Use React.js, Watson IoT Platform, and the Hyperledger Fabric Node SDK to interact with an IBM Blockchain service
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Blockchain Monitoring UI

In this Code Pattern, we'll use React.js, Watson IoT Platform, and the Hyperledger Fabric Node SDK to interact with an IBM Blockchain service. The resulting application provides a dynamically generated user interface to monitor assets as they traverse through a supply chain. This solution can be applicable for both physical assets (shipping containers, packages) and financial assets.Operators can use this Monitoring UI to perform actions on the blockchain, see the results of those actions, and query the state of each asset in the blockchain ledger.

When the reader has completed this Code Pattern, they will understand how to:

  • Deploy a Hyperledger Blockchain network on IBM Cloud
  • Create and enroll a administrative client using the Hyperledger Node SDK
  • Deploy and Instantiate a smart contract to handle asset updates/queries
  • Create a schema describing the properties of an asset
  • Monitor and propose blockchain transactions via a UI
  • Integrate Watson IoT platform to directly receive asset updates from registered IoT devices via MQTT or HTTP


  1. A request is submitted to Create, Read, Update, or Delete an asset from a blockchain ledger. This request may either be submitted manually by a user via the monitoring UI browser, or from a IoT device (NFC/barcode scanner, etc) publishing a MQTT message to the Watson IoT Platform.

  2. Node Express backend formats CRUD request into a jsonrpc object like below, and submits it to a Hyperledger peer as a transaction proposal.

    'jsonrpc': '2.0',
    'method': 'invoke',
    'params': {
        'type': 1,
        'chaincodeID': {
            'name': 'simple_contract'
        'ctorMsg': {
            'function': 'createAsset',
            'args': '["assetID", {"carrier": "Port of Long Beach", "longitude":"33.754185", "latitude": "-118.216458", "temperature": "44 F"}]'
        'secureContext': ''
    'id': 5
  1. Peer uses an "endorsement" service to simulate the proposed transaction against the relevant smart contracts. This endorsement service is used to confirm that the transaction is possible given the current state of the ledger. Examples of invalid proposals might be creating an asset that already exists, querying the state of an asset that does not exist, etc.

  2. If the simulation is successful, the proposal is then "signed" by the peer's endorser.

  3. The signed transaction is forwarded to an ordering service, which executes the transactions and places the result into the ledger.

  4. The Monitoring UI auto-refreshes to show the transaction result and updated ledger in the "Response Payloads" and "Blockchain" columns, respectively.

Install Prerequisites:


To interact with the hosted offerings, the IBM Cloud CLI will need to be installed beforehand. The latest CLI releases can be found at the link here. An install script is maintained at the mentioned link, which can be executed with one of the following commands.

# Mac OSX
curl -fsSL | sh

# Linux
curl -fsSL | sh

# Powershell
iex(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('')

After installation is complete, confirm the CLI is working by printing the version like so

ibmcloud -v

Node.js packages

If expecting to run this application locally, please continue by installing Node.js runtime and NPM. Currently the Hyperledger Fabric SDK only appears to work with node v8.9.0+, but is not yet supported on node v9.0+. If your system requires newer versions of node for other projects, we'd suggest using nvm to easily switch between node versions. We did so with the following commands.

curl -o- | bash
# Place next three lines in ~/.bash_profile
export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/"  # This loads nvm
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion"  # This loads nvm bash_completion
nvm install v8.9.0
nvm use 8.9.0

To run the Monitoring UI locally, we'll need to install a few node libraries which are listed in our package.json file.

  • React.js: Used to simplify the generation of front-end components
  • MQTT: Client package to subscribe to Watson IoT Platform and handle incoming messages
  • Hyperledger Fabric SDK: Enables backend to connect to IBM Blockchain service

Install the Monitoring UI node packages by running npm install in the project root directory and in the react-backend directory. Both python and build-essential are required for these dependencies to install properly:

npm install
cd react-backend && npm install

Finally, compile the bundle.js file

cd public
npm run build

Included components

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There are two methods we can use to deploy the application, either use the Deploy to IBM Cloud steps OR create the services and run locally.

  1. Clone repository
  2. Setup repository codebase locally OR Deploy to IBM Cloud
  3. Create Watson services with IBM Cloud
  4. Upload and Instantiate Chaincode
  5. Start the Application
  6. Retrieve service credentials
  7. Configure and run the application

1. Clone the repository

Clone the monitoring_ui project locally. In a terminal, run:

git clone

2. Deploy Application to IBM Cloud

  1. To deploy the application to IBM Cloud, we'll need to leverage the IBM Cloud CLI. Ensure the cli is installed using the prerequisites section above, and then run the following command to deploy the application.
ibmcloud cf push
  1. To see the app and services created and configured for this Code Pattern, use the IBM Cloud dashboard, or run ibmcloud cf apps and ibmcloud cf services in the terminal. The app should be named monitoring-ui with a unique suffix.

2. Deploy Application locally

Install the Monitoring UI node packages by running npm install in the project root directory and in the react-backend directory. Both python and build-essential are required for these dependencies to install properly:

npm install
cd react-backend && npm install

Finally, compile the bundle.js file

cd public
npm run build

Docker setup (optional)

If you have Docker installed, you can install these dependencies in a virtual container instead. Run the application with the following commands, and then skip to Step 5.

docker build -t monitoring_ui .
docker run -d -p 8081:8081 monitoring_ui

NOTE: These steps are only needed when running locally instead of using the Deploy to IBM Cloud button.

3. Create Services

Next, we'll need to deploy our service instances using the IBM Cloud dashboard.

Watson IoT Platform

We can start by deploying an instance of the Watson IoT Service. In this pattern, the primary role of this service is to offer an secure MQTT broker that'll receive asset updates from IoT devices. Our Monitoring UI subscribes to the MQTT broker and processes incoming messages with the fabric-client node SDK.

First, log into the IBM Cloud dashboard at and select the "Catalog" button in the upper right.

In the search bar type "IoT" and click the icon titled "Internet of Things Platform Starter".

Once this service is provisioned, we'll need to generate a set of credentials for connecting to the broker. We can do so by entering the IoT Platform dashboard, selecting "Devices" from the left hand menu, and then clicking the "Add Device" button.

Next, provide a device type and ID.

The next two steps (Device Information, Groups) can be skipped.

In the "Security" tab, an Authentication token can be entered as long as it meets certain criteria (between 8 and 36 characters, contains mix of lowercase/uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols). Leave this field blank if you'd like for one to be generated instead.

Clicking the "Finish" button will generate a set of credentials that can be used to publish messages to the IoT Platform.

Now, MQTT publish commands can be made from a device in the following format:

  • Client ID: d:${organization_id}:${device_type}:${device_id}
  • Username: use-token-auth
  • Password: ${authentication_token}
  • Endpoint: ${organization_id}

To publish messages, a MQTT client will need to be installed on the IoT devices responsible for reading and sending asset updates. These clients are very lightweight, and are able to run on resource constrained devices such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, CHIP, etc.

Now that we have a valid set of credentials, we can use an MQTT client to send a sample command. There are a few clients available online, but for simplicity we'll use a node cli client. This particular client can be installed by running npm install -g mqtt, and is also used by the Monitoring UI backend. After exporting the MQTT credentials we can publish a json payload with the following commands:


mqtt_pub -i "d:${organization_id}:${device_type}:${device_id}" -u "${username}" -P "${password}" -h "${organization_id}" -p 1883 -t 'iot-2/evt/deviceupdate/fmt/json' -m '{
    "d" : {
          "fcn" : "updateAsset",
          "args" : "[{"carrier": "LBC Freight 647", "longitude":"34.754185", "latitude": "-119.214458", "temperature": "45 F"}]"

And the we can see that message has been received by the IoT Platform dashboard by going back to the "Devices" menu, selecting our corresponding device, and then selecting "Recent Events".


We can continue on by deploying the IBM Blockchain service. This can be found by logging in to the IBM Cloud dashboard, selecting the "Catalog" button, searching for "Blockchain", and clicking on the resulting icon. Or click this link.

After selecting the blockchain icon, a form will be presented for configuring the service name, region, and pricing plan. The default values for these fields can be left as is. Also, be sure that the free pricing tier is selected, which is titled "Starter Membership Plan". If you are using an IBM Cloud Lite account, this plan can be used for free for up to 30 days. After validating that the information in the form is correct, scroll down and click the "Create" button in the lower right corner.

4. Upload and Instantiate Chaincode

"Smart contracts", commonly referred to as "Chaincode", can be used to execute business logic and validate incoming requests. In this context, the contracts are used to implement CRUD operations for tracking assets on the IBM Blockchain ledger.

To begin the process of uploading the smart contracts to the blockchain, we can start by opening the IBM Cloud dashboard, selecting your provisioned Blockchain service, and accessing the blockchain network monitor by clicking "Enter Monitor".

Next, click the "Install code" option on the left hand menu, and then the "Install Chaincode" button on the right of the page.

Enter an id and a version (here we'll use "simple_contract" and "v1"). Then, select the "Add Files" button to upload the samples.go, schemas.go, and simple_contract_hyperledger.go files.

Finally, we'll need to Instantiate the chaincode. This can be done by opening the chaincode options menu and selecting "Instantiate".

This will present a form where arguments can be provided to the chaincodes init function. In this case, we'll just need to provide a json string {"version":"1.0"} in the Arguments section, and then click "Submit".

For additional documentation on the chaincode implementation, please see the README in the simple_contract directory.

5. Run the application

  1. Start the app locally with npm run dev-server.

  2. To access the Monitoring UI, open the following URL in a browser: http://localhost:8081/
    Note: If you run into an issue with the port already being used, set the PORT environment variable to the port you'd like to use. Note that hot reload is enabled for the webpack-dev-server. Changes that you save to the source are immediately reflected in the Monitoring UI. There is no need to manually reload.

Note: server host can be changed as required in server.js and PORT can be set in .env.

6. Obtain service credentials

The credentials for IBM Cloud services (Blockchain, Watson IoT Platform), can be found in the Services menu in IBM Cloud by selecting the Service Credentials option for each service.

The Blockchain credentials consist of the key, secret, and network_id parameters.

These credentials will need to be provided to the UI in the next step.

7. UI Configuration

Before we're able to access blockchain information via the Monitoring UI, we'll need to provide a bit of information about our Blockchain service, such as the API credentials/endpoint, and chaincode information.

First, access the configuration form by clicking CONFIGURATION.

This form accepts the following parameters:

Parameter Value Comment
API Host and Port http://peer_URL:port The host and port for the IBM Blockchain REST API prepended with http://.
Chaincode ID The contract ID that was returned when you registered the contract. The contract ID should be a string that was provided in the previous "Install / Instantiate Chaincode" step. If the ID is incorrectly entered, the UI will display the blockchain ledger entries, but the asset search function will not work.
Secure Context Your fabric user This is required for connecting to Blockchain instances on IBM Cloud. Important: For secureContext use the user name that was used to configure the fabric.
Number of blocks to display A positive integer. Default: 10 The number of blockchain blocks to display.
Key API Key Provided in IBM Cloud Credentials
Secret API Secret Provided in IBM Cloud Credentials
Network Id Blockchain network id Provided in IBM Cloud Credentials

After filling out and submitting the form, a request will be sent to the /init_client endpoint with the provided parameters.

Once this endpoint is invoked, it will call a series of methods to carry out the following:

  • Fetch the network configuration file. This file contains information about all of the components in the blockchain network, such as the name/endpoints of associated peers, channels, organizations, orderers, and certificate authorities.
  • Initialize our hyperledger "client" by loading the configuration file via the Node Hyperledger SDK.
  • Create/enroll a fabric user named "monitoring_user" with administrative privileges. These elevated privileges are required to invoke and query chaincode methods. To obtain these privileges, the SDK must send a request to the blockchain "certificate authority" listed in the connection profile for a certificate/key pair. Once this is complete, a PEM encoded Certificate will be output to the server logs like so.

The certificate will need to be manually uploaded to one of the blockchain peers via the blockchain network monitor. A peer is a member of a blockchain network responsible for hosting copies of the ledger and chaincode. These are the primary interaction endpoint for both administrators and members with limited access. For a client to carry out administrative requests, they must have a PEM certificate that has been uploaded to the peer. The chaincode operations will not work until this step has been completed.

This can be done by going back to the IBM Cloud dashboard, selecting your provisioned Blockchain service, and accessing the blockchain network monitor by clicking "Enter Monitor".

After entering the Network Monitor, select the "Members" section from the left hand menu. Then, select the "Certificate" option, and click "Add certificate".

Clicking "Add certificate" will present the following form:

The user interface is divided into three columns.

  1. Chaincode Operations
  2. Response Payloads
  3. Blockchain

The Chaincode Operations column

The first section of the Monitoring UI is dynamically generated through a combination of JSON Schema and convention. The tabs each represent a subset of the available contract functions and are hardcoded in the ChaincodeReducer.js file.
The contract functions can be selected from the menu in each tab. The functions and their related input fields are defined in the JSON schema.

For example, if we are connected to the IBM sample conctract on the blockchain fabric the Create tab includes just one function: createAsset. This function maps to the createAsset function that is defined in the JSON schema. The UI knows to put createAsset under the create tab because it matches the tab's name as a substring of the function. The Read tab, in contrast, contains three functions each of which are defined in the JSON schema. Each tab also has a corresponding type, which controls the use of Hyperledger invoke or query endpoint.

The arguments form is generated when you select a particular function. The form creates input fields for the arguments that are defined in the JSON schema. The basic contract includes the following fields: assetID, carrier, location, temperature, and timestamp.


  • Fields such as assetID that are denoted with asterisk are required. Required fields are defined in the JSON schema.
  • Location is a nested object with its own properties that in turn are exposed as data fields.
  • Validation is defined in the JSON schema and is reflected in the form.
    For example, if you submit the form without an entry for the required assetID field, you are prompted to enter a value. If you enter a non-numeric value in the latitude or longitude fields, you will also be prompted.

When you submit a form the Monitoring UI creates a valid blockchain REST payload with the field input as arguments. The payload and a request is sent to the configured blockchain peer. The Monitoring UI then waits for a response from the peer. The response is displayed in the Request Payload column.

The Response Payload column

The second column displays the response from the blockchain peer by recursively traversing the payload and writing the responses to the card. If you submit multiple requests from a combination of tabs the Monitoring UI generates cards as needed to display the payload. Note: Duplicate REST request with the exact same function and arguments will not create extra cards.

Request payload cards are displayed in the collapsed state. You must expand the cards to view the contents of the card.

Close individual cards by clicking x next to the card header.

Click Clear on the Request Payload header to remove all payloads from the display.

Tip: Enable the Poll for changes toggle to have the Monitoring UI actively check for changes to a particular query every time the blockchain height changes. For the basic contract, use this feature to monitoring a particular asset for changes.

The Blockchain column

The third column shows the current state of the blockchain.

To expand a block, click the expander. The contents of the block show the transactions in the block and the details for each transaction.

Important: Any transactions that occur against a specific blockchain will appear within blocks on the blockchain. These include invalid transactions as well as transactions against other contracts. To see a change on a specific contract, the Monitoring UI must be configured to connect to that contract.


  • sendPeersProposal - Promise is rejected: Error: 2 UNKNOWN: chaincode error (status: 500, message: Authorization for GETINSTALLEDCHAINCODES on channel getinstalledchaincodes has been denied with error Failed verifying that proposal's creator satisfies local MSP principal during channelless check policy with policy [Admins]: [This identity is not an admin]

This error occurs if the certificate generated by the SDK user has not been uploaded to the peer.

  • Error: The gRPC binary module was not installed. This may be fixed by running "npm rebuild"

grpc is a requirement for the fabric-client SDK. Confirm that is has been installed in the react_backend directory with npm install grpc@1.11.0.


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This code pattern is licensed under the Apache Software License, Version 2. Separate third party code objects invoked within this code pattern are licensed by their respective providers pursuant to their own separate licenses. Contributions are subject to the Developer Certificate of Origin, Version 1.1 (DCO) and the Apache Software License, Version 2.

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