Back&: The ultimate backend service for Angular applications

06/10/2015 1 comment

“Backand is a feature­rich backend­as­a­service for Angular that takes care of all the yucky server­side stuff.”

While surfing the Internet in search of new technologies, I found this interesting service for Angular developers. Back& claims that it’s the ultimate backend service that you’re ever going to need for all your Angular applications. It’s understandable if you’ve never heard about Back& before, since this company is relatively new in the market. Although, the company is only 2 years old, their user base is growing very quickly. And it isn’t difficult to understand why if you look at all that they are offering for free:

  • 500 connections and 10GB data transfer (free-­forever promotion)
  • Social signup, email verification, role­based security, etc
  • Auto­generated REST­API for the database
  • Integration with third-party Services (like Paypal or MailChimp)
  • Fully hosted server­side and database in the cloud (Back& is automatically populated in Amazon’s AWS Relational Database Service)

It looks like a dream come true for all the Angular developers out there, right? So, I decided to give it a shot. Subscribing to the service was a very smooth process. It’s the typical registration procedure that you see in many other sites with email confirmation. Although, you can use Facebook or Google+ to register to Back&, I recommend that you use the normal registration form because you are going to need your login credentials later on. Anyway, once your registration is completed and validated, you’ll be presented with a nice dashboard from where you can manage and access all your “Apps”. Here you’ll have an example of an app that you can use to create and test your first Angular application.

 photo backand-dashboard_zpshyvwhx8j.png

In the “Getting started guide”, you can follow the 5 easy steps to include Back& in your Angular project. And if you don’t want to create an Angular project from scratch, you can follow the “Kickstart seed tutorial”. Following either or both tutorials should integrate Back& into your project in a matter of minutes.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that you can use any existing database with Back&. If you decide to use an existing database, Back& will auto­generate the REST API based on that schema. Otherwise, you can create a new database using Back&’s application model. B​ack&’s model provides an abstraction layer on top of your database that you can use to create and update the database schema.

 photo abstract-layer_zps6ylo7p8w.png

At first glance, Back& looks quite impressive. I mean, you can create a fully working REST API in a matter of minutes, all the security is taken care of for you, social login is available out of the box using Oauth2 (Facebook, Google+ and GitHub are currently available with Linkedin and Twitter coming soon), email verification is already taken care of and implementing third-party services (like Paypal or MailChimp) is as easy as creating a Google account.

 photo social-login_zpsv6lyezss.png

My experience using Back& was really good. It took me around 10 minutes to create an Angular project and configure it to use Back&. Everything worked as expected. The REST API was created and configured as defined. Social login and email verification out of the box. I have no complaints about the whole experience. My only concern is that this company is quite new in the business, so they don’t have a long track record offering this kind of service. How good and trustworthy is this company in the long term? Only time can tell, I’m afraid. But they have definitely made a very good start, and if Back& can keep delivering good quality services in the next years, I have no doubt that it will be a great backend solution in the coming years.

Categories: Cloud, Frontend, iPROFS

Get your Hippo content via a REST-API

If you’ve already built a few Hippo sites, you know how to build an HST-2 (Hippo Site Toolkit) website to deliver your content to the visitors of your website. But maybe, you want to expose the plain content straight from the repository to other systems.
If that is the case, you might consider building a plain REST-API, as it is a perfect way to achieve this objective.

The HST-2 from Hippo does support integration of JAX-RS components out-of-the-box, so in just a few steps this goal can be achieved.

When starting with the Hippo archetype (and some bootstrapped news-content in the repository), you can just follow the next steps to create a rest-api that will deliver all news-documents that are tagged with location = “AMS”. Read more…

Categories: Hippo Tags: ,

How we scrum

For the last one-and-a-half year I have been working in a scrum-project in the role of member of the development team and later on also in the role of backup scrum master. One day I was talking with one of my iPROFS-collegues about how we have adapted scrum in this project and from his reaction the both of us concluded it might look like an ordinary scrum implementation, but maybe it is not…

Read more…

Categories: Scrum Tags:

Using the Spock Framework for unit tests

19/03/2015 Leave a comment

The Spock framework is a testing and specification framework built on top of JUnit and Groovy. It has many strengths, but its true power lies in its ability to write tests in a very readable, concise manner, which can dramatically cut your amount of testing code. I will show you some examples later.

Another big advantage is the orientation towards data driven testing. If you have a lot of unit tests where there are multiple input variables which can take different values and leading to different outputs, then definitely have a look at the “where” clause of the Spock framework.

And… it is powered by Groovy !! This gives you a whole lot of power to expressively write your test code, as anyone that ever used Groovy can attest.
Read more…

Categories: iPROFS

Spring, Hibernate and @Transactional : “aha” moments

10/03/2015 Leave a comment

Recently I have been sweating to make annotated transactions work in Spring MVC with Hibernate ORM and want to share with you some “aha” moments that took me some time/blood/sweat/tears to find out. Hopefully you’ll find it useful.

The goal for me was to annotate Service methods with a @Transactional annotation so that Spring will automatically create a transaction around anything Hibernate-related that happens inside the method.

Read more…

Categories: iPROFS

JSR 371: The last web framework you’ll ever look at

While a lot of companies still are adopting Java EE 7 the fundamentals of the next major Java enterprise edition are already finished. JSR 366 is to develop Java EE 8, the next release of the Java Platform Enterprise edition. Java EE 8 will bring us a new action based web framework. Will this be the last java web framework you’ll ever look at?

Read more…

Categories: iPROFS, Java Tags:

2014, a year in conferences

04/02/2015 Leave a comment

2014 has been a busy year for me. So much so, that I didn’t get around to writing blogs about all the conferences I visited. So let me give you a short(ish) summary of the whole year instead.

Read more…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 275 other followers