Farmpulse is an Australian agribusiness that provides end-to-end solutions for acquiring, storing and reporting remote sensor data. By using advancements in both remote data transfer technology and cloud-based data management, they provide practical, simple on- farm information gathering and interpretation solutions. Their data storage, analytics and user interfaces are available on both desktop and mobile devices.

FarmPulse uses InfluxDB OSS to store data received from a variety of on-farm equipment sensing technology. The company has been in business for over three years and has used InfluxDB from the get-go. By using a spread of technologies in the field ranging from WiFi to LoRa to satellite to cover all connectivity challenges, FarmPulse has built a series of data ingestors running in AWS to pull/poll data and store it in InfluxDB.

Once the data is stored, the company offers customers a default visualization of their data using Grafana, which has proven to be an extremely effective combination with InfluxDB. In addition, FarmPulse supplies public cloud integrations using IFTTT and Zapier to allow customers to perform peripheral tasks such as alerting, data extraction for re-processing and sending of data to regulatory authorities.

InfluxDB OSS has provided FarmPulse with the lowest of low barriers to entry in building a commercial data service from prototype to production. InfluxDB sits seamlessly alongside other products in its stack (particularly Python and MySQL) and allows complete flexibility in the way data is read and written. One of the key elements to FarmPulse’s upcoming project is the creation of a number of API’s to allow customers a pay-per-GET model for data integration where visualization is not required. Both InfluxDB and Flux will be key enablers of this venture as they translate customer integration requirements with data queries and other API-level processing capability.

Whilst the core of FarmPulse’s business is water management, the company continues to expand into other key areas of agriculture including power consumption, dairy production and pasture growth management. InfluxDB has allowed them to build a highly effective, secure multi-tenant platform that puts all farmers’ data in one place. This capability allows the company to spend less time wrangling technology and more time working with customers on solutions for their businesses.

For FarmPulse, InfluxDB is the engine that drives it all. They are in the process of planning the InfluxDB 2.0 upgrade where they intend to make far more use of Flux. InfluxQL will still be a feature of their platform. However, the flexibility provided by Flux will allow them to take a far more meaningful step into analytics and ML.

Marcus Allen, the director of FarmPulse, recommends InfluxDB as an accessible, high-performance data management product. In the company’s three-year journey, he has seen the product mature into a platform that takes users from simple data storage to support for complex analytics and beyond. Its read and write performance and flexibility make it an indispensable tool for any data-rich business. He has also found the support provided to be second-to-none, and corporate support for the community has created a diverse and capable platform.

The biggest non-product challenge that FarmPulse faced was query management. InfluxQL/Flux allows you to create complex queries, and the company has many of them. During development, they discovered, trialled, implemented and, well, lost a lot of effective work. In order to ensure you do not lose good work, they recommend using GitHub to store all of your queries – good and bad.