Bootstrap API

bootLoopBackApp(app, [options])

Initialize an application from an options object or a set of JSON and JavaScript files.

This function takes an optional argument that is either a string or an object.

If the argument is a string, then it sets the application root directory based on the string value. Then it:

  1. Creates DataSources from the datasources.json file in the application root directory.

  2. Creates Models from the models.json file in the application root directory.

If the argument is an object, then it looks for model, dataSources, and appRootDir properties of the object. If the object has no appRootDir property then it sets the current working directory as the application root directory. Then it:

  1. Creates DataSources from the options.dataSources object.

  2. Creates Models from the options.models object.

In both cases, the function loads JavaScript files in the /models and /boot subdirectories of the application root directory with require().

NOTE: mixing app.boot() and app.model(name, config) in multiple files may result in models being undefined due to race conditions. To avoid this when using app.boot() make sure all models are passed as part of the models definition.

Throws an error if the config object is not valid or if boot fails.

Name Type Description

LoopBack application created by loopback().

options String or Object

Boot options; If String, this is the application root directory; if object, has below properties.

Name Type Description
appRootDir String

Directory to use when loading JSON and JavaScript files (optional). Defaults to the current directory (process.cwd()).

models Object

Object containing Model definitions (optional).

dataSources Object

Object containing DataSource definitions (optional).

modelsRootDir String

Directory to use when loading models.json and models/*.js. Defaults to appRootDir.

datasourcesRootDir String

Directory to use when loading datasources.json. Defaults to appRootDir.

env String

Environment type, defaults to process.env.NODE_ENV or development. Common values are development, staging and production; however the applications are free to use any names.

boot.compileToBrowserify(options, bundler)

Compile boot instructions and add them to a browserify bundler.

Name Type Description
options Object or String

as described in bootLoopBackApp above.

bundler Object

A browserify bundler created by browserify().


The browser version of bootLoopBackApp.

When loopback-boot is loaded in browser, the module exports this function instead of bootLoopBackApp.

The function expects the boot instructions to be included in the browser bundle, see boot.compileToBrowserify.

Name Type Description
app Object

The loopback app to boot, as returned by loopback().

Configuration and conventions

Model Definitions

The following is example JSON for two Model definitions: "dealership" and "location".

  "dealership": {
    // a reference, by name, to a dataSource definition
    "dataSource": "my-db",
    // the options passed to Model.extend(name, properties, options)
    "options": {
      "relations": {
        "cars": {
          "type": "hasMany",
          "model": "Car",
          "foreignKey": "dealerId"
    // the properties passed to Model.extend(name, properties, options)
    "properties": {
      "id": {"id": true},
      "name": "String",
      "zip": "Number",
      "address": "String"
  "car": {
    "dataSource": "my-db"
    "properties": {
      "id": {
        "type": "String",
        "required": true,
        "id": true
      "make": {
        "type": "String",
        "required": true
      "model": {
        "type": "String",
        "required": true

Running in a browser

The bootstrap process is implemented in two steps that can be called independently.


The first step loads all configuration files, merges values from additional config files like app.local.js and produces a set of instructions that can be used to boot the application.

These instructions must be included in the browser bundle together with all configuration scripts from models/ and boot/.

Don't worry, you don't have to understand these details. Just call boot.compileToBrowserify, it will take care of everything for you.

/*-- build file --*/
var browserify = require('browserify');
var boot = require('loopback-boot');

var b = browserify({
  basedir: appDir,

// add the main application file
b.require('./app.js', { expose: 'loopback-app' });

// add boot instructions
boot.compileToBrowserify(appDir, b);

// create the bundle
var out = fs.createWriteStream('app.bundle.js');
// handle out.on('error') and out.on('close')


In the browser, the main application file should call loopback-boot to setup the loopback application by executing the instructions contained in the browser bundle:

/*-- app.js --*/
var loopback = require('loopback');
var boot = require('loopback-boot');

var app = module.exports = loopback();

The app object created above can be accessed via require('loopback-app'), where loopback-app is the identifier used for the main app file in the browserify build shown above.

Here is a simple example demonstrating the concept:

<script src="app.bundle.js"></script>
var app = require('loopback-app');
var User = app.models.User;

User.login({ email: '', password: '12345', function(err, res) {
  if (err) {
    console.error('Login failed: ', err);
  } else {
    console.log('Logged in.');