Find out what's behind the Node-RED button on the groov Manage home screen.
In this week's edition of our 12-part groov Manage journey, we take a look at Node-RED. This low-code/no-code programming tool is a popular feature of groov EPIC and groov RIO.
Watch groov Manage: Node-RED to see why Node-RED is so popular with groov EPIC and RIO customers.
Our customers quickly made Node-RED a runaway success. With its low-code/no-code flow-based programming style, you can use any web browser to quickly arrange pre-built nodes that take information, apply a specific change or function, then pass it on. It's very easy to visualize the flow of automation data from one node to another.
Then add nodes from the 3000+ installable, open-source nodes available on flows.nodered.org, and just about any data can be ingested and used to add value to your task at hand.
Two quick examples:
One of the more popular node add-ons for the groov RIO is a group of nodes simply called "dashboard." With these nodes, you can build simple HMI visualization of text, gauges, and trends to give operator insight into the I/O and data flowing through the RIO. This has given the RIO superpowers to be installed in more machines and factory-edge environments than we ever imagined.
Another area where Node-RED has seen solid adoption is facilitating Modbus RTU communications. Using an affordable authentic FTDI serial-to-USB adaptor and installing the Node-RED Modbus nodes, customers have liberated production data from these legacy serial devices all over the plant floor.
We have example after example of our customers using Node-RED in so many different industries, You can read more about them in the FlowFuse blog.
Turning now to our groov Manage page for Node-RED, we once again see that Opto 22 has done a great job at making somewhat tricky tasks move into the realm of smooth sailing. For example, setting up Node-RED on a PC or Raspberry Pi for secure HTTPS can be complicated. But when running Node-RED on a groov device, you don't even have to think about it, since Node-RED will use the same security options as groov Manage.
Backing up and restoring your entire Node-RED project also gets an unassuming simple button press to perform those operations.
If you are using those dashboard nodes I mentioned a moment ago, you can have your groov device launch straight to that HMI rather than having your user go via groov Manage. What a great end-user experience to give to your customers.
And of course, all the EPIC's and RIO's memory and CPU data is available, allowing your engineers to fine-tune their Node-RED flows for their end users.
Clearly, I'm a huge Node-RED fan, as is Terry Orchard with countless YouTube videos on getting started, and advanced topics for all things Node-RED. We encourage you to view our playlist.
Terry takes a half-day deep dive into Node-RED in our premium factory training class, so if you want to learn more about it and all the other groov Manage options, please register to attend a class here at Opto 22 headquarters.
Reminder—you can see all 12 parts of the groov Manage menu in a speed run by watching this overview video, or click backward on this blog to see a slightly deeper dive into each menu option.
We have just two more menu options left in this blog series and they are not to be missed, so till next week!