As you may have seen today Citrix announced that going forward the company will no longer focus on building its own IoT platform, rather, it will focus on applying IoT technology to other Citrix initiatives, and using existing IoT platforms to do so. Although there is a very bright future for IoT in Citrix (there are a number of exciting things in the pipeline I can’t talk about here), sadly this means that the freely available octoblu.com IoT platform service will be closed down in 30 days.
Those who know me or follow me on Twitter will know that I’m a big fan of Octoblu. I started playing with the technology soon after Citrix acquired Octoblu three years ago and I was hooked. In the last year or so I’ve had the opportunity to get more deeply involved with the Octoblu team and our Workspace IoT products and services. I’ve been inspired by the platform itself, what can be done with it, and with the enthusiasm, pragmatism, innovative style and friendliness of the Octoblu engineering team. I’ve learned a lot from the Octoblu team about how to develop scalable, cloud-native services using modern devops and CI/CD tools and techniques. Octoblu was also my introduction to Node.js (which I use in all sorts of places now) and CoffeeScript (which I still don’t really get on with 🙂 ).
Over the years I’ve used Octoblu in so many ways:
- in various ways for my home automation system (Controlling custom lighting with Amazon Echo and a skill adapter, Hybrid local/cloud style home automation, and more)
- to brighten up Christmas at home and in the office (Displaying messages on my Christmas tree lights, Christmas, Powered by Octoblu … All is Merry & Bright!, An Octoblu-Powered Christmas Party!)
- to connect weird stuff to the Internet (Hacking Big Mouth Billy Bass – part 2/3, Connecting the BS button to Octoblu)
- to add gadgets to PowerPoint presentations to illustrate IoT and 4th-gen UI concepts (An IoT-connected PowerPoint multi-device show!)
- to make the red London phoneboxes in our new Citrix Paddington office be IoT-connected (Project Tardis)
- to automate management of the XenServer hypervisor (Automating XenServer with Octoblu, Slack API.ai Octoblu powered XenServer AI)
I’ve been fortunate enough to present a number of Octoblu and IoT sessions at various events, including:
- Citrix Synergy (Fireside chat with IoT experts about automating Citrix with Octoblu, SYN132 – It’s the end of work as we know it)
- Cambridge meet-up events (IoT and the 4th generation UI, The Future of Work: IoT and the Workspace)
- UK Citrix User Group (Beyond Things: How IoT enables the future of human-computer interaction)
- Citrix Solutions Days (Belgium and Netherlands)
- Citrix Masters Retreat in Arizona
and to produce demos for others’ presentations:
- A Slack interface to ShareFile
- An IoT chatbot using Slack to troubleshoot meeting room AV
- Various Amazon Alexa demos controlling slideshows, launching apps via Citrix Receiver, and other stuff
- and more!
I’ve loved using the online interactive designer to create some really powerful flows with no, or very little, coding. See below for a gallery of some of my favourites.
It is thanks to Octoblu, Chris Matthieu, and the entire Octoblu team that I’ve had these opportunities and gained these perspectives – without you I’d never have done any of this. For that, I thank you all.
Hack the planet!