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IBM Bluemix

Using Node-RED to build the internet of

Ever had one of those days

Where the Application works! And then

Can we also get some data from the this whatchamacallit?
And send the logs off to this other server
And add some additional REST endpoints
The Problem

We need tools that make it easier for developers at all levels to

bring together the different streams of events, both Physical and
Digital that make up the Internet of Things
Why Node-RED?

The internet does not have a one-size-fits-all solution

Every new thing has a new API that must be understood
Solutions often require pulling together several different device
APIs and online services in new and interesting ways
Time spent pondering how to access a serial port, or complete
an OAuth flow to Twitter is not time spent on creating the real
time of a solution
Node-RED is

An application composition tool experience

A lightweight proof of concept runtime
Easy to use for simple tasks
Simple to extend to add new capabilities and types of integration
Capable of creating the back-end glue between social
A great way to try
can I just get this data from here to there?
and maybe change it just slightly along the way
Node-RED is not

A fully-scalable, high-performance, enterprise-capable application

A dashboard with widgets
A mobile application builder
The answer to life, the universe, and everything
On the other hand

Node-RED is deployed in a manufacturing production line

Required extra sensors --quickly--for a proof of concept
Built on Raspberry Pis + Arduinos + Sensors
Sensor readings and initial processing coordinated via Node-RED
Able to adapt and change quickly redeploying during support
phone calls!
Architecture of Node-RED

Node.js v8-engine driven; so

its fast

Event-driven, asynchronous
io; its all about the events

Single-threaded event-
queue; built for fairness

Javascript front and back;

only one language runtime to
deal with

Built using express, d3, jquery

and ws
Basic Node types

Inject node
Allows manual triggering of flows
Can inject events at scheduled intervals
Debug node
Show message content; either payload or
entire object
Template Node
Modifies the output based on a Mustache
Node-RED Hello World

When you click on the Inject Node, it sends and event through the
flow triggering the template node and sending the result to the
Debug node
Other Input Nodes

HTTP Act as an HTTP endpoint; great

for building RESTful services
IBMIOT Receive messages from an
attached IOT Foundation account
Also can receive from Websockets, MQTT
(pick your own broker), TCP and MQ Light
Other Output Nodes

HTTP Response; required as the final node when

the input comes from an HTTP Request
IBMIOT send events out to the attached IOT
Foundation account
Twilio send SMS messages via the Twilio
IBM Push Send Push notifications to mobile
Also can send requests through TCP, UDP,
MQLight, WebSockets.
Function Node Types

Function node
Run user-defined node.js code on the
messages going by
Uses vm.createScript under the covers to
sandbox execution
Console, util, Buffer included for convenience
Change flow to different options based on a
Creating your own nodes

Easy to wrap any npm module into a palette node

Each node is defined in a pair of files
.js: server-side behavior
.html: appearance in editor and help
Can be shared and installed via npm
npm install node-red-node-xmpp
Online flow library
Contributors add flows through Github
Node-RED on your device

Works anywhere you have node.js and npm (Raspberry Pi, Galileo, etc.)
Node-RED on Bluemix
Temperature Sensor Example

Use Nick OLearys MQTT library

Use DHT11 for Arduino to connect to
IOT Foundation
Temperature For the example
Sensor and
Arduino Yun to
send events to
commands to
the Arduino Yun
from Node-RED
to change
IBM Internet of Things Foundation
Simple APIs
Real Time MQTT
REST Build


Assemble Collect

Setting up Node-RED in Bluemix

Start with the Internet of Things Boilerplate in Bluemix (available

from the Bluemix Catalog)
Installs a node.js runtime with Node-RED and a Cloudant NoSQL
Database for configuration
Connecting Node-RED to the Internet of
Things Foundation

To gain access to device data coming from the IBM IOT

Foundation, you need to connect your Node-RED runtime to an
IBM IOT Service
register for the IOT Foundation Trial
from within Bluemix
Registering your device

You will need to:

Register your devices MAC Address (obtaining an auth token to
place on the device)
Add yourself to the organization
Obtain an API Key to register Node-RED
Binding a database

Bind a MongoDB service to

your application to store
your temperature data
Will need to note
username, password, host
and port to configure your
Node-RED flow
Storing IOT Data

IOT App In connects to the IOT foundation

Check for Ardunio is a simple switch based on a property of the
Get and append time is a function node that gets the current time
and adds it to the payload
MongoStore takes the final payload and places it in the MongoDB
Building a RESTful service

The Data Web Service GET is an HTTP input endpoint responding to a GET
on /data
Update Payload is a function node that changes the format of the payload to
the MongoDB query format (avoiding Mongo injection attacks)
MongoDB Query simply returns the result of evaluating what was in the
payload (in Mongo DB query form, e.g. "payload.d.time": {$gt: x, $lt: y})
DataOutput is an HTTP Response node returning the payload as its result to
the caller
Making actions happen sending events

The three inject nodes simply add a predetermined payload into

the IBM IOT Output node
Two approaches; different commands in the topic name, or
different commands in the payload (using payload more common)
Sources for Hardware and Examples

Arduino Yun available from Amazon or Radio Shack

DHT11 and NeoPixel available from Adafruit
Nick OLearys MQTT Library for Arduino -
IBM IOT Foundation -
IBM Bluemix
JazzHub link to download examples -
Original four-part DeveloperWorks series -