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Jul 31, 2014

Free and Open Source 
Full Stack

Powered by LoopBack and Angular


Colmena is a starter kit for an API with an Admin interface that can be easily extended and built upon.

It is built using a collection of great Open Source projects, including but not limited to:

⚠️ Warning

This software is under active development!

Please do not use it in production without addressing the issues in the Work in Progress section

Work in Progress

Colmena is a work in progress and not all functionality is built yet.

  • Only basic ACLS are implemented, this means that the API can be used by whoever has access to it
  • The interface does not reflect the user role (admin/manager/user)
  • Content will be leaking across domains, while this should not be possible


The project is a mono-repo managed by lerna. It is structured like this:

  • apps/
    • admin The Admin interface built with Angular.
    • api The REST API built with LoopBack.
  • modules/
    • admin-* Modules that add functionality to the Admin app.
    • api-* Modules that add functionality to the API app.
  • packages/
    • admin-* Packages used by the Admin app.
    • api-* Packages used by the API app.

The structure of this project is inspired by this great example: OasisDigital/scalable-enterprise-angular.



Software installed on your system:

  • node (v6.9.x or higher).
  • npm (v3.x or higher).

Globally installed Node packages:

npm install -g @angular/cli lerna loopback-cli


Clone the repository and install the dependencies:

git clone
cd colmena
npm install
lerna bootstrap


Running in development mode

When the project is running in development mode the API and the Admin will restart automatically when a code change is detected.


Start the project

From inside the project dir run npm run dev:

npm run dev

This will start both the API and the Admin in the same terminal.

You can also start the two components separately:

Start the API

npm run dev:api

Start the Admin

npm run dev:admin

Clean up the project

During development it can be useful to bring the project back to a clean state. To do this run:

npm run clean && npm install && lerna bootstrap

Configuring the development setup


You can configure the API in development mode by creating a local.yaml file in config. The contents of this file is not tracked by git so it only lives on your local machine.

To start with the default settings copy config/default.yaml to config/local.yaml.

Sample data

The API comes with a set of sample data for development.

To load the sample data when starting the API update local.yaml to include:

  initdb: true

You can also use the INITDB environment variable.

API Base Url

By default the development stack assumes that the API and Admin are both started on localhost (using

In order to run the API on another host than localhost the admin needs to know on which IP address it can reach the API. To do this you need to update the api.baseUrl config property.

Make sure to configure the API Base Url without a trailing slash.

To set the API Base Url update local.yaml to include:

  # Do not use trailing spaces for the baseUrl

You can also use the API_BASE_URL environment variable.

You should now be able to connect to the Admin on and it should connect to the API.

Development Servers

Colmena comes with a Docker Compose configuration for running development servers easily.


To use the mongodb server update local.yaml to include:

  url: mongodb://localhost/colmena

You can also use the MONGODB_URL environment variable


To use the mailhog server update local.yaml to include:

  host: localhost
  port: 1025

You can also use the SMTP_HOST and SMTP_PORT environment variables

Start the servers

npm run servers # or: npm run servers:start

Show the servers logging

npm run servers:logs

Stop the servers

npm run servers:stop

Delete the servers

npm run servers:rm


Thanks goes to these wonderful people (emoji key):

Bram Borggreve

💬 🐛 💻 🎨 📖 🔧

Willian Ribeiro Angelo


Nick Portokallidis




Vladimir Mechkauskas


Bernardo Arevalo




Brian McIntyre


Rob Halff


Asgeir Birkisson




Oleh Kukil


Pulkit Singhal


Tuan PM




Hoàng Phúc


Brian Dunnette




Tersius Kuhne


Alex Quiambao


José Luis Di Biase




Alex Wilde






Brannon N. Darby II


Sebastian Podgajny




This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!


Support us with a monthly donation and help us continue our activities. [Become a backer]


Become a sponsor and get your logo on our README on Github with a link to your site. [Become a sponsor]

This project was formerly known as Loopback Angular Admin.

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