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2 November, 2020

October 2020 change log

Major flespi improvements in October 2020.

Since I got my pilot license in all previous years till now October was always the last month of the year when you are able to fly a plane when you wish. Because starting from November and up to early April in Belarus, the weather is almost non-flyable with IFR or limited IFR flying conditions due to icing, fog, low cloud ceiling. And it’s like with smokers before the boarding transatlantic flight — you want to fly, fly and fly until you are locked on the ground for the whole winter with very rare occasions of VFR weather. By the way, this is how the sunset looks like above the clouds:

This year October is different. Covid19 is returning at a terrifying pace, European countries start to lock down again, and the ongoing revolution in Belarus is burning more and more flame of democracy each day with no way to return to the previous calm times. With the huge economic recession looming on the horizon, 2020 is a game-changer for human beings.

The whole flespi ecosystem is already developed to a mature state and widely tested in real life under various peak conditions. From the very beginning, we were focused on stability, performance, usability, and of course, features. As you may notice on our status page, once we released the Russian region, our uptime on most months was at the highest 100% mark. This October was no exception — we finished it with 100% uptime for both regions.

  • As the demand for flespi services is growing and some of our users do not fit into the limitations of the Free version anymore, we decided to expand the Free version terms of use and introduce one more stream and one more channel in it. With this new enhancement of free possibilities, we expect our users to better feel the taste of flespi before asking us to upgrade to the Commercial terms of use.
  • Finally, after a 1+ year of work, our frontend team released a new version of the flespi API documentation viewer — API Box. This new wonderful tool is our replacement for the standard swagger-based documentation viewer. API Box is specially designed for flespi with built-in authorization, curl samples, GET selector tests before PUT/POST/DELETE queries to show a list of affected entities before the operation, and a lot of other interesting features. In case you are lacking something there, we are totally open to suggestions and feature requests.
  • In October we deployed an additional DDoS protection layer by distributing our REST, MQTT, and Telematics Hub services across multiple IP addresses. Initially, we added just one extra address for each type of service within each region, but we are ready to provide tens and even hundreds of them immediately in case of a DDoS attack.
  • As a part of our invisible optimization work, we moved MQTT Broker REST API to a new engine and enhanced the message publication REST API method with all fields available in MQTT 5.0 protocol.
  • There are two important API changes we will introduce soon. The first one is related to streams — we moved streams protocols configuration to the same format as channel protocols which allows us to integrate new private streams on a per-client basis with special logic. And another change scheduled for November 23 is the name change of REST API method for /gw/protocols. Please double-check if all your current flespi operations are updated and will not be affected.
  • We integrated two new protocolsaemp and cargo. And enhanced http protocol with the possibility to define a custom naming scheme for JSON parameters, same as was initially introduced for mqtt protocol.
  • For those who are using devices operating via concox protocol, I would highly recommend taking a closer look at this upcoming change and reset the timezone setting in the device to UTC (zero).
  • And as usual, we did numerous small enhancements in Toolbox as well as MQTT Tiles tools. By the way, our front-end team is now focused on MQTT Tiles development adding features on a daily basis with the closest target to integrate it directly into flespi.io and provide our users with a full set of tools for creating easy-to-use nicely-looking dashboards. As a side effect on this — MQTT Tiles will receive an API layer and may be embedded into other applications, not only to those that were created by the flespi team.

  • As COVID-19 restrictions are in effect in more and more countries. I would like to remind everybody about our wonderful COVID-19 IoT Alliance and consider the possibility to use Commercial level flespi services for free in such projects. Or at least to check for good hardware and connectivity services distributed with zero margins by the Alliance members. 
  • Sometimes our users share with us their projects implemented on top of flespi. This is what we like to look at and it motivates our team to do even more each day. Please take a look at this special COVID-19 prevention project implemented on top of flespi by DCS. And also please look at the wonderful HAZER IoT Application v2.0 dashboard implemented by KLOUDIP.
  • We are still struggling with upgrading the teltonika protocol to the new PVM engine, but I hope it will happen in November. At the same time, we are on the finish line with the integration of MQTT transport into this new engine. It means we will be able to parse binary payloads using our standard PVM language including support for commands to devices via MQTT publications. We started from Xirgo/BCE “FM IOTM” device which integration into flespi will be available soon.