SoftaWebAPI has been deployed to Azure at softatawebapii /BlocklyAutomation. You can create Softata Blockly app there. Now you CAN actually orchestrate Softata on a RPi Pico W remotely using Blockly from that service.

Softata runs on a RPi Pico W as an Arduino Shield. The shield runs a TCP service accepting remote commands, interpreting and actioning them, and then returning the result. The calling software is a .NET library which can be called from a Console or Blazor app. There is now a web API wrapper of the library that is now used with NETCoreBlockly to provide a Blockly low-code programming environment.

As per 2 posts ago, SoftataWebAPI has been deployed to Azure as a web service as per the link above. The previous run scenario was to run the the SoftataWebAPI app locally on a desktop/laptop and using the BLocklyAutomation page connecting to a Pico W running on the local network. Using the Azure manifestation of the API app to connect to the local Pico W requires getting external access from Azure to the local network, in particular to the Arduino TCP service.

There are two options, Ngrok and NAT.


Ngrok enables a remote service to tunnel in to a local network and access services running there. You download ngrok from here and run such as:

ngrok tcp

… where is the Pico’s IPAddress and 4242 is its TCP service port.

That command will return with something like:

 Forwarding  tcp:// -> 192.160.012:4242

You would then use as the address for remote access such as with Softata Blockly and 15129 the port.

There are now two blocks in the Blockly suite with which you can just supply the index, 4 above, and the port, 15129 above. You can just use NgrokConnect or choose the NgrokStart which directly handles all of the other setup steps:

Nb: There are also Connect and Start with similar options for local connect withe latter getting the Softata Version and Devices.


You configure Network Address Translation on the local router such when the network is accessed via its external IpAddress with a port specified. The configuration specifies what local IPAddress is used to forward the external request for that port to, and to what port on the internal recipient it is forwarded. This configured by accessing to router.

In my case:

  • Router
    • Internal
    • External _(say)__
  • Pico W
    • Port 4242
  • NAT Configuration:
    • Setup after logging into the Routre’s Internal IpAddress
Server Name External Port Start External Port End Protocol Internal Port Start Internal Port End TCP Svc IPAddress WAN
Arduino 4242 4242 TCP 4242 4242 eth4.3

So remotely access the Pico using (say) which will translate to

This works using SoftataWebAPI Blockly on Azure to access a local Pico W running Softata. :)


This works for a single user at a time. Technically a second user could also connect through Azure Blockly to another Pico W running in the same or another local network. State though is not though sessional. It is maintained in SoftataLib and is not reentrant. A user needs to complete the End command so that a subsequent user can start ith a fresh instance of the library.

This aspect is a work in progress. Maybe the start can be made sessional or commands use an ID. Or maybe single use could be enforced with a ???

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