In this tutorial, learn how to create a Watson IoT Platform Starter application for connecting IoT devices and simulated IoT devices to the Watson IoT Platform. The Internet of Things Platform Starter is designed with pre-assembled services that work together, including a Node-RED Node.js web server, a Cloudant database to store the sensor data, and the IoT Platform service so you can connect devices.

Learning objectives

In this tutorial, you will learn how to:

  • Create an IoT Starter Kit application running in IBM Cloud
  • Launch the Watson IoT Starter application
  • Open the Watson IoT Platform so that you can send data from IoT devices and device simulators
  • Configure the Node-RED visual programming editor


To complete this tutorial, you need an IBM Cloud account (IBM Cloud Lite, trial, or paid account).

Estimated time

You can complete this tutorial in less than 20 minutes.


Step 1. Create a Watson IoT Platform Starter application

Follow these steps to create a Watson IoT Platform Starter application in the IBM Cloud.

  1. Log in to IBM Cloud.

  2. Click the Catalog (1) and search for internet of things (2).

  3. Under Starter Kits (3) click Internet of Things Platform Starter (4).

    Catalog entry IoTP Starter Kit

  4. Enter a unique name for your application (5). This name will be part of the application URL (6) Note: If the name is not unique, you will see an error message and you can enter another name.

  5. The Region (7), Organization (8), and Space (9) will be pre-populated with valid options for your IBM Cloud account. If you have a Lite account, then accept the defaults. If you have a trial or paid account, or belong to additional organizations, then you may choose to deploy to any region, organization, and space available to you.

  6. The IoT Starter application can be provisioned in the IBM Cloud Lite plan (10).

  7. Click the Create button (11).

    Create IoTP Starter Kit

Step 2. Launch the IoT Starter application

The Internet of Things Starter application will be provisioned in the IBM Cloud region as specified. This is called staging an application. It can take a few minutes for this process to complete.

  1. Wait for the application to provision and start (12). Note: While you wait, you can click the Logs tab and review the activity logs from the platform and Node.js runtime.

    1. Click Logs (13) in the left navigation menu.
    2. Scroll to the bottom to check the latest DevOps messages.

      Starting IoTP Starter Kit

  2. Once the Green Running icon appears, click the View App URL link (14).

    Starting IoTP Starter Kit

Step 3. Open the Node-RED visual programming editor

A new browser tab will open to the Node-RED start page. Node-RED is an open source Node.js application that provides a visual programming editor that makes it easy to wire together flows.

Several panels will help you set up Node-RED in your Watson IoT Starter application.

  1. When you see the welcome panel, click the Next button to proceed. (Step 1 of 4)

    Node-RED Welcome

  2. Secure your Node-RED editor by setting a username and password. Remember your username and password. Click the Next button to proceed. (Step 2 of 4)

    Node-RED security

  3. If you forget, you can reset the username and password in the Cloudant DB or by setting IBM Cloud environment variables. Click the Finish button to proceed. (Step 3 of 4)

    Node-RED setup

  4. Click the Go to your Node-RED flow editor button to launch the Node-RED flow editor. (Step 4 of 4)

    Node-RED Launch

  5. Sign in with your new username and password credentials.

    Node-RED login

  6. The Node-RED Visual Programming Editor opens with a default flow. On the left side is a palette of nodes that you can drag onto the flow. You can wire nodes together to create a program.

    IoTP Node-RED Default Flow

Step 4. Launch the Watson IoT platform

Return to the IBM Cloud Application Details page.

  1. Click the Overview item (15) in the left navigation menu.

  2. Click your iotf-service (16) in the Connections tile.

    App Overview

  3. The Internet of Things service landing page opens. Click the Launch (17) button.

    IoT Platform Landing Page

  4. The Watson IoT Platform service opens in a new browser tab, and you can create an IoT device.

    IoT Platform Device Page


Congratulations. You have now created a Watson Internet of Things Platform Starter application in the IBM Cloud.