Telling the FlowFuse Story

FlowFuse helps organizations reliably deliver Node-RED applications

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During my first month at FlowFuse, I have been helping to refine the FlowFuse story. Trying to answer the questions: What is the value FlowFuse brings to our customers and what features does FlowFuse want to offer the Node-RED community?

People love Node-RED because it makes it trivial to connect different types of services and data, create flows of the data, and store/forward data to the cloud or a database. The Node-RED library of nodes and flows enables connections to almost anything. The speed and ease of use of Node-RED allows non-traditional programmers to accelerate their innovation and exploration of what is possible.

Node-RED is great for individuals to unlock what is possible for an organization. However, there are some challenges if you want to scale Node-RED into a corporate development platform. Challenges like how do you set up a development -> test -> production delivery pipeline, how to share instances with different developers, how do you create repeatable release processes, how can you deploy the same Node-RED instance out to multiple target environments (devices or servers).

Today, we see many industrial engineers using Node-RED to collect and integrate data from different factory and industrial equipment. Many PLC vendors, like Opto22, are enabling this by making Node-RED as a development environment for the PLC platform. In the manufacturing and industrial automation industries, benefits like reliability and security are important for the continuous operation of these facilities. This is why we believe these types of organizations will be looking for tools that improve their software development lifecycle.

In the larger software development community, DevOps tools are being used to address many of these same challenges. DevOps is all about increasing the reliability and speed of the software development lifecycle. Using tools that increase automation of the software development process and improve collaboration and communication between developers. These are also many of the same challenges that FlowFuse solves for Node-RED users.

For these reasons, we see FlowFuse as being the DevOps platform for Node-RED. We believe FlowFuse enables a more reliable way to deliver Node-RED applications in a repeatable, collaborative and secure manner. What FlowFuse adds to Node-RED are some key features:

  • Tools for collaborative Node-RED development
  • The ability to manage remote deployments of Node-RED instances
  • A more streamline way to deliver Node-RED applications
  • FlowFuse Cloud provides a hosted Node-RED platform but FlowFuse can also be self-hosted
  • FlowFuse also offers professional technical support to organizations that require the assurance of receiving help with production deployments.

We will be rolling out this new way of talking about FlowFuse over the next couple of days and weeks. We are always open to feedback about FlowFuse and would love to hear about your experience of using Node-RED.

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