On February 7th and 8th DeveloperWeek will host a big hackathon for 1000 developers as a kick-off to the DeveloperWeek conference in the following week.

IBM will demonstrate IBM Bluemix at the conference and will also host one of the challenges of the hackathon, called the IBM Bluemix challenge. Each member of the winning team will receive a LG G Watch Powered by Android Wear.

Maybe more importantly though we'll have a great team of mentors to help people to get started with IBM Bluemix and to advice with the implementation of specific project ideas. So this will be a great way for people to learn Bluemix.

The deck below describes more details.

When I recently started to work on Bluemix, I was honestly a little confused about what Node-RED is, how it relates to the Node.js Bluemix runtime and how it relates to the Internet of Things service. Since some of my readers might be in the same situation, let me quickly try to explain.

Node-RED is a visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things, but it can also be used for other types of applications to quickly assemble flows of services. The name is not the most intuitive name. The reason why 'Node' is in the name is because the tool is implemented as Node application but from a consumer point of view that's really only an internal implementation detail. Node-RED is available as open source and has been implemented by the IBM Emerging Technology organization.

Node-RED is included in the Bluemix Internet of Things starter application, but you can also deploy it as Node.js application separately. To use Node-RED for Internet of Things scenarios you need to add the Internet of Things Foundation service to your Bluemix application. The IoT service allows to register and connect different types of devices. After this you can use the incoming and outgoing MQTT nodes in your flows. Take a look at the existing Bluemix Internet of Things samples. Most of them use Node-RED to define flows where either incoming sensor data from 'things' is handled, e.g. stored in databases, or where commands are sent to devices.

Node-RED can not only be used for Internet of Things applications, but it is a generic event-processing engine. For example you can use it to listen to events from http, websockets, tcp, Twitter and more and store this data in databases without having to program much if at all. You can also use it for example to implement simple REST APIs. Ryan Baxter provided just last week a Node-RED sample that isn't an IoT app. You can find many other sample flows on the Node-RED website.

There are also several good demos and videos. One demo I especially like is this one from Rodric Yates:


For a better description what Node-RED is and some of the history check out the article How IBM's Node-RED is hacking together the internet of things from Nick Heath.

IBM Bluemix Webinar for Startups (January 21st)

By Niklas Heidloff, posted on Jan 20, 2015

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 21st, my colleague Tristan Reckhaus and I will give a Bluemix webinar. Tristan will explain why IBM Bluemix is especially interesting for startups.

After this I'll demonstrate how to create, deploy, modify and re-deploy a simple Bluemix application, similarly to the video below.

Register for the webinar, it's open and free for everyone and organized by Hamburg-Startups. To my knowledge it will be in English even though the interview was in German.


Meet IBM Bluemix at JavaLand in Germany

By Niklas Heidloff, posted on Jan 15, 2015

I'm happy that IBM will sponsor JavaLand which will take place from March 24th to March 26th. Not only are there great sessions, but the event also sounds like a lot of fun. It will occur in the theme park Phantasialand in Cologne.


IBM will have a booth in the showcase where we'll demonstrate IBM Bluemix and we'll have several sessions. Ryan Baxter and I will attend the conference together with other colleagues.

The conference occurs for the second time. It's organized by Heise Medien Gruppe and DOAG. You can book tickets on the JavaLand website.

Data Synchronization and Offline iOS Apps with IBM Bluemix

By Niklas Heidloff, posted on Jan 14, 2015

One of the main benefits of IBM Notes is the ability to access applications when you're offline. There is a built-in replication functionality that takes care about data synchronization between clients and servers. I've always liked that capability since even today, for various reasons, people are not always online.

Yesterday I played with a very similar feature - data synchronization and offline iOS apps with IBM Bluemix. Very powerful.

There is a Bluemix service Data for iOS. "Data for iOS 8 is a beta offering that extends the Cloudant NoSQL DB service. This beta provides a native feel for storing mobile data in the cloud, while the management and implementation of the data store is hidden."

In your iOS app you can use native Swift or Objective-C to access data in local and remote databases. Native objects are mapped to the underlying JSON document format. Data synchronization can be triggered easily via APIs. Check out the CloudantToolkit Framework for iOS for the list of APIs.

Here is a screenshot of the BlueList sample:

In order to try it yourself follow the instructions on the IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS Bluelist Sample App landing page. You can find the replication code in ListTableViewController.swift.

If you want to find out more attend the webinar today (January 14, 2015 | 11:00 a.m. Eastern / 8:00 a.m. Pacific) - How To: Developing iOS Apps on Bluemix using IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS.

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Hi, my name is Niklas Heidloff. I work for IBM as an IBM Bluemix Developer Advocate. The blog contains information about IBM Bluemix and articles about my previous work in IBM Collaboration Solutions, esp. IBM Connections and XPages.



The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent my employer IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.