Category Archives: dev

Learning JavaScript 101 (wad-js-01)



  1. Java and JavaScript?
  2. ECMAScript ES6
  3. V8 Engine
  4. The JavaScript Ecosystem
    • Browser and HTML
    • Server Side: Node.js
    • Mobile

Easy Web Application Development for Beginners with Node-RED


The objective of this tutorial is to create two applications: a Node.js application that functions as a web client, and a Node-RED application that functions as the server. You will create an input form in the client that lets a user send a registration request to a server. The server will save the registration in a database and send a spoken response back to the client using IBM Watson’s Text to Speech service.


You must have access to a Bluemix account.

1. Create a Client Application with SDK for Node.js

First, I will create a Node.js web application, which will function as our client and we will create web pages to ask for user input. Technically, this client application is also running on a server, so it is perhaps confusing to call it a client, but in our scenario and architecture, this client application functions as the user interface that initiates the request to a processing server.

  1. Go to and click to ‘LOG IN’ button to log into your Bluemix account,
  2. If this is the first time you log in, Bluemix will ask to create an organization and a space. You can create multiple spaces, for instance a different space for each
  3. Click the ‘CATALOG‘ menu on the top right of the page,
  4. To create a Node.js based application with the ‘SDK for Node.js’, find the ‘SDK for Node.js’ in the ‘Runtimes’ section and click the icon,
  5. Continue reading

QAVideos (3) – Extending the Data Model and Using Open API Initiative (OAI) in Node.js

(updated: 20170319) WIP
This is part 3 in a series to build a sample application called QAVideos using API Connect. QAVideos is a Question and Answer application that uses videos instead of text. Think of QAVideos as StackOverflow meets Youtube. QAVideos will use LoopBack, API Connect, Open API Initiative (OAI formerly, OpenWhisk, Object Storage.

  • In part 1 ‘QAVideos (Part 1), Adding User Management to Node.js’, I added User Management to a Node.js app using API Connect.
  • In part 2 ‘QAVideos (Part 2), Adding a Custom Model and ORM in Node.js‘, I added a custom data model, i.e. a Video model, and used ORM to persist the model to a PostgreSQL database.
  • In part 3 ‘QAVideos (Part 3), Extend Model and Using Open API Initiative (OAI) in Node.js‘, I extend the built-in User model with a Member, add a Question and Answer based on the Video model, and add a Sticker, while using the Open API Specification to define and manage the application and APIs.
  • In next parts, the idea is to add other possibly features: deploy the OAI definition file to Bluemix via API Connect, add Object Storage for Video support, create an Ionic/Apache Cordova based mobile client, add an automated build, deployment and test script, add a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to the backend, add event-driven OpenWhisk APIs, containerize the application, add chat, and possibly more.


  • Node, npm, and API Connect must be installed,
  • Check if the ‘apic’ tool is installed, by running ‘apic -v’ from the commandline. If not installed, follow the installation instructions, here.
  • Get the source code from part 2 of this tutorial.
  • Install the ‘npm’ dependencies,
    npm install
  • Configure the file ‘~/server/datasources.json’,
  • Test if QAVideos (part 2) is running correctly by typing ‘apic start’ in the root directory, open a browser and go to ‘’ in your browser.

Table of Content

  1. The OAI Definition File
  2. Create the Extended Data Model

Open API Initiative (OAI, based on Swagger)

The OAI is based on, an API Framework. The OAI is an open API definition standard. Frameworks like API Connect use the OAI definition file to generate the server, client, data model and documentation.

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Running your own Blockchain


Hyperledger and Fabric

The fabric is a ledger of digital events, called transactions. A transaction is a request to the blockchain to execute a function on the ledger. The function is implemented by a chaincode. Chaincode is application code (aka a smart contract) stored on the ledger as part of the transaction. Chaincode runs transactions that can modify state. In a permissioned blockchain, entities register to acquire identity credentials.

Create Blockchain Service

This tutorial is a re-cap of this tutorial: learn chaincode.
First create an application on Bluemix:

  • Login to Bluemix and go to the Bluemix catalog, browse to ‘Runtimes’ and click the ‘Node.js Runtime’. Populate the application configuration fields, name the application ‘<username>-blockchain1’, and click the ‘CREATE’ button.
  • Go to the application ‘OVERVIEW’ page, and click the ‘ADD A SERVICE OR API’ link, in the catalog, browse to the ‘Network’ category or in the left menu under Services select the ‘Network’ filter, and click the ‘Blockchain’ service, accept the default settings and click ‘CREATE’, accept the ‘Restage’ popup window.
  • In the left menu of the application detail page, under ‘SERVICES’, click the new ‘Blockchain’ service, and on the service page, click the ‘LAUNCH’ button,
  • You should not see the Monitor page of the Blockchain cloud service. The web address or URL should look something like this ‘’, make sure you are on ‘v2’ or version two. The Blockchain service has its own pre-configured Blockchain network, including one Certificate Authority, and two validating peers, each has a ‘Discovery’ and an ‘API’ endpoint.
  • Click the ‘APIs’ tab to see the API documentation.

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Using MQTT to publish data and send commands for IoT

MQTT is a publish-subscribe messaging pattern with a light-weight footprint, ideal for IoT devices. This tutorial will create a basic workflow via an MQTT Broker from device client to application server and back. To avoid any hardware dependencies in this tutorial I will simulate the device client and implement it as a Node.js server. The application server will also be a Node.js server.

  1. Requirements
  2. Setup an MQTT Broker
  3. Register a Device on the MQTT Broker
  4. Create an API Key on the MQTT Broker
  5. Create the IoT Device Client
  6. Create the IoT Application Server
  7. Publish Data from Client to Application via Broker
  8. Send Commands from Application to Client via Broker


Setup an MQTT Broker

The publish-subscribe messaging pattern of MQTT requires a message broker. One easy way to create one is to create an MQTT broker from a boilerplate application ‘Internet of Things Platform Starter‘ in Bluemix.
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QAVideos (2) – Add Custom Model and ORM to Node.js

(updated: 20170318)
This is part 2 in a series to build QAVideos. QAVideos is a Question and Answer application that uses videos instead of text. Think of QAVideos as StackOverflow meets Youtube. QAVideos will use LoopBack, API Connect, Open API Initiative (OAI formerly, OpenWhisk, Object Storage.

In part 1 ‘QAVideos (Part 1), Adding User Management to Node.js with API Connect‘, I showed how to add User Management to a Node.js app using API Connect.
In this part 2, I will add a custom data model, i.e. a Video model and use ORM to persist data to a PostGreSQL database.
Part 3 (to be updated) is found here, which adds model extensions and uses Open API Initiative (formerly Swagger) support.

Source code for QAVideos is released per part via


  • Install Node.js and npm,
  • Install API Connect.
  • Check if the ‘apic’ tool is installed, by running ‘apic -v’ from the commandline. If not installed, follow the installation instructions, here.
  • Get the source code for part 1 of this tutorial and follow the installation instructions for QAVideos Release v1.0.0. First clone the repository, then make sure you fetch all the remote tags to your local repository, and then checkout the v1.0.0 tag.
    git clone
    git fetch --all --tags --prune
    git checkout tags/v1.0.0

Table of Contents

  1. Create Data Model
  2. Define Relation
  3. Adding ACL
  4. Add Video Functionality
  5. Add Data Source

1. Create Data Model

First, test if QAVideos (part 1) is running correctly. Open a commandline, change your directory to the root directory of your QAVideos application, type ‘apic start’, and browse to ‘‘ in your browser.

Now, I want to add a custom model ‘Video’ so that users can manage their list of videos. To do this, I create a model for the Video with the ‘apic’ tool, and define the relationship between Video and User (a User can own many videos), and specify the access level of Users to Video objects using an Access Control List (ACL).
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QAVideos (1) – Adding User Management to Node.js

(updated: 2017-03-14)
QAVideos is a Question and Answer application that uses videos instead of text. Think of QAVideos as StackOverflow meets Youtube. QAVideos will use LoopBack, API Connect, Open API Initiative (OAI formerly, OpenWhisk, Object Storage.


  1. QAVideos (1) – Adding User Management to Node.js. Part 1 creates the ‘StrongLoop’ application with built-in User and Role management with authentication, with an API layer based on Open API Initiative (OAI), formerly, and I add an Angular.js based web UI.
  2. QAVideos (2) – Add Custom Model and ORM to Node.js. Part 2 adds custom object models and ORM to a PostGreSQL database.
  3. QAVideos (3) – Extend Model and Using in Node.js. Part 3 adds object model extensions and takes a closer look at Open API Initiative (OAI) support.


  1. Application Design
  2. Create the Application
  3. Add Static Pages
  4. Add Angular
  5. Add Signup
  6. Create an Authentication Service Provider
  7. Add Login
  8. Add Logout

1. Application Design

The initial design of the QAVideos application is very simple. A user can register, login and logout. An authenticated user can create, update and delete videos to the platform and see a list of their videos. Unauthenticated users can see all videos.

About StrongLoop

If you are not familiar with IBM API Connect (formerly StrongLoop), it is an API platform for Node.js and includes Loopback to quicly compose and manage APIs, and use graphical tools like the API Connect Designer to create, edit, manage and deploy your APIs. I will use the Loopback library that is part of API Connect to compose the model and the APIs.

You must install the API Connect cli for this tutorial. Test to see if you have API Connect cli installed:
$ apic -v
API Connect: v5.0.6.2 (apiconnect: v2.5.21)

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Using Open Stack Object Storage on Bluemix

If you need to store images, videos, documents or other files and objects, you should save your objects not to a data base or disk, but to an Object Storage.


1. Get Access Token and Public URL
2. Get Account details
3. Create Container
4. Create Object

Get Access Token and Public URL

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{
    "auth": {
        "identity": {
            "methods": [
            "password": {
                "user": {
                    "id": "<userId>",
                    "password": "<password>"
        "scope": {
            "project": {
                "id": "<projectId>"
}' ''

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How to create a MEAN+ stack application (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node + Bootstrap, Jade)


      Create a Node.js with Express.js App
      Create a Git repository and clone to localhost
      Add Angular.js
      Add Bootstrap
      Add MongoDb
      Add Jade
      Add an API for GET /people
      Connect to MongoDb
      Create a sortable table with Angular

Create a Node.js with Express.js App

I will be using Bluemix to host, build and deploy my Node.js application and the MongoDb service. I am developing on my localhost for unit testing before I upload my application to Bluemix, but you can also use the online editor and online Git instead.

1. If you do not have a Bluemix account yet, sign up for a free account at,
2. Once you have an account, go to your Bluemix console at,
3. Go to your Dashboard,
4. In the ‘Cloud Foundry Apps’ box, click ‘CREATE APP’,

5. Choose ‘WEB’

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Calling a Watson service in Java


Note: this API needs to be updated to v2. Identify is now a resource on the Language Translation API.

Making an HTTP REST API POST request in Java is in principle as simple this:
Request request = Request.Post(serviceURI)
.addHeader("Authorization", basicAuthorization)
.bodyString(body, ContentType.APPLICATION_FORM_URLENCODED);
Executor executor = Executor.newInstance();
String response = executor.execute(request).returnContent().asString();

This code, uses the Apache Fluent API, which exposes only the essentials of the Apache HTTPClient.

The Authorization header is required for authentication by the Watson API, and is a base64 encoded string.
String auth = username + ":" + password;
String basicAuthorization = "Basic "+ Base64.encodeBase64String(auth.getBytes());

The POST request is “x-www-form-urlencoded” and in Java consists of a List<NameValuePair>:
List<NameValuePair> params = new ArrayList<NameValuePair>();

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