Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fire up Drupal 8 on an Amazon Lightsail in minutes

Need a Drupal 8 site fast… one with shell and sftp access?  Amazon has made it easier than ever with their new Lightsail VPS cloud hosting site.

I’ll step you through setting up a new Lightsail VPS, Drupal instance and a static IP.  I’ll also show you how to get connected via ssh and sftp, so you can do all of the things you want to do like add modules and mess around with the mysql database.

Lightsail does two things.  First, it greatly simplifies the VPS creation and management interface.  There is even a web-based ssh login window, so you’ll instantly have shell access.  Anyone’s grandma or kid can set up a VPS with Drupal in five minutes or less.  Secondly, it makes hosting Drupal very inexpensive.  

My experience setting up a new VPS with Drupal 8.  First, everyone on earth has an Amazon account at this point.  Just log in, or create an account.

After that, you’ll be prompted to create a new VPS with a screen like this.

You’ll have to select your hosting option at this point.  I used the $5/month option and it is plenty fast for my development needs. It is also free for 30 days too.

It looks like Lightsail VPS instances are only available in Virgina, so that may present a latency challenge for those outside of North America.

Click “Create” and within a few seconds you’ll have your new VPS up and running.  

Click on the three orange dots to manage the instance.  Again, Lightsail comes through with an easy to use administration interface experience.

A feature I love is the web based SSH access to the shell.  Just click the big orange button and bam, you are in.  That could not be easier. The same is true for other functions including reporting, managing the network, making backups and deleting the VPS.

You can manage five static IPs and attach them to any VPS.  This seems pretty handy to be able to be able to mix and match static IPs across my VPS.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Demo: IBM Watson Workspace for Sales

A new post on SocializeMe:If you watched the last demo of IBM Watson Workspace for Marketing this will be part two of that series. This demo is focused on the day of the life of sellers and how IBM Watson Workspace can make their life better. If you missed the breakout session hosted by Rob Ingram, Rishi Vaish and Alan Lepofsky at World of Watson, this is a good way to catch up.

The video demonstrates how IBM Watson Workspace uses its cognitive capabilities to get you the information you need in context without having to jump back and forth between multiple tools. In the scenario example, we show a sales manager asking his team for the top sales opportunities. Watson Workspace understands this question and knows where to go and get the information: Salesforce. The latest opportunities and their status are then brought directly in context. Then it's time to sign the contract. The goal for this demo (and the previous one) is that it shows all integrations that have been built with the APIs that exist today.

The following integrations are shown:
  • Salesforce
  • DocuSign
  • Rocket Software
Check out the 2 min demo video below:

from Socialize Me

Monday, November 7, 2016

Demo: IBM Watson Workspace for Marketing

A new post on SocializeMe:As things settle from the IBM World of Watson conference two weeks ago, today I wanted to take the opportunity to share one of the demos that was shown in a breakout session hosted by Rob Ingram, Rishi Vaish and Alan Lepofsky.

The video that demonstrates how IBM Watson Workspace can improve your life as someone who works in marketing. It makes team collaboration easy and saves you time by bringing everything together and summarizing it for you (using some cool Watson services) so you can take action on what really matters.

Additionally the following integrations are shown (thanks to Sapho for building some of these):

  • Google Adwords
  • Marketo
  • SAP
  • Outlook Online (part of Office 365)
  • and more...
Check out the 3 min demo video below:

We'll soon post other videos so stay tuned!


from Socialize Me

Thursday, November 3, 2016

IBM Watson Workspace -- Code Talks So Here's The First Samples

A new post on SocializeMe:Time for the next post on IBM Watson Workspace. In this post I wanted to share some code samples that could help you get going in your development of apps for IBM Watson Workspace using the IBM Watson Work Services and APIs.

I know many developers, including myself, learn a lot from code samples (probably more than using actual API documentation). So to build on my post from earlier this week, we have published the first code samples into the Watson Work org in Github and there should be more posted this week and next. My samples are the Twitter and Weather apps. I built these as fully functioning apps that you can deploy to a server and get up and going in a few minutes. And once they are running, feel free to hack away!

To make things simpler, I've also included a one-click button to deploy the app to Bluemix (which I thought was freaking cool how they make this possible). This, however, is not a required step. If you want to use with another cloud provider, by all means. Back to Bluemix, when you click the button, Bluemix pulls down the code from Github and magically gets it up and running.

One cool thing is that even before the samples were available, I already picked up a few blogs of developers using the APIs:
even one creating an Eclipse plug-in that was able to get something going in < 1 hour ( I love hearing those stories):

So quick tour of the Weather app. It uses the Weather Underground APIs to get current conditions based on a US zipcode. I use the node module to convert the zip code to city and state:
const cityState = zipcode.lookup(zc);

With that info, I now call the Weather Underground APIs to get the current conditions:

client.conditions(opts, function(err, data) {

Now with the data that I get back, I build a message to post back to IBM Watson Workspace and put it in the appropriate JSON construct:

const messageData = {
type: "appMessage",
version: 1.0,
annotations: [
type: "generic",
version: 1.0,
color: "#D5212B",
title: "Current weather conditions",
text: message

and then call the API to post it back:

request(sendMessageOptions, (err, response, body) => {

So that should give you an idea on how to listen to a conversation, act on it, and then respond back. I followed a similar flow to build the Twitter app and my hope is you can take it and hack it to build your own.  And if you are in the mood to help improve these samples, pull requests are welcome!

Now definitely check out what Redbooth, Rocket, OpenTopic, Sapho and others have done... VERY COOL! (and just to make it more enticing.. Sapho for example has Marketo and Google Adword integration... )

from Socialize Me

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Building apps with IBM Watson Work Services

A new post on SocializeMe:Last week we launched IBM Watson Workspace and IBM Watson Work Services and one of the crtical aspects of this launch is the platform and extensibility provided by these offerings.

Miguel Estrada, Joe Russo, and myself had a session at IBM World of Watson 2016 to talk about the capabilities of the platform. To recap, the idea of IBM Watson Work Services is to provide a platform that understands conversations in context. IBM Watson Workspace is a great example of what you can do with that platform since it's, well, built on the platform! In fact, you use the platform services to extend the IBM Watson Workspace app.

As we worked towards the launch, we worked with various partners and developers who were interested in using these APIs. At the conference last week, we were able to show integration with Sapho, OpenTopic, Kenexa, DocuSign, Salesforce, Redbooth, Rocket, and more.

Here are our slides:

Now here's some good news.  I know a lot of developers learn from code samples and I'm happy to announce that our first code samples are now available on Github: Feel free to fork and contribute as well!

When you are ready to start creating apps, head out to and you can start getting them registered there. Once you get them registered, go the settings for any space, and in the apps menu you'll be able to see your apps and add them to the space. It'll look something like this (those are 3 sample apps that I've built and will be sharing in the GitHub link above):

I also recorded a quick demo of the developer experience to get you going faster. Check it out here:

Now go on and start building your apps! I can't wait to see what you'll show at IBM Connect 2017. There are 111 days left - GO GO GO!

from Socialize Me