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Developer Guidance

Directory Structure

The code is organized into three sections:

  • LoRaEngine - a .NET 6 solution with the following folders:
    • modules - Azure IoT Edge modules.
    • LoraKeysManagerFacade - An Azure function handling device provisioning (e.g. LoRa network join, OTAA) with Azure IoT Hub as persistence layer.
  • Arduino - Examples and references for LoRa Arduino based devices.
  • Template - Contain code useful for the "deploy to Azure button"
  • Tools - Contains tools that support the LoRaWan Gateway project
    • BasicStation-Certificates-Generation - Bash scripts for generating self-signed certificates for LoRa Basics Station to LoRaWan Network Server interactions. Read more in "Basics Station configuration - Authentication Modes"
    • Cli-LoRa-Device-Provisioning - .NET 6 Command Line tool that allows to list, query, verify, insert, edit, update and delete LoRa leaf device configurations into IoT Hub
    • Cups-Firmware-Upgrade - Bash scripts helping Starter Kit users to generate the files needed for executing a Basics Station firmware upgrade. Read more in "Basics Station configuration - Firmware upgrade"
    • Eflow - Includes a PowerShell script to install Edge For Linux On Windows (EFLOW) on a new Windows Server VM. The script is not intended to be run as-is, but should be seen as a collection of manual steps to be run to get eflow up and running. In case of doubts, read more in "Create and provision an IoT Edge for Linux on Windows device using symmetric keys" official documentation
  • Samples - Contains sample decoders
  • Docs - Additional modules, pictures and documentations


A .NET 6 solution with the following projects:

  • modules - Azure IoT Edge modules.
    • LoRaBasicsStationModule packages the Basics Station into an IoT Edge compatible docker container (See If you are using a RAK833-USB, you need to build your own Basics Station docker image starting from the fork at this link.
    • LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule - is the LoRaWAN network server implementation.
  • LoraKeysManagerFacade - An Azure function handling device provisioning (e.g. LoRa network join, OTAA) with Azure IoT Hub as persistence layer.

The overall architecture

This schema represent the various components and how they interact to have a better understand of the various solution elements.


  1. Once the IoT Edge engine start on the Edge device, the code modules are downloaded from the Azure Container Registry.
  2. The module containing the LoRaWan network server is downloaded on the Edge device

  3. The LoRaWan Network Server request status for the LoRa devices. The Azure Function LoraKeysManagerFacade is used to aquire the device identity from IoT Hub.

  4. In the case you're using the demo device with the automatic deployment Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template: the Azure function LoraKeysManagerFacade will register the device 47AAC86800430028 into the Azure IoT Hub for you. Otherwise you need to provision a device yourself in IoT Hub: device provisioning
  5. The Azure function LoraKeysManagerFacade sends back the device identity to the module
  6. The LoRaWan Network Server module:

    - instantiate the device on the LoRa Gateway if needed - gather the LoRa sensor data from the LoRaWan gateway thru the LoRa Basics™ Station - decode the LoRa data if requested

  7. Publish the LoRa sensor data to Azure IoT Hub

Another view of the architecture and a more message driven view is the following:

architecture details

Getting started with: Build and deploy LoRaEngine

The following guide describes the necessary steps to build and deploy the LoRaEngine to an Azure IoT Edge installation on a LoRaWAN antenna gateway.

If you want to update a LoRa Gateway running a previous version fo our software to the current release, follow this guide

Used Azure services


Create Redis Cache

  • Create a Redis Cache in your resource group and the region you are using with a DNS Name of your choice and of the size Standard C0. Leave all other settings unchanged.
  • Navigate to your Redis Cache and from Settings -> Access Keys, note the Primary connection string (StackExchange.Redis).

Setup Azure function facade and Azure Container registry

You have the option to either deploy the Azure Function code from your Visual Studio Code to Azure or create an empty Azure Function that points to a Zip file hosted by us, containing the function code. Follow one of the two sets of instructions that follow:

Deploy manually using Visual Studio

On your Visual Studio Solution, right click on the 'LoRaKeysManagerFacade' project, select 'deploy', then 'Azure' and then 'Azure function'. You should then arrive on a page where you just need to hit the deploy button to get the code deployed on Azure. Deploy to Azure Function from Visual Studio

Deploy manually using Visual Studio Code

  • Open the Azure function folder with Visual Studio Code with the Azure Functions Plugin installed. Now run the command Azure Functions: Deploy to function app... and provide the name of the Azure function to deploy to. If prompted, select environment C# and version V3.
  • If you want to just deploy the function from Visual Studio Code with the root project folder iotedge-lorawan-starterkit open (of which the Function is a subfolder /LoRaEngine/LoraKeysManagerFacade), you need to run the Visual Studio Command Azure Functions: Deploy to function app... and then manually choose the folder LoraKeysManagerFacade/bin/Release/net6.0/publish. (Unfortunately at time of this writing we saw the behavior that VSCode is proposing the wrong folder). Building the function does not work in this way unfortunately.

If you choose to create an empty Azure Function pointing to our Zipped code

  • Using the Azure Portal, create a new "Function App" in the resource group and location you chose for the deployment, using the default creation settings.
  • Once the function is created, navigate to the Application settings from the Overview page.
  • Add a new Application Setting with:
App Settings Name Value
WEBSITE_RUN_FROM_ZIP The url of the .zip file containing the Function code

Run Azure Function from Zip file

Follow these next steps in both cases

  • Configure IoT Hub and Redis connection strings in the function:

Copy your Redis Cache connection string in a connection string names RedisConnectionString

Copy your IoT Hub Connection string with owner policy applied:

Copy IoT Hub Connection string

Now paste it into Application settings -> Connection strings as IoTHubConnectionString of type Custom:

Paste IoT Hub Connection string

Also, add the previously saved Primary connection string (StackExchange.Redis) from your Redis Cache to the Connection strings of your function. Use type Custom again.

Add Redis Cache Connection string

From the Facade Azure function, extract the Host key of type _master and save it somewhere. (We will need it in the next step)

Extract Facade function Host key

  • Create your .env file in the /LoRaEngine folder by copying the example.env file located here
  • Configure your .env file with your own Azure Container registry as well as the Facade access URL and credentials. Set the region to "EU" or "US" based on your location. You do not need to change any of the other settings at this point. Those variables will be used by our Azure IoT Edge solution template.

Use a Proxy server to connect your edge gateway to Azure

This step is optional and should only be executed if your edge gateway needs to use a proxy server to communicate with Azure

Follow the guide on configuring an IoT Edge device to communicate through a proxy server to:

  1. Configure the Docker daemon and the IoT Edge daemon on your device to use a proxy server.
  2. Configure the edgeAgent properties in the config.yaml file on your device.
  3. Set environment variables for the IoT Edge runtime in the deployment manifest.

After that, add the environment variable https_proxy to the LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule in your IoT HubIoT EdgeEdge DeviceSet Modules section.

IoT Hub Edge Device Module Setting

End of optional proxy configuration

Setup concentrator with Azure IoT Edge

  • Note: if your LoRa chip set is connected by SPI on raspberry PI bus don't forget to enable it, (You need to restart your pi).
  • Build and deploy Azure IoT Edge solution

We will use Azure IoT Edge for Visual Studio Code extension to build, push and deploy our solution.

Make sure you are logged in to the Azure Container Registry you are using. Run docker login <mycontainerregistry> on your development machine.

Select the architecture of your gateway (Azure IoT Edge Solution Default Platform) by clicking on the button in the taskbar and selecting amd64 or arm32v7 in the command pallette.

VSCode: Azure IoT Edge Solution Default Platform

Now, build an push the solution by right clicking deployment.template.json and select Build and Push IoT Edge Solution.

VSCode: Build and push edge solution

After that you can push the solution to your IoT Edge device by right clicking on the device and selecting Create Deployment for single device. In the file dialog, navigate to the LoRaEngine\config folder and select the deployment.json file which was created during the previous step.

VSCode: Deploy edge solution

Provision LoRa leaf device

The sample code used in this example is based on Seeeduino LoRaWAN with a Grove - Temperature Sensor. It sends every 30 seconds its current temperature reading and prints out a Cloud-2-Device message if one is transmitted in its receive window.

The sample has configured the following sample device identifiers and credentials:

  • DevEUI: 47AAC86800430010
  • AppEUI: BE7A0000000014E3
  • AppKey: 8AFE71A145B253E49C3031AD068277A3

You will need your own identifiers when provisioning the device.

Look out for these code lines:

lora.setId(NULL, "47AAC86800430010", "BE7A0000000014E3");
lora.setKey(NULL, NULL, "8AFE71A145B253E49C3031AD068277A3");

To provisioning a device in Azure IoT Hub with these identifiers and capable to decode simple value payload into Json you have to create a device with:

Device Id: 47AAC86800430010 and Device Twin's deired properties:

"desired": {
  "AppEUI": "BE7A0000000014E3",
  "AppKey": "8AFE71A145B253E49C3031AD068277A3",
  "SensorDecoder": "DecoderValueSensor"

You can provision the device manually in the Azure portal or use the provided Command Line Interface Provisioning Tool to list, query, verify add, update, and remove devices.

The command to execute is:

dotnet run -- add --type OTAA --deveui 47AAC86800430010 --appeui BE7A0000000014E3 --appkey 8AFE71A145B253E49C3031AD068277A3 --decoder DecoderValueSensor

To manually provision the device in IoT Hub, do the following:

Create device in Azure IoT Hub

Set device twin in Azure IoT Hub

Device to Cloud and Cloud to Device messaging in action

As soon as you start your device you should see the following:

"desired": {
    "AppEUI": "BE7A0000000014E3",
    "AppKey": "8AFE71A145B253E49C3031AD068277A3",
    "SensorDecoder": "DecoderValueSensor",
    "AppSKey": "5E8513F64D99A63753A5F0DBB9FB9F91",
    "NwkSKey": "C0EF4B9495BD4A4C32B42438CD52D4B8",
    "DevAddr": "025DEAAE",
    "DevNonce": "D9B6"
  • If you follow the logs of the network server module (e.g. sudo iotedge logs LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule -f) you can follow the LoRa device join:
Join Request Received
Using edgeHub as local queue
Updating twins...
Join Accept sent
  • Every 30 seconds the temperature is transmitted by the device, e.g.:
  "time": null,
  "tmms": 0,
  "tmst": 4226472308,
  "freq": 868.5,
  "chan": 2,
  "rfch": 1,
  "stat": 1,
  "modu": "LORA",
  "datr": "SF12BW125",
  "codr": "4/5",
  "rssi": -33,
  "lsnr": 7.5,
  "size": 18,
  "data": {
    "temperature": 18.78
  "EUI": "47AAC86800430010",
  "gatewayId": "berry2",
  "edgets": 1534253192857

Note: an easy way to follow messages send from the device is again with VSCode: right click on the device in the explorer -> Start Monitoring D2C Message.

This is how a complete transmission looks like:

Complete transmission

You can even test sending Cloud-2-Device message (e.g. by VSCode right click on the device in the explorer -> Send C2D Message To Device).

The Arduino example provided above will print the message on the console. Keep in mind that a LoRaWAN Class A device will only receive after a transmit, in our case every 30 seconds.


Refer to the Observability guide if you want to learn about how to use the starter kit observability features.

Debugging in Visual Studio, outside of IoT Edge and Docker

It is possible to run the LoRaEngine locally from Visual Studio in order to enable a better debugging experience. Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to enable this feature:

  1. You need to point the cups.uri and/or the tc.uri Basics Station files to the endpoints exposed by your machine (i.e. https://IP_ADDRESS:5002 and wss://IP_ADDRESS:5001 when using a server PFX certificate or ws://IP_ADDRESS:5000)

  2. If you are using a Wireless network in Windows, make sure it is configured as a private network in your Windows settings. Otherwise, the Windows Firewall could bock the incoming packets.

  3. Open the properties of the project LoRaWanNetworkServerModule and set the following Environment Variables under the Debug tab:

    'IOTEDGE_IOTHUBHOSTNAME': <your iot hub hostname>
    'ENABLE_GATEWAY': false
    'FACADE_SERVER_URL': <http://localhost:7071/api/> (when debugging locally or any other URL of the Azure function you want to use)
    'IOTEDGE_DEVICEID': The name of your PC
    'FACADE_AUTH_CODE': (only needed for deployed Azure Function) the code for authenticating and authorizing requests
    'LOG_LEVEL': 1 or Debug (optional, to activate most verbose logging level)
  4. Add a local.settings.json file to the project LoRaKeysManagerFacade containing:

      "IsEncrypted": false,
      "values": {
        "AzureWebJobsStorage": "<Connection String of your deployed blob storage>",
        "WEBSITE_CONTENTSHARE": "<Name of your Azure function>"
      "ConnectionStrings": {
        "IoTHubConnectionString": "<Connection string of your IoT Hub Owner (go to keys -> IoT Hub owner and select the connection string)>",
        "RedisConnectionString": "<Connection string of your Redis Cache>"
  5. Right click on your solution and select properties, select multiple startup projects. Start LoRaWanNetworkSrvModule and LoRaKeysManagerFacade.

  6. If you hit start in your VS solution, you will receive messages directly from your LoRa Basics™ Station. You will be able to debug directly from your computer.

Happy Debugging!

Last update: 2022-02-24
Created: 2021-11-10
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