Visual Studio Build Monitor: First Play with Windows 10 IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging technology that aims to expand the internet from outside its software realms and into physical objects and devices. It’s the idea that physical places, goods and machines can be made intelligent by connecting them to the Internet.

Microsoft is a pioneer in this space. Windows 10 IoT opens the doors of IoT development to everyone who uses a mainstream operating system.

Microsoft commissioned Codify to build a custom solution for The Queensland Department of Education and Training in their Solution Development Centre (SDC). The team consisted of 8 developers, all embracing continuous integration with the project regularly generating 20 check-ins a day.

Time-Lapse of a Day in the Microsoft Solution Development Center

Time lapse of a day in the Microsoft Solution Development Center

In such an environment, it was important that the team were constantly aware of the build quality. Each member was required to continuously monitor the build manually, which was not always timely.

Codify took the liberty to build a Visual Studio Build Monitor. Using a Raspberry Pi 2 running the Windows 10 IoT Core, we were able to get a panel of LED lights to visually relay the quality of the build from Visual Studio; green for healthy, blue for compiling, red for broken and white for polling. This way, the whole team remained ambiently aware of the build status, shifting the burden of awareness from manually looking it up to being notified.

Lights of the Visual Studio Online Build Monitor revealing the build quality

Lights of the Visual Studio Online Build Monitor revealing the build quality

One notable feature of Windows 10 IoT is the ease when accessing the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins, by simply using the Windows.Devices namespace to abstract and manage this component. While there were a few development bumps along the way, all in all Windows 10 provides impressive tools that allows developers to build powerful IoT solutions quickly and cheaply. See more great Windows 10 IoT projects on the Microsoft Dev Center.

Close up of the Raspberry Pi 2 powering the Visual Studio Online Build Monitor

Contact us if you want to learn more about Windows 10 IoT and explore how your business could benefit. For those interested in building their own Visual Studio Online Build Monitor, stay tuned to the Codify Backstage for a followup how-to post with source code coming soon.