Want to clarify current positioning of the Rules Engine instance and address concerns raised in this thread.
As Rick mentioned, interest in the Rules Engine has been very high. Throughout the course of the beta, we’ve opened access to the Rules Engine to a variety of Particle customers, including hobbyists, enterprises, maker spaces, universities, and corporate R&D labs.
We’ve learned how Rules Engine can help customers with their IoT deployments, and gained lots of experience working with Node-RED, the technology that powers the Rules Engine.
One of the primary challenges of Node-RED as an underlying technology is that it was originally designed to be deployed as a monolithic application, designed to be run on devices like a Raspberry Pi. This has created two problems during the beta:
The editor and runtime are linked. When the Rules Engine instance crashes, Particle (the infrastructure provider) needs to manually intervene on behalf of the customer. This behavior has been improved with the recent v1.0 release of Node-RED.
Node-RED cannot easily be deployed in its present form in as a multi-tenant service, meaning that every instance requires its own discrete infrastructure that requires uptime instrumentation and management. This means that the cost of maintaining instances scales roughly linearly with the number of users, which creates unique challenges for the product.
As a result of those scaling challenges, we limited further access to the beta. The product is not dead, but we are actively reconsidering how we deploy the product as a feature of the Particle platform.
Hope that helps to clarify things. More details to come.