technologist, entrepreneur, vision­ary, programmer

How to post data to Play Framework from an IoT Spark Core Arduino!


spark_coreMy goal is to create something with an Arduino from Spark Core that posts data to a web service (server) which I have programmed using Play Framework! This went a smoothly as I had expected, because the Spark Core contains an onboard WiFi chip, and a library which simplifies the http requests. The Spark Core can connect to the Spark Servers (cloud) and store data which can in return be retrieved by any application whether it be Javascript, Python or Java. However, I want to skip all that and just post the data into the database on my web server. I quickly realized that the simplest way would be to just use HTTP GET and pass the values I wanted to post in the API URL request string. This is obviously not the most secure, but sufficient for what I need it for.

Step 1: Play Framework application

Create a simple play service which receives the parameter value and logs it to the console (for the purposes of testing).
Example from my routes:

GET     /test                           controllers.Application.test(state: String)

And in the Application.java a method like this:

    public static Result test(String state) {
        Logger.debug("State: " + state);
        return ok();

Once it is running, you can test the service by calling the following from your browser:


You should see the string “test” logged to your Play Framework server console.

Step 2: Arduino Code

I chose to simply flash the onboard LED and post the state to the Play Framework! server as this would be the simplest requiring no additional components. After I configured and setup my Spark Core, I used the cloud IDE to flash it with the following code (Note: replace your IP in the code ):

// Define the pins we're going to call pinMode on
int led = D0;  // You'll need to wire an LED to this one to see it blink.
String sparkId = "notset";
TCPClient client;
byte server[] = { 192, 191, 1, 206 }; // Play Server IP Number
void setup() {
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT);
  // Make sure your Serial Terminal app is closed before powering your Core
  String myID = Spark.deviceID();
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(led, HIGH);   // Turn ON the LED pins
  delay(500);               // Wait for 1000mS = 1 second
  digitalWrite(led, LOW);    // Turn OFF the LED pins
  delay(500);               // Wait for 1 second in off mode

void post_state(String state) {
  if (client.connect(server, 9000))  // IP from above, and Port 9000 for the Play Server
    //URL of the Play Service defined in the routes
    client.println("GET /test?state="+state+" HTTP/1.0");  
    client.println("Content-Length: 0");
    while (client.available() > 0)
        char c = client.read();
    Serial.println("connection failed");

Step 3: go for it!

Once your Play Server is running, and you have flashed the Spark Core with the code modified to call the URL of your Play Server, you should be able to see it logging the State of the LED on the Play Framework server console like this:

[debug] application - State: ON
[debug] application - State: OFF
[debug] application - State: ON
[debug] application - State: OFF
[debug] application - State: ON
[debug] application - State: OFF

Have fun with this and let me know what you do with it!

I have posted the code on github here – the Arduino code is the the subdirectory /spark-core:

If you have read this far, you may as well follow me on Twitter:

Author: poornerd

Tech­nol­o­gist, Entre­pre­neur, Vision­ary, Pro­gram­mer :: Grad­u­ated from USC (Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia) with a degree in Com­puter Sci­ence. After 10+ years of free­lance con­sult­ing and pro­gram­ming, he co-founded Site­Force AG eBusi­ness Solu­tions in 1999 in Munich (München), Ger­many.


  1. I’m trying to do this using my Arduino Uno board. My goal is to do the following:

    Have Arduino send me warning messages on my Android device when it senses any motion near it’s location.

    I have the kit ready that would emit a sound when an object comes near it. I’m using the PIR sensor for this purpose. I’m now thinking of getting a WiFi shield for my Arduino and connect it with some Web server such that the sound signals are transferred to this web server to which I can attach a client from my Android device and receive the messages as warnings!

    I see that you are using Spark (now Particle) hardware for the WiFi. Could you please also post which parts did you use for this experiment? Also,

    1. Where is your Play Server running? On the Arduino or is Arduino pushing messages to the Port and Host that you define in the C file that you upload to Arduino?
    2. Please specify which parts you used for this experiment

    Thank you very much for this informative article!

    • – I used the Spark Board with NO additional parts – it is an Arduino board with builtin WiFi
      – The Play Server was running on another server on the network.

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