Thursday, August 11, 2016

IIoT connections for PACs.

Node-RED* nodes for Opto 22's industrial programmable automation controllers (PACs) have been introduced. These significantly decrease IIoT application development time and complexity. These Node-RED nodes for PACs make it easier to prototype and develop applications for connecting physical assets to cloud applications. Node-RED nodes and a RESTful API for Opto 22 SNAP PAC R-series and S-series controllers are available free for download.

Rapid IIoT Application Prototyping
Linking technology assets and services together to build IIoT applications often requires layers of complex software development and long development cycles that quickly erode IIoT application ROI. Opto 22’s Node-RED nodes for SNAP PAC programmable automation controllers enable nearly anyone to rapidly prototype and develop IIoT applications with Node-RED, opening a path to quickly connect legacy physical assets to the digital world of cloud services.

Node-RED for IIoT
Node-RED is an innovative visual wiring tool to connect edge computing systems such as industrial automation controllers to cloud services such as Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) IoT, IBM® Watson IoT, and Microsoft® Azure® in new and interesting ways. Created by Nick O’Leary (@knolleary) and Dave Conway-Jones (@ceejay) of IBM Emerging Technologies (@ibmets), Node-RED is an open-source, cross-platform technology available on and, and is currently available for a variety of platforms, including OS X®, Microsoft Windows®, Linux®, and Raspberry Pi™, and cloud offerings like IBM Bluemix® and AT&T® Flow. Built on the popular Node.js JavaScript runtime, Node-RED benefits from a large Node-RED library—containing over 500 prebuilt and ready-to-deploy nodes—allowing IIoT application developers to leverage existing software code and deploy it directly into their applications.

“I've been very impressed with the whole Node-RED project,” said Jim Turner, Senior Software Developer at Opto 22. “It's well run, polished, and of high quality, but still very practical and useful. It's been a pleasure to develop for their platform.” 

Already Node-RED has been downloaded from over 25,000 times in the last month.

Lowering the Technical Bar
The Node-RED development environment offers a gradual and easily approachable learning curve for users of all levels and requires little to no programming skills. Instead, Node-RED takes advantage of pre-programmed, reusable code blocks called nodes. These nodes make IIoT application development simpler, easier to repeat, and faster to scale. Through a visual browser-based, drag-and-drop interface, Node-RED allows IIoT application developers to focus on identifying an opportunity and developing a solution, rather than building the components of an application from scratch.

Advanced JavaScript functions can also be created within the editor using a Function node. A built-in library lets developers save useful functions, templates, or node flows for re-use. The flows created in Node-RED are stored using the widely known JSON format, which can be easily imported and exported for sharing with other developers and applications, promoting the idea of social application development.

* Node RED is described as a visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things.

@opto22 #PAuto #IoT

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