Understanding the Node-RED Runtime API

, Updated by Julian Knight Reading time ~ 1 min.
Kb Development Node-RED

Node-RED exposes an extensive API at runtime. While most of this is not available within your flows, much of it is available to custom nodes. Unfortunately, documentation for the API lags behind development. This page documents some of the key things I’ve learned about the API, what it does and how it works.

The official API documentation is here in the Node-RED docs.

The API is accessed via the RED object.

Available in Function Nodes

  • RED.util.xxxx

Available in Custom Nodes


  • RED.util.cloneMessage(msg)

See: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/node-red/RED.util/node-red/dOrpj2S_hi0/X0LthFt0BAAJ “For a variety of reasons, you cannot use the JSON.stringfy/parse trick on messages that originate from the HTTP In node.”

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