OpenNTF is in the middle of his biggest transformation since the beginning. Core of the this transformation is building communities around visions, problems and projects. This needs communication…. Continious communication, a flow of questions, answers and ideas.
But how to communicate continuously, several topic’s, restricted content, open content, and involving everybody who is interested to become a part of this community? I the middle of this storm of changing culture and using technology, Jesse discovers “by accident” slack. We (Jesse and I) decided to register openntf.slack.com, to get some experience and figure out if slack would help us.
2 weeks later, after some testing, which includes also the integration of our Atlassian suite, it was clear – a developers dream. Mulit channel / topic and content federation… how wonderful.
But how to on board as many people as possible. At this point, Declan Lynch came on the plan and pointed to https://github.com/rauchg/slackin. A node.js project with an auto deploy to Heroku. But Heroku offers a free offering with 6h downtime in 24h. Sorry, not an option and to be honest, that has not looked like the next challenge I want to conquer.
But Declan explained that this is a node.js app, it could also run on IBM Bluemix….. And YES I’ve a IBM Bluemix Account. But node.js? And how to give this “Slackin – Thing” some parameters during the startup?
As a good conditioned Java Developer, my first step was to download the needed eclipse plugin. Go to IBM Bluemix, build a new Organisation and then create a node.js app. Not a boilerplate, only the runtime.
Let’s go to github and clone the slackin project. I copied the files, including all Licence stuff to my project and all was pushed directly to IBM Bluemix. But the application fails to start…. I did expect this, but how to give this node.js program the variables? (Yes, I’m a bit a newbie about node.js…)
Let’s open the IBM Bluemix console and take a look there. What’s that, there is a point called environment variables. Let’s give it a try. I’ve defined the 2 parameters with the name that was given in the app.json in the IBM Bluemix Console, filled them with the accurate values and restarted the app……
…. And wow, IT WORKS. How cool is that. No Plan of node.js, using an OpenSource project from github, no installation of any server and the application is running in less than an hour. Okay thats definitely also a developers dream.
The integration on the OpenNTF Page was done some Minutes later and look at this:
And now join openntf.slack.com and following the OpenNTF Community.