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Leveraging on an open ecosystem to accelerate IoT development

In today’s technology landscape, nearly every technology solution is built on open-source technology frameworks. Long ...


In today’s technology landscape, nearly every technology solution is built on open-source technology frameworks. Long gone are the days when open-source frameworks were regarded as “immature” or “unreliable”. 

Open-source frameworks are industry standards

In today’s technology landscape, nearly every technology solution is built on open-source technology frameworks. Long gone are the days when open-source frameworks were regarded as “immature” or “unreliable”. This is because popular frameworks today are used and contributed by massive numbers of organizations across the globe and are likely much more reliable and feature-rich than proprietary software.

Open-source technology frameworks are particularly important for Internet of Things (IoT). This is because IoT has one of the most complex technology stacks the world has seen: including components from sensors to embedded systems to security to communication to cloud technology to orchestration to DevOps, etc. By adhering to standard open-source technology frameworks, customers can ensure reliability, compatibility, long-term support, and reduced lock-in.

 

Node-Red as the foundation for IoT application development

For enterprise IoT application development, a popular open-source programming software is Node-Red. It is used by thousands of engineers and developers, and it is adopted by major corporations including IBM, Siemens, Samsung, Intel, GE, Fujitsu, Schneider, Cisco, and Hitachi. It has a strong open-source community which has contributed thousands of solutions ranging from MODBUS to machine learning. Furthermore, Node Red is built on Node.js, which is a Javascript runtime used by more than 98% of Fortune 500 companies and is one of the most powerful, reliable, and battle-tested software in existence.

Node-Red offers powerful capabilities for IoT application development:

  • It is a low-code framework, which means that it reduces coding complexity. But it is also very flexible: users can choose drag-and-drop for no-code development, or write scripts in a sandboxed environment for low-code development, or implement full-code software packages in Node.js and build fully-customized dashboards in HTML/CSS. Therefore Node-Red can be used by operators or experienced developers, making it adaptable in an enterprise environment.
  • It has thousands of open-source modules and solution templates. For any solution that a user needs to build, they can likely find a solution template to get started. In addition, the Node-Red forum and the Node Red Slack channel are very active answering user questions.
  • Its solution is a JSON object, not a code base. A JSON object is much more compact and simpler to share and collaborate on.
  • It is actively maintained by a dedicated group of developers at major multi-national corporations, but it is under Apache license which means that it is free to use and free to modify for personal and commercial purposes.

Node-Red is a standalone software and it needs to be installed and maintained per each individual edge device. This means that if a customer installs Node-Red on a few dozen devices and needs to update the application on these devices, they would have to update each device individually. This is impractical and for this reason, Node-Red is typically limited to small-scale deployment.

 

Scaling Node-Red with Prescient Designer

Prescient Designer is an enterprise-class IoT and data analytics platform built on Node-Red.  It aims to provide scalable, reliable, and secure IoT solutions on top of the powerful low-code programming capability Node-Red provides.

  • It is compatible with existing Node-Red flows and nodes.  Users can scale their Node-Red solutions to thousands of devices with a few clicks of a button.
  • It improves reliability at the edge.  Prescient Designer includes an edge runtime that monitors Node-Red applications in edge devices and can perform recovery or rollback when needed.
  • It enhances security by providing real-time, content-based monitoring.  All data transmissions are encrypted with TLS.
  • It is a hosted software in the cloud.  Users can work collaboratively and remotely to access every system component.
  • It reduces development complexity by providing end-to-end support on sensors and hardware, data analytics, and cloud scaling.  A single user can build and manage an enterprise-class IoT solution from the edge to the cloud.

A strong open-source ecosystem fosters standardization and growth. For any organization that looks to adopt technology solutions including but not limited to IoT, it is advisable to adopt such an ecosystem as the foundation.

 

Upcoming Event on March 24

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Register for our upcoming webinar to understand how you can leverage Node-RED to accelerate your IoT development to solve real-world problems. During our webinar, "Prescient Designer: Scaling Node-RED to Enterprise-class IoT Applications" on March 24, we will show you how you can build, deploy and manage scalable IoT applications easily with Prescient Designer. Register here.

 

Learn more

To learn more about Prescient Devices and how we’ve leveraged Node-Red to build a robust IoT Design Automation platform, visit our website.

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