Deploying LoopBack mBaaS on Rackspace

Fanatical Support Meets Strong Node

Fanatical Support has made Rackspace the leader in enterprise hosting. The Fanatical Support mantra, support for open source products, and strong SLA has made them the preferred vendor for IT ops in companies large and small. StrongLoop is excited to be one of the first available Node providers for their new Deployments service, which allows you to create and configure your multi machine Node topology in minutes.  StrongLoop Suite integration in the Control Panel means you’re 3 clicks from Strong Node, Strong-Ops, and LoopBack.

Push button, receive server

The easiest way for Rackspace customers to start using Node is via the Rackspace Control Panel. Log into your console at and select “Deployments” view on the right of the control panel.  The Rackspace Deployment Service is a new offering that makes it easy to automate the launching of your app in the Rackspace cloud. It works great with the StrongLoop Suite by automating an application and resource deployment in a best practice configuration.

To Startup a Rackspace hosted StrongLoop Application, login into your control panel and select  ‘Deployments’ on the right side of the Servers bar.


From the Rackspace “Create Deployment” panel insert your deployments name and select your region. Click the “StrongLoop LoopBack” Blueprint.


Then configure your StrongLoop server deployment options: Site Address, Admin settings and application name.ConfigurationOptions

Select your Deployment machine options.


Click the “Create Deployment” button to provision your server.

Fortunately the StrongLoop install pack is very lightweight so your newly configured StrongLoop Node server will be ready in a few minutes.  When you see the Server Status “go Green” you know your server is up and waiting for you.


Start Server, receive Open Node MBaaS

Now that you’re newly created StrongLoop server is up.  Lets take a look at what you get.

The StrongLoop Suite has three main components:  StrongNode, StrongOps and – most important for this posting – LoopBack.  LoopBack is an open source Mobile API tier.  The rest of this post will show you how to configure your loopback server and connect it to a Native iOS mobile application.

First take note of the public IP address that is presented to you once your server is activated.

We will use this IP address to configure the native mobile adapter allowing the iOS LoopBack SDK to connect to your mobile backend.  Let’s download the iOS example apps from the Github repo.  The LoopBack examples Repo has sample code to show you how to connect your mobile application to the LoopBack server using the native LoopBack SDK.  You can find additional documentation about LoopBack and the iOS SDK at the StrongLoop docs site .  This article will show you how to connect to the UITableView example, however configuring the MapView and custom remote method sample can easily be configured.


Once you have the repository cloned to your iOS development machine.

$git clone

Open the tableview-example.xcodeproj located at ‘loopback-examples-ios/ios-tableview-simple-example/tableview-example.xcodeproj’

The loopback-examples-ios applications has a LoopBack mobile server bundled with the repo ‘/loopback-examples-ios/loopback-nodejs-server’ that can be run on the developers host machine by calling ‘slc run app.js’ from within the server folder.  However, for this demo we will be leveraging our newly-provisioned LoopBack instance on the RackSpace cloud infrastructure.

Verify the Loopback server is running on the rackspace installation and the ‘products’ endpoint is available.  Open a web browser and point it to the LoopBack API explorer that come pre-configured with your LoopBack instance http://HOST-IP-ADDRESS:3000/explorer/.


Now that you have your StrongLoop Suite (Strong-Node, Strong-Ops and LoopBack) up and configured in your Rackspace environment, you can simply configure the native iOS application to point to the mobile API.

From within XCode project open the AppDelegate.m file and configure the adapter URL to “http://RACKSPACE_IP_ADDRESS”.


Run the Application in the XCode iOS simulator with by Pressing the Run button in the top left or using the hotkey combination (?+R) . From the simulator Click the ‘Inject Data’ button in the top left to insert 3 ‘product’ model instances into the LoopBack server.  Naturally you will see the Records appear on the mobile device, but you can also verify the server content by opening the API Explorer http://localhost:3000/explorer/#!/products/products_find_get_4  to the Get Request and pressing the ‘Try it out’ button.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 7.51.47 AM

Additionally, you can add data to the backend from the API Explorer as well from the ‘POST’ button by inserting the model JSON data { “name”: “Matts Product”, “inventory” : 22 }  in the ‘Value’ field. Pressing Refresh on the mobile client will sync the tableView.

Notice the model definition is dynamic, allowing the mobile developer to dynamically add parameters to the ‘product’ mobile model type; allowing the mobile developer to quickly extend and configure the Mobile Object to fit the applications need.  LoopBack also supports static schema configuration for situations where the model data may be directly bound to a traditional static data stores such as Oracle or MySql.

Take some time and explore the mobile application as well as the LoopBack Node server. You can find more detailed information on how LoopBack handles both static and dynamic model types at ,and make and try give the integration a run on Rackspace


What’s next?

Deploying LoopBack mBaaS on Cloud Foundry

Getting Started with LoopBack on Cloud Foundry


Most mobile developers want to focus on the front-end of their apps and not get caught up in having to figure out how to write a backend, connect it to data sources or worse how to manage and scale it. By deploying StrongLoop’s LoopBack mobile backend-as-a-service (mBaaS) on Cloud Foundry it’s possible to take advantage of an open, private mBaaS on an open and scalable platform-as-a-service.

What is Cloud Foundry?

Unlike many cloud providers, Cloud Foundry is an open source PaaS, providing a choice of supported clouds, developer frameworks and application services. Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale mobile backends like StrongLoop’s LoopBack. It is an open source project and is available through a variety of private cloud distributions and public cloud instances.

Why run LoopBack on Cloud Foundry?

If you are a mobile developer looking to develop applications that need access to data that resides in the cloud and the datacenter, there’s quite a few advantages to running your own private mBaaS in the cloud:

  • LoopBack is open source and extensible at its core and with the over 41,000 available NPM community modules, the possibilities are almost limitless

  • LoopBack is built on Node.js, so if you know JavaScript you know LoopBack

  • Out-of-the-box, LoopBack connects to enterprise datasources like Oracle and MongoDB

  • LoopBack ships with an iOS SDK, so you won’t have to compromise on functionality or inherit a steep learning curve

  • Cloud Foundry lets you focus on your app not machines or middleware

  • Cloud Foundry manages the patching, load balancing and availability of your backend

  • If your app needs it (and let’s hope it does!), Cloud Foundry auto-scales on demand to make sure whether you are servicing one or tens of thousands of users – everyone is guaranteed to have a stellar user experience

Configuring for Cloud Foundry and StrongLoop

First step is to install and configure the CF tools on your dev machine:

1. Register at and download the StrongNode distro for your development environment.


2. Install the Cloud Foundry CLI common referred to as cf ( *you need Ruby 1.9.3 , OSX comes with Ruby v1.8.7 installed out of the box a small gist to help you with upgrade options for Mac)

$gem install cf

3. configuring your target ( you will need cf target, I’m using pivotal  for this demo)

$cf target cf login <email> <password>

More information on Deploying Node.js Applications on CF

CF Push, For the Win

Build your LoopBack mBaaS on your local developer machine and push it to a Cloud Foundry PaaS

1.Create and Prepare your StrongLoop LoopBack Node application on your local machine

$mkdir CloudFoundryApp
$cd CloudFoundryApp
$slc lb api-example
$cd sls-sample-app
$slc install

2. Verify your LoopBack Mobile API tier is up and running by hitting the API explorer page on your local machine at http://localhost:3000/explorer


3.Push your StrongLoop Application to the cloud

$cf push my-new-app

Start Server, receive Open Node MBaaS

Now that your newly created StrongLoop server is up, let’s take a look at what you get and connect your Cloud Foundry hosted MBaaS to a native Mobile iPhone app

Since you have the ‘loopback-mobile-getting-started’ github repo on your local machine  you can simply open the loopback iOS guide app located at /loopback-ios-app/loopback-ios-multi-model.xcodeproj with XCode.

Once the XCode Project is open you will need to modify your Adaptor endpoint to point to your server.   Modify the ‘

_adapter = [LBRESTAdapter adapterWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@”http://localhost:3000″]];’ in the AppDelegate.m.  Change the ‘localhost’ address to point to your  ip address.

Hit command R in XCode and walk through the walk the guide application instructions.



If you would like to find some more examples on how to integrate native iOS applications with LoopBack make sure and check out the , where you will find a UITableView, MapView and custom method call samples.


If you are using a cross platform mobile tool such as Appcelerator Titanium ( javascript) or Xamarin ( c# )  make sure and check out our other examples at .

Now that you have your StrongLoop Suite ( StrongNode, StrongOps and LoopBack ) up and configured you can start building out your mobile client application. You can identify ‘hot spots’ and latency with StrongOps or look for stress inside your node.js server application code. You can customize your services and data by extending the open source Node LoopBack API tier with custom code or NPM modules from the community.

What’s next?