Introduction: Introducing Grandeur
What's the hardest part in building an internet connected product (or say IoT product)? It is the complexity of development process, you gotta work on such a huge and diverse technology stack that building such products is a huge mess in the first place and then later comes the scaling. This is the primary reason that so many IoT startups fail. I understand this because I have been there.
I started Grandeur with my friends when I was a sophomore and was pursuing electrical engineering. It all started like a project. We were in love with home automation and wanted to make our home smart (like Jarvis in Iron Man). We built a cool smart socket board, through which connected appliances could be controlled through a laptop over bluetooth and we replaced the one in our dorm. Then we built some for friends and then friends of friends and that's how it grew out to be much more than just a project.
We got excited about it and turned it into a business venture, got it incorporated. We wanted to sell our product to a wider audience. This is where we realized that this isn't it. We needed an app so that our users could control their appliances remotely (that's the value addition in the end). We wanted to do it over internet instead of bluetooth (because pairing and managing bluetooth devices wasn't so cool in 2016 - BLE modules wasn't so popular and widely available at that time). So we needed a server as well. But it wasn't our thing, we were the hardware guys and it took us an entire year just to figure out our stack. By then we were like done financially, we were burned up even without making it to the market. This hit us hard and we decided to do something about it.
ONE YEAR LATER...
A backend as a service platform for IoT so that developers and startups could build, scale and manage all aspects of their IoT products from a single spot.
Step 1: Introduction
Developing an IoT product spans over various platforms. You need your own hardware because that's what you are gonna sell, you need an app because that's your value addition and you need a server to sync everything up. This is what makes building such products incredibly hard and it takes massive amount of money and time to get into to market.
Doing it all by yourself is neither feasible nor scalable, which is why various technology companies tried to address this problem. All the major cloud computing companies came up with their own IoT solutions. Companies like Wia and Particle came up but it is still quite a bit of mess. Why? Because these companies and services tried to solve just one or two aspects of the IoT product development so you still end up with mixing and matching many services together to help you with your entire stack.
We designed Grandeur to be a single spot solution for all of the problems you can face in building and scaling your entire technology stack. For instance consider in app, you would like your users to first signup before accessing their devices, so we built in the accounts manager. Then we added device manager to store device specific configurations. We added storage service so you could store your static assets as well as data for the app and hardware. It even comes with built in hosting so that you can host your website. And you can access all of these features through our cross platform client SDK or by using our dashboard web app. Some of the features are shown in the top bar image.
As an overview, it works this way; you create an account with dashboard web application of Grandeur and then create a new project. Project works as a workspace and all the features of Grandeur are accessed using the unique ID of the project which we call the api key. Each project can have multiple users and multiple devices and each user can own/pair more than one devices.
A user is an entity that defines the person using your product. While you have full control over your project, a user of your product has scope limited to its own profile and delegated access to devices paired with it. A user is added using the client SDK or directly from the dashboard. Devices are the things around which the IoT product development revolves. A device entity has access scope limited to its own data and can be added only from dashboard. A device is owned by the project's administrator and its access is delegated to user when user and device are paired either through the client SDK or from the dashboard. Pairing process is similar to declaring the ownership of a device and a device can only be paired if it is not already paired to some other user. Device entity comes with a privileged space where its data is stored regarding its variables, as key-value pairs.
Step 2: Get Started
Step 3: What Is Next?
This is a product by makers for the makers. It is very easy to take a start, just follow our docs or watch tutorials. But don't worry, this is just the beginning. We are coming up with a series of tutorials on it, so stay tweaked. Catch up with us on slack or you can always write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.