Developing Node-RED application for Bluemix

Most of IBM Bluemix users probably knows about the existence of Node-RED starter in the boilerplate. Starter kit is supposed to be starting point of development of application using specific run-times. However, I rarely see the actual applications which uses Node-red run-times (based on Node.js SDK). If you download the Node-RED starter kit, it contains the places for developing software.

nodered starter package

Node-RED is basically information stream processing engine. For example, information came from various sources such as IoT devices ( Phones, Devices which are connected to internet), or came from social network (Twitter, etc). Then, these information are processed and then final output is made. I see that Bluemix users use Node-RED flow editors to create this kind of flow engine, and mostly end up with printing information in the debug output.

The other day, I raised the question,  “How I can obtain the output of Node-RED process in the web page ? “.  I got an answer from developer. He instructed me to this sample – Dynamic Word Cloud. The key was to utilize “websocket” to communicate with Web client and server (Node-RED).

If I run the sample “Dynamic Word Cloud”,

2015-05-25 14_24_14-word cloud flow

it gave me really cool word cloud.

2015-05-25 14_33_25-wordcloud

Then, I have modified the sample code to display twitter message.

2015-05-25 14_15_03-nodered-flow-editor

I have re-tweeted some Bluemix related message, then I immediately see on my web page.

realtime twitter

So I really think Node-RED boiler plate is actually starter kit for real-time information processing and display on the Web platform. If we take a look at http://flows.nodered.org/, I see there are bunch of cool applications. For example, there is an application Weather Prediction with Node-Red, forecast.io and a Raspberry Pi , Calculate how far away from the International Space Station you are , so on.

Using Node-RED with websocket interaction with web pages will create a really cool web site.

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