Nodes get created when a flow is deployed, they may send and receive some messages whilst the flow is running and they get deleted when the next flow is deployed.
When packaged as an npm module, they also include a
package.json file that pulls
it all together.
To begin creating your own node, you can either create it as a simple ‘local’ node or go straight to packaging it as a proper module.
A local node just consists of the
These files can be located within either the
nodes directory in your user directory,
~/.node-red/nodes, or one of the directories defined in the
The following example defines a simple node that converts a message payload into all lower-case characters.
The node is wrapped as a node module. The module exports a function that gets called
when the runtime loads the node on start-up. The function is called with a single
RED, that provides the module access to the Node-RED runtime api.
The node itself is defined by a function,
LowerCaseNode that gets called whenever
a new instance of the node is created. It is passed an object containing the
node-specific properties set in the flow editor.
The function calls the
RED.nodes.createNode function to initialise the features
shared by all nodes. After that, the node-specific code lives.
In this instance, the node registers a listener to the
input event which gets
called whenever a message arrives at the node. Within this listener, it changes
the payload to lower case, then calls the
send function to pass the message
on in the flow.
LowerCaseNode function is registered with the runtime using the
name for the node,
If the node has any external module dependencies, they must be npm installed alongside the node files.
A node’s HTML file provides the following things:
In this example, the node has a single editable property,
name. Whilst not
required, there is a widely used convention to this property to help distinguish
between multiple instances of a node in a single flow.