Imagine you've got a product, and you've got a developer who can reprogram it.

How can you make the ultimate leap: to put that product in the cloud? To make it appear online, with full status information, and be able to control it?

1. Connect the thing to the internet

The first step is to make the "thing" connect to the internet. If they thing itself is already capable, that's easy, but otherwise a separate device may be needed.

Connecting Arduino, Pi & co.

When developing prototypes of novel products we often find people using an Arduino or other simple device which can be programmed. Most are already internet-aware. If the device has an ethernet connection, that will work fine, but a wi-fi connection is more typical.

If the device has GSM capabilities then it can connect to a local GPRS, 3G or 4G mobile phone network. This is most likely to be the case in situations where the device is mobile (such as in an automotive application), or where it is going to be in an environment where connection to a local network is not allowed (we find this often in healthcare, for example).

REST and MQTT protocols

You will need to device whether to use REST (i.e. http GET requests) to send data, or the lightweight MQTT protocol.

The GET format looks just like a regular website URL, with the data sent by the device being appended at the end. MQTT is a little more complex to set up, but it allows a much richer set of data to be sent, and the really important thing is that the data size is much smaller. 

If your device can accept commands from an external controller, then MQTT is best for that too. You then have the chance of creating an interface on the internet portal that lets users control their product in the field. 

2. Create your portal

Go to and create an account. Enter a name for your portal and within a few moments it should be created.

Your portal will have a temporary URL like but you can replace that with a better domain name later.

3. Pick your asset type

Pick the asset type for your first thing: Assetwolf includes a prepared list of many asset types, ranging from bicycles to kettles!

If you can find one that suits your product, it should have some field types are are relevant for you. If you can't find the asset type you want, you can create a new one, and define the data fields that your thing sends.

Your portal can have any number of asset types, so I'm just talking about picking one type to get you started.

4. Get your connection string

You should see your asset on the Dashboard; click on the Connect button. Assetwolf will give you a connection string for your device to make. It will give you this both as a GET string and as MQTT connection details, depending on what you use.

You will need to have a device ID to ensure the connection. You can 

Make your device send some data. On your portal, you should see it appear in the Asset-View screen. If it sends longitude and latitude it should appear on a map, and if you have some floating-point data values they should start making small graphs.

5. Invite your customers

With your thing's data appearing on the dashboard, you can start to create customer users and assign them rights to see what is theirs.