What's new in Node-RED v3.1.7

Posted by Terry Orchard on May 24, 2024 4:23:43 PM

Learn about some of the changes and benefits of Node-RED 3.1.7 included with the recent groov EPIC 3.6 firmware release.

Node-RED 3.1.7 has many useful new features and quality-of-life improvements—mainly to the editor itself. A great example is that the flow tabs at the top of the editor now indicate when they contain a change that has not been deployed. This simple addition clarifies what will be restarted when you choose among deploying modified nodes, modified flows, or a full deploy.

Let's talk about what other welcome additions you'll find in Node-RED in the latest 3.6 firmware release of groov EPIC.


An update to the flow tabs is the ability to lock an entire flow. It has been possible to hide or disable flows in previous versions, but now, once something is rock solid, you can lock it down to prevent unintentional edits and updates with an extra layer of “Are you sure?”. The lock appears as a new icon on the right of the tab, and with this addition, they also removed the “hide” button on the tab to help prevent hiding a flow. These improvements really add up to make the editor easier and smoother to work with.

The biggest overhaul in this update was made to the Groups feature, which helps you organize your Nodes in your flows. Groups were added back in v1.1.0 but perhaps are not used very often. If you weren’t aware of them or have avoided using them for any reason, now is a perfect time to try them out!


With this update, you can now click directly into a node contained within a group, drag multiple nodes into a group at once, and immediately remove nodes from the group by holding alt. These changes go a long way toward reducing friction and frustrations when working with groups, especially when you want to edit an existing group.

Using groups even in simple flows like this weather API example immediately makes it clear what the flow does. If anything needs debugging, you or anyone else will know exactly where to look. In addition, you can now set catch and status nodes to watch an entire group rather than having to select specific nodes.

And organizing your flows with many additions to the right-click context menu is easier than ever. Not only is each flow tab’s workspace larger than before, but it’s also trivial to automatically align and distribute selected nodes, delete nodes without having to rewire everything, and manage your groups all using the same context dropdown.


The last two things I want to highlight are the flow documentation improvements for comment nodes and flow descriptions. Both now support dragging and dropping images and Mermaid diagrams. This JavaScript charting tool takes a Markdown-style text description of processes, sequences, hierarchies, state relationships, and other chart formats and renders it directly in the side panel.


Of course, there are even more additions and updates, and you can read about every detail on the Node-RED update blog here: Version 3.1 has been released. The quality-of-life and ease-of-use improvements I’ve covered here make it easier to use Node-RED if you’re already familiar with the editor and reduce the friction of getting started if you’re a new user. Be sure to pull down the latest 3.6 firmware for your groov EPIC to check all these features for yourself!


You can read more about other new features in the EPIC 3.6 update in Ben Orchard's latest blog.

And as always, happy flowing.

Topics: Updates, Node-RED, groov EPIC

Written by Terry Orchard

Terry is a UC Irvine alumnus that works in technical marketing and focuses on development and content creation. When he's not at the computer he enjoys spending time with his family and pets, flying drones, and working on yo-yo tricks.

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