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Disclaimer: Please note that, while the ThingWorx Git Backup Extension is a very useful tool, it is not a PTC product, nor is it supported by PTC.   Hi ThingWorx users,   Trying to manage your ThingWorx application artifacts in a CI process? Wondering who changed that line of code in your Thing Service? Trying to see what your Mashup looked like last release? Time to Git excited! Introducing the Git Backup Extension, an open-source tool available here to offer a stronger integration with the Git source repository. This Git feature can push or pull code and artifacts (like entities, data exports or extension dependencies) to your Git repository.   Here are some highlights of how this works within ThingWorx:   First, configure your Git repo to work with ThingWorx by creating a Git Backup Thing. Then, simply open your new Thing, navigate to the Configuration editor and enter information like your Git URL, your Git username and password, your repo and branch names, etc. See example below. Configuring your Git repo With this configuration in place, you can now use the Home Mashup of this new Git thing to browse the repository and pull down contents to your local ThingWorx instance. For new projects, you can also push new entities to the repo as you work on your application.   As you and your team are working, you’ll want to see the differences of the files you are editing and working on collaboratively. The Git extension feature makes this easy. Just like you can see diffs clearly delineated for a file with your Git client, you can see the same with this Git integration in ThingWorx. Similar to the git status command, the Git ThingWorx extension will show you the list of files you have changed that are available to push, as well as their diffs. See an example below. Checking the Git status While working, if you want to switch branches or pull down a new project, you can check out a specific version and see all commits available on that branch (see below). Checking out a specific commit Want to learn more or try it for yourself? Find the open-source Git Backup Extension here and check out the Git Backup Extension User Guide for guidance.   Stay connected, Kaya   P.S. What do you think? Comment your thoughts below!
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  Question: What should I know about using ThingWorx with InfluxDB to store my time series data? Hi, ThingWorx users!   It’s here! Thanks for waiting patiently since my previous post announcing ThingWorx’ new support of InfluxDB as a time series persistence provider.   As of our 8.4 release, you can now use InfluxDB to store your ThingWorx time series data with incredible power and ease.   Want to learn more? Check out the following FAQs:   1. What is InfluxDB? Who is InfluxData? InfluxDB is a time series database designed to handle high write and query loads. It is meant to be used as a backing store for any use case involving large amounts of timestamped data, like monitoring, application metrics, IoT sensor data, and real-time analytics that you’d find in ThingWorx.   InfluxDB is created by InfluxData, an awesome company that we are proud to call a PTC partner.   2. When would I want to use InfluxDB for IIoT? While the ThingWorx IIoT platform supports multiple databases to persist IIoT data and is agnostic when it comes to the storage layer, InfluxDB is the ideal choice for time series. When the number of connected devices increases, along with the amount of streaming data, the need to have a high-scale telemetry database choice is obvious.   For very high scale data ingestion, InfluxDB should be used as a persistent provider with the ThingWorx platform for multiple reasons. Its flexibility and ease of use provides native support for standard time series functions, including: sampling, interpolation, time bucketing, aggregation, selector, transformation, predictor, etc. It does all of this while supporting a high compression of data (~45x) with the ability to handle thousands of writes per second and read thousands of rows in milliseconds.   Check out this article by our Enterprise Deployment Center (EDC) explaining why InfluxDB is great for small ThingWorx applications.   3. What are the three different flavors of InfluxDB? InfluxDB Open Source (TICK Stack), InfluxDB Enterprise & InfluxDB Cloud. Here’s more info on each: InfluxDB Open Source (TICK Stack): This is the open-source version of the product available to download via the InfluxData website . Also included here are the other projects that comprise the TICK Stack, including: [T] Telegraf; open source collection agent [I] InfluxDB; open source time series database [C] Chronograf; open source visualization application [K] Kapacitor; open source streaming processing engine; side car to InfluxDB InfluxDB Enterprise: This is the commercial software version of InfluxDB for high availability clustering and the recommended time series database to be used for production with ThingWorx 8.4 and later. InfluxDB Enterprise works with the rest of the TICK stack interchangeably (Telegraf, Chronograf, Kapacitor). InfluxDB Cloud: This is the commercial service version of InfluxDB, hosted on AWS, managed by InfluxData, and delivered as a service to customers. InfluxDB Cloud works with the rest of the TICK stack interchangeably (Telegraf, Chronograf, Kapacitor). To learn more about the different modules of InfluxDB (Telegraf, Chronograf, Kapcitor), check out InfluxData Introduction for documentation or InfluxData Products for product info.   4. What is the difference between InfluxDB opensource and enterprise? InfluxDB Open Source is available in a single (1 only) data node configuration only, albeit with “n” number of vCPU or “cores” provisioned on that single node.  InfluxDB Enterprise is available in multiple (2 or more) data node configuration, also with “n” number of vCPU or “cores” provisioned to each node. The Enterprise edition is generally preferred for production deployments that require high availability, replication, and redundancy. Provisioned along with the data nodes are three (3) meta nodes and a load balancer to distribute data workload across the multiple nodes. Typical configurations are in even increments of data nodes (i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.).   5. Where can I find the pricing overview for buying enterprise licenses for InfluxDB? The PTC product and go-to-market team have defined commercial pricing for InfluxDB Enterprise. For help with pricing, reach out to Chris Wensley (cwensley@ptc.com) and Anders Hinrichsen (anders@influxdata.com).   6. How do I configure InfluxDB with ThingWorx? We’ve outlined the steps for you in the ThingWorx Help Center and created a quick video to instruct you on how to install InfluxDB with ThingWorx. (view in My Videos) To see the current version of InfluxDB that we support, read our ThingWorx 9.0 System Requirements guide.   7. How do I configure InfluxDB and ThingWorx in a high availability scenario? With the ability to leverage multiple data stores, we work to provide the flexibility to best meet the needs of your IT preferences and investments. InfluxDB helps us do that. To configure ThingWorx for High Availability, please refer to this section of the ThingWorx Platform 9 Help Center. To configure InfluxDB for High Availability at the database level, please refer to InfluxData’s documentation on how to Install and deploy InfluxDB Enterprise clusters.   8. Where can I learn more about how to monitor and manage InfluxDB? Monitoring info for InfluxDB can be found here: Monitoring Tools for TICK Stack .   9. How can I tune and optimize InfluxDB with ThingWorx? The best approach for running InfluxDB with PTC ThingWorx 8.4 (or later) is to treat the workload and configuration just as you would in a stand-alone deployment. We suggest to stick to the recommendations in the InfluxDB and TICK stack documentation.   10. How do I perform backup and recovery of ThingWorx with InfluxDB? Please see the ThingWorx Platform Backup and Recovery Planning Technical Brief to plan for back and recovery. You can also find more more details on taking backups and restoring data from InfluxDB in the Backing up and restoring in InfluxDB Enterprise overview.   11. Where can I learn more about sampling, interpolation, time bucketing, aggregation, pivot​ and other key features of InfluxDB? Features of InfluxDB can be found here: InfluxData Time Series Platform . Implementation of InfluxDB features can be found here: Getting Started with InfluxDB .   12. What are all the different persistence providers supported with ThingWorx? When should I use InfluxDB? ThingWorx supports the following model and data provider storage options: H2, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server and AzureSQL ThingWorx supports the following data provider only storage options: InfluxDB Please refer to the model and data best practices section of the ThingWorx 9 Help Center for further information on options how to store your model and data with ThingWorx.   We have also updated the ThingWorx Platform 9.0 Sizing Guide to provide relevant information to estimate the amount of processing and memory that ThingWorx may need to meet your requirements. It also provides guidance on when to use InfluxDB for your scale needs.   13. When should I use InfluxDB over DataStax Enterprise (DSE)? Here is a good blog post that benchmarks time series data performance of InfluxDB vs. Cassandra, which is the core of DataStax Enterprise (DSE). In specific use cases, InfluxData Enterprise may be more cost effective when compared to similar telemetry use cases with DSE.   14. How can I migrate my data from PostgreSQL to InfluxDB? Migration from PostgreSQL or MSSQL is supported by the ThingWorx in-built data tools, which can export entities and data from PostgreSQL or MSSQL and then import them into InfluxDB.   Details on how to upgrade to ThingWorx 9.0 can be found in the Upgrading ThingWorx  section of the ThingWorx 9 Help Center.   15. Should I use InfluxDB as a time series store rather than OSI PI, IP21, or others? For ThingWorx 8.4 and later, InfluxDB is the recommended time series store. This can be implemented at the edge with ThingWorx (i.e. “front end”) using the open source edition and can also be implemented at the hub (i.e. “back end”) using either of the commercial editions designed for HA production workloads.   As always, ThingWorx can connect to most industrial software, including OSI PI, IP21, etc. with our integration toolset.   That’s a wrap—almost! We’ve added two extra questions for you.   16. What’s on the roadmap for ThingWorx with InfluxDB? Key development work to fully leverage built-in InfluxDB querying capabilities and support InfluxDB 2.0 in future ThingWorx releases Leveraging query operations capabilities from InfluxDB to further improve query performance Supporting additional native InfluxDB features (e.g. continuous queries)   17. What should I do if I need technical support with InfluxDB? If you select InfluxDB as your persistence provider, then all support requests related to configuring InfluxDB can be logged through PTC Technical Support at https://support.ptc.com or by calling 1-800-477-6435. You may also want to use the PTC Community to learn and collaborate with the growing PTC developer community. For all other requests related to database management, troubleshooting, monitoring, and administration, we encourage you to reach out to InfluxData directly based on your enterprise purchase contract made with InfluxData. PTC customers using InfluxDB can also email ptc-support@influxdata.com for support requests related to InfluxData.   If you’re as excited as I am about the ability to store your time series data with InfluxDB, let me know in the comments below!   Until next time, if you have any questions, just ask Kaya!
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  Question: What is the best way to use Git with ThingWorx? Disclaimer: Please note that, while the ThingWorx Git Backup Extension is a very useful tool, it is not a PTC product, nor is it supported by PTC.   After the release of ThingWorx 8.4 two weeks ago, are you looking for even more? Can’t get enough of ThingWorx? Good thing—because we’ve got you covered.   We have just released Version 2.0 of the ThingWorx Git Backup Extension! Reach out if you'd like to learn how to obtain access to it.    In the newest version, you’ll find: Major UX improvements and UI restyling. The extension now includes a new page called GitBackup.Main.Mashup, which offers access to all the functionality previously available in the Home Mashup (see below). GitBackup.Main.Mashup is now the single interface for all the GitBackupThings in the system; you’ll no longer need to go to Composer to manage them individually. New ThingWorx Git Backup Extension 2.0 Support for querying and selecting the Bitbucket repositories that you, as a user, have access to. An updated ExtensionExportExtension with bugfixes.   If you’re looking for guidance on how to configure Git with ThingWorx, check out one of my earlier posts that explains how you can use Git to achieve continuous integration with ThingWorx or view the updated Git Backup Extension User Guide attached (see the “Attachments” section to the right).   Shoutouts to Vladimir, Gabriel, Bogdan, Moritz and Pierre for making this available.   Let me know what you think of Version 2.0 in the comments below!   The open-source Git Backup Extension can be found here.    Stay connected, Kaya
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  Today on Ask Kaya, I have a riddle.   I was effective and trendy, but now I can be annoying. I sometimes tend to look out of place and I get in others’ space. I look easy to learn, but few have truly mastered my intricacies. Am I the floss dance?   No, I’m not the floss dance. I’m the expression and validator widgets.   It’s time to say goodbye to those pesky widgets that were super useful but super annoying. Yep, those widgets that littered your design canvas but were “Invisible at Runtime.”     I’m talking about expressions, validators, status messages and event routers. In our next release, expression and validator widgets will no longer appear on the canvas at build time.   You may remember from the previous post titled “Ask the Expert: What are the top three features in ThingWorx 8.4 that I might not know about?” In the post, we discussed the concept of Data Helpers, now known as “Functions.”   What do Functions do? Functions give you the ability add custom logic and bindings to improve UI application functionality. Before we describe how to configure them, let’s first explain what they are.   An expression widget runs any expression you give it. That piece of logic might be something like result = a +  b. While an expression can run any type of logic—not just numbers—you must specify the output base type to be the same as the input base type.    Expressions can also be used to run a different service based on an event. For example, a user may write an expression to run a service if a value changes. They may not care about the value itself but rather just want to know that the value changed.   A validator widget is similar to an expression widget; the key difference is that a validator only outputs a Boolean. When their result is true, you bind to one service, when false, another. Unlike an expression widget, the validator widget does not have to have matching input and output datatypes because the output datatype will always be Boolean.   The input for a validator can be anything. You can create a scenario in which a validator widget outputs a status message that reads “the value is within the acceptable range” when the validator returns true or “the value is outside of the acceptable range” when the validator returns false.   Ready for the extra good stuff? We’re introducing a new editor for you to create, add and configure expressions and validators.   How can I use Functions? Let’s walk through an example using the following these steps.   Create a new Mashup. You’ll see a new tab called “Functions,” which, on default, appears in the bottom right panel.                 Click the “+” arrow in the top right of the “Functions” panel. Choose “expression.” Use the new Functions editor to write your expression. In this example, we’ll say that result = a + b; New Functions Editor  We’ll then set the default values for a and b to be 2 and 3, respectively, to output a result of 5.     Expressions are just as powerful as they were before, but they no longer take up space on your mashup during design time, and they can now be configured in our brand new editor! (To spread the joy even more, the same holds true for validator widgets.)   Reach out with any questions or thoughts below!   Stay connected and keep floss dancing, Kaya
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Disclaimer: The scripts and content published here are provided solely as a courtesy to PTC customers. Each script is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. In no event shall the PTC be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the scripts, including any software vulnerabilities.     Hi developers,   Ready to deploy ThingWorx containers on Kubernetes using Helm?   Let's get started using the steps below from Luis, one of our awesome software developers.   Before you dive too far in, please note that the following instructions assume you have downloaded the Docker scripts from our downloads portal and followed the instructions to build and publish the ThingWorx Docker images to your own Docker registry; they also assume that you have a working Kubernetes cluster with sufficient resources available.   These steps are intended to be used as a deployment manual and will not provide in-depth information about Kubernetes or the Helm package manager.     To start, you'll need the following prerequisites: A working Kubernetes cluster (Minikube should also work) kubectl cli tool installed and configured (https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/tools/install-kubectl/) helm cli tool installed and configured (https://docs.helm.sh/using_helm/#installing-helm)   In this example, we'll use the ThingWorx platform with PostgreSQL as a persistence provider. To prepare for the deployment, start by downloading the sample Helm chart  thingworx-0.1.0.tgz  (this is zipped in the .7z file attached ). You can take a look at what is configurable in this Helm chart: $ helm inspect thingworx-0.1.0.tgz This will show you the default configuration ( values.yaml ) and instructions ( README.md ) provided within the package. In the next steps, you'll see how to override some of these values to make the deployment fit your environment.    Let's create your custom   values  file. Use your favorite text editor and create a new file that looks like the following example. Please note the comments and make the necessary adjustments.    # Uncomment the following lines if you're using a private Docker registry that requires a username and password #imageCredentials: # password: mySecretAndSecurePassword # Your Docker Registry Password here # registry: docker.example.com # Your Docker Registry FQDN here # username: myUsername # Your Docker Registry Username here registry: domain: docker.example.com # Your Docker Registry FQDN here thingworx: image: repository: thingworx-platform-postgres # Your Thingworx Docker image name tag: 8.4.0 # Your Thingworx Docker image tag # Uncomment the following lines if you have the nginx-ingres addon installed on your cluster # ingress: # enabled: true # annotations: # kubernetes: # io/ingress: # class: nginx # hosts: # - twx.k8s.example.com # A FQDN that resolves to your cluster's ingress point   Note : The default  values.yaml  file included in the chart contains default usernames and passwords that must be changed before using this chart for production purposes. To change them also include a block like the following in your   myValues.yaml. postgresql: postgresPassword: YOUR_PG_ADMIN_PASSWORD commonConf: DATABASE_ADMIN_USERNAME: YOUR_PG_ADMIN_USER TWX_DATABASE_USERNAME: YOUR_TWX_DB_USER TWX_DATABASE_PASSWORD: YOUR_TWX_DB_PASSWORD RABBITMQ_USERNAME: YOUR_RABBITMQ_USER RABBITMQ_PASSWORD: YOUR_RABBITMQ_PASSWORD Save this file as  myValues.yaml .   If you have never used Helm with your cluster before, you should run the following command. This will install/upgrade the Helm server-side component (Tiller) on your Kubernetes cluster.   $ helm init --upgrade Now, to deploy ThingWorx, run the following command. This will deploy ThingWorx into your current kube config namespace. If you want to deploy into a specific namespace use the   --namespace   or   -n   flag.   $ helm upgrade --install -f myValues.yaml thingworx-test thingworx-0.1.0.tgz Wait a few seconds and you should have ThingWorx deployed onto your Kubernetes cluster. You can use  kubectl   to check if the ThingWorx and PostgreSQL pods are ready:   $ kubectl get pods If you have an Ingress set up on your cluster, you can just open a browser and point it to the URL you created for it; if not, you can use  kubectl   to reach it:   $ kubectl port-forward service/thingworx-test-twx 8080   Leave the terminal open and point your browser to http://localhost:8080/Thingworx.   Below, you can find an example using Minikube; you can get Minikube from https://github.com/kubernetes/minikube: # Start minikube minikube start --memory 8192 --cpus 4 # Set docker env so you can use local images with minikube eval $(minikube docker-env) # Ensure that kubectl is configured for minikube minikube update-context # Pull the image from your Docker registry docker pull artifactory.rd2.thingworx.io/twxdevops/tw-platform-postgres:8.4.0-build-latest # check the Thingworx helm default values and README helm inspect thingworx-0.1.0.tgz # Create your custom values file cat << EOF > myValues.yaml # Add the content registry: domain: artifactory.rd2.thingworx.io thingworx: image: repository: twxdevops/tw-platform-postgres tag: 8.4.0-build-latest pullPolicy: IfNotPresent # this is to use the existing local image in minikube resources: requests: cpu: 1 memory: 1Gi # Make sure it can fit our Minikube VM EOF # Initialize helm and tiller helm init --upgrade # Deploy Thingworx helm upgrade --install -f myValues.yaml thingworx-test thingworx-0.1.0.tgz # Verify the deployment status helm ls # Verify that the Thingworx and PostgreSQL pods where created (check the status column) kubectl get pods # Wait until both pods are ready and use kubectl port-forward to reach the Thingworx Composer UI kubectl port-forward service/thingworx-test-twx 8080 # Open the Thingworx Composer UI in your default browser xdg-open http://localhost:8080/Thingworx # Use open instead of xdg-open if you're on macOS Here's a quick video explaining the deployment of ThingWorx Docker images on Minikube.   (view in My Videos)   Let me know your thoughts and questions below!   Stay connected, Kaya  
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Applicable Releases: ThingWorx Platform 7.0 to 8.5   Description:   Introduction to ThingWorx Extension Development, with the following topics: What is an Extension Why building an Extension Prerequisites Installing Eclipse plugin and features Creating entities with the plugin and including exported Entities in an Extension Project Upgrading or Updating and Existing extension in ThingWorx Building with Gradle and Ant       ThingWorx Extension Development Guide
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  Hello everyone,   If you’re like me, you’re always looking for the optimal or most efficient way to do something. Today, I’ll share a quick trick and two tips to help you develop your awesome IoT solutions with ThingWorx.   #1. Trick: Finding Dependency References We are targeting a new “Where Used” Composer feature in an upcoming release of the platform to help you find your references of bindings, properties, mashups, and services. In the meantime, did you know you can get some of that information yourself today with a quick service call?   As of ThingWorx 8.5, a new service is present on Project entities; the service crawls the contents of your project and highlights the full external dependency list to help you find references. On any Project Entity, ListExternalDependencies() shows output like this in 9.0:  ListExternalDependencies() output   For each entity (“A”) in the project, the service calls out any entities (“B”) that it is referencing and the referenced dependency’s extension package if present. It will only find external dependencies to the project and will not currently list dependencies within the project. Notice also in the infotable output, the last column, “where used,” even lists the type of reference (e.g. coded in JavaScript, Mashup Data, Resource, Property binding, etc.). Pretty handy!   Code reference from “Where Used” service output   Click this link for additional help content that explains the service output and usage. Again, it only searches for entity references outside of your current project scope. Also, this service will stop crawling the dependency hierarchy when it finds items in a project, since its current purpose is packaging.  Consider if you have Thing T1 in Project P1, which uses ThingTemplate TT2 and it’s not in a Project. TT2, in turn, uses ThingShape TS3 which is also not in a Project.  Calling ListExternalDependencies()  on Project P1 will find both TT2 and TS3. If, however, we then put TT2 in a Project P2, then call the List() service on Project P1, the scan will stop at TT2 and NOT identify TS3.  The reason for this is that the service assumes that when you package P2, it will find the orphan TS3.     We know this doesn’t cover all “where used” type use cases, so there is still a planned feature to really complete this concept on the platform. But even in the 8.5 or 9.0 releases, if you wanted to see entity references (inside and outside of its project) for a single Thing A, you could quickly assign Thing A to a new project and run the ListExternalDependencies() service to find all of its references and then assign Thing A back to its original project once you’ve found what you are looking for. Moving entities into projects just for searching is not something I would recommend doing often, but it can work in a pinch!   #2. Tip: JavaScript looping When iterating through data from infotables, use a .forEach() loop! Consider these four code options and their average performance on the Rhino engine:  Infotable looping performance   Very clearly, the .forEach() syntax is the most performant and, in my opinion, the cleanest to read. Try it out in your app! We plan to update our help documentation with more of these ThingWorx JavaScript best practices in 9.1. We also plan to provide some updates to our Code Snippets features in an upcoming Composer release so we can recommend these good practices right from the start.   #3. Tip: Code optimizations As with many performance bottlenecks, it is those pesky loops that can really amplify degradation. Here are two ThingWorx patterns for your consideration:   Wrong Way:   In this block of code, we setup the property names we are looking for, and then loop through to make a logger message. While creating each logger message, we are making an API call for querying all things for a Thing named me.name and executing a service call GetMetadataAsJSON() on that Thing which walks the hierarchy to build a JSON representation of itself. In this trivial example, we are making these same API 2 calls for each item in the propertyNames list, though the Thing reference and JSON definitions are never changing. Pretty expensive.   Correct Way:   Notice in this example, we are not only declaring the propertyNames outside of the loop, but also the propertyDefinitions. This will significantly improve performance and reduce the number of API calls and round trips to the application server. Again, this is a trivial example, but can pay off in larger and more complex code areas.   If you like these quick tips, check out more best practices here! Got a tip of your own? Have a question on how to tackle something? As always, just Ask Kaya!   Stay connected! Kaya
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ThingWorx 8.4 is here!   We know you’ve been patient, as we’ve released sneak peeks on Ask Kaya of various new or updated features, including: InfluxDB as New Time Series Data Persistence Provider Responsive Mashup Layout with New Layout Editor ThingPresence to Address Assets that Always Appear Offline Functions to Allow Expression & Validator Widgets to No Longer Crowd Canvases at Design Time Property Transforms to Do Statistical Transforms for Property Values No longer are you forced to sit idly as we give you glimpses of the new functionality without the ability to play with it. Now that it’s available, go run with the wind!   To discover even more features and details, check out the release notes.   ThingWorx 8.4 can be downloaded here.   Let us know what you think of the new release below!   - Kaya
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Exciting news! ThingWorx now has improved support for Docker containers to help you manage CI/CD, improve development efficiency in your organization and save costs. Check out these FAQs below and, as always, reach out to me if you have any additional questions.   Stay connected, Kaya   FAQs: ThingWorx Docker Containers   What are Docker Containers? From Docker.com: “a Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries and settings”. Learn more here.   What's the difference between Docker containers and VMs? Containers are an abstraction at the app layer that packages code and dependencies together, whereas Virtual Machines (VMs) are an abstraction of physical hardware turning one server into many servers. Here are some great discussions on it on Stack Overflow. Containers vs. VMs   How can I build ThingWorx Docker images? Check out the Building ThingWorx 8.3 Docker Images Guide or watch this video to instruct you on how to build and test Docker containers. (view in My Videos)   How does PTC support building ThingWorx Docker images? PTC provides the ability for customers and partners to build ThingWorx Docker images. A customer can download the Dockerfiles and scripts packaged as a zip folder from the PTC Software Downloads Portal under “ThingWorx Platform,” then “Release 8.3”  then“ThingWorx Dockerfiles.” (Please note that you must be logged in for the link to function properly.) PTC Software Downloads Portal The zip folder contains the Dockerfiles, template jar, and scripts to fetch Tomcat, and ThingWorx WAR files using CLI. Java must be downloaded manually from the vendor's website. We also provide an instructional guide called “Build ThingWorx Docker Images” available on the Reference Documents page on the Support Portal.   How are ThingWorx Docker images different from the usual delivery media of WAR files? The WAR file delivery is typically accompanied by an installation guide that contains the manual steps for creating the VM or bare-metal environment. That guide includes instructions for the administrator to manually install the prerequisites, including Tomcat, Java, and ThingWorx platform settings files. To deploy and run the WAR file, the administrator follows the guide to create the runtime environment on an OS. In contrast, the Dockerfile build in this delivery automates the creation of a Docker image once supplied with the prerequisites.   Do you have any reference deployment and guidance? Yes, you can refer to our blog post to learn how to deploy and run ThingWorx Docker containers on your existing Kubernetes environment.   Is there any recommendation on which Container Orchestrator as a Service (CaaS) a customer should run ThingWorx Foundation Docker container images on? You can use Docker-Compose for testing, but it is generally not suggested for production deployment use cases. In a production environment, customers should use container orchestrators such as Kubernetes, OpenShift, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), or Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS), to deploy and manage ThingWorx Docker images.   What are the skill sets required? Familiarity with OS CLI and Docker tools is required to build building the ThingWorx Docker images. Familiarity with Docker-compose to run the resulting Docker containers is needed to test the resulting builds. We don’t recommend Docker-Compose for production use, but when using it for local testing and demo purposes, users can rapidly install ThingWorx and get it up and running in minutes. We expect PTC partners and customers who want to run ThingWorx containerized instances in their production environment to possess the required skill sets within their DevOps team.   How is ThingWorx licensing handled with the Docker images? By default, the container created from these Docker images starts up in a limited mode with no license supplied. You can configure your username and password for the PTC licensing portal to automatically load a license via environment variables passed into the container on startup. Additionally, you can mount a volume to the /ThingworxPlatform directory, which contains your license file, or to retrieve a license request. To keep your Host ID consistent, ensure that the /ThingworxStorage and /ThingworxPlatform directories are persisted and not removed with individual container restarts. More detailed instructions can be found in the build guide or in a Kubernetes blog post .   Is Docker free? What version of Docker does PTC support for ThingWorx? Docker is open-source and licensed under the Apache 2 license. Information on Docker licensing can be found here. The following Docker versions are required: Docker Community Edition (docker-ce) Version 18.05.0-ce is recommended. To install the Docker Community Edition on your system, follow the instructions for your operating system on the Docker website here. Docker Compose (docker-compose) Version 1.17.1 is recommended. To install the Docker Compose on your system, follow the instructions for your operating system on the Docker website here. What persistence providers are currently supported? PTC provides the ability to build ThingWorx Foundation containers for the following supported persistence providers: H2 Microsoft SQL Server PostgreSQL Additional persistence providers will be added to the Docker build delivery as the ThingWorx Foundation Platform releases support for those new databases in future releases.   What are some of the security best practices? For production use, customers are strongly advised to secure their Docker environments by following all the recommendations provided by Docker. Review and implement the best practices detailed at https://docs.docker.com/engine/security/security/.   Can we build Docker images for ThingWorx High Availability (HA) architecture? Yes. ThingWorx Dockerfiles are provided for both basic ThingWorx deployment architecture and HA ThingWorx deployment architecture.   How easy is the rehosting and upgrading of ThingWorx releases on Docker with existing data? In Kubernetes environment, data is kept in a separate volume and can be attached to different containers. When one container dies, the data can be attached to a different container and the container should start without issue. For more information, please refer to the upgrade section of the Building ThingWorx 8.3 Docker Images Guide.   Is it okay to use the Docker exec and access the bash shell to make config changes or should I always rebuild the image and re-deploy?­ Although using Docker exec to gain access to the container internals is useful for testing and troubleshooting issues, any changes made will not be saved after a container is stopped. To configure a container's environment, variables are passed in during the start process. This can be done with Docker start commands, using compose files with environment variables defined, or with helm charts. More detailed instructions can be found in the build guide or in this blog post .   What if there are issues? Should I call PTC Technical Support? We are providing the scripts and reference documents solely to empower our community to build ThingWorx Docker images. We believe that customers using Docker in their production processes would have expertise to manage running Docker containers themselves. If there are any issues or questions regarding the build scripts provided in the PTC official downloads portal, then customers can contact PTC Technical Support at 1-800-477-6435 or visit us online at: http://support.ptc.com. PTC does not provide support for orchestration troubleshooting.   What can you share about future roadmap plans? As we are enabling our customers and partners to build ThingWorx Foundation Platform Docker images, we plan to do the same for upcoming products such as ThingWorx Integration & Orchestration, ThingWorx Analytics, upcoming persistence providers such as InfluxDB, and many more. We also plan to provide additional reference architecture examples and use cases to help developers understand how to use Docker containers in their DevOps and production environments.   Where can I learn more about Docker containers and container orchestrators? See these resources below for additional information: https://training.docker.com/ https://kubernetes.io/docs/tutorials/online-training/overview/
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Hi Community,   I've recently had a number of questions from colleagues around architectures involving MQTT and what our preferred approach was.  After some internal verification, I wanted to share an aggregate of my findings with the ThingWorx Architect and Developer Community.   PTC currently supports four methods for integrating with MQTT for IoT projects. ThingWorx Azure IoT Hub Connector ThingWorx MQTT Extension ThingWorx Kepware Server Choice is nice, but it adds complexity and sometimes confusion.  The intent of this article is to clarify and provide direction on the subject to help others choose the path best suited for their situation.   ThingWorx MQTT Extension The ThingWorx MQTT extension has been available on the marketplace as an unsupported “PTC Labs” extension for a number of years.  Recently its status has been upgraded to “PTC Supported” and it has received some attention from R&D getting some bug fixes and security enhancements.  Most people who have used MQTT with ThingWorx are familiar with this extension.  As with anything, it has advantages and disadvantages.  You can easily import the extension without having administrative access to the machine, it’s easy to move around and store with projects, and can be up and running quite quickly.  However it is also quite limited when it comes to the flexibility required when building a production application, is tied directly to the core platform, and does not get feature/functionality updates.   The MQTT extension is a good choice for PoCs, demos, benchmarks, and prototypes as it provides MQTT integration relatively quickly and easily.  As an extension which runs with the core platform, it is not a good choice as a part of a client/enterprise application where MQTT communication reliability is critical.   ThingWorx Azure IoT Hub Connector Although Azure IoT Hub is not a fully functional MQTT broker, Azure IoT does support MQTT endpoints on both IoT Hub and IoT Edge.  This can be an interesting option to have MQTT devices publish to Azure IoT and be integrated to ThingWorx using the Azure IoT Hub Connector without actually requiring an MQTT broker to run and be maintained.  The Azure IoT Hub Connector works similarly to the PAT and is built on the Connection Server, but adds the notion of device management and security provided by Azure IoT.   When using Azure IoT Edge configured as a transparent gateway with buffering (store and forward) enabled, this approach has the added benefit of being able to buffer MQTT device messages at a remote site with the ability to handle Internet interruptions without losing data.   This approach has the added benefit of having far greater integrated security capabilities by leveraging certificates and tying into Azure KeyVault, as well as easily scaling up resources receiving the MQTT messages (IoT Hub and Azure IoT Hub Connector).  Considering that this approach is build on the Connection Server core, it also follows our deployment guidance for processing communications outside of the core platform (unlike the extension approach).   ThingWorx Kepware Server As some will note, KepWare has some pretty awesome MQTT capabilities: both as north and southbound interfaces.  The MQTT Client driver allows creating an MQTT channel to devices communicating via MQTT with auto-tag creation (from the MQTT payload).  Coupled with the native ThingWorx AlwaysOn connection, you can easily connect KepWare to an on-premise MQTT broker and connect these devices to ThingWorx over AlwaysOn.   The IoT Gateway plug-in has an MQTT agent which allows publishing data from all of your KepWare connected devices to an MQTT broker or endpoint.  The MQTT agent can also receive tag updates on a different topic and write back to the controllers.  We’ve used this MQTT agent to connect industrial control system data to ThingWorx through cloud platforms like Azure IoT, AWS, and communications providers.   ThingWorx Product Segment Direction A key factor in deciding how to design your solution should be aligned with our product development direction.  The ThingWorx Product Management and R&D teams have for years been putting their focus on scalable and enterprise-ready approaches that our partners and customers can build upon.  I mention this to make it clear that not all supported approaches carry the same weight.  Although we do support the MQTT extension, it is not in active development due to the fact that out-of-platform microservices-based communication interfaces are our direction forward.   The Azure IoT Hub Connector, being built on the Connection Server is currently the way forward for MQTT communications to the ThingWorx Foundation.   Regards,   Greg Eva
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  DevOps. It’s not just a buzzword. It’s a true development methodology that can make all the difference in your application quality and release time. Today, I’ll walk you through how you can continuously integrate and deploy your ThingWorx applications to achieve CI/CD objectives as part of a DevOps-focused culture. At the end, I’ll provide you a sneak peek of what you can expect in a future release (hint: we’re working on some awesome new CI/CD functionality). Overview of ThingWorx DevOps and Common Tools I’ll start by providing an overview of the DevOps cycle, and then I’ll provide more details around each step of the cycle. Before we can start, you’ll need to define your high-level architecture and functional requirements as part of the “Plan” phase.   Now, let’s build your ThingWorx app. Ready? Here we go!   Code As with any software platform, developers can start working in any number of areas of the IoT application—from edge, to visualization, rules authoring to data modelling. For the purpose of this article, we’ll start with the UI, but much of the same steps can be applied in any order. Also, we’ll just call out high level steps of development, but for more info on building out each aspect of your application, please visit developer.thingworx.com.   In ThingWorx Composer, build out your user interface with Mashups. Starting with UI can help you think about the types of data you want to collect from devices and systems and how you want to solve your unique requirements for the business. Starting at this point can also help you show live POCs and functional mockups to stakeholders. Once you’ve built some starter screens and a skeleton of app navigation, you can start adding in data through configuration in Composer by creating your Things, Templates, properties and services. [Optional] We offer 65 out-of-the-box widgets for the UI in the ThingWorx platform. There are times when you have specific visualization requirements for your application and the out-of-the-box widgets don’t quite satisfy them. We have a path for that, through our custom widget extensions. If you choose to develop your own widget extensions, you can do so through other IDEs like Eclipse or WebStorm. Custom development and extensions are not just for UI. We also allow you to define Thing entities and their custom services in Java. If you are developing extensions in this way, we’d recommend you do so using Eclipse to code and Gradle to build and drive tests. For instructions on how to create your own extension, see “Creating Customized ThingWorx Widgets” on page 42 of the ThingWorx Application Development Guide posted on Ask Kaya . With a good start on the data model, business logic and UI, some quick testing and validation is in order. You’ll probably also want to save all of this work also to share with colleagues or move to other integration environments. Capture all of your entity and code artifacts (Mashups, style definitions, Thing shapes, Thing templates, JavaScript, etc.) by using the “Export to Source Control” feature from ThingWorx Composer to write entities to the file system. You can use Git or other source systems to monitor the file system and push to the remote repository of your choice (e.g. GitHub, Bitbucket, etc.). Again, if you are developing extensions outside of Composer, you’ll want to source control those items, too, from Eclipse or the file system directly. Build [Optional] You can build an application package as an extension with all entities and code from Eclipse using the ThingWorx Eclipse plugin. When you build the project, it will create an extension zip file. Again, more info in the Application Development Guide . Make your life easy by using tools like Gradle or Maven. ThingWorx is very similar to other Java development systems, so Gradle and Maven track your dependencies and create a package with all of the referenced extensions you may be using and put them into one single zip file package. Once you have a package built, you can import it into test or integration environments. For added automation, create repeatable tasks like a job in Jenkins so that every time your code is changed in the source repository (e.g. Git), it triggers a job to increment the version, build the project and create the package deliverables. Consider also configuring the Jenkins jobs to push artifacts to a central repository like Artifactory. Test Once your code has been built, we can’t forget about testing! Automation is king for DevOps! For ThingWorx apps, you should still design a test strategy for your application, and then define and create your tests. These can run in your local developer environment, as well as be triggered via build tasks/changes in the source repository. Tools like JUnit for your entities and Java-backed services or Selenium for testing the Mashup UIs can be used. You can create separate jobs in Jenkins along with the build to run the integration and unit tests against an instance of ThingWorx that has the latest artifacts deployed into it. You can also do static code analysis using tools like PMD to find bugs, check style issues or identify inefficient code paths. To round out your app also with performance and load testing, JMeter is one tool that you can leverage. Release Releasing is the culmination of the team’s great work! If the test results pass and the builds are green, you are good to go, and it’s time to establish your release build. Make sure that you consider a versioning scheme for your application and its artifacts. Semantic versioning is a pattern that can be implemented for your ThingWorx application. Correct versioning of ThingWorx packages affects your upgrade plans and is a signal to your users on the intent and content of the release. Again, see the Application Development Guide . Once a release milestone is met, you can create a source branch in Git for that milestone, which will have all the changes encompassed in that release. Configure a Jenkins job to create builds from that milestone branch for maintenance purposes. Deploy + Operate + Monitor   If you’ve tested and released your application, it’s time for production and real users! Using the build and testing infrastructure you’ve set up earlier in the development process, you can also deploy your release builds to your target staging and production ThingWorx environments with Jenkins jobs, Artifactory and automated steps. Finally, as with anything, it is important to measure success and monitor performance via KPIs, trends and logs. You can also extract application insights and recommendations from the PTC System Monitor (PSM) tool, which uses Dynatrace; here is a guide on how to install and deploy PSM.  There are many different paths through the platform and options for developers to match your local team processes and tools—this was simply a quick overview. Congrats! You’re now equipped to build ThingWorx apps while leveraging software best practices and incorporating a DevOps culture!   What can I expect in a future release of ThingWorx? Coming in a near-term release of ThingWorx, we’ll make it easier for you to continuously integrate and deploy your ThingWorx applications. How? Through new functionality that bolsters our packaging concepts, new cloud services to assist in deployment to environments and an error-proof way to integrate applications with an automated dependency awareness.   Stay tuned for more info about this exciting new deployment and application management functionality targeted for Fall 2019!   Reach out with any questions and stay connected.   -Kaya
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Hi, ThingWorx users! We’re excited to share that we have partnered with InfluxData to make time series analysis in ThingWorx even easier. InfluxDB is a database by InfluxData that is “built specifically for metrics and events that empower developers to build next-generation IIoT, analytics and monitoring applications.”   Why InfluxData?  Today, application developers expect robust querying capabilities, fast response time, easy ways of aggregating and pivoting on data and leveraging results for reporting and visualization. IT and devops administrators also expect cost-effective storage and easy ways of aging data through archiving and the ability to keep large amounts of historical data to satisfy analysis requirements.   That’s why we’ve partnered with InfluxData to make it easier for developers to store, analyze and act on IIoT data in real-time. With InfluxData, developers can build connected IIoT applications more quickly while still incorporating the following capabilities: monitoring real-time alerting predictive maintenance streaming data anomaly and event detection visual and report-based analysis   We considered a few technologies for the purpose of improving ThingWorx time series analysis. Here are a few reasons we chose InfluxData: high compression of data ~45x ability to handle millions of writes per second* ability to read around thousands of rows in milliseconds* supports the standard time series functions of sampling, interpolation, time bucketing, aggregation, selector, transformation, predictor, etc.  * Query and write times will vary based on an individual ThingWorx application’s implementation with Influx. For example, as the number of concurrent reads increases, the query speed decreases. With the upcoming 8.4 release, the ThingWorx Sizing Guide will be updated to reflect representative performance for ThingWorx developers.   In addition to improved query capability, ThingWorx time series with Influx can now use less memory and CPU, giving your platform servers a bit of a break.   To start strategizing on how InfluxData can help you in your ThingWorx journey, here is a sneak preview of what it will look like:   New Features The new ThingWorx Influx Persistence Provider will make query services like ValueStream Thing QueryPropertyHistory, Stream Thing QueryStreamData and QueryStreamEntries even better. Simply create a new instance of the persistence provider, configure it to use your InfluxDB instance, create a new value stream (or stream) from the new persistence provider, and you’ll be writing, reading and analyzing your time series data like never before.   We’re also introducing a new enhancement to improve InfoTable support with time series data, including providing the ability to use a driver property. The driver property can be specified with the QueryPropertyHistoryWithDriverProperty service for time alignment and filling backward/forward in your stream queries.   Let’s walk through a driver property example where you have the properties of temperature, speed and battery level. Timestamp Temperature Speed Battery Level 1480589076592000000 80.003 5012 79 1480589077537000000 80.010 5011 79 1480589077550000000 80.010 5009 79 1480589077562000000 80.030 5011 78   Let’s say temperature is the key driver for your analysis. In other words, you are not concerned if speed or battery level changes—you only care about   when temperature changes. We can specify temperature to be the driver property for that particular time and only return stream values for temperature, speed and battery level when temperature changes. If speed or battery level changes (but temperature does not change), the rows associated with those changes would not be included in the results set because neither speed nor battery level is a driver property. See chart below.  Timestamp Temperature (driver) Speed Battery Level 1480589076592000000 80.003 5012 79 1480589077537000000 80.010 5011 79 1480589077562000000 80.030 5011 78  Note that only three of the four rows are returned above because one entry in the original table did not have a change in temperature.    Stay Tuned Look out for these time series improvements and InfluxData integration in our upcoming 8.4 release. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on additional new features coming in our next release (like Orchestration and Mashup Builder 2.0), so check back shortly or subscribe to this Community so we can stay in touch. As always, if you have any questions, just ask Kaya!   Stay connected, Kaya
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  Sunshine, beach chairs & ThingWorx 9.2. What more could you need for your summer essentials?   Targeted for June 2021, our next release features intelligent one-click deploy with Solution Central*, new web components, and an enhanced IAM integration!   Let’s dive deeper into each.   Deploy an entire solution in one click with Solution Central’s intelligent one-click deploy. Good news: you followed a modular design pattern and broke up your application into smaller libraries and components. You can now enjoy easier maintenance and re-use of your app. Bad news: your app now has 10 different dependencies, with differing versions, each with a required order to import into ThingWorx. Now, try to share these modules with colleagues, or use them on environments where code may already exist. Not exactly a day at the beach, right? Fear not, one-click deploy has you covered. You click the button, we spin through and find the right dependencies, the right versions, the right order and load them all into the target platform upon a deploy request. Solution Central  one-click deploy means more sun and sand for you! Check out this post to learn more about what’s available in Solution Central 3.0! Intelligent One-Click Deploy with Solution Central Enhance your solutions with our latest web components! Imagine this: you’re a systems developer at a large parts manufacturer and your boss has asked for a detailed analysis of downtime over the last six months. Not to worry! ThingWorx 9.2 features a new waterfall chart that can be leveraged to understand dynamics in defect counts, loss reasons, time bottlenecks and other conditions. Be sure to try it out! And, while you’re at it, try out our new web components that are available now as preview: a toolbar to add key like filtering at the top of your screen or data intensive widgets (e.g., grids), a more flexible grid and a fancy new paradigm for interface developers. These three preview widgets are fully functional and tested in 9.2. Preview widgets will graduate in a future release when we add all planned functionality or address any perceived usability feedback.​ Don’t be afraid—it just means more good things are coming. Surf’s up, you can use these widgets safely now!​ New Waterfall Widget Coming in ThingWorx 9.2 Leverage new integrations with Azure Active Directory for more seamless user management. In prior releases we have offered integration to Azure Active Directory and SSO through Central Authorization Service type products or through custom authenticator extensions to ThingWorx.  With our new Azure AD integration, you can cut the custom extensions and additional software out of the picture.  We now accept direct SAML assertions from Azure AD directly to ThingWorx platform, which makes it that much easier to deploy your app in your organization’s SSO flow.  It’s as smooth as that frosty tropical drink when the sun goes down.   Like what you see? Want to try it out for yourself? ThingWorx 9.2 is targeted for June 2021, so be sure to keep a lookout on the horizon. Bump, set, spike!   Stay cool & connected, Kaya
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Hello!   We will host a live Expert Session: "Understanding ThingWorx Navigate Licensing" on February 11th, 10h EST.   Please find below the description of the expert session and the registration link.   Expert Session: Understanding ThingWorx Navigate Licensing Date and Time: February 11th, 10h EST Duration: 1 hour Host: Christoph Braeuchle, Emily Larkin and Steve Scheib - ThingWorx Navigate PM team Registration Here: https://www.ptc.com/en/resources/plm/webcast/understanding-thingworx-navigate-licensing     Description: ThingWorx Navigate licensing opens many users a way to access PLM data and functionality at an attractive price tag when they don’t need to use the full power of Windchill functionality. This licensing and packaging have changed over the past 1.5 years and this is the perfect time to share an update on available license types and answer essential questions like... Which license types do my end-users really need? What capabilities are provided by each license type? What are the best ways to understand and control license usage in my company? Don’t miss this session if you want to understand how ThingWorx Navigate licensing works and which options are available.   Existing Recorded sessions can be found on support portal using the keyword ‘Expert Sessions’. You can also suggest topics for upcoming sessions using this small form.   Here are some recorded sessions that might be of your interest. You can find recordings for the full library of webinars using the keyword ‘Expert Sessions’ in PTC support portal search Navigate - SSL & Windchill Authentication This in Expert Session will take you through a step-by-step approach for configuring authentication between Windchill and Navigate with SSL.   Recoding Link Top 5 items to check for Thingworx Performance Troubleshooting How to troubleshoot performance issues in a Thingworx Environment? Here we cover the top 5 investigation steps that will help you understand the source of your environment issues and allow better communication with PTC Technical Support   Recording Link Thingworx 9.0 Component Based App Development Following the series of new capabilities released with Navigate 9.0, this session will focus in the details of Navigate Component Based app development and how to leverage this to your use cases Recording Link
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We will host a live Expert Session: "Windchill & Thingworx Navigate Authentication" on November 10th at 10:30 AM EST.   Please find below the description of the expert session and the registration link .   Expert Session: Windchill & Thingworx Navigate Authentication Date and Time: Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 10:30 am EST Duration: 1 hour Host: Arshad Imam, PLM Product Technology Lead   Description: This in Expert Session will take you through a step-by-step approach for configuring authentication between Windchill and Navigate with SSL. Plus, you can take advantage of a unique opportunity to ask questions in a live Q&A following the presentation.   Register here   Existing Recorded sessions can be found on support portal using the keyword ‘Expert Sessions’.   You can also suggest topics for upcoming sessions using this small form.   Here are some recorded sessions that might be of your interest. You can find recordings for the full library of webinars using the keyword ‘Expert Sessions’ in PTC support portal search   Navigate 9.0 – What’s New? This session is the intro of a series that will cover new capabilities of the recent Navigate 9 release and the value that each can bring to your implementation. Then we will have further sessions covering the details of some of them   Recoding Link Top 5 items to check for Thingworx Performance Troubleshooting How to troubleshoot performance issues in a Thingworx Environment? Here we cover the top 5 investigation steps that will help you understand the source of your environment issues and allow better communication with PTC Technical Support   Recording Link Thingworx 9.0 Component Based App Development Following the series of new capabilities released with Navigate 9.0, this session will focus in the details of Navigate Component Based app development and how to leverage this to your use cases Recording Link Thingworx Navigate 3D Viewer Following the series of new capabilities released with Navigate 9.0, this session focus in the details of Navigate 3D Viewer leverage this to your use cases Recording Link
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We will host a live Expert Session: Thingworx Navigate Component Based App Development on Wednesday 09/30, 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time   Please find below the description of the expert session as well as the link to register .   Expert Session: Thingworx Navigate Component Based App Development Date and Time: Wednesday 09/30, 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time Duration: 1 hour Host: Pratibha Bhatnagar Description: Following the series of new capabilities released with Navigate 9.0, this session will focus in the details of Navigate Component Based app development and how to leverage this to your use cases.   Existing Recorded sessions can be found on support portal using the keyword ‘Expert Sessions’   You can also suggest topics for upcoming sessions using this small form
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  Hello, IIoT Developers!   Today, I’m going to provide you an overview of a new SDK we’re offering for developers to build custom web content. It’s called our Visual SDK. We released 9.0 in June, so it’s time to start getting excited! In case you missed it, check out these other 9.0 posts on active-active clustering, Composer and Mashup Builder, and the 9.0 release overall.   In 8.4, we introduced a new visualization architecture and set of web components based on Polymer. We’ve continually updated and added new widgets and features with this architecture each release, including new Chart Components in 9.0. This SDK was previously available mostly as a style guidance, informing designers and developers what elements and behaviors were available in the new PTC web component-based widgets. You could use this SDK to style in CSS custom elements of the web components in a mashup-based application. You weren’t, in 8.4, really able to use this SDK yet to actually create your own Polymer web components and have them be as robust in the Mashup Builder in ThingWorx.   In 9.0, this SDK has been expanded so you not only have style and behavioral descriptions of PTC components, but you also have tutorials and utilities that let you create your own components and import them into the Mashup Builder. The possibilities are endless here for custom content, so let’s look at what’s inside.   The SDK guide has a quick outline of some pre-requisites you should know about as you enter custom web development with ThingWorx. Things like knowledge of Polymer 3, downloading common tools like NPM and Gulp CLI, Aurelia, etc. Much of this info is also included in markdown documents within the SDK files, but the SDK web content makes it easier to follow and search.   From there, the guide walks you through more setup of your SDK directories, NPM install of PTC components, and basics around dependencies, styling, and demo pages. Each PTC-developed web component is also available in the SDK pages as well with more information on what they offer and their basic designs. This is useful if you would like to reference the PTC components as imports into your own web component. This technique is very useful for re-use and upgrade safety when developing custom components on top of ThingWorx. Sample overview pages in the SDK for ptcs-chart The SDK also includes a getting started tutorial and a sample Polymer component and a widget called simple-el , which are helpful as you want to reference during development and familiarizing yourself with concepts. The component is functional and offers a theme dropdown so you can see how the theming engine and events work. Sample Polymer component included in the SDK called simple-el Once you have created your web component, there is also a new utility called mub, which scans your component project and wraps it in a shell for the Mashup Builder. If you run the mub utility on your component, you’ll find it produces a zip file with the relevant design and runtime wrappers for the mashup environment already mapped to your component. You can also use it to define properties for your new component in the mashup environment, include custom code for defining the widgets at design and runtime behaviors, and to add icons, categories and other standard platform features. Running the mub utility on a web component project Once you have run the utility, you just import the artifact into a ThingWorx platform and it will be available for your application developers to use in their mashups as a widget. Again, how it appears in the design experience, what properties are exposed, how it responds to platform binding and theming events are all customizable in the SDK. Sample Polymer Component wrapped as a widget for use in a Mashup Once you get the hang of things with the sample code and understand the ins and outs, you can then use those same patterns to develop your own content! These are the same techniques that the PTC R&D team uses when they make each of the new widgets that you see in our product, like the 9.0 charts! Uber cool stuff!   Like what you see? Have a question? Drop us a line in the comments!   Stay connected! Kaya    
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  Hello, IIoT Developers!   9.0 is out—let’s dive right into what’s new with Composer and Mashup Builder. (If you haven’t already checked out what’s new in 9.0 with active-active clustering, be sure to check out this tech tip.) We have a lot of new functionality that we can’t wait for you to start using, so without further ado, let’s begin!   Mashup Builder   In 9.0, we continue to make great advancements to our Mashup Builder and visualization toolset. We’re all about productive developers building the coolest IIoT apps! Mashup in 9.0 with new Line Chart widgets!   Undo/Redo   Ever spent a good half hour arranging a layout, making some data bindings, adding some styles, and once you view the Mashup, you decide you aren’t quite happy with your last few tweaks? The panic sets in when you forget exactly what you changed, and you don’t want to lose all of your edits. What is a developer to do? In older versions of ThingWorx, you might cancel without saving your edits or you might try to surgically get back to a good state. Either way, you were not a happy developer.   ThingWorx 9.0 will make you happy again. All actions in the Mashup are now tracked by an undo/redo buffer. Buttons are now available in the toolbar to help you revert actions. An action history drop-down is also available if you want to undo or redo a few jumps at once. Sometimes, it’s the little things!   Undo and Redo actions now available in the Mashup Builder.   Mobile Settings   For a few releases now, we’ve been upgrading our visualization toolset and examining ways we can be better for desktop and mobile experiences. It starts with our latest layout engine/editor introduced in 8.4 and with new Polymer-based, responsiveness “designed-in” web components introduced in 8.4, 8.5, and 9.0. For the more adventurous folks out there, you can also use Custom CSS to do media queries and influence your layouts based on the viewport settings. There are also custom resolutions and screen orientations available in the Mashup Builder toolbar itself so you can view your content in design mode with each of those targets in mind.   In 9.0, we now have introduced a new Mobile Settings configuration editor on the Mashup. This allows you to define for mobile browsers your scaling and width as well as your height and zoom settings. There are even iOS-specific settings for shortcuts and the status bar.  Mobile Settings Editor and iPhone view of a 9.0 Mashup.   New Configure Bindings Dialog   The heart of any application is the data, and how it is leveraged in the UI. For Mashups, there many good ways to do that with our drag-and-drop functionality or our Bindings panel. But in 9.0, we have completely revamped the Configure Bindings Dialog. You’ll quickly notice when you open the new dialog that it has a more usable interface with more screen real estate to explore services, properties, sources and targets. There is now a good separation between the Widgets, Data and Function sources, which makes things easier to locate and build. You’ll also see, if you’ve made bindings already, the complete map of bindings for your context. New search enhancements and target bindings chip-based filters are also now added.   New Configure Bindings Dialog Another cool feature is that the bindings graph in the dialog will also show you any circular references you may have inadvertently created. If you can see in the diagram below, the red circle icon with a number 1 inside of it—this is almost always a bug, so we may as well tell you about it! New Circular references checking! New Web Components   If you look at almost any IIoT application, you’re almost sure to see a chart. IIoT decisions are always centered around looking at telemetry and KPIs at specific moments of time, events, history, and future projections. ThingWorx has new charts in 9.0 for Line, Bar, and Schedule. They look sharp, they are powerful, and are a true upgrade over the former ThingWorx charts.   Here are some highlights. All are based on D3 framework and follow the PTC Design System. The Line chart also supports sub types of Run, Step, Area, Streamgraph and Scatter plot. The Bar chart also supports a column-based view. The Schedule chart is a great way to visualize downtime events, production orders, machine states, or device alarms. All charts feature responsive layout, advanced performance and data sampling, tooltips, multiple series support, multiple orientations for legends and axis labels, and plenty of styling and data configurations. They also all have great zooming capability for larger data sets including horizontal and vertical pan, drag/lasso zoom, interval controls, range zoom and zoom slider controls. Line Charts with filters, zoom sliders, and markers   Bar Charts with zoom sliders, horizontal and vertical orientations, and configurable legends   Schedule Chart with drilldown and hover tooltips Other Coolness   The team was busy with these highlighted features, but there is so much more in 9.0! For Mashup, we also added: Improved tooltip and icon hover support for all web component-based widgets Accessibility improvements for keyboard navigation and focus New category filters for widget property configuration editors New data tools panel New context menu options New theming options for layout containers Composer For application development outside of the Mashup area, you’ll also notice some new changes in the Composer tool. One of our favorites is the new navigation panels. If you’ve been with ThingWorx for a few releases, you’ve seen many redesigns and updates to the Composer interface. We are constantly evaluating and testing this interface’s design with users to make it a highly productive and intuitive environment. You’ll now see much more horizontal real estate in the Composer because we’ve moved the top header bar into a new left-hand navigation. We’ve also improved the grid resizing in the entity and other list views in the interface to work better with larger result sets. New Composer Layout with updated left-hand navigation One more bonus feature to highlight! We now have quick copy buttons in common places in the interface where you might want to copy entity names or application keys. Just click and that text is in your clipboard. Very handy for searching or making bindings!   Quick copy buttons on entity names     As you can see, plenty of awesome new features and upgrades in the ThingWorx 9.0 application development tools. We also have a brand-new visual SDK available in the 9.0 release so that you can make your own widgets with Polymer and import them into the Mashup Builder. Stay tuned for another Ask Kaya tech tip soon on the SDK.   Like what you see? Have a question? Drop us a line in the comments!   Stay Connected! Kaya  
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  Hi, everyone!   We’re actively working towards the ThingWorx 9.0 release and we’re ready to provide a sneak peek into the biggest feature of 9.0: Active-Active Clustering for High Availability configuration.   You may be wondering: doesn’t ThingWorx already offer High Availability?   Yes, ThingWorx already supports a High Availability configuration. Previous versions of ThingWorx, such as ThingWorx 8.X version releases, support Active-Passive configuration, where one “active” ThingWorx server performs all processing and maintains the live connections to other systems such as databases and connected assets. Meanwhile, in parallel, there is a second “passive” ThingWorx server that is a mirror image and regularly updated with data but does not maintain active connections to any of the other systems. If the “active” ThingWorx server fails, the “passive” ThingWorx server is made the primary server, but this can take a few minutes to establish connections to the other systems.   So, how is ThingWorx Active-Active different?   Active-Active configuration differs from Active-Passive in that all the ThingWorx servers in the cluster are “active.” Not only is data mirrored across all ThingWorx servers, but all of the servers, instead of only one, maintain live connections with the other systems. This way, if any of the ThingWorx servers fail, the other ThingWorx servers take over instantaneously with no recovery time.   Since all ThingWorx servers are active, they are processing in parallel and, as a result, the cluster can process more data than that of a single server or a cluster with an Active-Passive configuration. Simply put, multiple servers working together outperform a single server. This allows customers to scale their deployment by simply adding more ThingWorx servers to the cluster (horizontally scaling), which does not have the same limitations of scale that is achieved by increasing the performance of the server itself.   What does that mean for me? Higher Availability - You can avoid single points of failure and configure the ThingWorx Foundation platform in an Active-Active cluster mode to achieve the highest availability for your IIoT systems and applications. Increased Scalability - Now, you can horizontally scale from one to many ThingWorx servers to easily manage large amounts of your IIoT data at scale more smoothly than ever before.   Stay tuned! We’ll be posting more information on Active-Active Clustering—how it's achieved in ThingWorx, architectural component overviews, and what it means for your ThingWorx deployment!   In the meantime, we're running the Active-Active Clustering Beta Program. Interested in participating? Reach out to Ryan Servais (rservais@ptc.com) or Ayush Tiwari (atiwari@ptc.com) to learn more about participation!   Stay connected! Kaya
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  After months of development, hours of user interviews and countless coffees, ThingWorx Solution Central is here!   I posted a few weeks ago introducing the new cloud solution management portal, but just as a reminder, ThingWorx Solution Central is a brand-new set of cloud services offered to help you more efficiently manage and deploy your solutions—ow ow!   ThingWorx Solution Central automatically identifies and packages up your dependencies so you can slash your time to deploy. Once you develop your solution in ThingWorx (using the Projects feature), ThingWorx Solution Central will then automatically package up all the artifacts and dependencies required for your solution to run, and then you can publish your “package” up to the cloud, where it will be ready to be deployed to your specified environment(s).     Ready to get started? Request access to ThingWorx Solution Central here and you’ll be on your way to easier solution deployments in no time.   And if you happen to run into any trouble, see the ThingWorx Solution Central Help Center.   Happy deploying!   Stay connected, Kaya
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  Hi everyone,   In case you’re looking for more reasons to appreciate the power of Azure, today we’re answering 10 frequently asked questions around how and why to use Azure SQL with ThingWorx.   You likely already know that we support multiple persistence providers, like Azure SQL, InfluxDB, H2, MSSQL and PostgreSQL, for you to store and persist your ThingWorx data. Here’s an up-close-and-personal look into why we recommend Azure SQL.   1. What is Azure SQL?         Azure SQL is a relational database hosted in the Azure cloud and is a fully managed Platform as a Service (PaaS) Database Engine. Azure SQL Database engine is based on the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server. The Azure platform fully manages every Azure SQL Database with a high percentage of data availability and guarantees no data loss. Azure SQL Database comes with built-in high availability, disaster recovery, and upgrade for the database. Refer to Microsoft's Azure SQL Database - Platform as a Service documentation  for more information on Azure SQL Database and its features.   2. What are the top 3 reasons to use Azure SQL with ThingWorx?   Ease of Use and Management: Azure SQL greatly reduces the need to manage database resources for ThingWorx. It helps to reduce your total cost of ownership for managing database resources for ThingWorx by managing virtual machines, operating system, database software, upgrades, high availability, and backups for you, so you can focus on building your IoT solution. It provides unmatched scale and high availability for compute and storage without sacrificing performance. With Azure SQL, you can scale your application on demand with up to 99.95% availability.   Hybrid Deployments: ThingWorx supports multiple persistence providers to store IoT data for different use cases. Please refer to the ThingWorx Model and Data Best Practices Guide to learn more. If you’re already using Microsoft SQL Server with ThingWorx on premise, then you can use Azure SQL for your cloud deployments of ThingWorx-based IIoT solutions in hybrid scenarios. This allows you to reduce development time—develop once and deploy anywhere through a common programming surface area across Azure SQL (on cloud) and SQL Server (on premise). You can leverage ThingWorx federation to run ThingWorx in different deployment topologies.   If needed, you can also accelerate your on-premise SQL Server migrations without changing the application code by leveraging  Managed Instance . Use the  Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator  to calculate your TCO. Enjoy additional deployment flexibility with  Single Database  for SQL applications created in the cloud or  Elastic Pool  for multi-tenant applications.   Security and Compliance: Azure SQL Database meets the most stringent compliance standards with built-in auditing and information protection technology. With its availability in different regions, its best suited for Government cloud and sovereign cloud. Please see this link to check for the latest update on Azure product availability by region. You can also get multi-layered security provided by Microsoft across physical datacenters, infrastructure, and operations and will always have the latest SQL Server  capabilities  in the cloud, with no patching or upgrading. It also offers protection to your databases from malicious acts with fine-grained access controls, Always Encrypted technology, and advanced threat protection capabilities.   3. How do I configure ThingWorx for Azure SQL? From ThingWorx Foundation platform version 8.4 release onwards, ThingWorx provides you an option to choose Azure SQL as a persistence provider to store your value stream, stream, and data table data. This Help Center provides all the details and steps to help you set up Azure SQL with ThingWorx.    You can run ThingWorx with Azure SQL either by downloading the ThingWorx Azure SQL .WAR file or by running it as containerized ThingWorx Docker images by downloading ThingWorx Dockerfiles. For reference, see the below image to help you download ThingWorx 8.4 artifacts.   Here’s a video demonstrating how to install ThingWorx. (view in My Videos)   Here’s a second video that walks you through configuring ThingWorx with Azure SQL. (view in My Videos)   4. Which versions of Azure SQL does ThingWorx support? Consult the latest system requirements guide here to learn which versions of Azure SQL ThingWorx supports.   5. What database deployment options do I have? In Azure, you can have your SQL Server workloads running in a hosted infrastructure (IaaS) or running as a hosted service ( PaaS ). Within PaaS, you have multiple deployment options and service tiers within each deployment option, such as Single Database, Elastic Pool sets, and managed Instance. ThingWorx supports all the deployment options to setup Azure SQL as a persistence provider. You can refer to this link on Azure SQL Database versus SQL Server to help you choose an option that works best for your business needs.   6. Why would I want to use an PaaS database? Service tools and built-in features enable a more streamlined and automated means of controlling and operating your database. The need for constant manual control and tweaking of information, recovery tools, compliance and updates is now configured and built into Azure SQL for a more hands-off approach to your storage database. Here is a table to inform you on how Azure SQL PaaS helps.   7. Which features are new to Azure SQL 2019? Azure SQL now offers Always Encrypted data transfer through TLS and auto-failover for managed instance deployment to enable transparent and coordinated failover of multiple databases. Azure SQL also offers a data migration assistant, which detects compatibility issues that can impact functionality when upgrading your database. For more information on features and functionality, see Microsoft SQL documentation or Azure SQL’s latest release notes .   8. Is there any guidance available to help me migrate to Azure SQL? Yes! Microsoft’s Database Migration Service enables seamless migration to Managed Instance with downtime measured in minutes. The process is highly automated and risk-free while streamlining the transition of SQL Server and on-Microsoft database systems such as Oracle to Azure SQL Database. You can learn more about upgrading to Azure SQL here.   9. What purchasing models are available to me?   vCore based (recommended) - For customers that prioritize flexibility and control, this model offers scaling of compute, storage, and I/O resources independently to optimize price based on need. The customer chooses the hardware and service tier based on high-availability design, storage type, fault-isolation methods, and I/O ranges.   DTU based - Three distinct available tiers are differentiated based directly upon compute, memory, and I/O resources. This model bundles the measures together for customers who want pre-configured or simplified resource options. You can refer to more pricing and purchase options here .   10. What should I do if I need technical support? If you select Azure SQL as your persistence provider, then all support requests related to configuring Azure SQL can be logged through PTC Technical Support at https://support.ptc.com or by calling 1-800-477-6435.   You may also want to use the PTC Community to learn and collaborate with the growing PTC developer community. For all other requests related to database management, troubleshooting, monitoring, and administration, we encourage you to reach out to Microsoft directly.   Let me know what you think in the comments below.   Stay connected, Kaya
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