3 July, 2023

June 2023 change log

Major flespi improvements in June 2023.

The very first summer month for most people should be warm and relaxed. But this year for our team we had a totally different experience. Somehow it happened that for flespi June became the peak month of the year with +20% growth rate of communication in the chat and all other metrics growing at the highest pace. 

We just reached an amazing number of 300 commercial contracts signed with us. Given the fact that the previous round number of 200 contracts was reached in May 2022, we’ve added 50% more commercial users in just 13 months. Mostly our users are startups, some of them are medium-size businesses established years ago which are now in their best age, and we even work with a few large international corporations. But they all need a stable and reliable partner that will help them squeeze maximum features from the telematics hardware, will stay ahead of the market and assist them to build and deliver highly competitive solutions. And already 300 companies have found such a partner in the face of flespi.

Solutions they make are different, but the need is the same and questions are very similar. We do our best trying to address all practical questions in our Knowledge Base from which Google Bard or ChatGPT can preload information for its interactive advice, but we understand that this is not enough.

To solve this question in a fundamental way, our team has spent half of a day outside the office with a self-made BBQ party and a lot of discussions on this topic. And finally, exactly at the moment we fried sweet marshmallows, a great and ambitious idea came into our collective mind.

We decided that we are now mature enough to make a first ever offline flespi-related event, invite our users to Vilnius, and load them with a lot of useful flespi-related content, inspire them for the cloudless future of our partnership and telematics market in general, and of course to personally meet those people at the other side of our chat.

flespi bbq discussion

The conference will be held on September 12, 2023 in Vilnius, Lithuania where our HQ is located. All the details about the event are outlined on the dedicated page. I suggest you to secure your seat and register for the conference as soon as possible because now, just a couple of business days after the announcement, 20 persons have already registered.

  • We finished June with 99.9962% uptime. There were a few short 20-second slowdowns in REST API services of the telematics hub due to the testing of the new functionality. Despite that, all systems including Internet connectivity in both data centers from which we are operating worked uninterrupted for the whole month.
  • In my opinion, one of the most interesting features we delivered in June is the overhaul of the BLE beacons usage and especially the case where BLE beacons are used for indoor positioning services. Previously it was a rather complex solution involving the ble-beacons channel and specially named BLE Fix devices where you could input fixed position data. The original device data remained unchanged, and the combined position data of device plus BLE fixes in the vicinity was registered into another device. Too much complexity!
    Now it is much simpler with a special ble-indoor-position plugin — in a single place you define all BLE fixes with their coordinates and additional attributes like floor number, customer ID, etc. and all data is merged into the original device messages. The benefit is not only the simplicity, but also that BLE indoor positioning and data gathering from tags is automatically made available in all flespi’s downstream integrations. Wialon, Mapon, Navixy, GPSWOX, GpsGate, Traccar, Key Telematics, and GPS-Trace — they all now got BLE beacons positioning feature with zero effort from their side.
  • We enhanced channel idents functionality with new possibilities. Initially, it was used purely for storing raw traffic from devices that report to the channel. Now we enhanced the meaning of ident to persist in the channel history and provide information of which devices and when reported to the channel. Together with webhooks now it is possible to configure automatic device creation upon connection and authorization to the channel. The simplest way to do this is by using a special button in the channel idents card.
  • Open tool located in the top right corner of your flespi.io account is now able to quickly locate and open the device by ID, ident and even perform the search using the same notation as in REST API selectors. You can use this UI tool to quickly search for devices with a given telemetry value, assigned to groups, streams, calculators and even to find devices by the field value in the item-fields plugin.
  • For those who are working with devices via REST API take a look at new possibilities we integrated to correctly select devices for the API call. Now it is possible to select device addressing groups, streams, calcs and plugins it is assigned to.
  • For webhooks, we removed the experimental tag and from now you are welcome to use this wonderful automation system in your production services. Here you may find the article with background information about MQTT topics that can trigger webhooks and another article with five practical use cases of such automation. With the latest update, we introduced chains of webhooks that can gather information from multiple sources and/or perform multiple actions from a single event. For example now it is possible to set up a chain of webhooks that once device is created in flespi will authorize to 3rd party downstream platform, check if device with such ident does not exist and create there an associated device.
  • And we documented grants, which is yet an experimental feature. We are still working on the whole package of grants, realms, subaccounts, and tokens to make a practical, fully automated, oAuth and corporate SSO compatible, secure and easy to use solution for you to organize your work with flespi, provide access to your users and support staff there. This work we plan to finish at the end of summer and present the full package at our conference.

Despite all newly introduced and unplanned activities, we are still running according to our initially published roadmap and mostly focused on the integration of video telematics functions into flespi in an easy-to-use way. We already succeeded with the very first video gathered from Howen MDVR, designed the architecture of our solution and are now implementing it.

In July, I hope the intensity of demand for flespi will slow down a bit during the vacation season and we as well will have some rest to recharge before our conference. Anyway, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and high demand is better than no demand at all. Stay with us, register to the conference and see you in Vilnius where together we will define the direction of development of the world telematics market!