Get started with IBM Cloud – a student perspective

In this new blog post I want to address a common situation I see students facing: there are several cloud providers and you want to check out the different platforms. The reason is you want to be prepared; for example working with cloud resources related to courses at your university or for a hackathon. One of these cloud providers is IBM Cloud and this blog post is about how to get started with IBM Cloud. This is a tailored version of my blog post: How to prepare for a Hackathon with IBM Cloud for you as a student.

IBM Cloud provides a wide range and huge amount of different services, runtimes, and more. It covers both virtual and hardware –based servers on one demand cloud-platform, which means you have complete infrastructure control. One of the great things about IBM Cloud is that you can register for an account and try before you buy without needing a credit card.

From my point of view, one of the most important objectives for student is to have a running application instance live.

To do this you need a runtime 😉

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Create a python application instance in less than 5 min on IBM Cloud

In that blog post I want to highlight the cool topic: How to create a python application instance in minutes on IBM Cloud, using public Cloud Foundry. This could be useful in a Hackathon with Hackers who are new to IBM Cloud. Therefore I made a short 5 min YouTube video.

Here is the link where you can create your own python instance:

Just create your own free IBM Cloud Lite Account and try it out, therefore you only need an e-mail address and no credit card.

These are my related blog posts to the topic Hackathon:

I hope this was useful for you and let’s see what’s next?



PS:  You can also try out Kubernetes on IBM Cloud.

#IBMDeveloper, #IBMCloud, #python, #hackathon, #cloudfoundry

A Node-RED Twitter-follower-flow

In my last blog post I did an introduction to “how use the starter kit for Node-RED on IBM Cloud” and in this new blog post I want to highlight the Node-RED Twitter-follower-flow I developed as an introduction to different topics I frequently face at hackathons. Here is the link to the “Twitter-follower-flow” GitHub project. Node-RED is very good for prototyping, that is the reason why it is often used in hackathons. If you are new to Node-RED and you start  to develop a Node-RED flow, you normally have following challenges:

  • How to …
    1. … define own REST endpoints to encapsulate an external API?
    2. … automate the authentication to that external API?
    3. … extract data from the external API?
    4. … customize data and CRUD with databases?

The Node-RED flow of that project has the objective to provide an (little advanced) introduction to the first three topics above. The CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) topic is not covered here. Visit that CRUD example for more information.

  • The “Twitter-follower-flow” example …
    • … uses open technologies (Node-RED is a Project of the OpenJS foundation )
    • … creates no additional costs
    • … has following technical level:
      • Beginner to intermediate
      • Needs a basic knowledge of JavaScript and REST
    • … takes 30 – 45 min to setup the example from scratch
      1. Register on IBM Cloud
      2. Create a Node-RED instance on IBM Cloud
      3. Register at Twitter for a developer API Account
      4. Copy the existing Node-RED flow
      5. Configure the flow
      6. Run the flow

The YouTube video below gives you a 13 min more detailed introduction to the Twitter-follower-flow.

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Cors and Node-RED using a simple forwarding server

When you use Node-RED on IBM Cloud during hackathons you will notice REST calls in flows cannot be directly invoked from a web application. The reason for this is mostly that cors (cross-origin resource sharing) is not enabled for the Node-RED server. This blog post is a simple workaround for this problem.

By the way, you can use the IBM Cloud for free, if you simply create an IBM Lite account. Here you only need an e-mail address.

I developed this workaround to have full control and be very flexible during a hackathon, when using Node-RED for prototyping and building integrations to services and web-applications, without changing Node-RED settings or using cors browser enabler.

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