At its virtual Build conference earlier this year, Microsoft announced an expanded set of capabilities for Azure Digital Twins. The IoT platform also received further enhancements a few weeks after that, including a live execution environment, asset management through IoT Hubs, and more.
First entering preview back in 2018, Azure Digital Twins offered users the ability to create digital models of physical environments, encompassing the complex relationships existing between different entities in these environments. Today, the platform has been announced to have reached general availability, and it is ready for enterprise-grade deployments.
Some of the primary capabilities that are offered through Digital Twins enable users to perform the following actions:
- Use an open modeling language, Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL), to easily create custom models of intelligent environments. In addition, premade models and converter tools for vertical standards help accelerate development when getting started with use cases across industries.
- Bring digital twins to life with a live execution environment that is scalable and secure and uses data from IoT and other sources. Using a robust event system, you can build dynamic business logic that helps keep business apps fresh and always up to date. You can also extract insights in the context of the modeled world by querying data on a wide range of conditions and relationships.
- Break down silos using input from IoT and business systems by easily connecting assets such as IoT and Azure IoT Edge devices via Azure IoT Hub, as well as existing business systems such as ERP and CRM to Azure Digital Twins to extract relevant insights across the entire environment.
- Output to storage and analytics by integrating Azure Digital Twins with other Azure services. This includes the ability to send data to Azure Data Lake for long-term storage or to data analytics services such as Azure Synapse Analytics to apply machine learning. Another important use case is time series data integration and historian analytics with Azure Time Series Insights.
Moreover, Microsoft has revealed that its Digital Twins Consortium now has over 170 members which include companies, government agencies, and other institutions. In October, the Redmond giant collaborated with U.S. manufacturer Honeywell on Digital Twins utilization. And now, it has also unveiled further relevant customer insights and partner solutions for the platform.
Johnson Controls, for example, is partnering up with Microsoft to launch an integration between its own OpenBlue Digital Twin and Azure Digital Twins, while firms like Ansys now offer native integration of simulation-based digital twins.
Those interested in utilizing Azure Digital Twins can learn more on how to get started with that here.