Using FlowForge

This guide will help you learn how to use the FlowForge platform to quickly create new Node-RED applications.


Within FlowForge, users are members of Teams. Each team can create Applications that are collections of one or more Node-RED instances. Each instance is created from a Template to provide its default settings and runs on a Stack that determines the Node-RED version, memory and CPU usage.

Devices can be assigned to an instance and have flows automatically deployed to them when snapshots are created of the instance.

For more details on these and other core concepts, you can learn about them here.

Working with Instances

  • Snapshots - Create point-in-time backups of your Node-RED instances.
  • Environment Variables - How to manage Environment Variables in your Node-RED instances.
  • Change Project Stack - How to change an instance stack, for example to upgrade Node-RED.
  • Logs - The Logs available in the FlowForge application.
  • Project Link Nodes - Custom nodes for sending messages between Node-RED instances and devices.
  • Staged Deployments - How to create DevOps pipelines between Node-RED instances
  • Instance Settings - Settings available for Node-RED instances.
  • Shared Team Library - Share flows easily between different Node-RED instances in your team.
  • Node-RED Tools Plugin - A plugin for Node-RED that lets you work with your flows outside of FlowForge.

Working with Teams

Working with Devices

FlowForge supports deploying projects to remote Devices. They run a software agent that connects back to the platform to receive updates.

Working with Files and Context

FlowForge supports reading and writing persistent files and persistent context.

Debugging and fixing Node-RED issues

Node-RED Safe Mode

When a Node-RED instance is unresponsive, for example due to an infinite loop, it can be put into Safe Mode.

  1. Edit the instance's Environment Variables
  2. Add a variable called NODE_RED_ENABLE_SAFE_MODE to true.
  3. Save the changes then suspend/restart the instance.

When starting up in Safe Mode, Node-RED will provide access to the editor without starting the flows. You can log in to the editor, make any necessary changes and then deploy to restart the flows.

Once recovered you should delete the NODE_RED_ENABLE_SAFE_MODE environment variable to prevent it entering Safe Mode the next time it is restarted.