What do people use FRED (and Node-RED) for

 What are people using FRED for?

We have over 2000 users on FRED now doing lots of amazing things with Node-RED. We plan to start showcasing some user stories – so if you are using FRED for a cool project, let us know and we’ll feature you in a newsletter or on our web site. In the meantime, we’ve been asking recent users what they plan to use FRED for, here’s the current use chart.

As you can see, home automation and remote monitoring are our two most popular uses. The Home automation folks are using FRED to access and control home control devices, in some cases these are commercial products which have web accessible API – in others, they are home grown devices, often Raspberry Pi running locally in the home and using Node-RED. For these users, the new FRED node that makes it easy to connect Node-RED flows running on devices such as the Pi and flows running in the cloud under FRED is a real time saver. (See our recent blog post)

 For remote monitoring and notifications, we are seeing a lot of users exploiting MQTT services to allow their monitoring equipment to post real time sensor and status, A flow running under FRED uses the MQTT node to monitor the MQTT channel and then manage the incoming data stream. Often this incoming data is archived to a DB using one of the standard NR nodes, e.g. the MongoDB node but the data is also visualized using the FRED UI nodes. Additionally, the incoming data is easily checked for alert conditions, either using bespoke code in a function node, or using the built in RBE node (report by exception) that can be configured to trigger when incoming data differ by a configurable amount from previous data.

The other big area of usage is the web services and API – FRED makes it simple to build APIs for a variety of microservices, the built in http nodes offer a rapid way to setup and expose a REST API which can be used for any purpose – from delivering archived sensor data to sending control commands to a piece of factory or building management equipment.