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Good design goes mostly unnoticed. If a user interface works well, you simply complete a task and move on to the next. That time when something doesn't work as expected, or you think why do I have to do it this way, is when the design becomes much more noticeable.

The following is a look back over recent months at some notable UI/UX improvements that have recently made or will be soon making their way to Apache NiFi. They vary a lot in size and complexity, but overall they contribute equally to make NiFi better by design.

More Control Over Restricted Components

New access policies were introduced for more fine-grain control of user interactions with restricted components. For example, permissions can be granted around reading of or writing to a file system, executing code, and keytab file access. Good to know – all new policies introduced are subcategories of the one previously in place, so a user holding a restricted component policy will receive all new ones. Administrators will therefore need to remove any specific restricted component policy they don't want a user to have.

New Controller Service for Specifying Keytabs

Related to the previous improvement, you now have the ability to specify the keytab and principal independently of a processor, so flow administrators have greater control of who is able to reference them and they can grant permission on those Controller Services so that only the appropriate users can access them. The description in the referenced JIRA has additional detail and talks about the design decisions made to limit impact on existing flows.

NiFi Registry Command-line Interface (CLI)

A new CLI as part of the NiFi Toolkit enables interaction with REST endpoints of the registry to allow importing and upgrading of versioned flows.

Editable Remote Process Group URL

Users can now modify the target URL for Remote Process Groups via the NiFi UI as well as the REST API. More details can found in the JIRA description.

NiFi Component Resource Usage Annotation

A processor's documentation that is generated will now contain facts about potential high resource usage for things such as high memory, disk space, processing power, and network bandwidth.

New CountText Processor

Offering functionality such as line counting, non-empty line counting, word counting, and character counting, this new processor should satisfy a frequent NiFi community request.

New FlattenJSON Processor

Satisfying another frequent request from the NiFi community, the FlattenJSON processor will flatten a JSON record into simple key-value pairs no matter how nested a file may be.

EncryptContent Expression Language Support

The EncryptContent processor will now support expression language enabling use of a variable to populate the password field with a sensitive value.

Use FlowFile Content with PutEmail

A useful improvement now allows FlowFile content to used to populate the message body in the PutEmail processor.

Process Group Information in Search Results

When using search each results will show some information about the component's containing process group – very handy when attempting to locate and navigate a larger flow.

Status Bar Icon Tooltips

Hovering the icons in the status bar now provide useful explanations about each statistic.

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