I was lying in bed last night, having trouble getting to sleep, when I was inspired to start this series of blogs – my inspiration came from the new SimpliSafe home security system that I had installed earlier in the evening. While I was happy with the added piece of mind of having a professionally monitored security system protecting my home, there were several things I was hoping to have that are not supported by the SimpliSafe system – most notably, IP video cameras for monitoring my home and a programmable and internet-capable thermostat. While I can buy each of those components independently, I would prefer not to have to use multiple apps to manage them all. It was in that moment, lying there and trying to shut my mind off so I could go to sleep, that I realized what a perfect opportunity to put CRM Vertex’s capabilities as a development platform on display; and all in the context of two topics I personally find very interesting and compelling – mashup applications and the Internet of Things. We often talk about CRM Vertex being a configuration platform for building portals – and make no mistake, it was developed from the ground up to be that – but it is equally capable as a development platform and provides the developer with a robust and flexible framework to develop on. Over the coming weeks I will be doing a series of blogs and take a journey using CRM Vertex as a unified user experience for managing my SimpliSafe security system, an IP camera setup, and a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. I will start with the SimpliSafe integration and move to the other components one at a time. To get going, I have created a new CRM instance and a new CRM Vertex portal. Using the CRM Vertex Module Builder configuration tool, I several custom entities to the portal, where I can enter locations and the settings for each of the systems and cameras I will use. Unfortunately, SimpliSafe has yet to provide a fully documented API, but thanks to greencoder over at leftover_code, there is a fairly well documented list of the REST calls that are available to manage my SimpliSafe system. My initial intentions are simple – to have an interface for managing the current status of my system and set it to Off, Home, or Away mode easily. Having all of the base infrastructure in place, I will begin by building a CRM Vertex plugin module in ASP.NET to start communicating with my home security system. Tune in next week as I roll-out the first part of the plugin and make my system available for management via the CRM Vertex platform!
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