Deployment options

I was recently reading Future Plans and noticed this question:

Do users edit their flows in a ‘live’ environment or are there separate development and production runtimes?

I have been thinking about this. I think there does need to be a production/runtime environment but I'm not sure it needs to be separate. You can really use the "dashboard" view as the "runtime environment" and lock, password protect, relocate, or hide the "development" UI. If you put node red behind some kind of proxy that's easy to do. What's really missing for me is some kind of configuration environment.

I'm trying to develop a library of nodes and flows/subflows for manufacturing equipment, mainly for the machining industry. I would like to have a user be able to pick from a list of machines, by category, manufacturer, and model. I can package the communication interface into either flows or subflows, but each machine has its own addressing and other configurations, so after you import you have to visit every flow and find the right configuration nodes. In some cases - like the communications drivers for OPC/UA and modbus - these are actually global nodes.

I feel like there could be some way to say: "Import this flow, now here's a panel of all the configuration related things this flow needs." I'm not sure what that is, but when it comes to the question of a "deployable runtime" I think configuration is really the gap.

I know these thoughts aren't yet well-formed, and I don't really have a good vision of a solution or suggestion. Does anybody think I'm on the right track here?

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