The following are the results from the second Node-RED community survey. The goal of the survey was to gain a better understanding of who is using Node-RED, how they are using Node-RED and collect general feedback from the community.
The survey asked for feedback from the Node-RED community during the month of March 2023. A total of 780 individuals completed the survey. The first survey was run in 2019. We have included some comparisons between the surveys to show any general trends in the community.
If you have any questions or feedback about this report or the survey please contact us at email@example.com.
Close to half the respondents use Node-RED for personal use and the other half is using for professional purposes and some personal use. For those using it for professional purposes, the two main reasons appear to be developing internal solutions and developing external products for their company.
When used in a professional setting, Node-RED is typically used by software developers or manufacturing engineers. It is interesting to note that the role of Team Leader / Project Manager is also well represented, likely due to the low-code nature of Node-RED.
Node-RED teams tend to be relatively small with the majority of respondents reporting teams of less than 10 developers.
Node-RED is being used in small and large companies across a variety of industries. Of interest since the last 2019 survey is the rise in the Manufacturing and Transportation industries.
The community of users is well established. Over 60% of the respondents have been using the tool for more than 2 years. A large majority (76.7%) claim to use Node-RED on a regular basis and close to 80% claim intermediate to advanced knowledge.
The types of applications appear to be diversifying. Home automation continues to be the number one use case but other more business oriented applications appear to be growing in importance. It appears this continues the pattern of Node-RED becoming a tool that is moving from the personal DIY space into the corporate arena.
Consistent with the home automation use case, a majority of the community members use Node-RED with less than 10 instances and deploy to a Raspberry Pi or a local computer. Compared to 2019 results there is a trend to establish processes to maintain separate development and production environments, indicating more corporate use cases.
It appears to be a consistent pattern for less than half of the community to deploy the same Node-RED flow out to multiple target devices and environments. This would be consistent with increased usage of Node-RED in industry, especially the manufacturing industry where Node-RED is being used to track metrics of industrial equipment.
HTTP and MQTT continue to be the top messaging technologies used with Node-RED. Of particular interest is the rise of Modbus and OPC-UA. For database technologies there has been a significant increase in the usage of InfluxDB and to a lesser extent Postgres within the Node-RED community. In general InfluxDB has seen a growth in adoption for IoT use cases.
A benefit of using Node-RED is the extensive library of Nodes, which is currently over 4300. It is very apparent that most community members take full advantage of using the Node-RED flow library. A total of 57.5% use more than 5 nodes from the library, including 10.3% that use more than 15 different nodes.
Publishing nodes is a key way the community contributes back. Many users have published one or two nodes, with a small number of users who have published more.
The Node-RED community forum continues to be the go-to place for getting help using Node-RED. The community forum is very active and questions are typically answered very quickly by other community members. Google Search, GitHub Issues and Stack Overflow are the other popular communication channels for getting help with Node-RED.
This year’s survey asked a question about what was limiting adoption of Node-RED in organizations.
Just over a quarter of respondents (27.9%) selected that there was no need for more use of Node-RED. Perception of Node-RED (19.9%) and missing features in Node-RED (13.3%) were the next two most popular reasons. This may indicate that the Node-RED community might need to communicate more about the adoption and capabilities of Node-RED. Interestingly enough, the fact Node-RED is open source was only mentioned by 1.5% of respondents.
Node-RED is well regarded by the community members. Two thirds of respondents scored Node-RED a 5 out 5 and just under 95% of the respondents scored Node-RED with a 4 or 5. The high level satisfaction re-enforces the vibrancy of the Node-RED community.
The survey asked for additional demographic information about respondents. Although over 60% of the respondents reside in Europe, we do believe Node-RED is used worldwide. A large percentage of respondents are employed full-time or are self-employed.