Rock N’ Roll with Bluemix, Cloudant & NodeExpress

Published as a tutorial in IBM Cloudant – Bluemix tutorial and demos

In this post I create a  cloud application that is based on Bluemix, Cloudant DB and NodeExpress.  NodeExpress is used to perform DB operations on  CloudantDB

The code can be forked from Devops from bluemix-cloudant-exp. You can also clone the code from Github from bluemix-cloudant-exp

The following NodeExpress routes are created for performing the basic database operations

  1. a) Displaying the list of books
  2. b) Adding a book
  3. c) Updating a book and
  4. d) Deleting a book



Push the app to Bluemix

a) Push the app to Bluemix using
cf push bluemix-cloudant -p . -m 512M

b) In the Bluemix dashboard add the Cloudant service.

c) Double click the CloudantNoSQLDB


and then click the ‘Launch’ button. This will bring the WebSQL based version of Cloudant DB


c) Next click the link


This will start the Webserver and also populate the database.

e) This can be seen in the Cloudant Dashboard for the ‘test’ database which has 3 records shown below
The setup for these routes in the NodeExpress are as follows

app.get('/', routes.index);
app.get('/booklist', booklist.list);
app.get('/newbook', newbook.list);'/addbook',addbook.list);
app.get('/changebook', changebook.list);'/updatebook', updatebook.list);
app.get('/rembook', rembook.list);'/deletebook',deletebook.list);

Setting up the environment for Cloudant’s PouchDB

The first thing is to setup the environment for Cloudant’s Pouch DB by parsing the process.env environment variables as shown below

//Parse the process.env for the port and host that we've been assigned
if (process.env.VCAP_SERVICES) {
// Running on Bluemix. Parse the port and host that we've been assigned.
var env = JSON.parse(process.env.VCAP_SERVICES);
var host = process.env.VCAP_APP_HOST;
var port = process.env.VCAP_APP_PORT;
console.log('VCAP_SERVICES: %s', process.env.VCAP_SERVICES);
// Also parse Cloudant settings.
var cloudant = env['cloudantNoSQLDB'][0]['credentials'];
var db = new pouchdb('books'),
remote =cloudant.url + '/books';
opts = {
continuous: true
// Replicate the DB to remote
console.log(remote);, opts);
db.replicate.from(remote, opts);

Displaying the list of books

Cloudant responds to DB queries as JSON messages. Hence to display the list of books the fields of each document is stored as an array and then displayed using the Jade table in booklist.jade  This is shown below

  1. a) booklist.js

var docs = db.allDocs(function(err, response) {
val = response.total_rows;
var details = "";
var booklist = new Array(val);
for(i=0; i < val; i++) {
db.get(response.rows[i].id, function (err,doc){
booklist[j] = new Array(3);
booklist[j][0] = doc._id;
booklist[j][1] = doc.Title;
booklist[j][2] =;
details= details + JSON.stringify(doc.Title) + "  " +  JSON.stringify( + "\n";
// Kludge because of Node.js asynchronous handling. To be fixed - T V Ganesh
if(j == val) {
res.render('booklist', {
"booklist" : booklist
}); // End db.get
} //End for
}); // End db.allDocs

  1. b) booklist.jade

The jade template simply displays the each booklist as a row in a table

block content
h1= "Display the list of books"
strong DocId  Title   Author
each book, i in booklist
td #{book}
a(href='/') Home


Adding a book
To add a book the book details are obtained using the newbook.jade which display a form
block content
h1= "Add a book"
input#inputBookTitle(type="text", placeholder="Title", name="title")
input#inputBookAuthor(type="text", placeholder="Author", name="author")
button#btnSubmit(type="submit") submit
a(href='/') Home

With the values obtained from the form above a document is inserted into the books database as follows

// Get our form values. These rely on the "name" attributes
var Title = req.body.title;
var Author =;
author: Author,
Title : Title,
}, Title, function (err, response) {
console.log(err || response);
if (err) {
// If it failed, return error
res.send("There was a problem adding the information to the database.");
else {
// Redirect to booklist - Display booklist
// And forward to success page

Note: When inserting a document into the books database the docid for the document is set to be the same as the book Title itself



Updating a book

To update a document we need to input the document id. Also the document to be updated should use the “_rev” field which is obtained when we get the document. The values to be input are taken with the changeuser form

block content

h1= "Update a book"
input#inputDocId(type="text", placeholder="DocId", name="docid")
input#inputBookTitle(type="text", placeholder="Title", name="title")
input#inputBookAuthor(type="text", placeholder="Author", name="author")
button#btnSubmit(type="submit") submit
a(href='/') Home

The values obtained are used to populate the document as follows

db.get(DocId, function(err, response) {
_id: DocId,
_rev: response._rev,
author: Author,
Title : Title,
}, function(err, response) {
if (err) {
// If it failed, return error
res.send("There was a problem updating the information to the database.");
else {
// If it worked, redirect to display books
// And forward to success page



Deleting a document

To delete a document we need the document id which is taken with the rembook.jade form

block content
h1= "Delete a book"
input#DocId(type="text", placeholder="DocId", name="docid")
button#btnSubmit(type="submit") submit
a(href='/') Home

//Deleting document book1
db.get(DocId, function(err, doc) {
db.remove(doc, function(err, response) {
if (err) {
// If it failed, return error
res.send("There was a problem removing the information to the database.");
else {
// Redirect to booklist
// And forward to success page
console.log(err || response);

In the diagram below docid ‘book3’ is deleted



Important tips

  1. If you run into issues while create a Jade template then do the following

npm install jade --g

You can check your jade template for correctness using

jade <name of jade template>

If the response is ‘rendered <name of jade template>.html’ then the template is fine.

  1. If there are problems with deploying the application or if the application crashes you check the cf logs as follows for the issue

cf logs <name of application> --recent

As mentioned the  code can be forked from Devops from bluemix-cloudant-exp. You can also clone the code from Github from bluemix-cloudant-exp

Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s viewpoint only and doesn’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions

See also

1. Brewing a potion with Bluemix, PostgreSQL & Node.js in the cloud
2. A Bluemix recipe with MongoDB and Node.js
3. Spicing up IBM Bluemix with MongoDB and NodeExpress
4. A Cloud Medley with IBM’s Bluemix, Cloudant and Node.js
Find me on Google+

Elements of CRUD with NodeExpress and MongoDB using Enide Studio

In this post I perform basic CRUD operations using NodeExpress and MongoDB with Enide Studio. There is not a whole lot of information in the Web on using Node Express with Enide Studio so the task was kind of difficult. Anyway I managed to get basic CRUD operations to work. The complete code can be cloned from nodeexpress-mongo.

Here it is.

1) To get started create a new Node Express project with Enide Studio File->New->NodeExpress Project.

2) This should create the necessary files, routes and views.

3) Start the MongoDB as follows

mongod –dbpath <folder of project>

4) Start the mongo console. To get started I created 3 records as follows

db.phonebook.insert({ "FirstName" : "Tinniam", "LastName" : "Ganesh","Mobile": "916732177728" })
db.phonebook.insert({ "FirstName" : "Darth", "Lastname" : "Vader","Mobile": "6666699999" })
db.phonebook.insert({ "FirstName" : "Bill", "Lastname" : "Shakespeare","Mobile": "8342189991" })

5) You can display the added records with

> db.phonebook.find().pretty()
"_id" : ObjectId("53de3f8e0e7f8abf82c0c850"),
"FirstName" : "Tinniam",
"LastName" : "Ganesh",
"Mobile" : "916732177728"
"_id" : ObjectId("53de3fed0e7f8abf82c0c851"),
"FirstName" : "Darth",
"Lastname" : "Vader",
"Mobile" : "6666699999"
"_id" : ObjectId("53de40200e7f8abf82c0c852"),
"FirstName" : "Bill",
"Lastname" : "Shakespeare",
"Mobile" : "8342189991"

6) For each of the CRUD operations there are 4 components

– Set the route
– Invoke app.get/ as approriate
– Call the necessary route Javascript file
– Use the appropriate Jade constructs for rendering the output

7) Here are the changes for the Display of the users

A) Displaying the User
a) app.js
userlist = require('./routes/userlist')
app.get('/userlist', userlist.list);

var mongodb = require(‘mongodb’);

b) userlist.js

/* GET Phone users page. */
exports.list =  function(req, res) {
// var db = req.db;
var MongoClient = mongodb.MongoClient;
var db= MongoClient.connect("mongodb://localhost:27017/test", function(err, db) {
if(err) {

  1. log(“Failed to connect to the database”);

} else {

  1. log(“Connected to database”);

var collection = db.collection(‘phonebook’);

  1. find().toArray(function(err, items) {
  2.    log(items);
  3. render(‘userlist’, {

“userlist” : items

c) userlist.jade
extends layout
block content
h1= "Display the list of Users"
strong Firstname Lastname   Mobile
each user, i in userlist
td #{user.FirstName}
td #{user.LastName}
td #{user.Mobile}
a(href='http://localhost:3000') Home

This is shown below



B) Adding a User

There are 2 parts to this

a) Invoking the /newuser route to display the input form
b) Invoking the /adduser route to insert the values entered in the form. The changes are shown below

a) app.js
newuser = require('./routes/newuser')
adduser = require('./routes/adduser')
app.get('/newuser', newuser.list);'/adduser',adduser.list);

These require the following

b) newuser.js

exports.list = function(req, res){

  1. render(‘newuser’, { title: ‘Add User’});


The newuser jade displays the input form

c) newuser.jade

block content
h1= "Add a User"
input#inputUserFirstName(type="text", placeholder="firstname", name="firstname")
input#inputUserLastName(type="text", placeholder="lastname", name="lastname")
input#inputUserLastName(type="text", placeholder="mobile", name="mobile")
button#btnSubmit(type="submit") submit
a(href='http://localhost:3000') Home


The /adduser route inserts the record into the phonebook collection as shown

d) adduser.js

var FirstName = req.body.firstname;
var LastName = req.body.lastname;
var Mobile =;
// Set our collection
var collection = db.collection('phonebook');
// Insert the record into the DB

  1. insert({

“FirstName” : FirstName,
“LastName” : LastName,
“Mobile” : Mobile
}, function (err, doc) {
if (err) {
// If it failed, return error

  1. send(“There was a problem adding the information to the database.”);

else {
// If it worked, redirect to userlist – Display users

  1. location(“userlist”);

// And forward to success page

  1. redirect(“userlist”);


This takes us  back to Display users if it successfully added the user


C) Updating a User and Deleting a User are similar to Adding a User

D) Index page

All the actions are included in the index.jade as shown below with hyperlinks

p Welcome to #{title}
a(href='http://localhost:3000/userlist') Display list of users
a(href='http://localhost:3000/newuser') Add a user
a(href='http://localhost:3000/changeuser') Update a user
a(href='http://localhost:3000/remuser') Delete a user


Important tip:
Here is an important note. I found that getting the jade template right extremely frustrating. It is really unforgiving and is very picky up indents, outdents(whatever that is!), tabs and spaces. A quick way to check whether your jade template is fine or not is to install jade in your project directory.

npm install jade –global
You can debug your jade with
If there an error you will get

c:> jade userlist.jade
throw e
TypeError: userlist.jade:6
4|   h1= title
5|   ul
> 6|      each user, i in userlist
7|         li
8|           #{user.FirstName}
Cannot read property 'length' of undefined
at eval (eval at <anonymous>

If there are no errors you should see that the html is rendered as below

C: >jade index.jade
rendered index.html

You can clone the complete code from GitHub at nodeexpress-mongo

Take a look at
1. Brewing a potion with Bluemix, PostgreSQL & Node.js in the cloud
2. A Bluemix recipe with MongoDB and Node.js
3. Spicing up IBM Bluemix with MongoDB and NodeExpress
4. A Cloud Medley with IBM’s Bluemix, Cloudant and Node.js
5. Rock N’ Roll with Bluemix, Cloudant & NodeExpress

Find me on Google+

Mixing Twilio with IBM Bluemix

This post walks you through the steps to get started with Twilio on IBM’s Bluemix. Twilio comes as a service that you can add  to your Mobile Cloud or Node.js app. Here’s a quick look at Twilio. Twilio, is a cloud communications IaaS organization which  allows you use standard web languages to build voice, SMS and VOIP applications via a Web API.

Twilio provides the  ability to build VOIP applications using APIs. Twilio itself resides in the cloud and is always available. It also provides SIP integration which means that it can be integrated with Soft switches. Twilio looks really  interesting with its ability to combine the  cloud, Web and VOIP, SMS  and  the like.

This post barely scratches the surface of Twilio & Blue mix. This article provides aa hands-on experience for integration of Twilio with Bluemix and is based on this Twilio blog post. It enables you to send a SMS to your mobile phone by typing in a URL.

As in my earlier post the steps are

1) Fire-up a Node.js  Webstarter application from the  Bluemix dashboard.  In my case I have named the application websms. Once this is up and running

2) Click Add a Service and under ‘Web and Application’ choose Twilio.

3) Enter a  name for the Twilio service. You will also need the Account SID and Authorization token

4) For this go to and sign up2

5) Once you have registered, go to your Dashboard for the Account SID and Auth Token. If the Auth token is encrypted, you can click the ‘lock’ symbol to display the Auth token in plain text.

6) Enter the Accout SID and Auth Token in the Twilio service in Bluemix

7)  To get started you can simply  fork my Twilio  websms code from devops.

8) Now clone the code into a folder you create as follows

git clone

9) You will need to modify the following files





10) You can create package.json by running
npm init. Make sure you enter the name of the application you created in Bluemix. In my case it is “websms’ For the rest of the options you can choose the default. Here is the package.json file
"name": "websms",
"version": "0.0.0",
"description": "This file is displayed on your project page. You should edit this \r file to describe your project, including instructions for building and \r running the project, pointers to the license under which you are making the \r project available, and anything else you think would be useful for others to\r know.",
"main": "app.js",
"dependencies": {
"gopher": "^0.0.7",
"express": "^3.12.0",
"twilio": "^1.6.0",
"ejs": "^1.0.0"
"devDependencies": {},
"scripts": {
"test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
"repository": {
"type": "git",
"url": ""
"author": "",
"license": "ISC"

11) In the manifest.yml make sure you enter the name of your application and the host

- host: websms
disk: 1024M
name: websms
command: node app.js
path: .
domain: <your domain>
mem: 128M
instances: 1

12) Lastly make changes to your app.js.

// dependencies
var app = require('gopher'),
twilio = require('twilio');
var config = JSON.parse(process.env.VCAP_SERVICES);
var twilioSid, twilioToken;
config['user-provided'].forEach(function(service) {
if ( == 'Twilio') {
twilioSid = service.credentials.accountSID;
twilioToken = service.credentials.authToken;
// URL test
app.get('/', function(request, response) {
var client = new twilio.RestClient(twilioSid, twilioToken);
to:'<Your mobile number>',
from:'<Number from Twilio dashboard',
body:'Twilio notification through Bluemix!'
}, function(err, message) {
response.send('Message sent! ID: '+message.sid);

13) After you have made the changes you will need to push the changes to Bluemix using the command line based ‘cf’ tool
14) Login into cf with
cf login – a

15) Push the websms onto bluemix

16) In the folder where you websms files reside entr the following command
cf push websms -p . -m 512M

17) This should push the code to Bluemix.
Note: If you happen to get a
Server error, status code: 400, error code: 170001, message: Staging error: cannot get instances since staging failed
then you need to make sure to check the changes made to  files app.js, package.,json or the manigfest,yml.

18)  If all things went smoothly, go to your Bluemix dashboard and click the link adjacent to the Routes. You should see that an SMS has been sent as shown


19) Your mobile should now display the message that was sent as shown below

20) Check the  analytics in your Twilio dashboard

Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s viewpoint only and doesn’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions

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Get your feet wet with IBM Bluemix

This post provides the initial steps to get started on IBM’s Bluemix (currently in beta). Bluemix is open-standard, cloud based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) from IBM. Bluemix allows one to quickly put together mobile, web, Big Data, IoT applications. Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, Cloud Foundry which enables developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications. The developers can tap into a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks.

Bluemix uses the Softlayer infrastructure to host the user applications. Clients/developers interact with Bluemix either with HTTP or REST as shown below

Here are the steps to get going on Bluemix

First things first

I would suggest that you get all the registrations and installations right away.

Bluemix dashboard– Get started by creating an account on Bluemix. This will provide you access to the Bluemix’s dashboard from which you can quickly create applications (mobile, Web, IoT, BigData) etc

Devops: Register for an account with Devops. Devops allows you to easily develop, deploy and track your code online. Devops also allows you to collaborate with others by forking code from their Git repositories

Cf Interface : Install the Command line interface ‘cf” to Bluemix. The ‘cf’ command interface is built with Google’s Go programming language. With ‘cf ‘you can login to Bluemix, create an application, add services and manage your application. You can also do this from the Bluemix’es dashboard.

Install Git: There are multiple ways to develop code for Bluemix. Git command line happens to be one of them, So it makes sense to have this installed. You can install this from this link

Install Node.js:The application that this post discusses is based on a Node.js based application so it will help to have it installed. Node.js is a platform that enables building of fast, scalable network applications and created by Ryan Dahl.

Kicking off Bluemix : A good first application to get moving on in Bluemix is the already available Sentiment Analysis of Twitter. This application uses the Node.js ‘sentiment’ module to perform some basic sentiment analysis.

The quickest and most painless way to get started on Bluemix is to ‘fork’ the code for Sentiment Analysis from Devops.

1) Login to your Devops account. Click the following Sentiments link from Devops, in which I have created a slight modification to the sentiment analysis application. You can also clone the code from GitHub at sentiments.

2) Click the Edit Code button at the top. This will open the files and directories in this project (see picture below)

3) Next click the “Fork’ button on the panel on the left side. This will create a copy of the above code in your own repository (see picture below )


4) The Twitter sentiment analysis code is in app.js written in Node.js. You can make changes to the code as needed. I have made a few modifications to the code that I had forked. I added changes which adds a textual output of the Twitter sentiment


How to make code changes with Web IDE

5) To make code changes double click the app.js file. This will open up the code window. You can use the GUI based IDE to make the code changes and merge with the master branch, The steps are
a) Make the necessary changes and click the symbol shown


3. This will open a new window as shown below


4) Click the ‘Stage to change’ button.

5) This will move the changes to Staged. Click the ‘Commit’ button and enter the reason for the change and click the “Submit’


6) This will move the changes from ‘Staged’ to ‘Commits for master branch’

7) Now click ‘Push all’ and click ‘Ok’ in the Git Push popup window. This will merge the changes into the master branch.

8) Once this done click ‘Build & Deploy’ button

9) Your changes will transition from ‘Pending’ to ‘OK’. Now click the ‘Manage’ button. This will deploy the application with the latest changes on to Bluemix.

10) Do the following to populate the details for the parameters below  with a Twitter app that you create for your application

var tweeter = new twitter({
consumer_key:  <your API key>,
consumer_secret: <your API secret>,
access_token_key:<your access token >,
access_token_secret: <your access token secret>

11) To do this log into

12) Click My applications where your picture is displayed and then click Create application.

13) Enter the details for Name,Description & Website (can be any valid website) and then click Create Twitter application.. This will create the Twitter application.


14) Click the API tab. Scroll down to the bottom and click “Create my access token”.

15) This will generate the Access token & Access token secret. Enter all the details (API Key, API secret, Access Token, Access Token secret into app.js and push to the master branch before deploying on Bluemix


Code changes with Git command line

11) Incidentally the changes to code can also be made through the Git command shell as follows

a) git clone

b) Modify the code using any editor and save the changes

c) Go the directory containing the files and do

git add *

d) git commit -m “Cosmetic” app.js

e) git push

This will push the changes to the git repository in the master branch

8) Click the ‘Build & deploy’ in the top right corner. You should see this


9) Click the ‘Manage’ button which will push the application onto the BlueMix

10) To test this application click the link next to ‘Routes’ . Enter a phrase that you would like to search and hit ‘Go’


You should see the application checking Twitter periodically for the tweets.


Thats it! You have built your first Bluemix application.

The ability to integrate Node.js into your cloud application allows one to easily create powerful applications.

Hasta la vista! I’ll be back!

Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s viewpoint only and doesn’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions

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