Cloud Pak for Data Group

Integrating IBM Streams with Cloudant and other RESTful Services 

Thu August 06, 2020 04:51 PM


Streams integrates with other technologies using adapters to popular protocols such as TCP, ODBC, Kafka, JMS, MQTT and HDFS, just to name a few. REST is another established protocol that is gaining popularity because of its use in many cloud-based services. This article describes how to use Streams HTTP adapters to integrate SPL applications to Cloudant and other RESTful, web-based services.



Setting up Cloudant

Getting connection information

Create a Cloudant account on, or create a Cloudant service on IBM Cloud. When creating the service on IBM Cloud, make sure you scroll to the bottom to the Authentication section and select the dropdown option for IAM and legacy credentials. After creating the service instance, you need to get the following information from the dashboard.
  • username
  • password
  • host
The host is [username], or, if you created the service through IBM Cloud, the username can be found on the "Service Credentials" tab of the IBM Cloud service dashboard. To get credentials, open your instance of the Cloudant service from the IBM Cloud dashboard. * Navigate to the Service credentials tab of the Cloudant service dashboard. * Click New Credential and then Add. * Click the Copy to clipboard icon in the right side of the new credential row that appeared. * Paste the clipboard contents to a text document on your computer for later steps. * Note the "url", "username", "password" fields.

Creating a Cloudant database

Navigate to the Cloudant dashboard by logging in to or pressing Launch Cloudant Dashboard from the Manage tab of the Cloudant service dashboard. Click Create Database in the top right corner. Follow the prompts to name and create the database named"test". An empty database will be created.
create a database in cloudant
To view the contents of the database, click the database name link in the table of the "Databases" tab, and select "All Documents".

Cloudant database view

Using Cloudant's REST API

The sample is composed of two parts CloudantPost and CloudantGet, which respectively POST and GET data to and from the Cloudant API.

The sample projects include precompiled applications, sample.CloudantGet.sab and sample.CloudantPost.sab so you do not have to compile the applications to run the sample.

Putting documents into Cloudant

Import the CloudantPost sample application into VS Code. Launch launch the sample.CloudantPost.sab file using your Cloudant credentials by selecting the file and clicking "Submit Job".
The URL is https://[username]

If you created the Cloudant database with IBM Cloud:
  • the URL is the URL from the credentials with "/test" appended,
  • and the username and password are the username and password fields from the credentials you copied earlier.
For more information on Submission Time Values, see this article.

This Streams application will create a new Cloudant document containing the string "Cloudant" every two seconds. For each document, the console will print "errorMessage: Created", along with some other JSON metadata. Let the application run for a few seconds and then cancel the Streams job. If the request was not successful, a few things might have happened:
  • The console printed a JSON error response. You successfully connected to Cloudant, but some error occurred after that point. The "reason" field gives some hints about what went wrong.
  • If the console printed a non-JSON error or exception, you have not successfully connected to Cloudant. Double check the URL for accuracy.
  • See "Troubleshooting unsuccessful requests"
Upon success, new documents have been added to Cloudant. Head back to the "All Documents" view to see them.

Database view with document
To view the data inside a document, select the "pencil" icon on the top-right corner of the dark-colored "document box".

Cloudant document view

You should see the document that you just created. Note that the CloudantPost sample application's first operator is a Beacon that activates the HTTPPost and gives it the message body data. To change the frequency or number of requests, use the Beacon's period or iterations parameters. However, the HTTPPost operator can connect with any stream carrying an rstring parameter named "message".

Listing all documents in Cloudant

Now that we can create documents, we want to access them from the REST API. Launch CloudantGet with the same values, except change the URL to [username] .

This Streams application will output the contents of the Cloudant database every two seconds. While CloudantGet is running, you can run CloudantPost at the same time and watch the database grow from CloudantGet's console output. For more information on Cloudant's REST API, see the Cloudant API Reference.

Using other REST APIs from SPL

Making a GET request

Using REST APIs, streams applications can integrate with nearly any web-based RESTful service. You may use the provided samples to work with other services. To make a GET request to any RESTful service, you need the following information from the service:
  • URL to retrieve the resource
  • User name to connect to the service
  • Password to connect to the service
  • Any other service-specific information
Import the CloudantGet project into your workspace. Build and submit the application, and specify the URL, password and username as submission time values based on the information you have collected from the service.

If the request was successful, the result will be printed to the console. If unsuccessful, an exception will display instead (see "Troubleshooting unsuccessful requests").

Making a POST request

Similarly, to send a post request to a RESTful service, you need to provide URL, username, and password of the service. Build and submit the CloudantPost application using the appropriate values for the service.

You may need to modify some parameters of the sample's HTTP operators in order to integrate with different services.

Troubleshooting unsuccessful requests

  • Revisit the service's REST API instructions. The service may expect information that wasn't included in the request.
  • Some REST APIs require fields not supported by Streams operators. In this case, waiting for an appropriate toolkit update may be necessary


This article has shown how Streams applications can integrate with Cloudant and countless other services using REST APIs.


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