculture rose seven percent from the 2020 survey results. However, focus on industrial automation rose 13 percent, indicating a sharp increase in demand for these types of applications.

Building automation, emergency management, and smart cities rounded out the top five industry focus areas.

Security Is the Top Concern

Almost half of this year’s survey respondents cited security as their primary worry when developing IoT and edge applications. However, concerns about connectivity, deployment, and integration complexity also rose this year, painting a picture of a changing landscape.

The results underscore the challenges developers face in determining which are the right technologies for the job. They also indicate that more IoT and edge solutions are moving past the proof-of-concept phase as developers look for technologies that help them optimize and integrate production systems to deliver better user experiences.

Get Involved in Eclipse IoT & Edge Native Communities

To stay current with the happenings in the Eclipse IoT Working Group, join the mailing list here.

To join the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group conversation on Slack, click here.

Read the Full Report

For detailed insights, Download the IoT & Edge Developer Survey Results