For developers: 20 online meetup recordings you should watch from June 2020

IBM Developer hosts weekly online meetups on various topics. Online events are one of the best ways to scale your Developer Relations program and reach developers anywhere, anytime and for a long time after the event.

🎟 Register for our upcoming events

Node-RED Series

  • Node-RED Series: Getting Started with Node-RED Essentials
    Watch replay
  • Node-RED Series Node-RED Dashboard and UI Techniques
    Watch replay
  • Node-RED Series: Building end to end Node-RED Application
    Watch replay

Single Events

Containers Developer Summit – Online
Watch replay

Domain-Driven Design: Lessons Learned & Useful Patterns
Watch replay

IBM Cloud Series – Getting Started with Edge Computing
Watch replay

Kubernetes vs Red Hat OpenShift
Watch replay

Continue reading “For developers: 20 online meetup recordings you should watch from June 2020”

Video: How to update Google Sheets with JSON API

This video shows how to update Google Sheets with JSON API. The video is based on this blog post.

Video: Building a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new user registers

This 12-minute video shows how I built a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new user registers. I used the following no-code tools: Airtable, Parabola and Twilio. The video is based on this blog post.

Building a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new user registers

In this blog post I will give you an overview of how I built a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new users registers. This is part of me taking an application built with code and building it with no-code tools.

I previously shared how to build a no-code application to send positive news.

This particular application is based on Upkar Lidder’s application built with Apache OpenWhisk. The application registers a user and sends a notification via email and text.

I used Parabola to build this application. This is how the application flow looks:

Parabola application flow
Continue reading “Building a no-code application that sends an email and a text message when a new user registers”

How to update Google Sheets with JSON API

Google Sheets is a well-known service and online spreadsheet. Google Sheets can be more than just a spreadsheet, it can be used as a back-end or a database for applications. For example, Glide uses Google Sheets as a database for its mobile applications. Glide allows to build a mobile application without any code connected to Google Sheets. It’s incredible how fast you can build a real app, .

I was building an app in Glide that displays the latest news using News API. I connected the app to a Google Sheets spreadsheet where I entered a number of news stories manually. The app looks like this:

Glide app

This is how the Google Sheets spreadsheets looks:

Data for Glide app in Google Sheets

If I need to update any news I can manually edit the Google Sheets spreadsheets and the Glide app will be updated.

This manual update is not ideal of course.

Continue reading “How to update Google Sheets with JSON API”

Video: Building a no-code application to text positive news with Parabola, News API, Watson NLU and Twilio

Earlier I published two blogs posts where I share my experience building a no-code application that texts positive COVID-19 news:

I also recorded a video that shows how I built the application:

Hope you will find it useful. Let me know if you have any question.

Tutorial: building a no-code application to text positive news with Parabola, News API, Watson NLU and Twilio

I wanted to take an app build with code and rebuild it using no-code tools. Gwyneth Peña built a wonderful app that sends a daily positive news article about COVID-19 via a text message so I decided to build this app using no-code tools. I shared a high-level overview of the app in an earlier blog post.

In this blog post I will share a more step-by-step how I built the app. You should be able to follow the steps and build it as well.

Tools you need

You will need the following tools to build the application. All four services offer a free plan.

  1. Parabola – no-code platform
  2. News API – news service
  3. Watson NLU – sentiment service
  4. Twilio – SMS service

Parabola

Parabola is a no-code tool where I built the app. Parabola is a drag-and-drop workflow builder. You build a flow with multiple steps (nodes) and connections between steps. Each step has input and output. Output from one step is passed as input to the next step. You can also look at it as a serverless application – where each step represents a serverless function. But, instead of writing code, each step is dropped onto the flow and configuring. This is how the application flow looks:

Application flow in Parabola

Register for a free Parabola account.

Continue reading “Tutorial: building a no-code application to text positive news with Parabola, News API, Watson NLU and Twilio”

Build your first serverless function in 10 minutes

My teammate Upkar Lidder published a great tutorial on how to create your first serverless function very fast ⚡️. I wanted to give it a try and share the step with you here. There is nothing to download, install or configure. You can finish this tutorial in under 10 minutes ⏳.

Tutorial steps

You will complete the following steps:

  1. Create a new IBM Cloud account or sign into an existing account
  2. Create a new cloud functions
  3. Test the function
  4. Invoking as a REST API

Let’s go!🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♂️

Sign-up for an IBM Cloud account

In this first step you will sign-up for a new account or log-in into an existing account.

serverless-helloworld-signin

  1. Sign-up for an IBM Cloud account or sign-in into an existing account
    • You will get a completely free account where you can try and use cloud 40 services. You can keep it forever. That’s pretty nice!
  2. That’s it

Continue reading “Build your first serverless function in 10 minutes”

How to Pass Parameters to a Cloud Function

In my previous blog post I showed how to invoke an external REST API from a cloud function. The API that I used returns a random (Chuck Norris 💪) joke. In this blog post I want to show you to how pass a parameter to the cloud function. We can pass a joke number to the API and get that particular joke back 🤣.

Using the code from the previous blog post:

var request = require("request");

function main(params) {
   var options = {
      url: "https://api.icndb.com/jokes/random",
      json: true
   };

   return new Promise(function (resolve, reject) {
      request(options, function (err, resp) {
         if (err) {
            console.log(err);
            return reject({err: err});
         }
      return resolve({joke:resp.body.value.joke});
      });
   });
}

to get a particular joke number, change the URL to look like this:

url: "https://api.icndb.com/jokes/" + params.joke

params – passed to main function is a JSON object that holds parameters (input) to this cloud function.

Continue reading “How to Pass Parameters to a Cloud Function”

How to Invoke an External REST API from a Cloud Function

In a previous blog post I showed how to create your first cloud function (plus a video). It’s very likely that your cloud function will need to invoke an external REST API. The following tutorial will show you how to create such function (it’s very easy).

  1. Sign into an IBM Cloud account
  2. Click Catalog
  3. Remove the label:lite filter and type functions
  4. Click on Functions box
  5. Click Start Creating button
  6. Click Create Action
  7. For Action Name enter ajoke and click the Create button.  A new cloud function will be created with Hello World message
  8. Replace the function code with the following code which invokes a 3rd party REST API which returns a random joke:
    var request = require("request");
    
    function main(params) {
       var options = {
          url: "https://api.icndb.com/jokes/random",
          json: true
       };
    
       return new Promise(function (resolve, reject) {
          request(options, function (err, resp) {
             if (err) {
                console.log(err);
                return reject({err: err});
             }
          return resolve({joke:resp.body.value.joke});
          });
       });
    }
    
    • The code is simple. It uses the request Node.js package to connect to an external REST API
    • The external REST API returns a random joke
    • A JavaScript Promise is used for invoking the REST API
    • At the end the cloud function returns a response in JSON format
  9. Now click the Save button to save the code. Once the code is saved the button will change to Invoke. Click the button to invoke the function. In the right-hand panel you should see output with a random joke:
    {
      "joke": "Project managers never ask Chuck Norris for estimations... ever."
    }
    

This is how it looks inside the IBM Cloud Functions editor:

cloudfunctions-invoke-restapi
Cloud function code

Of course you can also build and test a cloud function using the CLI. I’ll cover that in another blog post.

Continue reading “How to Invoke an External REST API from a Cloud Function”