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Openwhisk RSS Package

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This package allows users to subscribe to RSS/ATOM feeds and receive events when a new feed item is available. It creates one event/activation per feed item that meets the criteria. Below is the hierarchy of the RSS Package.

|-- images
├── feeds
│      └── feed.js
├── LICENSE.txt
├── tests
│   └── src
│      └── RssTests.scala
├── tools
│   └── travis
│       └──
├── rssEventProvider
│      └── app.js
|	   |__ manifest.yml
|	   |__ package.json



Package contents

Entity Type Parameters Description
/namespace/rss package - Openwhisk Package Template
/namespace/rss/rss_feed.js feed details Feed to provide events when a new rss item is available

Feeds parameters

Parameter Type Required Description Options Default Example
url string yes Url to RSS feed - - ""
pollingInterval string yes Interval at which polling is performed - - "2h"
filter string no Comma separted list of keywords to filter on - - "Washington D.C.,capital"

Note: If the filter parameter enables logic that only searches for matches in the feed items' titles and descriptions. If 60% or more of the keywords are found in the RSS feed item, an event will be fired for the feed item. For example, given that filter "Washington D.C.,capital,politics", an event will be fired only if 2 of the 3 keywords are present in the feed item.

RSS Package Installation

Bluemix Installation

First you need to install wsk CLI, follow the instructions at


./ $AUTH_KEY wsk


  • $PROVIDER_ENDPOINT is the endpoint of the event provider service. It's a fully qualified url including the path to the resource. i.e. http://host:port/rss
  • $AUTH_KEY is the OpenWhisk Authentication key(Run wsk property get to obtain it).

Local installation:

Local installation requires running the OpenWhisk environment locally prior to installing the package. To run OpenWhisk locally follow the instructions at



where :

  • $EDGE_HOST is where openwhisk is deployed
  • $AUTH_KEY is the OpenWhisk Authentication key(Run wsk property get to obtain it).
  • $WSK_CLI is the path of OpenWhisk command interface binary
  • $PROVIDER_ENDPOINT is the endpoint of the event provider service. It's a fully qualified url including the path to the resource. i.e. http://host:port/rss

This will create a new package called rss as well as feed action within the package.

RSS Service(Event Provider) Deployment

In order to support the openwhisk package, there needs to be an event generating service that fires a trigger in the openwhisk environment. This service polls an RSS/ATOM source and applies logic to determine whether a feed item should be delivered to the openwhisk rss package. It internally uses Cloudant/CouchDB database to persist the triggers' information. You will need to initialized the DB prior to using this service. The event provider service keeps a registry of triggers. When a trigger is initially created, the service fires events for RSS feed items which are published within pollingInterval from now.

There are two options to deploy the service:

Bluemix Deployment:

This service can be hosted as a cf app on CloudFoundry. To deploy on IBM Bluemix:

  1. Create a Cloudant service on IBM Bluemix, and create a database with name 'registered_triggers'
  2. Change the name and host fields in the manifest.yml to be unique. Bluemix requires routes to be globally unique.
  3. Run cf push

Local Deployment:

This service can be run as a node app on your local machine.

  1. Install a local CouchDB. Detailed instructions can be found at:

  2. Create a database with name 'registered_triggers' in the CouchDB.

  3. Run the following command, node app.js CLOUDANT_USERNAME CLOUDANT_PASSWORD OPENWHISK_AUTH_KEY

Note: Local deployment of this service requires extra configuration if it's to be run with the Bluemix OpenWhisk.

Usage of RSS package.

To use this trigger feed, you need to pass the required parameters (refer to the table below)

wsk trigger create rss_trigger --feed /namespace/package/feed_name -p url 'url_to_rss' -p pollingInterval 'timePeriod'

e.g. wsk trigger create rss_trigger --feed /guest/rss/rss_feed -p url '' -p pollingInterval '2h'

Accepted polling interval formats: 2 days, 1d, 10h, 2.5hrs, 2h, 1m, 5s

For testing purpose, you could use as the rss feed source.

To use trigger feed to delete created trigger.

wsk trigger delete rss_trigger

Associate rss trigger and action by using rule

  1. Create a new trigger, for example: wsk trigger create rss_trigger --feed /guest/rss/rss_feed -p url '' -p pollingInterval '2h' -p whiskHost whiskhostip

  2. Create a 'hello.js' file that reacts to the trigger events with action code below:

function main(params) {
  var title = params.title || 'world';
  var des = params.description || 'default_description';
 return {payload: 'hello,' + title + '!'+ 'description' + des};


Make sure the action exists: wsk action update hello hello.js

  1. Create the rule that associate the trigger and the action: wsk rule create rss_rule rss_trigger hello

  2. So once there are any rss updates that trigger events, you can verify the action was invoked by checking the most recent activations:

wsk activation list --limit 1 hello

f9d41bd2589943efa4f36c5cf1f55b44             hello

wsk activation result f9d41bd2589943efa4f36c5cf1f55b44

    "payload": "hello,Lorem ipsum 2016-09-13T03:05:57+00:00!descriptionUllamco esse officia cillum exercitation ullamco aute aute quis adipisicing officia."

How to run tests?

The integration test could only be performed with a local openwhisk deployment:

  1. Copy your test files into openwhisk/tests/src/packages
  2. vagrant ssh to your local vagrant environment
  3. Navigate to the openwhisk directory
  4. Run this command - gradle :tests:test --tests "packages.CLASS_NAME"

To execute all tests, run gradle :tests:test

How to contribute?

Please refer to




[DEPRECATED] - RSS feed package




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