Set-up Radiks for your DApp

Using Radiks with your application requires a Radiks server and a client application constructed to use the server. In this article, you learn how to install, setup, and run a pre-packaged Radiks server that connects to MongoDB. You also learn how to establish your DApp application as a client for that server.

Task 1. Set up your Radiks server

Radiks-server is a node.js application that uses MongoDB as an underlying database.

Install and configure MongoDB

In the future, Radiks-server will support various different databases, but right now, only MongoDB 3.6 or higher is supported. MongoDB 3.6 and higher contains fixes required for naming patterns in keys.

Note: The steps assume you want to install and run the MongoDB software locally on your workstation for testing and development. If you are deploying for a production application, you will install MongoDB on your application server or on a server connected to it.
  1. Download and install MongoDB 3.6 or higher on your workstation.

    You can also install MongoDB using your favorite package manager; for example, Homebrew is recommended for macOS. If you are testing on a local workstation, you can use a docker image instead of installing locally.

  2. Start the MongoDB service and verify it is running.

  3. On your MongoDB instance, create a database for your application data.

    You can use the Mongo shell to do this, or you can install the MongoDB Compass software to explore and work with MongoDB data.

  4. Create a username/password combination with root privileges on your new database.

Install and start the Radiks server

The easiest way to run radiks-server is to use the pre-packaged node.js server.

  1. Install the radiks-server on a workstation or server.

     npm install -g radiks-server
    

    Or, if you prefer yarn:

     yarn global add radiks-server
    

    The default port for Mongodb is 27017; your instance may be configured differently. By default, Radiks-server will use 'MongoDB://localhost:27017/radiks-server' as the MongoDB_URI value. This is suitable for local testing, but in production, you’ll want to change the hostname and possibly the database name.

  2. Start the radiks-server in the command line to confirm your installation.

    $ radiks-server
     (node:37750) DeprecationWarning: current Server Discovery and Monitoring engine is deprecated and will be removed in a future version. To use the new Server Discover and Monitoring engine, pass option { useUnifiedTopology: true } to the MongoClient constructor.
      radiks-server is ready on http://localhost:1260
    

    The radiks-server defaults to running on port 1260. To change the default port, specify the PORT environment variable in your environment.

  3. By default, the server is running at http://localhost:1260

  4. Stop the radiks server process after you confirm it runs, and your installation was a success.

Task 2. Set up your application

You must set up your application to use Radiks. This requires installing the radiks client package and then configuring your application to connect to your Radiks server.

Install the radiks client software

If you are using blockstack.js version 18 or earlier, you must use the Radiks version 0.1.*, otherwise if you’re using blockstack.js version 19 or higher, use Radiks 0.2.* .

  1. Change directory to the root of you application code.
  2. Install the radiks client package.

    Use npm Use yarn
    npm install --save radiks yarn add radiks

Configure the MongoDB for your application

  1. Start the mongo shell application.

     $ mongo
     MongoDB shell version v4.2.0
     connecting to: mongodb://127.0.0.1:27017/?compressors=disabled&gssapiServiceName=mongodb
     Implicit session: session { "id" : UUID("8d43cf80-490d-4cac-8bd6-40eec5c128de") }
     MongoDB server version: 4.2.0
     ....
    
     To enable free monitoring, run the following command: db.enableFreeMonitoring()
     To permanently disable this reminder, run the following command: db.disableFreeMonitoring()
     >
    
  2. Create a new database for your application.

    > show dbs
    admin   0.000GB
    config  0.000GB
    local   0.000GB
    > use test1
    switched to db test1
    > show dbs
    admin   0.000GB
    config  0.000GB
    local   0.000GB
    > db.createUser({user: "admin", pwd:"foobar1",roles: ["readWrite","dbAdmin"]});
    Successfully added user: { "user" : "admin", "roles" : [ "readWrite", "dbAdmin" ] }
    
  3. Add a user with administrative rights to the database.

     > db.createUser({user: "admin", pwd:"foobar1",roles: ["readWrite","dbAdmin"]});
     Successfully added user: { "user" : "admin", "roles" : [ "readWrite", "dbAdmin" ] }
    
  4. Create an MONGODB_URI environment variable on the same machine where you are running the radiks-server.

    Use the mongodb://username:password@host:port/db_name format for your variable. For example, to set this variable in a bash shell:

    export MONGODB_URI="mongodb://admin:foobar1@localhost:27017/test1"
    

Task 3. Add startup code and build your application

To set up radiks.js, you only need to configure the URL that your Radiks-server instance is running on. If you’re using the pre-built Radiks server, this will be http://localhost:1260. If you’re in production or are using a custom Radiks server, you’ll need to specify the exact URL where it’s available.

Radiks also is compatible with version 19 of blockstack.js, which requires you to configure a UserSession object to handle all user-data-related methods. You’ll need to define this and pass it to your Radiks configuration so that Radiks can know how to fetch information about the current logged in user.

Configure your application to use your radiks-server.

To configure your application as a radiks client, do the following:

  1. Start your application so that a UserSession allows the app to both write and publish data:

      import { UserSession, AppConfig } from 'blockstack';
      import { configure } from 'radiks';
    
      const userSession = new UserSession({
        appConfig: new AppConfig(['store_write', 'publish_data'])
      })
    
      configure({
        apiServer: 'http://localhost:1260',
        userSession
      });
    
  2. Add authentication to your application

    After your user logs in with Blockstack, you’ll have some code to save the user’s data in your applications localStorage. You’ll want to use the same UserSession you configured with Radiks, which can be fetched from the getConfig method.

    import { User, getConfig } from 'radiks';
    
    const handleSignIn = () => {
      const { userSession } = getConfig();
      if (userSession.isSignInPending()) {
        await userSession.handlePendingSignIn();
        await User.createWithCurrentUser();
      }
    }
    

    Calling User.createWithCurrentUser does the following:

    • Fetch user data that Blockstack.js stores in localStorage
    • Save the user’s public data (including their public key) in Radiks-server
    • Find or create a signing key that is used to authorize writes on behalf of this user
    • Cache the user’s signing key (and any group-related signing keys) to make signatures and decryption happen quickly later on

Build and run your application

After you have added Radiks to your application, build and run the application. Test the application by logging in with your Blockstack ID. Create some data using the application. If you inspect the MongoDB database, you should see the encrypted data stored in the database.

You can specify the mongoDBUrl or the maxLimit option when initiating the Radiks server in your application.

const { setup } = require('radiks-server');

setup({
  ...myOptions,
});

The mongoDBUrl option is the MongoDB URL for the Radiks server The maxLimit option is the maximum limit field used inside the mongo queries. The default is 1000.

Where to go next

Creating models for your application’s data is where radiks truly becomes helpful. To learn how to use models, see the Create and use models section.