Frequently Asked Questions
General
What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of objects such as sensors, devices (including appliances, smartphones, or even a car) or machines to the Internet allowing for two-way communication and data transmission.

What is Flow?

Flow is an intuitive visual tool that enables you, the IoT app developer, to create your prototype, iterate and improve through multiple versions, then deploy your application.

Flow offers nodes that are preconfigured to allow easy access to multiple data sources, cloud services, device profiles, and communication methods. The integrations are already done for you, so you only have to focus on wiring the building blocks together to create your IoT application.

Flow is built on the concepts of openness, simplicity, and re-use. As you wire your applications together, the resulting flows are saved so they can be reused later, reducing your development time.

What is AT&T M2X?

AT&T M2X is a cloud based time-series data storage service and developer toolset built for the Internet of Things. Create an account to start connecting your data sources and transfer information to M2X.

From the M2X Developer Portal you can launch and manage your data sources, define notification triggers, and collect data for analysis.

To help guide you along the way the AT&T M2X developer community provides useful resources and documentation, including a getting started guide , API documentation and community support forums .

How do I get access to other complimentary AT&T APIs?

You can get access to the full suite of AT&T APIs from the AT&T Developer Program . Available APIs include APIs include Advertising, Call Management, In-App Messaging, Location, SMS, MMS, Payment, M2X, Speech, U-Verse, and more.

About AT&T Flow
What can I develop with Flow?

Flow is a complete IDE, built with IoT development in mind. The tool enables you, the IoT app developer, to create your prototype, iterate and improve through multiple versions, then deploy your application.

Flow is built on the concepts of openness, simplicity, and re-use. As you wire your applications together, the resulting flows are saved so they can be reused later, reducing your development time.

Do I have to use all components of AT&T IoT Platform, like M2X, Flow and PaaS or can I ‘pick and choose’ the tools that fit my needs?

No. While AT&T IoT Platform suite of services are built to provide one stop shop for IoT developers that allows them to develop using their favorite browser and never worry about hosting their solution, scaling their environments, heavy initial investments, etc., you may choose to start with M2X and later add Flow and PaaS or vice versa. It is entirely your choice.

What is the difference between Node-RED and AT&T Flow?

While Flow canvas editing is based on Node-RED, Flow and the Platform as a Service (PaaS) behind it go much further. While in Node-RED you are in charge of implementing your flows and servers, creating and maintaining the environments, in Flow Deisnger + IoT PaaS this entire process is automated for you.

From a dedicated, preconfigured ‘sandbox’ environment that expands (add more servers) as needed by your flow, through automatic installation and configuration of database and queue nodes, to ability to create additional environments with a click of a button, each with multiple virtual servers and geo redundancy, supporting your production, staging, integration or other environments, each completely isolated from one another, running different builds, etc.

How can I connect my IoT device(s) to Flow?

There are two ways to connect a physical (or virtual) device to Flow.

The first is to connect it directly to Flow, using one of the input ‘nodes’ that fit your device capabilities, be it HTTP, TCP, UDP, etc. Choose this option if you do not need or want to use IoT M2X Data Service or if you have a device that is not yet supported by M2X (check first, the list is growing every day).

The second option is to connect your device to M2X Data Services that will store the sometimes massive data streams from your device and add your logic in Flow, to create the ‘brain’ of your service. Flow has simplified the connection to M2X data and APIs by creating a set of dedicated nodes for the data service. And of course, both the data from the device and the logic behind it will be stores in the cloud, so all you really need is a browser. OS, device time, available memory and other such issues are immaterial in any real sense.

How do I add a new node to Flow?
  • First create a node like you normally would, see Node RED documentation .
  • While you are on the project you want to add the node to, go to the 'Code' section on the left bar and click the little '+' icon and then 'Custom node'.
  • From the custom node dialog, click 'Browse' and select the node files (node's html and js file are required, others are optional).
  • If your node is dependent on other packages, expand 'Dependencies' section on the dialog and add those dependencies there.
  • Explain the change in the text box, this will be saved in your commit to the Git life cycle system of Flow Designer, under ‘./lib/nodes’ folder.
  • Click 'Upload', after the upload has completed you should see the files you uploaded in the system.
  • Navigate back to your project. Your new node should be in the palette, ready to use! Please note that you may need to run full deploy before seeing the node in your palette and for the changes to reflect in the running container.
Pricing & Support
What is included with the free Developer Account?

With a Developer Account you have full access to the AT&T Flow Designer Integrated Development Environment and the Platform as a Service behind it, allowing you to develop, deploy and test your applications with only your browser, with no need to install anything (certain capacity restrictions may apply). Additionally, you’ll have access to the information and resources found in the community support forums and the service documentation. Sign up for a free Developer Account to get started today.

I’m interested in a Professional Plan, which one is right for my business?

AT&T Flow Professional Plans are coming soon. The pricing page will have all the details, once available.

Does AT&T Flow offer support services?
Data Ownership, Sharing & Security
Who owns my data and my code (projects, flows)?

You own your data and code and are in control of has access to it, using the visibility level of your project (default = private). You are encouraged to give and take to the community projects and code snippets that can benefit both sides, but it is totally up to you. Feel free to review the AT&T Flow Terms of Service for more information.

Is my data secure?

AT&T Flow gives you the tools to keep your data secure by providing industry standard encryption and granular access level permission, so you can decide, when and with whom your project and applications are shared. The Flow service infrastructure is built to AT&T’s security requirements encompassing technology, controls, processes and commitment to provide world-class network services to businesses in over 50 countries worldwide.

Can I share my projects, flows and code?

Controlling access rights for your projects and the flows and code inside them are made simple via the management tools provided with AT&T Flow. You can use the visibility level of each project to enable or disable sharing. The default for a new project is private, meaning only you can access it but you can always change it to Internal to Public to allow higher levels of sharing respectively. In a similar way, you can see and use other developer’s projects, a specific flow or a code snippet, as long as they have not set their visibility to private.

Can I export my flows or code?

Yes, you can. There are several ways to export your entire project or pieces of it. For example, you can set your project visibility to Internal and let another developer fork your project and continue from where you left off, without touching your code. Alternatively, you can select few nodes in any of your flows and click Export to.. menu item to get a simple JSON notation that can be imported in the same way to any other flow. See Get Started page for more information.

Can I import flows or code?

Yes, you can. There are several ways to import (or clone) entire project or pieces of it. For example, you can navigate to the project catalog in the resources top menu, find a public project and ‘fork’ it. This will clone the project to your space, without effecting the developer’s code you are forking from and made any modification and enhancements you like. Alternatively, you can click on the ‘import from’ menu item and paste a properly formatted JSON annotation block of text. See Get Started page for more information.