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Create and expose APIs for enterprise data using LoopBack

Last updated | By Sai Vennam, Joe Sepi, Ashley McClelland, Ram Vennam

Description

Learn how you can use LoopBack and API Connect to leverage existing enterprise assets using APIs. In this code pattern, Acme Freight, a fictional logistics company, uses LoopBack to expose assets located in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. It then delivers those assets securely to new and existing applications using a microservices architecture that’s managed within a single interface in API Connect.

Overview

Acme Freight, a fictional logistics company, uses an application called Logistics 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 code pattern 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.

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