A new firm founded by one of the original developers of the open-source Node-RED project aims to make it simpler for businesses to bridge the gap among incompatible IoT ecosystems scalably.
Node-RED, for the uninformed, is a low-code, visual programming tool developed by IBM for connecting APIs, hardware, and also other assets that cause the Internet of Things (IoT) — it's all about enabling IoT developers to build applications quickly while addressing the vast number of IoT devices, manufacturers, and protocols they must contend with.
In 2016, IBM transferred control of the project to the JS Foundation (a Linux Foundation initiative), and Siemens, Hitachi, and Bosch are now using it.
The Objective of FlowForge
FlowForge's commercial platform as a service (PaaS) enables IoT companies to run Node-RED at scale in a manufacturing environment. While Node-RED has been gaining momentum in the industry, it has also faced problems typical of many open-source projects, such as the time and resources needed to deploy and maintain Node-RED further than small-scale or prototype projects.
Through the FlowForge user interface, users may spin up Node-RED servers in a matter of seconds, manage them in a single pane, and monitor the status of their projects. In addition, businesses can use FlowForge's hosting, centralised audit logs, safety, role-based access control, and more – essentially allowing FlowForge to do all the hard work.
The Story of FlowForge
FlowForge was established in the United Kingdom in 2021 by IBM's former Node-RED head and project maintainer, Nick O'Leary, and an early GitLab employee Zeger-Jan van de Weg. O'Leary told TechCrunch that GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij provided the startup with around $2 million via Open Core Ventures to launch the business. FlowForge has announced a new $7.2 million in funding from Cota Capital, Westwave Capital, Uncorrelated Ventures, and Open Core Ventures to assist the company reach the next level.
While several comparable commercial companies already exist, such as Krysp.io, Sensetecnic's FRED, and Prescient Devices, FlowForge is paving the way to market by embracing an open-source philosophy. Having Node-founder RED at the lead further improves its prospects.
O'Leary noted, "Building FlowForge as an open source platform complements the open source nature of Node-RED." "Many individuals have turned to Node-RED as an open-source replacement to existing proprietary technologies. It allows FlowForge clients far more immediate access to what we are doing. They may comment on things of interest from the earliest stages of development."
The Release of Version 1.0 and Future Plans
Version 1.0 of FlowForge was only released last week. The business is now preparing to add larger features, including collaboration tools enabling engineers to collaborate in real-time, similar to Google Docs.
O'Leary said, "Up until now, we have been largely focused on establishing the fundamental platform." "With the release of version 1.0, we can begin working on the capabilities that will truly set us apart. In Node-RED, collaboration has never been a seamless user experience. We want to solve this issue; therefore, we're exploring additional real-time collaboration possibilities."
With an additional $7.2 million in the bank, FlowForge is well-funded to target businesses of all sizes and across all sectors.
O'Leary stated, "We see Node-RED being embraced by a wide variety of enterprises across numerous sectors and sizes." "We think FlowForge will aid in resolving issues encountered by anybody wishing to put Node-RED into production in a well-managed setting."
Featured image: Flowforge
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