Tag Archive for serverless

Working with MongoDB Stitch Through the mongo Shell – MongoDB Wire Protocol Support

The Stitch SDK is the best way to access MongoDB Stitch from your frontend application code – getting to your data and accessing your Stitch Services and Functions becomes child’s’ play.

However, those already using MongoDB may have existing backend code and tools that work with MongoDB. MongoDB Stitch now supports the MongoDB wire protocol – meaning that you can continue to work with your favorite tools (including the mongo shell) and drivers while benefiting from Stitch’s quick and simple data access control and hosted JavaScript functions.

After enabling connection string access, connecting to your Stitch app from the mongo shell is business as usual – just use the connection string you’re shown in the Stitch UI:

mongo "mongodb://andrewjamXXXXX%40gmail.com:gXXXX@stitch.mongodb.com:27020\
    appName=imported_trackme-xxxxz:mongodb-atlas:local-userpass" --norc

Once connected, adding a document through Stitch should feel very familiar:

    owner_id: "5bacd4e7698a67f72dfdb44c",
    author: "Andrew Morgan",
    comment: "Stitch wire protocol support rocks!"

MongoDB Stitch wire protocol

However, Stitch is about more than accessing MongoDB data. I’ve created a (stupidly) simple Stitch (morning) Function to show how you can test your Stitch app:

exports = function(name){
  return {message: "Good Morning " + name + " from " 
             + context.user.data.email};

From the mongo shell, I can now test that function:

db.runCommand({ callFunction: "morning", arguments: ["Billy"] })
    "ok" : 1,
    "response" : {
        "message" : "Good Morning Billy from greetings@clusterdb.com"

Creating your first Stitch app? Start with one of the Stitch tutorials.

Want to learn more about MongoDB Stitch? Read the white paper.

Sending Text Messages with MongoDB Stitch & Twilio

When creating a well-rounded app, there are lots of table stakes features that make the app more useful but have already been implemented thousands of times before. Having the application backend send a text message informing your customer of an event is a classic example of such a “commodity” feature.

Think about using a website or app to book a taxi, where you give your phone number so that you get sent a text message when the taxi’s on its way. Why would the writers of that taxi app want to waste time writing text messaging code? There’s nothing extra they can do to differentiate it from other apps – so why not just consume it as a service from something like Twilio?

MongoDB Stitch makes it even less work to add this kind of feature. Rather than standing up an app server, figuring out how to use the Twilio API, writing the code, and possibly creating a REST API, just configure the Twilio service in Stitch.

Using MongoDB Stitch to send SMS text messages via Twilio

When configuring the Stitch Twilio serving, you supply the Account ID and Auth Token from your Twilio account. All that’s left is to write the Stitch function to invoke the service:

exports = function(trip, user){
  const twilio = context.services.get("twilio");

    to: user.phone,
    from: context.values.get("twilioNumber"),
    body: "Hi " 
      + user.firstname 
      + " - just to let you know that your taxi to " 
      + trip.destination + " will be with you at " 
      + trip.pickupTime + "."

You can also have your application react when receiving a text message by configuring incoming webhooks for the Twilio service.

Creating your first Stitch app? Start with one of the Stitch tutorials.

Want to learn more about MongoDB Stitch? Read the white paper.

Testing & Debugging MongoDB Stitch Functions

When discussing serverless computing (Functions as a Service) with developers, a common concern that arises is the complexity of testing and debugging your functions. Fortunately, the MongoDB Stitch UI makes this simple.

It’s a bit old school, but if you want to display debug info from your functions, then it’s as simple as adding console.log() commands to your code. If testing the function through the Stitch UI, the output appears in the Results panel. When executed normally, the output appears in the Stitch logs.

To test a Stitch function from the UI, select a user for the function to run as (that way the function can access whatever data the user is entitled to). In the Console panel, call exports(<parameters>), including any parameters that the function expects – these could be simple values or complex documents.

The results of the function call (the returned data + any console.log() output) appear in the Results panel.

Demo of testing a MongoDB Stitch Function

If you want to check on what’s happening in your production apps, check out the Logs panel in the Stitch UI.

Creating your first Stitch app? Start with one of the Stitch tutorials.

Want to learn more about MongoDB Stitch? Read the white paper.

Recording sensor data with MongoDB Stitch & Electric Imp

Old school IoT

My early experiments with IoT involved standalone sensors, breakout boards, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and a soldering iron. It was a lot of fun, but it took ages to build even the simplest of projects.

Therefore, I was super excited when I discovered that Electric Imp had a self-contained IoT hardware developer kit and a library to access MongoDB Stitch directly.

Electric Imp impExplorer IoT development kit

My first experiment with Electric Imp took sensor data (temperature, humidity, air pressure, light level, and orientation) from the device, and stored it in MongoDB.

The Electric Imp code (written in Squirrel) is split into 2 parts:
– On-device code – sends sensor data to the agent
– Agent code, running in Electric Imp’s cloud – forwards the data to Stitch

This post focuses on the integration between the Electric Imp agent code and Stitch, but those interested can view the device code.

The agent code receives the readings from the device, and then it uses the Electric Imp MongoDB Stitch library to forward them to Stitch:

#require "MongoDBStitch.agent.lib.nut:1.0.0"

//Create the connection to Stitch
stitch <- MongoDBStitch("imptemp-sobpa");

//Add an API key to link this device to a specific Stitch User
const API_KEY = "hNErDmBw1zYGOfpaSv4Pf5kaNQrIaxOHLZgj0vExzDcxWf9GAEX055l1mXXX";

//Ensure you are authenticated to Stitch

function log(data) {
    stitch.executeFunction("Imp_Write", [data], function (error, response) {
        if (error) {
            server.log("error: " + error.details);
        } else {
            server.log("temperature sent");

// Register a function to receive sensor data from the device
device.on("reading.sent", log);

Note that you will need to create the API_KEY through the Stitch UI.

impExplorer sends readings to Electric Imp agent which sends them to MongoDB Stitch to store in MongoDB Atlas

The Imp_Write function receives the readings from the agent, retrieves outside weather data from DarkSky.net, and stores the data in the TempData MongoDB Atlas collection:

exports = function(data){

  //Get the current time
  var now = new Date();

  var darksky = context.services.get("darksky");
  var mongodb = context.services.get("mongodb-atlas");
  var TempData = mongodb.db("Imp").collection("TempData");

  // Fetch the current weather from darksky.net

  darksky.get({"url": "https://api.darksky.net/forecast/" + 
    context.values.get("DarkSkyKey") + '/' + 
    context.values.get("DeviceLocation") +
  }).then(response => {
    var darkskyJSON = EJSON.parse(response.body.text()).currently;

    var status =
        "Timestamp": now.getTime(),
        "Date": now,
        "Readings": data,
        "External": darkskyJSON,
    status.Readings.light = (100*(data.light/65536));
    context.functions.execute("controlHumidity", data.temp, data.humid);
      results => {
        console.log("Successfully wrote document to TempData");
      error => {
        console.log("Error writing to TempData collection: " + error);

ImpWrite also calls the controlHumidity method – find more on that in this post.

You can recreate the Stitch app for yourself by downloading the app from GitHub and importing it into Stitch. You’ll need to set some of your own keys first (including the details of your IFTTT webhook address) – details are in the README. The repo also includes the Electric Imp code for the agent and device.

Creating your first Stitch app? Start with one of the Stitch tutorials.

Want to learn more about MongoDB Stitch? Read the MongoDB Stitch white paper.