FAQ: What is Node-RED?

By June 15, 2020FAQ, IIoT

Node-RED is an open source programming tool originally developed by IBM.¬† It uses a visual programming interface to create ‘flows’, a series of actions to connect hardware and online services together to create an Internet of Things (IoT).

Node-RED is written in JavaScript, and supports the creation of JavaScript functions.¬† A number of pre-configured ‘nodes’ makes getting started simple, with support for common protocols and services. It is designed to run at the edge of the network on low-cost/low-power hardware as well as in the cloud.

The perfect starting point for Node-RED applications is the ADAM-6700 series modules that come complete with Node-RED installed, plus onboard I/O and an extensive built in library to assist with utilising the ADAMs functions. Other functions and sample code can be added from other Node-RED users or by building your own applications and importing them into other projects you may do in the future.

An example of an application using Node-RED could be for a specific signalling arrangement for alarm monitoring. This could include analogue, serial, or ethernet devices all covered in a single unit that provides email and SMS support via a network. It could also include a dashboard on the local network with raw data that the alarms are based on, with logging on board using an SD Card.

A router using Node-RED can provide monitoring of 4G signal reception, alerts for signal loss, network performance and data usage just to name a few. As with modern equipment, Node-RED can provide benefits to make products intuitive to the user’s requirements whether for additional features or just using the dashboard function for service acknowledgement or fault reporting.

Pacific Automation has a number of products that support Node-RED natively, including products from Advantech and Weidmuller. These include ADAM I/O modules, u-remote I/O, RFID readers, LAN & 4G Routers. For more information or an example of the Node-Red operation, see our YouTube tutorial below.

For additional information, nodered.org provides tutorials and information on getting started as well as shared programs that may assist in your next project.