3 April, 2023

March 2023 change log

Major flespi improvements in March 2023.

In March the flespi team focused on the delivery of two major features from our yearly roadmap — new datacenter for the flespi infrastructure and webhooks as a building block for the Automation services.

The new datacenter was embedded into the flespi network in February and in March we started our software services there. At the moment almost all types of flespi services are running there with full data mirrors and the real traffic will be forwarded there in April. Landing the traffic means that some REST API calls, MQTT Broker connections, and channels URI will resolve to this new datacenter along with the current one. We are designing the HA system in such a way that we can turn the live traffic in a new datacenter ON and OFF within a minute whenever any problem pops up. For those who are using any kind of IP addresses whitelisting please read the details of this update.

Despite the fact that in March we had a lot of changes on the software layer in the network infrastructure, the stability of the hardware part resulted in one more month of 100% uptime. In November 2022 we upgraded WAN network channels from 1G to 10G, followed by changing the uplink design in February 2023 and now we are really happy with the stability and performance of the new infrastructure and durable network configuration should seamlessly operate for years.

  • In the last days of March we installed and released webhooks — the building block for a wide range of Automation services. We will prepare use cases overview later in April, but you can already explore the webhooks power and possibilities. As basic example of what webhooks can do: e-mail or SMS notifications (using your or third-party service) about anything happening inside flespi, looping specific automation scenarios inside flespi — like register directly into the device message time when it connected and disconnected or forwarding somewhere the output with device command execution result and so on. Webhooks are a low-level tool for automation and later on we will provide higher-level tools that operate with flespi specific triggers and states.
  • I’m sure everybody has already noticed the overhaul of the flespi panel menu we implemented at the beginning of March. We are trying to add more features but not to overload the layout. That's why we introduced the Favorites section where you can add the most frequently used flespi tools for your daily operations. Soon we will enhance it with drag and drop functionality to reorder Favorites menu entries.
  • We integrated three new protocols in March: Ituran, Mystic-Parrot, and Howen. For the Howen devices only the telematics data and remote control are integrated however we plan to support video with live streaming, playback and storage features this summer as well.
  • For those who missed it, we made an overview of the most popular device models for us in 2022 by looking deeply into flespi statistics for these manufacturers: Atrack, Ruptela, and Concox. All overviews are commented by Vladimir Tihonchuk, a hardware support engineer working with Gurtam for the last 11 years. Worth reading to understand how these manufacturers are looking from a platform point of view.
  • Two more articles I recommend to look at are about the past and the future. Jan Bartnitsky shared his multi-year experience with Teltonika devices from developers point of view and Sergei Leuchanka provided an overview of the next generation of connectivity that the telematics industry can rely on with $3-5/month subscription fee for cellular-satellite service.

I believe in start-ups. In people of any age and experience with bright eyes behind which you often see the bright mind. This is the kind of person I was when we started Gurtam in 2002. And I believe that a lot of guys starting to develop their brilliant ideas now in the next 20 years will be able to create multi-million dollar highly profitable businesses as well. Part of them will be backed by flespi for telematics dataflow, which will automatically make flespi successful as a part of their success. This is a long-term strategy and our current focus is to attract these startups with a powerful platform and a highly-experienced team of advisers to smooth out sharp corners on their way to success. That’s why we enhanced subaccount-related restrictions in the Free Plan and made the implementation of rich PoC on top of flespi easier.

In April we plan to activate all software services from the second datacenter in parallel and monitor how it will perform. We will also stabilize webhooks which are yet in the experimental stage and get ready for the next milestone on our roadmap — the video telematics — which we estimate to start engineering at the end of spring and release somewhere in summer.