Packaging

Nodes can be packaged as modules and published to the npm repository. This makes them easy to install along with any dependencies they may have.

Naming

If you wish to use node-red in the name of your node please use node-red-contrib- as a prefix to their name to make it clear they are not maintained by the Node-RED project. Alternatively, any name that doesn’t use node-red as a prefix can be used.

Directory structure

Here is a typical directory structure for a node package:

├── LICENSE
├── README.md
├── package.json
└── sample
    ├── examples
    │   ├── example-1.json
    │   └── example-2.json
    ├── icons
    │   └── my-icon.svg
    ├── sample.html
    └── sample.js

There are no strict requirements over the directory structure used within the package. If a package contains multiple nodes, they could all exist in the same directory, or they could each be placed in their own sub-directory.

Testing a node module locally

To test a node module locally, the npm install <folder> command can be used. This allows you to develop the node in a local directory and have it linked into a local node-red install during development.

In your node-red user directory, typically ~/.node-red, run:

npm install <path to location of node module>

This creates the appropriate symbolic link to the directory so that Node-RED will discover the node when it starts. Any changes to the node’s file can be picked up by simply restarting Node-RED.

package.json

Along with the usual entries, the package.json file must contain a node-red entry that lists the .js files that contain nodes for the runtime to load.

If you have multiple nodes in a single file, you only have to list the file once.

If any of the nodes have dependencies on other npm modules, they must be included in the dependencies property.

To help make the nodes discoverable within the npm repository, the file should include node-red in its keywords property. This will ensure the package appears when searching by keyword.

Note : Please do NOT add the `node-red` keyword until you are happy that the node is stable and working correctly, and documented sufficiently for others to be able to use it.
{
    "name"         : "node-red-contrib-samplenode",
    "version"      : "0.0.1",
    "description"  : "A sample node for node-red",
    "dependencies": {
    },
    "keywords": [ "node-red" ],
    "node-red"     : {
        "nodes": {
            "sample": "sample/sample.js"
        }
    }
}

README.md

The README.md file should describe the capabilities of the node, and list any pre-requisites that are needed in order to make it function. It may also be useful to include any extra instructions not included in the info tab part of the node’s html file, and maybe even a small example flow demonstrating it’s use.

The file should be marked up using GitHub flavoured markdown.

LICENSE

Please include a license file so that others may know what they can and cannot do with your code.

Publishing to npm

There are lots of guides to publishing a package to the npm repository. A basic overview is available here.

Adding to flows.nodered.org

As of April 2020, the the Node-RED Flow Library is no longer able to automatically index and update nodes published on npm with the node-red keyword. Instead, a submission request has to be placed manually.

To do so, make sure all of the packaging requests are met. To add a new node to the library, click on the + button at the top of the library’s page, and select the ‘node’ option. This button takes you to the Adding a Node page. Here, the list of requirements is repeated and describes the steps to have it added to the library.

To update an existing node, you can either resubmit it the same way as you would for a new node, or request a refresh from the node’s page on the flow library through the ‘request refresh’ link. This is only visible to logged in users.

If it does not appear after that time, you can ask for help on the Node-RED forum or slack.