In the world of digital transformation and industry 4.0, connectivity is key. Companies in all industries are looking to implement internet of things applications and capabilities in their products and operations.

PTC ThingWorx and Microsoft Azure are two of the leading internet of things applications. Both have an impressive range of features – making it particularly difficult to decide which is “better.” To help you determine which internet of things application is best for the needs of your organization, we have done a feature-by-feature comparison of ThingWorx vs Azure.

Curious to see how ThingWorx compares to other internet of things applications? Check out our other posts:

ThingWorx vs Azure Feature Comparison

Commitment to the Latest in IoT

When it comes to the right internet of things application for your organization, you want a solution that continues to be at the forefront of IoT innovation.

PTC has concentrated its efforts in the manufacturing industry for over 30 years. The ThingWorx platform was specifically designed with the needs of this industry in mind. In contrast, while Azure does support manufacturing operations, it has not been a critical focus. Azure is more of a general-purpose internet of things application; its industrial expertise comes from third-party tools and partners.

ThingWorx was specifically built with the manufacturing industry in mind.

Developer Tools

Both platforms have advanced development tools, but, similar to other features, Azure’s are more general-purpose while ThingWorx has a manufacturing focus.

ThingWorx tools truly help support organizations in their industrial IoT initiatives. The platform includes templates that can be used as a starting point for building custom applications.

ThingWorx has pre-built templates that make building internet of things applications a breeze.

Built-In Analytics

The connectivity that makes internet of things applications so exciting also generates tons of data. Standard business applications would normally choke on this volume of data. You need an application that has analytics capabilities built in and can provide actionable insights.

ThingWorx is easily able to handle the large volume of data it generates and uses it to create user-friendly charts, graphs, and workflow alerts. Azure also has advanced analytics tools, like their event hubs feature, and can work with more traditional styles of analytics like an SQL data warehouse or Power BI.

Both ThingWorx and Azure have advanced analytics features that can turn connectivity and workflow data into actionable insights.


ThingWorx includes role-based security tools that support strict access management. Each user can be limited to specific tasks and tools based on their assigned role. Management even has insight into these user activities in real time. This effectively protects against breaches but also keeps production operations moving – even if management is off-site.

Azure has the security features you expect from a cloud platform, including a VPN, application gateway, key vault, etc., all managed from a central security center. It’s very easy to set up but relies on your outlying applications or IT team to create a tailored user experience and manage access.

ThingWorx and Azure have the security required for connected systems.

VR and AR Capabilities

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are changing how teams work in the manufacturing industry. These new technologies simplify employee training, allow development teams to see how customers interact with products, and make it easy to see how product lines should be modified for optimal results.

Microsoft has a history of using mixed-reality applications, however their experience is more on the gaming side. Regardless, both ThingWorx and Azure include digital twin and advanced mixed-reality capabilities. The ThingWorx VR and AR capabilities have all been specifically designed to support manufacturing operations.

Like with many other items on this list, the true testament to ThingWorx vs Azure is where the specialty lies. ThingWorx has purpose-built tools for manufacturing, while Azure has more general capabilities.

Internet of Things Application Winner?

When it comes to comparing ThingWorx vs Azure, both are truly great internet of things applications with the tools organizations need. The subtle differences in these platforms lie in whether you want a more general-purpose tool that you can do more with (but may have to work a little harder for) or a more industry-specific solution (with tools for industrial IoT).

When it comes to comparing ThingWorx vs Azure, both solutions include the tools organizations need for internet of things applications – so we think this showdown is a tie.

Actually – You Should Use Them Together

While this showdown was intended to determine which internet of things application was “better” – ThingWorx vs Azure – the truth is: They shouldn’t be compared. The applications can be used together to provide a truly comprehensive IoT solution for your organization. Even though they seem to have overlapping capabilities, each platform has its own purpose that complements the other to give you the best of both worlds.

If you are interested in learning more about the ThingWorx platform or to see how you can integrate it with Azure into your technology stack, just contact us.