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Sample app to collect questions from a session.
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Session Questions


This app is meant to collect questions about a topic presented at a conference talk. Users can ask questions by visiting the site, and clicking the "Ask A Question" button under the session they attended. Users can also ask questions by texting their question to a number assigned to the session.

Admins can create and edit sessions as well as answer questions via email and text message.

The application is actually composed of three separate modules and produces two separate applications. The session-questions-data module contains common code for interacting with the database and publishing messages through a message queue. The session-questions-text module is a web application which has a single API endpoint with the purpose of receiving POST requests from Twilio about new text messages. The session-questions-web module contains the client side code and the REST APIs clients can use to perform basic CRUD operations on the data.

Deploying To BlueMix


This project uses Maven to build, run, and deploy the app. You will need to install Maven in order to deploy the application.

The app takes advantage of the Cloud Foundry Maven Plugin to provide a consistent way of deploying the app to BlueMix. Before using Maven to deploy the app you need to do a small amount of configuration so Maven knows your BlueMix credentials. To do this open the settings.xml file in ~/.m2. Within the servers element add the code below inserting your credentials.


If you do not see a settings.xml file in ~/.m2 than you will have to create one. To do this just copy the settings.xml file from [maven install dir]/conf into ~/.m2.


Before deploying, you will also want to create a Twilio account.
The application uses Twilio to send and receive text messages, so you will need to have a Twilio account ID and auth token to deploy the app. You can create and account and use Twilio, in a limited fashion, for free. A free account should be good enough to test the app with.

When you buy a phone number from Twilio you will be able to specify a REST endpoint Twilio will use when receiving text messages. For this application you will want to specify Make sure you change the host name to be the correct host name for your deployment.

Doing The Deploy

After you have installed and configured Maven and have a Twilio account id and auth token you can deploy the app to BlueMix. Run the following command in the root of the project replacing yourOrg with your Bluemix organization and replacing twilioAccountId and twilioAuthToken with your Twilio account ID and auth token. You probably also want to change the web-url and text-url to make it something unique.

mvn -P deploy -Dweb-url= -Dtext-url= -Dorg=yourOrg -Dtwilio-accountId=twilioAccountId -Dtwilio-authToken=twilioAccountToken

The Maven deploy profile will do everything for you. It will create an ElephantSQL, CloudAMQP, SendGrid, and Twilio service. It will upload the jar file to BlueMix and create an application based on the app-url you specified. Finally, it will then bind the services it created to the new application and start the application.

Running Locally

The application can also be run locally, although there are some limitations to doing so.

  • Receiving text messages may not be possible if Twilio cannot reach your machine.
  • You will need an SMTP server in order to send emails.
  • The two separate web apps will not share any data as each will use its own in memory DB and message queue. However you can still test the functionality of each independently of the other.

To run locally run

cd session-questions-text
mvn -P run

cd session-questions-web
mvn -P run

When running locally the web apps will start on random ports that are currently not bring used on your machine. Spring Boot will print the port in the logs when the application starts.

Tomcat started on port(s): 50107/http



See the LICENSE file in the root of the project.

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