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npm install TheEnemy

OK, TheEnemy is a bit harsh, but I did check out a competitor's device cloud solution recently. It is called Octoblu and was founded in early 2014 and acquired by Citrix in December 2014. There are a couple of things that intrigued me about this solution. The first is that their cloud platform called Meshblu is open sourced on GitHub so anyone can run their own private instance. The other is they support both CoAP and MQTT. These two protocols work well on resource and bandwidth contrained devices like many IoT devices are bound to be and so I've been looking for an opportunity to get more experience with them. It looks like Octoblu will give me that chance.

Installing Meshblu on my MacBook Pro was almost as simple as following the README in the GitHub repo. First I cloned the repo:

git clone
cd meshblu

Then I installed it:

npm install

According to the README I was then supposed to copy the config.fs.sample file over the config.js file, but when I did that the next step didn't work so I just left config.fs as is.

Meshblu optionally supports Mongo, Redis, ElasticSearch and Splunk for scalability and performance but I wasn't interested in any of that right now so I left the configuration with the default settings. I did change the HTTP and HTTPS port so I didn't need to run the server as root:

diff --git a/config.js b/config.js
index db7b6c3..36b6a59 100644
--- a/config.js
+++ b/config.js
@@ -16,9 +16,9 @@ module.exports = {
   mongo: {
     databaseUrl: process.env.MONGODB_URI
-  port: parseInt(process.env.PORT) || 80,
+  port: parseInt(process.env.PORT) || 8080,
   tls: {
-    sslPort: parseInt(process.env.SSL_PORT) || 443,
+    sslPort: parseInt(process.env.SSL_PORT) || 8443,

Next I ran the server:

node server.js --http

MM    MM              hh      bb      lll         
MMM  MMM   eee   sss  hh      bb      lll uu   uu 
MM MM MM ee   e s     hhhhhh  bbbbbb  lll uu   uu 
MM    MM eeeee   sss  hh   hh bb   bb lll uu   uu 
MM    MM  eeeee     s hh   hh bbbbbb  lll  uuuu u 
Meshblu (formerly development environment loaded...

Starting HTTP/HTTPS... done.
HTTP listening at

And finally a basic test:

curl -X GET http://localhost:8080/status

I got little stuck at this point because the I didn't read the documenation carefully and just tried commands pseudo-randomly. It didn't take too long before I figured out I needed to add a device and then use the authentication credentials (a UUID and secret token) to use most of the HTTP API. That was pretty straightforward:

curl -X POST -d "type=example" http://localhost:8080/devices

The uuid and token fields are the important ones. To access say the /devices endpoint you pass those fields in with the HTTP headers like this:

curl -X GET http://localhost:8080/devices --header "meshblu_auth_uuid: 7c348710-955a-11e4-820b-0f6c4a76a790" --header "meshblu_auth_token: 0086jbhffmc5zh0k9bckcr90lkvjkyb9"

That's about as far as I've got so far, but I look forward to trying out the CoAP and MQTT APIs in the near future.

Comments !