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Node-RED 2.x serie release

Written by Marek Černocký, Wednesday 30 March 2022

Node-RED logoWe have published a new Node-RED from 2.x series and related Router Apps. This big release brings the latest upstream versions with more speed and power and new features. Please read carefully the following description about Advantech changes. Most of the new features originate from the new upstream version, so you can find them in the upstream changelogs and documentation. And, of course, our latest documentation can be useful.

Among the new features we can highlight for example the configurable properties of the input node, On Start and On Stop scripts in the function node, TLS support in TCP nodes, dynamic subscriptions in MQTT nodes, flow import from a file, and smarter work with wires (e.g. keeping wires on deleting node).Numbering by the upstream

Router Apps are now numbered by the upstream versions. It is comfortable to quickly know the upstream version. But there is no direct information, on how you can combine different Router Apps. Therefore, you should use a combination of currently published Router Apps every time. All applications, libraries, and nodes are built and tested together. Versions from different builds can but may not work together correctly. It is mainly dependent on the Node.js version.

There have been changes in sorting nodes to the Router Apps. We removed the MQTT Broker node Router App as it was not suitable for production. You can use the new MQTT Broker Router App outside of Node-RED instead. It is based on Mosquitto and it is more powerful than the Node-RED node.

On the other hand, we provide several new Node-RED nodes for the cloud (AWS suite and Azure IoT Hub), PLC (for Melsec and EtherNet/IP protocols), DNP3 protocol, and filesystem. The base Node-RED installation has added Buffer Parser/Maker nodes. These nodes are useful for encoding/decoding general data, for instance from Bluetooth.

AWS, Azure, Melsec, EtherNet/IP, DNP3, FS, Buffer nodes

Modbus and KNX have been changed to different more popular upstream projects with live development. The new Modbus has more nodes which bring new functions. Node-RED can act as a Modbus server. You can select request Modbus data by input properties and all nodes are common for TCP and RTU variants. Because the new Modbus is missing the conversion to float according to IEEE-754, we have added the floating node to the base Node-RED Router App. The new KNX supports all communication channels, not only TCP as with old KNX nodes.

Replaced nodes: Modbus and KNX

The dashboard is now a separate Router App, so you will save space if you don’t need it. Newly it contains additional nodes, namely Context Menu, Digital Display, LED, Level, List, Media, Multiswitch, SVG Graphics, Table, Timeline, Upload.

List of the additional Dashboard nodes

The upstream Nod-RED project has removed email, Twitter, and feed parser nodes. But we still distribute the email nodes to our customers.

All installed additional nodes can now be found in /usr/lib/node_modules/nodered/nodes with their original full names. This place is preferred for your own nodes too. The palette of nodes in the admin UI is newly sorted into more logical categories.

The Node-RED setting file brings two new set items: Firstly persistent storage for global and flow variables (When you switch a variable from the memory to the filesystem, it will be automatically stored in /var/data/node-red/context and it will survive a router reboot.) Secondly preloaded Advantech router node (Thanks to this, you can access the different router information, see Node.js manual.)

Examples of the memory/filesystem storage and a usage of the Advantech router node

We wish you new business opportunities with the new Node-RED.