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Create and expose APIs for enterprise data using LoopBack

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Meet Acme Freight, a fictional logistics company that uses LoopBack and API Connect to address a common use case: the need to leverage existing enterprise assets using APIs. Using LoopBack, an open source Node.js framework, Acme Freight exposes assets located in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. It delivers them securely to new and existing applications using a microservices architecture managed within a single interface in API Connect.

By Sai Vennam, Joe Sepi, Ashley McClelland, Ram Vennam

Overview

Acme Freight, a fictional logistics company, uses an application called Logistic Wizard to manage some of its assets. The application is composed of several microservices, including three Cloud Foundry applications and multiple OpenWhisk actions. (For more on Acme Freight and serverless, see the developer journey Make apps smarter with serverless.)

Acme Freight uses LoopBack, an open source Node.js framework, built for quickly creating and exposing APIs for new and existing applications and data. LoopBack enables Acme Freight to create an application that integrates with their existing ERP system, and API Connect allows them to expose data via a managed API.

LoopBack enables you to easily create and expose CRUD APIs from existing data sources. For a quick primer on LoopBack, watch this video tutorial and learn how you can create an API in 5 minutes from an existing MongoDB data store.

Flow

  1. The web user monitors shipments and weather conditions.
  2. A front-end application serves the web user interface.
  3. A back-end application manages API calls between the front-end and system services.
  4. API Connect provides secure APIs to simplify access to various back-end microservices.
  5. OpenWhisk monitors the weather conditions around retail stores and makes recommendations on additional shipments.
  6. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application exposes and manages access to enterprise resources, such as Products, Distribution Centers, Retailers, and Shipments.
  7. The Secure Gateway service allows access to on-premises or external cloud data.
  8. On-premises application stores secure enterprise resources.

Components

API Connect

Create and run secure APIs and microservices.

Cloud Foundry

Build, deploy, and run applications on an open source cloud platform.

LoopBack

A highly extensible, open source Node.js framework.

OpenWhisk

Execute code on demand in a highly scalable, serverless environment.

Secure Gateway

A service for establishing a secure, persistent connection between your environment and the cloud.

Technologies

API Management

The process of creating, documenting, and making APIs available, providing access controls, and tracking statistics.

Cloud

Accessing computer and information technology resources through the Internet.

Databases

Repository for storing and managing collections of data.

Serverless

An event-action platform that allows you to execute code in response to an event.

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