Tag Archives: Bluemix

Bluemix the extension your need to expand your universe

We have everything on our own servers you might say and have no use for IBM Bluemix Cloud services you might say. Well, I think you are wrong, Bluemix will help you expand the reach of your applications beyond borders that you might have today.

  1. Lets say you have an internal audit application and you want some external users to answer on some audits. Bluemix will help you here without opening up or adding a new server
  2. Perhaps you want to get some users in another part of the world to get web access to you application. Great Bluemix will help you here
  3. You have a customer facing application site that you want to be able to scale up easy, no problem Bluemix will assist you.
  4. Your application will improve with input from some IOT devices that is on customer sites. Bluemix will definitely give your help here.

This is 4 examples where Bluemix will help you expand your applications in an easy and affordable way.

If you haven’t started using Bluemix or want to, feel free to contact me.

First step how to interact with other Bluemix services

You Bluemix XPage server can interact with other services using the VCAP_SERVICES where all the credentials for contacting other services is stored. This JSON data can be retrieved using

var services = fromJson(bluemixContext.getVCAP_SERVICES());

This will give you a direct access to the connected services credentials and exposed information, the credentials is what I have found updated each time you deploy a new version of you code so you need to use this way to get the credentials.

If you login to your Bluemix dashboard and click on your XPage service icon, you’ll find environment variables in the left hand navigator. This will display the structure of the  VCAP_SERVICES JSON data check it out.

Most of the services has different methods of accessing them, I’m still investigating how to use different services and future posts will show how to use Bluemix services using XPages


How to add your custom domain to your Bluemix app

When you want to deploy your app to the real world a mybluemix.net adress might not be the best you probably want your own domain added. Fortunately this is very simple to do with Bluemix.


Click on the settings icon in the top right corner on your Bluemix Dashboard and select Edit Routes and App Access.


Click on Manage Domains


Click on Add Domain


Write your custom Domain name and press Save


an upload SSL Certificate appears and if you want to accept SSL to you application, you need to upload a certificate to your application.


Add your CRT file i the Certificate file upload control and your Key File and password in the next two fields. And press Upload.

Now you are almost done.

Go back to the first screen


your new domain will now show up as an option instead of mybluemix.net

There are several options too create a SSL cert but for test purposes I use https://www.startssl.com/ it’s a great way to create a free SSL cert or your can get a great price from Digicert that I use for all my professional certs

Is it possible to kill a XPage for Bluemix instance if it’s gone none responsive

I have seen more than once both of own and other developer experience that a loop in XPages gone bad and you have to kill the server. How can this kind of behavior be fixed in XPages for Bluemix will the dashboard work to “kill” the server?

See the answer

Also see my XPages for Bluemix the questions post lot’s of questions is updated with answers

XPages for Bluemix – The questions

When I started to try out XPages for Bluemix I started to create a list of questions for the future because this is in Beta and between now and Gold release some of this questions would be good to have an answer on.

  • What release cycle could we expect to get for the XPages runtime, in relation of getting new versions of extension library and functionality – Answered a monthly release cycle or synced with openntf extension library upgrades
  • Is it possible to install your own OSGI plugins like Debug Toolbar or the OpenNTF Domino API Answer Yes probably already in the next release
  • How do we run scheduled code that we have runned in agents before – Not at this point but the possibility could be there in a future release Answer
  • How to handle Users/Groups/Roles partial answerGroups is not supported and you are limited to 6 web users in the experimental version of XPages for bluemix
  • How to register users thru code, integrate with LDAP, SAMLNot at this point  partial answer
  • How to control JVM Security
  • How to do an automated XPage build process – Could could add git to a Bluemix project and deploy your code the git See post perhaps we will see a ODP git push to Bluemix in the future that would be great. 
  • How to use other Bluemix Services with XPages Answer Answer2
  • How to package an XPage for Bluemix solution as a temple for multi service deployment
  • can a XPages application be run inside a Docker container
  • How does XPages in Bluemix scale – Answer and a very good one
  • Is the database

I will probably get more questions and will then update this post. I will also add any answers I get to this post. If you know any answer please comment.

XPages on Bluemix a first look deploying app

On friday the XPages runtime on Bluemix was released and also the new version of OpenNTF Extension library that enables to work with.

My first impression is that it works great I haven’t had time to do any deep diving into the new possibilities but I thought I should share as long as I have tried it.

To get it to work you need a bluemix account and install the latest extlib into you designer client when you done that you will get a new entry in your preference in the designer.


I have selected the US South (Don’t know if the XPage engine is deployed in the UK site) write your user name and password and Test Connection

if this is ok your designer is connected to Bluemix

Go to bluemix and setup an XPage Starter app when you have logged in to Bluemix you need to go to catalog and at the bottom click on Bluemix Labs Catalog


inside this beta catalog you will find the XPage Bluemix engine and also a web starter application click on this entry.


Fill out an name for you app at the lefthand side and press Create


Your started application is now being setuped and the next step is to download the webstarter app, I actually don’t know if you need the Bluemix commandline tool and I haven’t been able to download it and had it from before so I couldn’t test with out it, but try without it and let me know.


When you have downloaded the starter code go to designer and in the tools menu


This will start a wizard when you need to specify a path to a bluemix staging area, this area should not be in the client data folder and connect to the bluemix app area.

To deploy your code to bluemix you need to right click on the database and select deploy application remember to sign your database before doing this if you have multiple signers in the application.


The deployment will take very long time and if you check the Bluemix the application will show as started but it’s not. This might hopefully be improved with better status updates in future releases.

This will add the design database if you want to connect to the data nsf you need to go into Bluemix and download a notes id and connect you will find this information below services in the Bluemix dashboard.


It seams like the backend data store for the Bluemix is a Linux Domino server because if you browse it you will find regular databases in the root of the server. It will be interesting to see any performance data from the Bluemix setup.

Also read my XPages for Bluemix the questions

Xpages on Bluemix

Finally did the beta arrive and I wasn’t dissapointed. Setting up the web start app was very simple, a few minor things but no error.

  • Deployment takes very long and the bluemix dashboard log says started but overall status say not started. Should say starting
  • Before deploying remember to sign databas otherwise you will get an error
  • You need to manually setup connection to backend database.

But overall great first release will be fun to see what the future will give us.

Internet of things is that something to care about

Finally is the revolution here, since I’ve started as a developer I have waited for this. Integration of things is really interesting. And will help us a lot, you might say why should my coffee maker be connected to the internet?

The answer to that is how many times have you asked yourself, did I turn off the coffee maker. That’s only one thing, add sensors to everything in your house and you can start to get an alarm if there is an water leakage, a fire is starting, the sensors can be added into so many things in houses, cars and electronics.

And the great thing is that the connected sensors can be used for private and company use and because the cost isn’t that high for the sensors we will start seeing lots of these both at work and at home. And then we also have wearables that can monitor your health or why don’t we have a sensor that will vibrate so you don’t hit your head in a low door post like a parking sensor for humans.

This is some very interesting IoT platforms to follow

Arduino – This is a great platform to create your own IoT platform, there is hundreds of IoT and sensor projects already created.

Espruino – an hardware board like Arduino but this board has Javascript as the language to develop software that runs on the board. Great for developers that doesn’t want to learn yet another language.

Little Bits – Another great platform to create great things fast. They have now released cloud bits that you can connect using IFTTT

Little bits have lots of bits that dies different tasks. But the latest two makes them more interesting that that is the cloudbit and the arduino bit.

It’s Lego for Internet of Things.

NEST – The newly Google bought smart thermostat company. This will probably be the start for the Google connected house.



IBM BlueMix has an IOT communication capabilities so this is also an interesting platform that you should keep a close eye on.




My conslusion is that YES, Internet of Things is very much something to care about as an developer because the system you create will with most certainty connect to things or wearables in some way.

If you have some more interesting IOT:s that you want to share please comment.