Sauter

Cloud-powered smart building solution

Building management solution for remote and secure access to smart equipment

Sauter-Cloud

About the client

SAUTER Group has been providing equipment and software solutions for smart building management and automation from its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and its production facility in Freiburg, Germany, for more than 100 years. Sauter’s solutions assist engineers while drafting the building plan, and residents working or living in the building.

Goals

Sauter Cloud was developed to provide remote and secure access to data from smart equipment installed in automated buildings worldwide. A user-friendly web interface called Portal is used to manage building equipment, control access, monitor energy consumption, and perform other tasks, all while ensuring that individual users accessing the system are properly authorized. Sauter Cloud Services collect data from thousands of sensors and controllers, allowing building equipment to be controlled not only through the Sauter Cloud Portal, but also via mobile devices or APIs allowing third-party solutions.

Technologies

C#, .NET 6, Angular, Azure DevOps, Azure SQL Database, Docker Containers, Identity Server, Azure IoT Hub, Azure Service Bus, Azure Table Storage, CosmosDB, Azure Web Apps, Azure Functions, Azure SignalR, Playwright

Challenge

The most difficult challenge in developing Sauter Cloud was the complexity of the distributed world of connected devices and buildings. It necessitated the development of cloud connectors that are installed on-site and allow communication between hardware devices and Sauter Cloud Services. We had to carefully design the Azure Cloud infrastructure to ensure 24/7 reliability as well as low latency for automating the heating, climate, and lighting of office buildings. Cloud connectors needed to be intelligent enough to filter out irrelevant data before sending it to cloud services, so that only data requested by a user viewing a dashboard is being sent, for example.

Solution

The Angular framework and Visual Studio Code were used to create the Portal’s user interface, while C# and .Net 6 were used to create the Cloud Communication Services with microservices-oriented architecture. Cloud connector software runs as Docker containers on IoT Edge devices and is written in C# and .Net 6. We used Microsoft Azure DevOps for continuous integration and deployment of Cloud Services components to Azure Cloud. Testing automation is powered by Playwright. Since the beginning of the project, we’ve been advising Sauter on stating requirements, breaking the work down into manageable chunks, and designing the system’s architecture. We were able to organize the process in an agile fashion, which allowed us to respond to changing requirements as they arose.

Results

We collaborated with Sauter to develop cloud-powered smart building automation and climate control that enables people to live, work, learn, play, and do so much more in environments tailored to their individual preferences, all through web UI and mobile apps. Our technical expertise in developing software that runs on Azure Cloud aided us in properly architecting the system. Our previous collaboration with Sauter allowed us to be efficient when designing and developing software components that communicate with hardware and other building equipment.