Javascript client library for connecting to Nitrogen
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Nitrogen Client

Nitrogen is a platform for building connected devices. Nitrogen provides the authentication, authorization, and real time message passing framework so that you can focus on your device and application. All with a consistent development platform that leverages the ubiquity of Javascript.

This is the client library for developing applications and devices that communicate to the Nitrogen service.

Device Development Model

Nitrogen at its heart uses messaging between principals (devices and users). Principals in the system can create and consume messages. Messages can follow a well known schema to enable interoperability between applications or use their own private custom message types.

For example, a thermometer that measures temperature once every 15 minutes could be implemented in Nitrogen like this:

var thermometer = new nitrogen.Device({
    tags: ['sends:temperature'],
    nickname: 'thermometer'

var service = new nitrogen.Service(config);
service.connect(thermometer, function(err, session, thermometer) {

    // take temperature every 15 minutes.

    setInterval(function() {
        var message = new Nitrogen.Message({
            type: 'temperature',
            body: {
                temperature: getTemp()
    }, 15 * 60 * 1000);


You can find a complete example for a device application of Nitrogen in the camera project.

Listening to a device's message stream

An application that displays these temperatures in real time as they are received would look like this. In this case, we're using a user principal, and a filter with onMessage to only notify us of temperature updates.

var user = new nitrogen.User({...});

var service = new nitrogen.Service(config);
service.connect(user, function(err, session, user) {
    session.onMessage({ type: 'temperature' }, function(message) {
        console.log("The temperature is now: " + message.body.temperature);

        // update the UI

Getting Started

To get started with a Nitrogen client:

Node.js application

  1. npm install nitrogen

Browser application

  1. Add <script src="" /> to your application.


Documentation for the Nitrogen client library can be found online at the Nitrogen project.

Contributing to the project.

  1. Clone or fork this repo:
  2. If you are building on Windows, make sure to fetch all of the node-gyp dependencies as explained here:
  3. Fetch and install its node.js dependencies: npm install
  4. Run a Nitrogen device registry and messaging service locally that the tests can run against in test mode (NODE_ENV=test).
  5. Run the tests to make sure everything is setup correctly: npm test
  6. Make your change as a clean commit for a pull request.
  7. Make sure there is a test to cover new functionality so nobody can break it in the future without us knowing.
  8. Submit it as a pull request to the project.

How to contribute

  1. Feedback: We'd love feedback on what problems you are using Nitrogen to solve. Obviously, we'd also like to hear about where you ran into sharp edges and dead ends. Drop me a message at or file an issue with us above.
  2. Pull requests: If you'd like to tackle an issue, fork the repo, create a clean commit for the fix or enhancement with tests if necessary, and send us a pull request. This is also the path to becoming a core committer for the project for folks that are interested in contributing in more depth.
  3. Documentation: Better technical documentation is key to broadening the use of the platform. We'd love to have more help and this is one of the most valuable contributions you can make.

Code Style & Code Quality Testing

Code Style Testing is provided by JSCS, which is also available for various editors, including Sublime, Atom and Visual Studio. To quote Google: "Every major open-source project has its own style guide: a set of conventions (sometimes arbitrary) about how to write code for that project. It is much easier to understand a large codebase when all the code in it is in a consistent style."

Code Quality Testing is provided by JSHint, checking for common pitfalls in JavaScript. The rules here are strict, enforcing JavaScript that is most compliant with browsers and JS engines.

Run both JSCS and JSHint with grunt test. If you don't have Grunt installed, install it with npm install -g grunt-cli. More installation information can be found in Grunt's Getting Started Guide.

Running on Windows

On Windows, you'll need to install some dependencies first:

  • node-gyp (npm install -g node-gyp)
  • OpenSSL (normal, not light) in the same bitness as your Node.js installation.
    • The build script looks for OpenSSL in the default install directory (C:\OpenSSL-Win32 or C:\OpenSSL-Win64)
    • If you get Error: The specified module could not be found., copy libeay32.dll from the OpenSSL bin directory to this module's bin directory, or to Windows\System3.

Nitrogen Project

The Nitrogen project is housed in a set of GitHub projects:

  1. messaging: Core messaging service.
  2. registry: Device registry service.
  3. client: JavaScript client library for building Nitrogen devices and applications.
  4. admin: Administrative tool for managing the Nitrogen service.
  5. device: Adaptors for common pieces of hardware.
  6. commands: CommandManagers and schemas for well known command types.
  7. cli: Command line interface for working with a Nitrogen service.