New OTA firmware capabilities and intelligent releases for optimized control

Whether managing one critical device or a fleet of thousands, over-the-air firmware updates are a vital element to a healthy IoT deployment. From mitigating risk with security patches to rapid innovation with new feature roll outs, OTA firmware updates are the differentiator for successful IoT products in the market.

At Particle, we’ve invested in a complete and out of the box OTA experience from our dev kits to our scalable enterprise platform. It’s secure, reliable, and seamlessly integrated from device to cloud. Today we shipped a few new features that give you more visibility and control over your IoT fleets — introducing OTA availability in the Console and Intelligent Firmware Releases.

  • OTA Availability in the Console for better visibility into device-level OTA status and control to force enable OTA for critical firmware updates. Now generally available.
  • Intelligent Firmware Releases to predictably deliver fleet-wide firmware updates at exactly the right time. Now available in beta for scaling customers.

With better control over how and when you deliver an OTA update, you can reduce disruptions and move as fast as your customers need. Read more below or jump straight to the docs on controlling OTA availability and Intelligent Firmware Releases.

Address time sensitive updates with fast access to forced OTA updates

Before in the Particle Console, understanding of individual device OTA availability — enabled or disabled — wasn’t readily available in the cloud. For example, you might receive an error message indicating an OTA attempt timeout, but it wouldn’t be clear if this was due to poor connectivity or if it was because you had set your device to deny OTA updates. Now when you flash your device you’ll see clearly if the OTA was prevented by a device’s OTA availability setting, and view that status in the Console.

Particle IoT Console

Sometimes regardless of the device’s local setting, it’s necessary to override to force an OTA update for security risks or fast learnings from previous updates. Before, there was no way to supercede the local setting on the device — if System.disableUpdates()was called in application firmware, the device would always block an OTA attempt. Now you can override a device’s local OTA availability setting either from the Particle Console or via the RESTful API.

To enable these new features, update your Device OS to 1.2.0-beta.1 here. This Device OS version is also available in both the Web IDE and Particle Workbench to choose as a compile target.

We also encourage you to explore the docs on OTA availability in the Console to learn more.

Protect your fleet from disruptive updates while deploying faster

Understanding the status of devices in the field at scale can dictate how safely and quickly you can send OTA firmware updates. Now with Intelligent Firmware Releases, you have the ability to minimize device disruptions and leverage context awareness for deployments that complete in as little as minutes fleet-wide.

Intelligent OTA firmware release

When you send an Intelligent Firmware Release, the Particle Device Cloud sends an immediate OTA update to available devices and busy devices can defer until they are available again. You define the opportune time to deliver an update based on our flexible Device OS APIs and cloud-side controls, and flip the switch directly in the Console.

The best part? All this requires no additional custom integration work on your part – it’s just part of the Particle experience.

Intelligent Firmware Releases are now available for scaling customers, reach out to our sales team to learn more.

Author Bio

Jeff is a Sr. Product Manager at Particle, focused on supporting those deploying professional IoT products at scale.