i4Labs: i4SCADA + Node-RED. IoT, APIs, Hardware, and Cloud with just a few clicks.

2019-06-17

Node-RED is a visual programming tool offering a flow-based method of connecting various IoT elements: hardware devices, APIs and online services. Using a web-based flow editor, Node-RED can be used to create complex Javascript functions using little-to-none coding effort. It runs on Node.js and its flows, connecting any IoT elements, are stored in JSON format.

Initially developed by IBM for their IoT plans, it was released as an open source project in 2016 as part of the JS Foundation.

Connect devices and services through an easy-to-use, Web-based user interface.

While the IoT concept becomes more and more popular, it might be confusing for a non-developer to understand what and how all these devices and services get connected. Node-RED tries to solve this issue via a friendly, web-based interface and its no-coding, all visual development process with just a few clicks. 

Since it is an open source project and a very popular one, it benefits from the great IoT community out there. Almost all online services, APIs, or mainstream IoT hardware has some sort of Node-RED integration. And we are not an exception either. WEBfactory’s I4SCADA software suite also has an experimental integration with Node-RED, allowing you to combine the complexity and accuracy of professional SCADA & HMI software with any outlandish feature available for Node-RED. For example, we’ve played around with driving Tweets via i4SCADA signals here. 

Tweets triggered by i4SCADA signals in less than 5 minutes.

As you can see in the video, in less than 5 Minutes i4SCADA Signals are hooked up with Twitter, sending out tweets depending on values. The possibilities for Node-RED are almost infinite which makes it a very interesting addition to our i4SCADA. The main thing here is the ability to create a complete IoT workflow using nothing but drag-and-drop. Of course, some Javacript knowledge can really enhance your flows, but that’s just for perfectionists. Integrating smart devices for home automation with Alexa or Google Assistant is a breeze thanks to the predefined nodes and the addons that can be installed. And yes, there is a comprehensive Node-RED addons library, available for search directly in the tool’s menu.
By default, it comes with support for various devices like Rapsberry Pi, Siemens SIMATIC IoT, Samsung’s Artik or Intel’s IoT Gateway. It also comes bundled with cloud service support, such as AT&T’s IoT Platform, Cisco’s Meraki and similar platforms from Nokia, Fujitsu, Hitachi and IBM.

You can easily get and install the i4SCADA Node-RED connector via Github or npm.

npm Github

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