Node-RED Version 1.3 Available Now!

By April 14, 2021Blog, Node-RED, Project Update

Node-RED, the flow-based programming tool, has released version 1.3 as of April 2021. Node-RED is a growth project at the OpenJS Foundation.

Node-RED is a low code method of programming event driven applications. Flow-based programming creates networks that lend themselves to visual representation, making it a more accessible way of programming. JavaScript functions can be built using a rich text editor, and a built-in library allows access to useful functions, templates or flows for re-use.

Visualization of browser-based, flow-based programming creating networks

Node-RED was originally created in 2013 by members of IBM’s Emerging Technology Services group and has been in open source development since. It is one of the founding projects of the JS Foundation in 2016 and came into the OpenJS Foundation through the 2019 merger with the Node.js Foundation. 

Users of Node-RED include Hitachi, Veritone, Go-IoT,, and many more.

Notable changes in Node-RED 1.3 include relabelling of tabs, nesting references in Change/Switch nodes, and a new plugin framework for Node-RED. To make it easier for developers to use extra npm modules, users can now set their function nodes to be automatically run and defined in their code. It is also now possible to configure a Change or Switch node to nest references to message properties. The new configuration of Change nodes is cleaner and easier to read. 

The new plugin framework for Node-RED allows for easier customization and feature addition. This feature is still in its infancy, but will serve as the backbone for new iterations. Extra functions are implemented via plugin as opposed to code, keeping the core code smaller and allowing for users to be more selective over what “extra” features they want. For now, there are two types of new plugins available. Editor theme plugins which make installing and enabling new themes easier, and library source plugins which allow for configuring of additional libraries within the editor. 

To learn more about the 1.3 release, you can read about it on the Node-RED website here