LoopBack - Getting Started

The Node.js API Framework

$ npm install -g strongloop

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LoopBack is a highly-extensible, open-source Node.js framework

IBM and the StrongLoop team are committed to maintaining and improving the LoopBack open-source project!

Building on LoopBack's success as an open-source Node.js framework, IBM API Connect provides the newest tools to use with LoopBack projects. It includes a graphical tool with many of the API composition features of StrongLoop Arc, plus assembly and testing of API Gateway policies using the local Micro Gateway. Some features are still available only in Arc but these will be added to API Connect in the next few months.

API Connect also provides its own command-line tool, integrated with API management and gateway features. A free version of API Connect especially for developers is available called API Connect Essentials.

For more information, see API Connect - Getting Started.

Check out who's using LoopBack!


Set up models and create REST APIs in minutes

  • Easy-to-use CLI wizard
  • Create models based on your schema if you have one
  • Create dynamic models if you don't
  • Built-in API Explorer

Model relation support

  • Define hasMany, belongsTo, hasAndBelongsToMany relationships
  • Automatically generates corresponding relational REST endpoints

Easy authentication and authorization setup

  • Built-in role-based access controls
  • oAuth user and registration models baked in
  • Add custom policies using CLI or JSON
  • Browser support (JSONP and CORS)

MIT Open-Source license

  • Dual Licensed: MIT open-source license or StrongLoop license


Connect to backend data stores

  • MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, Postgres and others
  • Other REST services
  • Discovery APIs for Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQL Server

Run Ad-hoc queries

  • Run dynamic queries on devices, browsers and the server
  • Support for NoSQL-style queries against relational databases

Client SDKs

Native Mobile and Browser SDKs

  • Easily persist data with a database API on the client
  • Android / Java
  • iOS
  • Browser JavaScript (Angular)

Add-on components

Third party login

  • Use third party login providers like Facebook, Google, GitHub, etc.
  • Map inbound and outbound credentials to users

Storage service

  • Integrate with cloud storage providers
  • Organize data in containers and files

StrongLoop Arc

StrongLoop Arc is a graphical tool for building, deploying, managing, and monitoring LoopBack applications and APIs. It enables you to:

  • Create and modify LoopBack models and datasources.
  • Automatically create database schemas based on your application models.
  • Discover models based on relational database schemas.
  • Start, stop, and restart your LoopBack project app.
  • Explore and operate your REST APIs live, as you develop your model through a richer form-driven interface instead of JSON.
  • Generate and view application CPU profiles and heap snapshots (to help diagnose memory leaks).
  • Build, package, and deploy your Node application to a local or remote system.
  • Gather and view performance metrics on your application.

For more information, see Composing APIs with StrongLoop Arc.

StrongLoop API Gateway

NOTE: The beta of StrongLoop Gateway is deprecated as of 4/22/2016.

StrongLoop Gateway is now part of IBM API Connect, a complete solution that addresses all aspects of the API lifecycle, for both on-premises and cloud environments. It offers comprehensive capabilities to create, run, manage, secure and monetize APIs and microservices. Delivering an unparalleled integrated user experience, it enables rapid deployment and simplified administration of APIs.

The new API Connect Micro Gateway is fundamentally a proxy, securing and forwarding requests to a back-end API. API Connect Micro Gateway was created using StrongLoop technology and a series of middleware components. For more information, see https://developer.ibm.com/apiconnect.

Incorporate API Gateway modules into a LoopBack application to provide the functions in-process or separately:


Acts as provider and delegator to authentication, authorization, and auditing (AAA) sources within the enterprise as the first intercept to establish identity.

Mediation and transformation

Mediates between protocols and transforms portions of the API payload (both header and body) for clients that have fixed and/or specific requirements for consumption.

Infrastructure QoS

Performs infrastructure-level API consumption functions required by client such as pagination, throttling, caching, delivery guarantee, firewall, and so on.

Monitoring and reporting

Instruments APIs to fulfill service-level agreements (SLAs) through the monitoring of APIs and also injects metadata to report on API usage, health, and other metrics.


Compose coarse-grain APIs (mashups) from fine-grain micro-APIs to fulfill specific business case operations through dynamic invocation and construction.


A layer of abstraction that virtualizes API endpoints and acts as a reverse proxy to API platform host instances for high availability, security and scale.

For more information, see API Gateway documentation.