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Ubidots Basics: Applications, Organizations, and Users Explained
Ubidots Basics: Applications, Organizations, and Users Explained

Your Ubidots App architecture can be arranged in a number of different combinations. Learn the basics of Organizations, Users, and Apps.

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Written by Sergio M
Updated over a week ago

All Ubidots accounts begin with a single App that can be accessed by users under a specified permission role to view, create, or edit resources (Devices, Dashboards, Events, Tokens and End users) within that App. Here's a representation of the Ubidots hierarchy:

  1. Ubidots License Admin: A person who manages the Ubidots Account at industrial.ubidots.com, its App(s), Devices, Dashboards, Events, Organizations, Roles and Users. Ubidots accounts may have one or several admins.

  2. App: An IoT portal that contains organizations and is defined by a set of configurations for its appearance, domain, locale, visible features, and language.

  3. Organization: An entity containing devices, dashboards, events, tokens, and users. Users may have permissions over one or multiple organizations.

  4. Role: A group of permissions which specify the type of access (create, view, edit, and/or delete) a user has over the entities contained in the Organization(s) they belong to.

  5. User: A password-protected account that has access to one or several Organizations through an App, and engages with them based on the particular Role that the user has been given.

This article is meant to help you better understand and distinguish these terms in order to keep your Ubidots account, and its Apps' architectures, organized and your users engaged.

Please check these other articles to get familiar with how Organizations, Roles, and Users work:

1. What is an IoT Application?

An IoT Application is a web interface that incorporates sensor data, and optionally digital data (e.g., real-time stock or gas prices), allowing end-users to achieve a specific goal, be it making better decisions, reducing costs, improving safety, or all of them. Here are a few applications already live today.

2. Essential App Components

Ubidots maintains the following components and tools:

  • Dashboards: Display sensor data in widgets for visualization and computation.

  • Alerts (or events): Actions triggered when data readings fulfill or exceed a defined rule. Alerts can take the form of SMS, email, voice call, a new variable being set up, a Telegram or Slack message, or the activation of a webhook or an UbiFunction. An example of an alert would be sending an email when a device stops sending data.

  • Analytics: Mathematical, statistical, and serverless cloud functions to extract, transform, schedule, and analyze data.

  • Exporting: Ubidots lets you export your data in CSV files.

  • Sharing capabilities: Ubidots lets you share via embedding URLs into a website's HTML.

  • User Management: An admin grants custom access and interaction capabilities to a given user.

  • Tags: As part of your user management capabilities, you can add tags to entities (dashboards, devices, reports, events, and users) and, by doing so, define what your end users get to see and interact with in your app. Learn more about tags here.

  • Device Management: Ubidots lets you monitor and automate your deployment. E.g., adding devices in bulk, organizing device groups, or defining device types.

3. Apps

Apps are the foundational structures in Ubidots and can house different Organizations and Users. Different Apps allow admin users to brand or white-label them separately to be accessed by multiple different end-users. All Ubidots accounts begin with a single App.

Most Ubidots accounts operate with a single App, branded to their own company's likeness, with multiple Organizations that sub-divide the App into different access levels of devices, dashboards, alerts, and end-users.

When might I need a second App?

One question we get a lot at Ubidots is when to purchase a second App vs. the free second Organization. Simply, if you wish to apply different, customized white-label branding experiences for end-users, then a second App is required.

For example, you deploy App 1 to your client ABC Hospital with their own branding and logos to monitor beds and then another client, XYZ Care, also requests their own branding applied for their bed monitoring—in that case, the Ubidots Admin would have to create a second App. Alternatively, if your two clients simply wish to monitor beds and access their Dashboards, Devices, and Data, regardless the styling of the App, this can be done with a single App that has two Organizations.

You can easily deploy a new App from the Apps tab in Ubidots.

4. Organizations

In Ubidots, an Organization is any entity that manages users, devices, and dashboards.

An Organization refers to an entity that can represent a real-life company, a department within a company, or a set of IoT devices and variables. Each Organization can have its own specific Users, Devices, Dashboards, and more. Admins of Ubidots can sub-divide an App into Organizations based on the its intended user experience and design. After all, with Ubidots, the user is the App architect, designer, and builder.

One might think that an Organization refers exclusively to a company, but in Ubidots an Organization is any structured entity with users, devices, and dashboards.

Here are some different ways to conceptualize an Organization:

4.1. Organizations as customers

Sell solutions or allow customers to develop their own.

ABC Company provides tank monitoring services by connecting devices to air tanks for multiple local hospitals, and uses Ubidots to remotely monitor the pressure, location, and usage of each tank. In this use case, all the hospitals are housed in the same App within Ubidots, but each hospital is classified as a separate, individual Organization. That would look like this: ABC Company has 1 App with Hospital X, Hospital Y, and Hospital Z as 3 separate Organizations—each having access to only the devices located in their facilities.

4.2. Organizations according to a company's different departments

Build an IoT solution for each department in a corporation.

A manufacturing plant wants to implement IoT in different areas across their company. They look to track their outbound shipments for the logistics department, monitor production output based on product counters and machine uptime statuses for the OT departments, and help the HR department improve wellness in the workplace by ensuring worker's safety with mandatory break or rest periods.

In this use case, the company may purchase an Ubidots license and create 3 organizations: Logistics, Production, and HR. Each having their own access to devices and data relative to their department and the data needed to best serve them.

Here, it's important to note that even though the solutions are different for each department, the entirety of the company's data can still be housed into a single App controlled by the Ubidots Administrator.

4.3. Organizations as end users

Deploy IoT solutions as a product with each end-user registered as an organization with one or more devices.

For OEMs and businesses using Ubidots to deploy end-user friendly products. Each organization can be seen as a single end-user and device, and can automatically assigned using different Organizational TOKENS. If this model matches your business plan, please contact Ubidots sales for additional questions and to receive a tailed pricing plan for your IoT solution's deployment.

5. Users (end users)

Users are any entry with assigned credentials to an individual as a Username, Email, and Password who can access your Ubidots Apps.

To create and manage users, check out this tutorial for more details.

Users are the individuals interacting with Ubidots powered Apps. Users can be collected into Grouped permissions, or each user can be given customized access or restrictions to any aspect of an App. The difference between Users and Organizations is that Organizations determine what dashboards, devices, alerts, and other elements the Users can interact with.

All Users, at the time of publishing this article, must be self created by the Ubidots Admin. For additional information to setting up an End-User in your Ubidots account, check out this helpful tutorial.

6. What is the difference between an App and an Organization?

An App is any user access portal that can be accessed by an end-user within an Organization. On the other hand, an Organization is a group of users that only has access to the devices, dashboards, and events provisioned by the Administrator of an Ubidots account.

As the parent of Ubidots' architecture, all Apps can have Organizations, and no Organization can exist without a parent App.


To continue learning the basics about your Ubidots account, have a look at the following articles to expedite your development.

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