How-To: The Simple guide to running Rocket.chat

Rocket.chat, an open-source chat platform built with Meteor, helps with workplace communications and supports video conferencing, file sharing, and voice messages.

While there are similarities to other commercial platforms like Slack or Flowdock, it’s significantly less expensive to run Rocket.Chat on BroadIQ. It’s a great alternative if you want to have full control over your communications. No need to acquire your own servers as you can run the application in the cloud in minutes.

Rocket.Chat is a great solution for companies that do not want to pay large amounts of money to Microsoft and Google to run similar chat platforms and want to “own” their data.

Sign up on BroadIQ’s webpage for a free trial and run Rocket.Chat for free over the next three (3) months. 

Also, BroadIQ will be testing our discounted SSL/TLS system that provides free wildcard certificates for 12 months and then $7/month after that, if you host your domains with GoDaddy (expanding to other hosts in the future).

Prerequisites

The items below are required for a successful installation of Rocket.Chat:

  • A free account in BroadIQ.com
  • A BroadIQ Organization (Org) created inside BroadIQ.com
  • Access to a MongoDB — Use your own MongoDB server, install a test database in BroadIQ, or use a MongoDB cloud service
  • Install Rocket.Chat in the cloud using the BroadIQ Marketplace

Most applications available in the BroadIQ Marketplace follow similar patterns: get a database, connect to the database to the application, and run the application.

If the application being run requires a database, a database must be made available before running the application (see “Database Set up” section below). Also, connecting an application to a database is needed before the application can be run (see “Database Entity” section below).

Following this guide, you can install and run Rocket.Chat today.

BroadIQ Setup

Create a New Account

Otherwise, create an account using the following link (https://www.broadiq.com/account-help/account/createAccount). Once an account is created, an email is sent that requires verification of the account. Verify your account. Now login to BroadIQ using the “Sign In” button to begin the installation of Rocket.Chat.

Organizations within BroadIQ

To access the BroadIQ marketplace, your user has to be associated with an organization (Org). If you already have an Org in BroadIQ, skip this step.

Create a New Organization

An Org is a way to group people together in BroadIQ. It can be a company, a group of people, it could be your child’s soccer team. By creating an Org you have access to the BroadIQ marketplace, where applications can be run in the cloud and are only accessible to members of the organization.

In the upper right corner of the page select “Organizations” from the “Services” drop-down menu (see image below).

On the Organizations page select “Add Org” at the top left of the page and create a new organization. By creating an Org you (your user) are automatically the Org administrator. This means that you have complete control over the applications in your Org that are deployed in the cloud and who in your business or organization, have access to them.

Database Set-Up

Please use the previous post “How-To: Getting started with MongoDB” to set up a MongoDB database in BroadIQ or use your own MongoDB if you have one available. There are some good cloud providers for MongoDB that you can use.

Mlab is a good option to get you started if you do not want to install MongoDB on your own servers or use BroadIQ’s test MongoDB.

Database Entity

Before installing Rocket.Chat, a “Data Entity” needs to be created to store the database connection information. This Information allows Rocket.Chat to connect to a MongoDB database. Review the “Build a Database Entity” link for instructions on how to create a database entity (Data Entity).

Running Rocket.Chat

To get Rocket.Chat running in the cloud, follow the steps below.

Step 1 – The Marketplace

First, select an Org that you have previously created. In order to run Rocket.Chat in the cloud using BroadIQ, select “Market Place” from the left side menu for the organization you have selected. When the “Market Place” menu is selected, a listing of available applications are displayed in the main window (See image below).

Hover over the Rocket.Chat application and select the “View App” link. This navigates to a new page that provides more information about Rocket.Chat.

On this page, you’ll find more information about the application and/or links to the company’s website.

NOTE: To run Rocket.Chat a MongoDB database is required (See Requirements section). Please set up your own MongoDB database or use the instructions in the previous sections. Then create a “Data Entity”, as explained above.

Click the “Select” button, to run the application in the cloud.

Step 2 – Selecting a Host

The first step in running an application is to choose a location where the application is going to run. At BroadIQ, applications run in the cloud on an infrastructure called Platform As A Service or PAAS (Host). This page allows you to select an available Host to run your application. Push the magnifying glass button. This will open the window that allows you to select a Host location to run your application.

Once you push the select button for the Host, the small window will close and the selected Host will appear in the box. Your selection will appear as shown on the page below.

Now push the “Continue” button to advance to the next page.

Step 3 – Database Selection

On the next page select the MongoDB Data Entity that you want to use for the Rocket.Chat application. This is where Rocket.Chat will store the application data. This page allows you to select an available MongoDB application that you previously configured in the “Database Entity” section. Push the magnifying glass button on the page to open the window that allows you to select an available database.

Once you push the select button for the Database, the small window will close and the selected Database will appear in the box. Your selection will appear as shown on the page below.

Now push the “Billing” button to continue to the next page.

Step 4 – Billing

A credit card is required to run the application in the cloud. The credit card is billed at the end of the billing cycle (typically, only 30 days). Only the balance that is outstanding at the end of the billing cycle will be billed to the card. If your organization or business has any credits for that month, those amounts will be credited (deducted) before a final balance is calculated.

On this page enter credit card information for each of the fields that are on the page.

Click the “Save” button and move to the final “Purchase Review” page.

Step 5 – Purchase Review

On the Purchase Review page, you will see an overview of the application customizations you have selected. It also provides an estimate of how much it will cost to run the application for the full month (30 days) and how long it takes to deploy the application in the cloud.

If you are happy with the configuration, click the “Deploy” button, which starts the process of deploying and running the application in the cloud.

If the application is deployed and running successfully in the cloud, the screen will change from a progress screen (above) to a running screen as shown below.

The application details page shows how many instances of the application are running as well as other details. Also, from this view, access to the application website is available and the application can be deleted by pushing the delete button, which removes the application from the cloud.

Applications are made up of artifacts. The artifacts in an application are the software instances of the application that are running in the cloud.

From this screen, you can view the details of the running application by clicking on the cog icon (the gear icon), which is to the right of the running application. In the above figure, it is shown on the same line as the artifact “rocket-chat” (“Application Artifacts” section). The cog is on the same line as the name on the right side. Click the cog icon and be taken to a page that shows the details about the application (artifact) that was selected.

The artifact detail page displays information about the running artifact (application instance). At this point, the URL as shown in the “Configuration” section can be distributed to your team. That URL gives your organization access to the Rocket.Chat application.

When the Rocket.Chat URL is first used it starts the admin user setup process and performs the initial configuration for Rocket.Chat. That admin user can be used to manage other users who want access to the application.

Above is a sample of the Rocket.Chat application login screen that your team will see when they are ready to log in to the application.

Removing the Application

In your BroadIQ Org, click the left side menu “Deployed Apps” to see the applications your Org is running in the cloud. On this page, running applications can be managed and/or stopped (removed) when you no longer want to run the application.

To remove the application, hover the mouse over the Rocket.Chat application and select the “Manage” link. Then select the “DELETE” link located on the right side of the page. Deleting an application will remove the application from the cloud and stop the billing related to the application.

Conclusion

You have just deployed Rocket.Chat in the cloud using BroadIQ. To get the application up and running should not take very long (less than 10 minutes).

BroadIQ is an application marketplace that is constantly adding new applications that can be deployed in the cloud. Next, you might want to try another application listed in BroadIQ’s marketplace that could help your business move forward.

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