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How to Download and Install IoT Hub Explorer for Azure IoT Plug and Play



How to Download and Use IoT Hub Explorer




If you are working with Azure IoT Hub, you might want to use a graphical tool that can help you interact with your devices and test their functionality. In this article, we will introduce you to IoT Hub Explorer, a cross-platform UI for interacting with devices attached to Azure IoT Hub. We will show you how to download, install, and use this tool to manage your devices and test your IoT scenarios.




download iot hub explorer



What is IoT Hub Explorer and what are its features




IoT Hub Explorer is a graphical tool that lets you connect to your IoT hub and interact with your devices. You can use it to:



  • View the list of devices registered with your IoT hub and their properties



  • Create, update, or delete devices



  • Send messages to devices or receive messages from devices



  • Invoke direct methods or cloud-to-device commands on devices



  • Update desired or reported properties on devices



  • Use IoT Plug and Play features to view and test device capabilities based on model definitions



IoT Hub Explorer is an open-source project hosted on GitHub. You can download the latest release from the GitHub releases page or build it yourself from the source code. You can also contribute to the development of the tool by reporting issues, suggesting features, or submitting pull requests.


Why use IoT Hub Explorer to test your IoT devices




IoT Hub Explorer is a useful tool for testing your IoT devices because it allows you to:



  • Quickly connect to your IoT hub without writing any code



  • Easily manage your device identities and permissions



  • Simulate device behavior by sending messages or invoking commands



  • Monitor device status and activity by receiving messages or updating properties



  • Validate device functionality by using IoT Plug and Play features



IoT Hub Explorer is especially helpful for testing IoT Plug and Play devices, which are devices that follow a standard model definition that describes their capabilities. With IoT Plug and Play, you can connect a device to your IoT solution without writing any code. You can use IoT Hub Explorer to view the device capabilities based on the model definition, such as telemetry, properties, and commands. You can also test the device functionality by sending telemetry, updating properties, or invoking commands.


How to install and use Azure IoT explorer


Azure IoT explorer releases and download links


Azure IoT explorer features and documentation


Connect to Azure IoT hub with Azure IoT explorer


Create and manage devices in Azure IoT hub using Azure IoT explorer


Test IoT Plug and Play devices with Azure IoT explorer


Configure Azure IoT explorer settings and sources


View device details and telemetry in Azure IoT explorer


Interact with device properties and commands in Azure IoT explorer


Troubleshoot device issues with Azure IoT explorer


Update device firmware with Azure IoT explorer


Monitor device twins and direct methods in Azure IoT explorer


Import and export device identities with Azure IoT explorer


Generate SAS tokens for devices with Azure IoT explorer


Clone device configurations with Azure IoT explorer


Simulate devices with Azure IoT explorer


Run queries on devices with Azure IoT explorer


Filter devices by tags and capabilities with Azure IoT explorer


Compare device models with Azure IoT explorer


Validate device model definitions with Azure IoT explorer


Resolve model definitions from different sources with Azure IoT explorer


View device components and interfaces with Azure IoT explorer


Deploy modules to devices with Azure IoT explorer


Manage module identities and twins with Azure IoT explorer


Invoke module methods and monitor events with Azure IoT explorer


Debug module logs and errors with Azure IoT explorer


Restart and stop modules with Azure IoT explorer


Update module settings and configuration with Azure IoT explorer


Add custom modules to devices with Azure IoT explorer


Remove modules from devices with Azure IoT explorer


Connect to multiple IoT hubs with Azure IoT explorer


Switch between different authentication methods with Azure IoT explorer


Use AAD to access your IoT hubs with Azure IoT explorer


Manage your connection strings with Azure IoT explorer


Refresh your device list and status with Azure IoT explorer


Delete devices from your IoT hub with Azure IoT explorer


Bulk import and export devices with Azure IoT explorer


Generate device certificates with Azure IoT explorer


Enable and disable device authentication with Azure IoT explorer


Change device connection state with Azure IoT explorer


Send cloud-to-device messages with Azure IoT explorer


Receive device-to-cloud messages with Azure IoT explorer


Subscribe to device events and messages with Azure IoT explorer


Unsubscribe from device events and messages with Azure IoT explorer


Copy device information to clipboard with Azure IoT explorer


Export device information to CSV file with Azure IoT explorer


Open device information in new window or tab with Azure IoT explorer


Search for devices by name or ID with Azure IoT explorer


Sort devices by name, status, or last activity time with Azure IoT explorer


Customize your device columns and filters with Azure IoT explorer


How to download and install IoT Hub Explorer




To download and install IoT Hub Explorer, follow these steps:



  • Go to Azure IoT explorer releases and expand the list of assets for the most recent release.



Download the installer corresponding to your platform (Windows, macOS, or Linux) and run it.


How to connect to your IoT hub using IoT Hub Explorer




To connect to your IoT hub using IoT Hub Explorer, follow these steps:



  • On the home page of the app, click on Add connection.



  • Choose an authentication method: Connection string or Azure Active Directory.



  • If you choose Connection string, enter your IoT hub connection string in the text box. You can find your connection string in the Azure portal or by using Azure CLI. You can use either the iothubowner or the service policy to connect to your IoT hub.



  • If you choose Azure Active Directory, enter your Azure subscription ID, resource group name, and IoT hub name in the text boxes. You will be prompted to sign in with your Azure account and grant permissions to the app.



  • Click on Create to establish the connection.



  • You can see your connection name and status on the left pane of the app. You can also manage your connection strings by clicking on the Settings icon on the top right corner of the app. You can add, edit, or delete connection strings, or switch between different IoT hubs.



How to view and manage your devices using IoT Hub Explorer




To view and manage your devices using IoT Hub Explorer, follow these steps:



  • Select your IoT hub connection from the left pane of the app.



  • You will see a list of devices registered with your IoT hub on the right pane of the app. You can sort, filter, or search for devices by using the options on the top of the list.



  • To create a new device, click on + New on the top right corner of the list. Enter a device ID and optionally a primary and secondary key for symmetric key authentication. You can also choose to enable or disable the device, or auto-generate keys. Click on Create to register the device with your IoT hub.



  • To update an existing device, click on the device ID from the list. You will see a device detail page with tabs for Identity, Twin, Messaging, and Methods. On the Identity tab, you can edit the device ID, keys, status, or authentication type. Click on Save to apply the changes.



  • To delete an existing device, click on the device ID from the list. On the device detail page, click on Delete on the top right corner. Confirm your action by clicking on Delete again.



  • To interact with a device, click on the device ID from the list. On the device detail page, you can use the following tabs:



  • Twin: You can view or update the desired or reported properties of the device twin. The device twin is a JSON document that stores device metadata and configuration information. You can use it to synchronize state information between your device and your IoT solution.



  • Messaging: You can send messages to or receive messages from your device. You can also monitor message delivery status and view message properties and body.



  • Methods: You can invoke direct methods or cloud-to-device commands on your device. Direct methods are synchronous requests that require an immediate response from your device. Cloud-to-device commands are asynchronous requests that are delivered to your device through a queue.



How to use IoT Hub Explorer with IoT Plug and Play devices




To use IoT Hub Explorer with IoT Plug and Play devices, follow these steps:



  • Select your IoT hub connection from the left pane of the app.



  • You will see a list of devices registered with your IoT hub on the right pane of the app. If a device supports IoT Plug and Play, you will see a plug icon next to its ID.



  • To view and manage model definition sources, click on Model definitions on the top right corner of the list. You will see a list of model definition sources that are available for your devices. A model definition source is a location where IoT Hub Explorer can find model definitions for your devices. You can add, remove, or prioritize model definition sources by using the options on this page. There are three types of model definition sources:



  • Public repository: This is the default source that contains model definitions from the public Azure IoT Plug and Play repository. You can browse or search for model definitions from this source.



  • Connected device: This is the source that contains model definitions from the devices that are connected to your IoT hub. You can select a device from the list and view its model definition.



  • Local folder: This is the source that allows you to add model definitions from your local file system. You can browse or drag and drop model definition files from your local folder.



  • To view and test device capabilities based on the model definition, click on the device ID from the list. On the device detail page, you will see a tab for IoT Plug and Play. On this tab, you will see the following sections:



  • Device capabilities: This section shows the device capabilities based on the model definition, such as telemetry, properties, and commands. You can expand each capability to see its details, such as name, schema, description, and unit.



  • Telemetry: This section allows you to send telemetry messages from your device to your IoT hub. You can select a telemetry capability from the drop-down list and enter the value for each field. You can also use the Randomize button to generate random values. Click on Send to send the telemetry message.



  • Properties: This section allows you to update desired or reported properties on your device. You can select a property capability from the drop-down list and enter the value for each field. You can also use the Randomize button to generate random values. Click on Update desired or Update reported to update the property.



  • Commands: This section allows you to invoke commands on your device. You can select a command capability from the drop-down list and enter the value for each parameter. You can also use the Randomize button to generate random values. Click on Invoke to invoke the command.



Conclusion




In this article, we have shown you how to download and use IoT Hub Explorer, a graphical tool for interacting with devices connected to your IoT hub. We have explained what IoT Hub Explorer is and what are its features, why you should use it to test your IoT devices, how to connect to your IoT hub using IoT Hub Explorer, how to view and manage your devices using IoT Hub Explorer, and how to use IoT Hub Explorer with IoT Plug and Play devices. We hope you have found this article helpful and informative. If you want to learn more about IoT Hub Explorer or Azure IoT Hub, you can check out the following links:



  • Azure IoT explorer Microsoft Docs



  • Azure/azure-iot-explorer: Cross-platform UI for interacting with devices attached to Azure IoT Hub (github.com)



  • What is Azure IoT Hub? Microsoft Docs



  • IoT Plug and Play Microsoft Azure



FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about IoT Hub Explorer:


What are some alternatives to IoT Hub Explorer?




If you prefer not to use a graphical tool, you can use other alternatives to interact with your devices, such as:



  • Azure CLI for Azure IoT Microsoft Docs: A command-line tool that allows you to manage your IoT hub and devices.



  • Azure IoT Hub Toolkit - Visual Studio Marketplace (visualstudio.com): A Visual Studio Code extension that allows you to monitor and manage your IoT hub and devices.



  • Azure IoT SDKs Microsoft Docs: A set of libraries that allow you to build applications that communicate with your IoT hub and devices.



How can I package the IoT Hub Explorer app myself?




If you want to package the IoT Hub Explorer app yourself, you can follow these steps:



  • Clone or download the source code from Azure/azure-iot-explorer: Cross-platform UI for interacting with devices attached to Azure IoT Hub (github.com).



npm install in the root folder of the project.


  • Build the app by running npm run build in the root folder of the project.



  • Package the app by running npm run package in the root folder of the project. You can specify the target platform by using the --platform option.



  • You will find the packaged app in the release-builds folder of the project.



How can I use IoT Hub Explorer with other Azure services and tools?




You can use IoT Hub Explorer with other Azure services and tools to enhance your IoT solution, such as:



  • Azure IoT Central Microsoft Azure: A fully managed IoT app platform that allows you to build and manage IoT applications without coding.



  • Azure IoT Edge Microsoft Azure: A service that allows you to run cloud intelligence on your edge devices.



  • Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service Microsoft Docs: A service that allows you to provision, enroll, and register your devices at scale.



  • Azure Digital Twins Microsoft Azure: A service that allows you to create digital models of your physical environments and assets.



  • Azure Time Series Insights Microsoft Azure: A service that allows you to analyze and visualize time-series data from your IoT devices.



How can I troubleshoot issues with IoT Hub Explorer?




If you encounter any issues with IoT Hub Explorer, you can try the following steps:



  • Check the Logs tab on the bottom of the app to see if there are any errors or warnings.



  • Check the Help menu on the top of the app to see if there are any troubleshooting tips or documentation links.



  • Check the Issues Azure/azure-iot-explorer (github.com) page on GitHub to see if there are any existing issues or solutions.



  • Create a new issue on GitHub by using the Report issue option on the Help menu or by clicking on New issue Azure/azure-iot-explorer (github.com). Provide as much detail as possible, such as screenshots, logs, steps to reproduce, expected and actual behavior, etc.



How can I contribute to the development of IoT Hub Explorer?




If you want to contribute to the development of IoT Hub Explorer, you can do so by:



  • Forking the project on GitHub and submitting pull requests with your code changes.



  • Suggesting new features or enhancements by creating issues on GitHub.



  • Reporting bugs or issues by creating issues on GitHub.



  • Reviewing or commenting on existing pull requests or issues on GitHub.



  • Testing or providing feedback on new releases or features on GitHub.





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