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What’s the vision behind LoopBack 4?

  • Make it even easier to build apps that require complex integrations
  • Enabling an ecosystem of extensions
  • Small, fast, flexible, powerful core
  • Suitable for small and large teams
  • Minimally opinionated, enforce your team’s opinions instead

See Crafting LoopBack 4 for more details.

Where are the tutorials?

See Examples and Tutorials.

What features are planned?

Our roadmap is captured in here. You can also check out our monthly milestone plans.

For LoopBack 3 users, here is the list of LB3 feature parity we wish to be implemented in the future: https://github.com/strongloop/loopback-next/issues/1920.

Do you have some other features in mind? Add your feature requests at loopback-next/issues/new.

Why TypeScript?

Although developers can still write application logic in either JavaScript or TypeScript, LoopBack 4’s core is written in TypeScript, for the following reasons:

  • Improved developer productivity and scalability. Our customers need a framework that scales to dozens and even hundreds of developers. This scalability is the reason TypeScript exists and is gaining traction.
  • Improved extensibility and flexibility. LoopBack 4’s core is simpler than LoopBack 3.x with well-defined extension points. A lot of responsibility will be shifted to extensions (components), which can be JavaScript or TypeScript.
  • Unified tooling. TypeScript developers all use the same IDE: Visual Studio Code. The LoopBack ecosystem could someday be filled with useful best practices around that IDE and even great developer plugins. Right now that effort is split between various editors and basically non-existent.
  • Future-proofing. Ability to leverage the latest and future JavaScript constructs.

TypeScript’s support for static analysis makes more robust tooling possible and is the foundation for its scalability. The ability to easily refactor code without the common human-introduced errors. Dev and Compile time checking. For example, most people don’t have the same expertise and time we do to setup complex linting solutions (for example, a linting config that works across many projects).

For more details, see the lengthy discussion in #6.

Does JavaScript still work?

LoopBack 4 itself is written in TypeScript (that compiles to JavaScript), but it supports applications written in both TypeScript and JavaScript. The documentation assumes you have a basic understanding of the JavaScript language; and when it says “JavaScript” it is understood to mean ECMAScript version 6 (ES6).

Some of the examples use ES6 syntax. We encourage you to get familiar with ES6 constructs such as arrow functions, classes, template literals, let, and const statements.

LoopBack 3 vs LoopBack 4

We recommend that current users migrate to LoopBack 4, which can be done through following the migration guide and new users start with LoopBack 4. See Differences between LoopBack v3 and v4 if you’re interested in the differences between the two versions.

How do I disable the API Explorer?

LoopBack provides a self-hosted and a redirect to an external API Explorer.

Documentation to disable both API Explorers:

How do I send a custom response?

Return a custom response body

The response is usually determined by value returned by the controller function that’s invoked. A good example of this is the default PingController scaffolded with every LoopBack 4 application:

// Note: code shortened for bevity

// Map to `GET /ping`
@get('/ping', {
  responses: {
    '200': PING_RESPONSE,
  },
})
ping(): object {
  // Reply with a greeting, the current time, the url, and request headers
  return {
    greeting: 'Hello from LoopBack',
    date: new Date(),
    url: this.req.url,
    headers: Object.assign({}, this.req.headers),
  };
}
}

In this example, we can see that the ping() function returns a custom object. This would be reflected in the response body when an API consumer makes a request to /ping.

Further customize the response

Sometimes, other parts of the response needs to be modified (such as the HTTP headers). This can be accomplished by injecting the Response object into the controller:

import {inject} from '@loopback/core';
import {get, Response, RestBindings} from '@loopback/rest';

export class PingController {
  constructor(@inject(RestBindings.Http.RESPONSE) private res: Response) {}

  // Map to `GET /ping`
  @get('/ping', {
    responses: {
      '200': {
        description: 'Ping Response',
        content: {
          'application/json': {
            schema: {
              type: 'object',
              title: 'PingResponse',
              properties: {
                greeting: {type: 'string'},
                additionalProperties: false,
              },
            },
          },
        },
      },
    },
  })
  ping(): object {
    this.res.setHeader('x-secret-sauce', 'Sugar, spice and everything nice.');

    // Reply with a greeting
    return {
      greeting: 'Hello from LoopBack',
    };
  }
}

This will result in a custom response body and a new header, x-secret-sauce.

Where do I find the default binding keys?

Binding keys used by @loopback/* packages are consolidated under Reserved binding keys.

What is the difference between general and configuration bindings?

Configuration bindings are APIs that leverage the general binding API to standardize the naming convention of the configuration binding keys needing to create a completely separate key. See Configuration by convention.

Can I attach an Express router?

Yes. See Mounting an Express Router.

Can I mount an Express middleware?

Yes. See Using Express Middleware.