Anyone who creates REST APIs knows how challenging it can be. But LoopBack, an extensible open source Node.js API framework, aims to simplify that experience. Before we go any deeper, it is important to understand the following:
- Node.js is a server just like Apache Tomcat. It is not a framework.
- LoopBack is an API framework built on top of Express.js.
StrongLoop is the company behind the famous Express.js framework, which many people believe is the best Node.js framework. StrongLoop also built LoopBack, which is a leading API framework for Node.js.
There are several Node API frameworks available. So far, LoopBack is the most popular one. And that’s not a coincidence. LoopBack is light and clear. It has clear separation of API client/server side. Its CLI is simple yet effective, offers auto-generating REST APIs, allowing users to code in a DRY (don’t repeat yourself) manner. It incorporates StrongLoop Arc (now API Connect), a powerful monitoring tool to monitor your apps. The API Explorer can automatically generate the API document, and it conforms to Swagger 2.0 spec. Oh, yes – it also supports native MongoDB query.
In short, LoopBack is meant for serious business. It takes care of monitoring, operations, debugging, deployments. It really makes everyone’s life easier!
All of this may sound a bit confusing, but that’s why IBM developer advocates have created a simple illustration of the process: The Create REST APIs using LoopBack journey shows how to create APIs in less than 5 minutes. With myriad services available, IBM Bluemix® Cloud Foundry is a perfect place to try out the deployment.
No matter what others say, what really matters is your own experience. This journey is a simple recipe to get a taste of this exciting and powerful technology. If you have not played with Node.js and LoopBack before, give them a try and have some fun!