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IBM Watson Ruby SDK

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Ruby gem to quickly get started with the various IBM Watson services.

Table of Contents

Announcements

Support for 2.7 ruby

To support 2.7 the http gem dependency is updated to 4.4.0. Since it conflicted with the dependency in the ruby-sdk-core that gem was also updated. Using 2.0.2 or above ruby sdk will require a core of 1.1.3 or above.

Updating endpoint URLs from watsonplatform.net

Watson API endpoint URLs at watsonplatform.net are changing and will not work after 26 May 2021. Update your calls to use the newer endpoint URLs. For more information, see https://cloud.ibm.com/docs/watson?topic=watson-endpoint-change.

Personality Insights deprecation

IBM Watson™ Personality Insights is discontinued. For a period of one year from 1 December 2020, you will still be able to use Watson Personality Insights. However, as of 1 December 2021, the offering will no longer be available.

As an alternative, we encourage you to consider migrating to IBM Watson™ Natural Language Understanding, a service on IBM Cloud® that uses deep learning to extract data and insights from text such as keywords, categories, sentiment, emotion, and syntax to provide insights for your business or industry. For more information, see About Natural Language Understanding.

Visual Recognition deprecation

IBM Watson™ Visual Recognition is discontinued. Existing instances are supported until 1 December 2021, but as of 7 January 2021, you can't create instances. Any instance that is provisioned on 1 December 2021 will be deleted.

Compare and Comply deprecation

IBM Watson™ Compare and Comply is discontinued. Existing instances are supported until 30 November 2021, but as of 1 December 2020, you can't create instances. Any instance that exists on 30 November 2021 will be deleted. Consider migrating to Watson Discovery Premium on IBM Cloud for your Compare and Comply use cases. To start the migration process, visit https://ibm.biz/contact-wdc-premium.

Before you begin

Installation

Install the gem:

gem install ibm_watson

Install with development dependencies:

gem install --dev ibm_watson

Inside of your Ruby program do:

require "ibm_watson"

Examples

The examples folder has basic and advanced examples. The examples within each service assume that you already have service credentials.

Discovery v2 only on CP4D

Discovery v2 is only available on Cloud Pak for Data.

Running in IBM Cloud

If you run your app in IBM Cloud, the SDK gets credentials from the VCAP_SERVICES environment variable.

Authentication

Watson services are migrating to token-based Identity and Access Management (IAM) authentication.

  • With some service instances, you authenticate to the API by using IAM.
  • In other instances, you authenticate by providing the username and password for the service instance.

Getting credentials

To find out which authentication to use, view the service credentials. You find the service credentials for authentication the same way for all Watson services:

  1. Go to the IBM Cloud Dashboard page.
  2. Either click an existing Watson service instance in your resource list or click Create resource > AI and create a service instance.
  3. Click on the Manage item in the left nav bar of your service instance.

On this page, you should be able to see your credentials for accessing your service instance.

Supplying credentials

There are two ways to supply the credentials you found above to the SDK for authentication.

Credential file (easier!)

With a credential file, you just need to put the file in the right place and the SDK will do the work of parsing and authenticating. You can get this file by clicking the Download button for the credentials in the Manage tab of your service instance.

The file downloaded will be called ibm-credentials.env. This is the name the SDK will search for and must be preserved unless you want to configure the file path (more on that later). The SDK will look for your ibm-credentials.env file in the following places (in order):

  • The top-level directory of the project you're using the SDK in
  • Your system's home directory

As long as you set that up correctly, you don't have to worry about setting any authentication options in your code. So, for example, if you created and downloaded the credential file for your Discovery instance, you just need to do the following:

discovery = DiscoveryV1(version: "2018-08-01")

And that's it!

If you're using more than one service at a time in your code and get two different ibm-credentials.env files, just put the contents together in one ibm-credentials.env file and the SDK will handle assigning credentials to their appropriate services.

If you would like to configure the location/name of your credential file, you can set an environment variable called IBM_CREDENTIALS_FILE. This will take precedence over the locations specified above. Here's how you can do that:

export IBM_CREDENTIALS_FILE="<path>"

where <path> is something like /home/user/Downloads/<file_name>.env.

Manually

If you'd prefer to set authentication values manually in your code, the SDK supports that as well. The way you'll do this depends on what type of credentials your service instance gives you.

IAM

IBM Cloud is migrating to token-based Identity and Access Management (IAM) authentication. IAM authentication uses a service API key to get an access token that is passed with the call. Access tokens are valid for approximately one hour and must be regenerated.

You supply either an IAM service API key or an access token:

  • Use the API key to have the SDK manage the lifecycle of the access token. The SDK requests an access token, ensures that the access token is valid, and refreshes it if necessary.
  • Use the access token if you want to manage the lifecycle yourself. For details, see Authenticating with IAM tokens.

Supplying the IAM API key

# In the constructor, letting the SDK manage the IAM token
authenticator = IBMWatson::Authenticators::IamAuthenticator.new(
  apikey: "<iam_apikey>",
  url: "<iam_url>" # optional - the default value is https://iam.cloud.ibm.com/identity/token
)
discovery = IBMWatson::DiscoveryV1.new(
  version: "2017-10-16",
  authenticator: authenticator
)
discover.service_url = "<service-url>" # setting service url

Supplying the access token

authenticator = IBMWatson::Authenticators::BearerTokenAuthenticator.new(
  bearer_token: "<access_token>"
)
discovery = IBMWatson::DiscoveryV1.new(version: "2017-10-16", authenticator)

Username and password

require "ibm_watson"
require "ibm_cloud_sdk_core"
include IBMWatson
# In the constructor
authenticator = IBMWatson::Authenticators::BasicAuthenticator.new(
  username: "<username>",
  password: "<password>"
)
discovery = DiscoveryV1.new(
  version: "2017-10-16",
  authenticator: authenticator
)

Sending requests asynchronously

Requests can be sent asynchronously. There are two asynchronous methods available for the user, async & await. When used, these methods return an Ivar object.

  • To call a method asynchronously, simply insert .await or .async into the call: service.translate would be service.async.translate
  • To access the response from an Ivar object called future, simply call future.value

When await is used, the request is made synchronously.

authenticator = IBMWatson::Authenticators::BasicAuthenticator.new(
  username: "<username>",
  password: "<password>"
)

speech_to_text = IBMWatson::SpeechToTextV1.new(
  authenticator: authenticator
)
audio_file = File.open(Dir.getwd + "/resources/speech.wav")
future = speech_to_text.await.recognize(
  audio: audio_file
)
p future.complete? # If the request is successful, then this will be true
output = future.value # The response is accessible at future.value

When async is used, the request is made asynchronously

authenticator = IBMWatson::Authenticators::BasicAuthenticator.new(
  username: "<username>",
  password: "<password>"
)

speech_to_text = IBMWatson::SpeechToTextV1.new(
  authenticator: authenticator
)
audio_file = File.open(Dir.getwd + "/resources/speech.wav")
future = speech_to_text.async.recognize(
  audio: audio_file
)
p future.complete? # Can be false if the request is still running
future.wait # Wait for the asynchronous call to finish
p future.complete? # If the request is successful, then this will now be true
output = future.value

Sending request headers

Custom headers can be passed in any request in the form of a Hash as a parameter to the headers chainable method. For example, to send a header called Custom-Header to a call in Watson Assistant, pass the headers as a parameter to the headers chainable method:

require "ibm_watson"
include IBMWatson

assistant = AssistantV1.new(
  authenticator: "<authenticator>"
  version: "2017-04-21"
)

response = assistant.headers(
  "Custom-Header" => "custom_value"
  ).list_workspaces

Parsing HTTP response info

HTTP requests all return DetailedResponse objects that have a result, status, and headers

require "ibm_watson"
include IBMWatson

assistant = AssistantV1.new(
  authenticator: "<authenticator>"
  version: "2017-04-21"
)

response = assistant.headers(
  "Custom-Header" => "custom_value"
  ).list_workspaces

p "Status: #{response.status}"
p "Headers: #{response.headers}"
p "Result: #{response.result}"

This would give an output of DetailedResponse having the structure:

Status: 200
Headers: "<http response headers>"
Result: "<response returned by service>"

Transaction IDs

Every SDK call returns a response with a transaction ID in the X-Global-Transaction-Id header. Together the service instance region, this ID helps support teams troubleshoot issues from relevant logs.

require "ibm_watson"
include IBMWatson

assistant = AssistantV1.new(
  authenticator: "<authenticator>"
  version: "2017-04-21"
)

begin
  response = assistant.list_workspaces
  p "Global transaction id: #{response.headers["X-Global-Transaction-Id"]}"
rescue IBMCloudSdkCore::ApiException => e
  # Global transaction on failed api call is contained in the error message
  print "Error: ##{e}"
end

However, the transaction ID isn't available when the API doesn't return a response for some reason. In that case, you can set your own transaction ID in the request. For example, replace <my-unique-transaction-id> in the following example with a unique transaction ID.

require "ibm_watson"
include IBMWatson

assistant = AssistantV1.new(
  authenticator: "<authenticator>"
  version: "2017-04-21"
)

response = assistant.headers(
  "X-Global-Transaction-Id" => "<my-unique-transaction-id>"
  ).list_workspaces

Configuring the HTTP client

To set client configs like timeout or proxy use the configure_http_client function and pass in the configurations.

require "ibm_watson/assistant_v1"
include IBMWatson

assistant = AssistantV1.new(
  authenticator: "<authenticator>"
  version: "2018-07-10"
)

assistant.configure_http_client(
  timeout: {
    # Accepts either :per_operation or :global
    per_operation: { # The individual timeouts for each operation
      read: 5,
      write: 7,
      connect: 10
    }
    # global: 30 # The total timeout time
  },
  proxy: {
    address: "bogus_address.com",
    port: 9999,
    username: "username",
    password: "password",
    headers: {
      bogus_header: true
    }
  }
)

The HTTP client can be configured to disable SSL verification. Note that this has serious security implications - only do this if you really mean to! ⚠️

To do this, pass disable_ssl_verification as true in configure_http_client(), like below:

require "ibm_watson/assistant_v1"
include IBMWatson

service = AssistantV1.new(
  version: "<version>",
  authenticator: "<authenticator>"
)

service.configure_http_client(disable_ssl_verification: true)

Using Websockets

The Speech-to-Text service supports websockets with the recognize_using_websocket method. The method accepts a custom callback class. The eventmachine loop that the websocket uses blocks the main thread by default. Here is an example of using the websockets method:

require "ibm_watson"

callback = IBMWatson::RecognizeCallback.new
audio_file = "<Audio File for Analysis>"
speech_to_text = IBMWatson::SpeechToTextV1.new(
  username: "<username>",
  password: "<password>"
)
websocket = speech_to_text.recognize_using_websocket(
  audio: audio_file,
  recognize_callback: callback,
  interim_results: true
)
thr = Thread.new do # Start the websocket inside of a thread
  websocket.start # Starts the websocket and begins sending audio to the server.
  # The `callback` processes the data from the server
end
thr.join # Wait for the thread to finish before ending the program or running other code

Note: recognize_with_websocket has been deprecated in favor of recognize_using_websocket

IBM Cloud Pak for Data(CP4D)

If your service instance is of ICP4D, below are two ways of initializing the assistant service.

Supplying the username, password, and url

The SDK will manage the token for the user

authenticator = IBMWatson::Authenticators::CloudPakForDataAuthenticator.new(
  username: "<username>",
  password: "<password>",
  url: "<authentication url>",
  disable_ssl: true
)
assistant = IBMWatson::AssistantV1.new(
  version: "<version>",
  authenticator: authenticator
)

Questions

If you have issues with the APIs or have a question about the Watson services, see Stack Overflow.

Ruby version

Tested on:

  • MRI Ruby (RVM): 2.5.1, 2.6.1
  • RubyInstaller (Windows x64): 2.5.1, 2.6.1

2.3.7 and 2.4.4 should still work but support will be deprecated in next major release.

Contributing

See CONTRIBUTING.md.

License

This library is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.

Featured projects

Here are some projects that have been using the SDK:

We'd love to highlight cool open-source projects that use this SDK! If you'd like to get your project added to the list, feel free to make an issue linking us to it.