Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nimbits 3.2 - what's new

Nimbits 3.2 represents one of the biggest changes in the structure of the app since 6 years ago when I re-wrote the entire thing from C# to java.  We are hosting a BETA instance of Nimbits here:

We encourage anyone who has written an app using the public nimbits server, to test their code on the BETA to ensure their code will not break when the public server is upgraded sometime in April 2012.

Please report any bugs or issues you encounter while testing the beta using the issue menu on our github project portal:

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you are running your own instance of Nimbits is to be sure to upgrade to version 3.1.19 which is available for download on  When you upgrade, a task is executed to implement any changes we need to the back end database, and the 3.2 release assumes you are upgrading from version 3.1.19.

All of the web services behave the same way, except for the category service which has been completely removed - i.e if you are using /service/category you shouldn't be.

Here is a screen shot of the new UI, long time users should be getting excited right about now:

From the top of the screen to the bottom, here's whats new.

  • The data entry grid and navigation tree have been merged into one view
  • You can now organize your data any way you like, points can have child points, folders can go as deep as you like and so on.
  • The subscription data feed is a special point for each user that logs system messages, events, alerts from other points you are subscribed and more - I go into more detail on the subscription channel below. 
  • You can create calculation objects for a point and organize them in your tree - you can now have many formulas for a single data point. Here, I have two formulas under my temp probe data point, one for converting to Celsius and another for Kelvin each time a new temp is recorded.
  • The filter item in the tree called "ah" is for XMPP alerts. You can now have many JIDs for a single point - alerts and messages can be sent over XMPP using the points custom JID. 
  • Replacing the old style alerts - you now can create many subscriptions for a single point. Subscribe to one of your points, a friends, or anyone's public point to get alerts sent to you when the point goes into an alarm state, or receives new data.
  • Create a summary point which can compute averages, min, max, standard deviations, variance and sums of another point on an hourly basis. 
  • You can now upload any type of document and organize them with your points. You can share your files publicly or with your connections
  • You can create a connection to another Nimbits user by sending them an invitation. If they approve, you can see their points and data in their tree (if they set the objects permission level to public or connection viewable).

Introducing the Nimbits subscription data feed

On the right of your portal, you now have a data feed channel that shows you system events and messages, as well as data alerts you configure to show up in your feed. You can subscribe to any other users data point, and configure your subscription to send messages to your feed and you will see high, low and idle alerts here in real time.  Your data feed is just another Nimbits data point!

Simpler Data Entry

You may also notice on this screen shot that when you enter a value you can just type:  "42 ultimate answer" in the current value and Nimbits will record the number 42 to the points value and the words "ultimate answer"as an annotation for that value, simplifying data entry. 


Subscriptions replace the old alert configurations. Before you would configure a point to alert you when it went high, low or idle using the point property menu. Now, you create a subscription to a point - configuring the subscription for how you want to be alerts (XMPP, Email, Twitter etc) and what event triggers the alert (new data, high alerts etc). You can have many subscriptions to a point, subscribe to a another Users point you've connected to or find a point using the search engine on and subscribe to a public point from another user you don't even know.