How to use projects?

What is a project?

A project is an organizational structure to hold multiple IOTile devices and apply project-level settings to all devices together.  

Projects let you:

  1. Configure project-level settings for the input/output (IO) ports of multiple devices that are all connected to similar equipment
    1. Example input variables might be Water Flow, Soil Moisture, or Vibration
    2. Example output variables might be a Pump Valve or Fan Switch
    3. Note: Your device hardware will have a limited range of configurability.  See device-specific documentation to know what different variables are available to you with the IOTile POD model you have.
  2. Group similar devices together for easy mobile app access for data collection or real time data viewing.
    1. Bluetooth scans are done within a project, finding all devices in range within a given project at a time.
    2. If you need to collect data from devices in regions without internet access, putting all devices into the same project makes it easy to connect to them in offline mode (See How does offline mode work?).

Good project organization will allow you to set your project-wide variables and device-specific configurations successfully.  Here are two examples of good project and device organizations and naming schemes:

An example project structure for a greenhouse with soil moisture sensors might be:

  • Company: Jeffrey Smith LLC
    • Project: East Greenhouse
      • Device 1 (Room 1)
      • Device 2 (Room 1)
      • Device 3 (Room 2)
      • Device 4 (Room 3)
    • Project: South Greenhouse
      • Device 1 (Room 1)
      • Device 2 (Room 2)

An example project structure for an almond farm looking to measure water use might be:

  • Company: The Jackson Almond Estate
    • Project: Field Water Meters (For Offline)
      • Device 1 (Orchard 1)
      • Device 2 (Orchard 1)
      • Device 3 (Orchard 2)
      • Device 4 (Orchard 2)
    • Project: Home Water Meters
      • Device 1 (Small house)
      • Device 2 (Big house)

When you claim your first IOTile device, the mobile app will walk you through setting up both your first project and that first device.  In general, there are settings at the company-level, project-level, and device-level. Company-level settings can only be changed online at  IOTile Cloud, but project-level and device-level settings can be changed both on the web app and in the mobile app.

In IOTile Cloud, the settings menus are always accessible from the top right corner with a gear icon both for the project-level and device-level settings

In the mobile app, the settings menu is accessible from the bottom right corner with the tools icon, on the active project page for project-level and on the device-screen after doing a Bluetooth scan and connecting to the device for device-level settings.

Projects FAQ

Q: Do I need more than one project?

A: No, many if not most users only need one project to hold all of their devices for effective real-time data viewing and historical data logging.

Q: Why would I want more than one project?

A: There are two main reasons that you might want to set up multiple projects: 

(1) If you have multiple devices of the same kind that will be configured to measure different variables, you may need to separate these devices into separate projects. For example, if you have a configurable IOTile device that reads pulses, you may wish to measure water flow with one unit and fertilizer flow with another unit.  To use two copies of the exact same device to correctly measure two different variables, you will need two different projects to keep their settings distinct.  On the other hand, if both devices are measuring the same variable, such as water flow, and just have different flow rate configurations, these devices can be in the same project by setting the individual flow rates in the device-specific settings menu.

(2) Even if your devices are measuring identical equipment, you may still want to use multiple projects in some cases to organize your devices (for example, soil moisture sensors in three different rooms in a greenhouse).  The only disadvantage is having to switch between projects to interact with all of your devices.

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