Overview

 

This application shows you how to get started using the Cisco Meraki Scanning API. Scanning API is Meraki’s location analytics and engagement platform.

Source Code    Demo

 1. This code is for sample purposes only. Before running in production, you should probably add SSL/TLS support by running this server behind a TLS-capable reverse proxy like nginx.

2. You should also test that your server is capable of handling the rate of events that will be generated by your networks. A good rule of thumb is that your server should be able to process all your network’s nodes once per minute. So if you have 100 nodes, your server should respond to each request within 600 ms. For more than 100 nodes, you will probably need a multithreaded web app.

3. This version of the scanning-api-app runs a web server and also Resque, a background message queuing and processing system, as separate dynos (virtual machine) in Heroku (web and worker). Heroku allows 1 free web and worker dynos respectively. You can increase the number of these to scale your application

Installation

Heroku

  1. Set up Heroku
  • Download and install the Heroku CLI
  • Create your Heroku account, then set your heroku login credentials using ‘heroku login’
  1. Clone project
  • Create a new directory for this project.
  • Clone the repo into this directory by running git clone [email protected]:meraki/scanning-api-app.git (this will clone the project into the subdirectory scanning-api-app).
  • Alternatively, download the ZIP file and unzip it into your project directory.
  1. App setup
  • In the new directory, run heroku create <app_name> – this will create your app on Heroku for the url app_name.herokuapp.com. You can also leave <app_name> empty to let Heroku pick a random app name for you.
  • Set the environment variables using the following commandheroku config:set VALIDATOR=<validator> SECRET=<secret>
  • Create a Redis instance using the following command:heroku addons:create heroku-redis:hobby-devThis will create a Heroku Redis instance and set it’s URL in the environment variable REDIS_URL, which our app requires. ‘hobby-dev’ is a free Redis instance. To upgrade, read more at:https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/heroku-redis#migrating-to-heroku-redisIf you don’t want to use Heroku Redis, you could set up your own Redis instance and set its url as the value of the REDIS_URL env variable (similar to setting VALIDATOR SECRET)
  • Similarly, create the PostgreSQL Database using the command:heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:hobby-devThis will create the Postgresql database and set the environment variable DATABASE_URL, which the app requires.
  • Run heroku ps:scale web=1 worker=1. This command tells Heroku that it should add a worker to your app. Heroku will run the processes using the command mentioned in the Procfile.
  1. Launching the app
  • After you have set the above variables, run git push heroku master to push your repository to Heroku and have it automatically run your web application. The application will now be available at app_name.heroku.com

Non-Heroku

  • This app can be directly pushed to Heroku. To run locally, you can use the gem foreman.
    • Ensure you’ve got ruby 1.9.3 installed, and then run bundle install from the app’s directory.
    • Set the environment variables as shown above(after you’ve set up your databases).
    • Additionally, set the PORT environmental variable to the port you want the app to listen on. (Eg: 4567)
    • Run gem install foreman and then run the app with foreman start to run the commands in the Procfile and start your server.

Software requirements:

  • When running without Heroku, ensure you have Ruby 1.9.3 installed. If you don’t, consider using RVM to install and manage your Ruby versions.

Gems:

  • Refer to the Gemfile for the required gems
  • Run bundle install to install the required gems when you’re running the app yourself.
  • It is generally a bad thing to change the contents of the Gemfile

Network infrastructure requirements:

  • The app requires using one or more Cisco Meraki MR wireless access points (APs).
  • A valid Enterprise license is required for each Meraki AP.
  • Note: this app does not work with other Cisco APs or non-Cisco APs.

Running the app

Let’s say you plan to run this app on a server you control called pushapi.myserver.com on port 4567.

  1. Go to the Cisco Meraki dashboard and configure the Scanning API (find it under Organization > Settings>Location and Scanning) with the url http://pushapi.myserver.com:4567/events
  2. Choose a secret and enter it into the dashboard.
  3. Make note of the validation code that dashboard provides.
  4. Install the application as shown above.
  5. Click the “Validate server” button in Scanning and Location configuration in the dashboard. Meraki cloud servers will perform a GET to your server, and if you set up the server correctly, you will see Validated http://pushapi.myserver.com:4567/events in the dashboard. You will also see a log message like this:[26/Mar/2014 11:52:09] "GET /events HTTP/1.1" 200 6 0.0024If you aren’t using Heroku and you do not see such a log message, check your firewall and make sure you’re allowing connections to port 4567. You can confirm that the server is receiving connections on the port using

telnet pushapi.myserver.com 4567

For Heroku logs, run heroku logs -t from your app directory.

  1. Once the Meraki cloud has confirmed that the URL you provided returns the expected validation code, it will begin posting events to your URL. For example, when a client probes one of your access points, you’ll see a log message like this:

[2014-03-26T11:51:57.920806 #25266] INFO -- : AP 11:22:33:44:55:66 on ["5th Floor"]: {"ipv4"=>"123.45.67.89", "location"=>{"lat"=>37.77050089978862, "lng"=>-122.38686903158863,"unc"=>11.39537928078731}, "seenTime"=>"2014-05-15T15:48:14Z", "ssid"=>"Cisco WiFi","os"=>"Linux", "clientMac"=>"aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff","seenEpoch"=>1400168894, "rssi"=>16, "ipv6"=>nil, "manufacturer"=>"Meraki"}

  1. After your first client pushes start arriving (this may take a minute or two), you can get a JSON output describing the last client probe (where {mac} is the client mac address): pushapi.myserver.com:4567/clients/{mac}
  2. You can also view the sample frontend at: http://pushapi.myserver.com:4567/. Try connecting your mobile device to your network, and entering your mobile device‘s WiFi MAC in the frontend.

Scaling your app

If you want more control over the efficiency of your app on your machine(or in the Heroku dynos):

  • Each Heroku web dyno has a number of unicorn process (instances of your web application). Change the value of worker_processes in unicorn.rb to increase this.
  • To increase the number of background processes running per Heroku worker dyno, change the value of COUNT=in the Procfile. WARNING: Increasing these to a number too high will lead to your system running out of memory.

Sample output code

The JSON output sent by Meraki servers to your app is formatted as follows:

{
  "apMac":"00:18:0a:79:08:60",
  "apFloors":["500 TF 4th"],
  "observations":[{
    "clientMac":"00:11:22:33:44:55:66",
    "probeEpoch":1388577600,
    "probeTime":"2014-01-01T12:00:00Z",
    "rssi":23,
    "ssid":"SSID 1",
    "manufacturer":"Meraki",
    "os":"Linux",
    "location":{
      "lat":37.77057805947924
      "lng":-122.38765965945927,
      "unc":15.13174349529074,
    },...]
  }
}

A specific client device’s details can be retrieved, for example:

http://pushapi.myserver.com:4567/clients/34:23:ba:a6:75:70

may return

{
  "id":65,
  "mac":"34:23:ba:a6:75:70",
  "seenAt":"Fri Apr 18 00:01:41.479 UTC 2014",
  "lat":37.77059042088197,"lng":-122.38703445525945
}

Code and documentation copyright 2013-2014 Cisco Systems, Inc. Code released under the MIT license. Documentation released under Creative Commons.