Nowadays, many objects possess the functionality to connect to the Internet, interact and share information. Such objects have sensors or specialized software that enable such unique connectivity. Known as the Internet of Things (IoT), this new technology is brimming with potential business opportunities for Salesforce users. Below, we highlight several possible IoT use cases for Raspberry Pi Salesforce integration with App4API.

Close up image of Raspberry Pi mini computer.

Learn how to connect your Raspberry Pi to Salesforce with App4API. Photo by Harrison Broadbent on Unsplash

What You Need to Connect a Raspberry Pi and Salesforce with App4API

First, you need to acquire a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. This is a small, inexpensive computer that consists of just a motherboard. In addition, you will need a power supply, a microSD card, a keyboard and mouse, a TV or computer monitor and the appropriate connection cable. There is also an option to preconfigure the microSD card. In this instance, it will be visible in the WiFi network when the Raspberry Pi is first started. As a result, you do not need to use a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Instead, you can use Microsoft Remote Desktop to connect with the Raspberry Pi. You can find helpful instructions about basic setup on the Raspberry Pi Foundation website.

There are a variety of different modules and sensors that you should acquire depending on your project’s requirements. For example, if your project calls for photo documentation, you will need a camera module. If you want to record the temperature, you will need a temperature sensor. If you want to monitor motion, you should buy a motion sensor.

Raspberry Pi mini computer with cords connecting to other machines.

You might need to acquire more modules and sensors depending on your project. Photo by Jainath Ponnala on Unsplash

Raspberry Pi Salesforce Integration:GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Bluetooth HAT

Furthermore, if your Raspberry Pi device needs to connect without being in reach of a WiFi network, you will also need a GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Bluetooth HAT. The GSM is only required for certain use cases. In many instances, it will be easier and less expensive to simply connect your Raspberry Pi to a WiFi network.

The GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Bluetooth HAT allows your Raspberry Pi computer to communicate with Salesforce from anywhere. It permits this by sending REST messages to the App4API endpoint of Salesforce. For example, you can position your Raspberry Pi and camera module in a specific location and transmit regular photos to your Salesforce edition via App4API. You can also send photos or files to document repositories like Dropbox, making it easy to automate regular data transfer.

Now that we’ve given a basic overview about set up, let’s get into some specific use cases about how you can use Raspberry Pi with App4API and Salseforce to optimize your business and tackle specific projects.

Motion Sensor Security

One interesting use case involves pairing your Raspberry Pi with a motion sensor to enforce security. For example, if you need to monitor a sensitive location, you can use this set up to make a record if anyone enters the area. To do this, you would connect a motion sensor to your Raspberry PI and then use the GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Bluetooth HAT or WiFi network to connect to the App4API endpoint of Salesforce. If someone enters the secure area and triggers the motion sensor, a REST message sends to Salesforce. You can even program the device so that any detection of any motion triggers an alert to relevant devices or users.

Photo of a large greenhouse.

Raspberry Pi can pair with air temperature and humidity sensors to monitor sensitive environments. Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

Environmental Monitoring

Raspberry Pi can pair with air temperature and humidity sensors to monitor sensitive environments, such as greenhouses or cropland. Again, this process is fairly simple and requires only a Raspberry Pi computer, the appropriate sensors and the GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Bluetooth HAT (if not in range of any WiFi networks).

After completing the initial set up, sensor data is regularly sent to the App4API Salesforce endpoint via REST messages. These measurements will be stored in a log on your Salesforce dashboard. This valuable data can be used immediately; for example, as a general monitoring system. However, you could also apply various methods of analysis to this data log.

Furthermore, such measurements can be utilized to alert a farmer about volatile conditions. What’s more, they can carry out specific actions at appropriate times. For example, a farmer could monitor greenhouse temperature and receive an alert whenever temperatures fell to dangerous levels. A farmer can also analyze soil temperature and humidity to determine the best time of year to plant a specific crop. As a result, farmers can easily set up an inexpensive yet effective monitoring system for their plants.

Women and men look at a woman placing post it notes on the wall at a team meeting.

Raspberry Pi computers offer a myriad of opportunities for innovation. Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Opportunities for Innovation with App4API and Raspberry Pi

When paired with appropriate modules and sensors, Raspberry Pi computers offer a myriad of opportunities for innovation. Due to their low cost, it is extremely accessible to set up a Raspberry Pi to monitor or record various data measurements. What’s more, by connecting a Raspberry Pi system to Salesforce with App4API, you can seamlessly transmit and log data between an external object and your Salesforce account. This automated interaction between objects and the Internet is filled with potential and opportunities for creativity.