Q&A with Express Gateway Team: A Microservice API Gateway Built on Express

Last week, LunchBadger announced the launch of a new open source initiative called Express Gateway. Express Gateway is an API Gateway for microservices built entirely on Express.js. Express.js is an incubation project of the Node.js Foundation.

We sat down with Al Tsang, founder and CEO of LunchBadger, to discuss the new project. Before founding LunchBadger, Al was the co-founder and CTO of StrongLoop, which was acquired by IBM in September of 2015.

What is Express Gateway and who will benefit from it?

Currently, if developers and engineering teams want to use Express.js with a common set of middleware, they are forced to hand-roll everything statically. We have met several top companies using Express.js in production environments who are faced with this dilemma.

Express Gateway aims to solve this issue. It is a simple, flexible and community driven open source project that helps developers orchestrate and manage microservices and APIs.

Why was this built off of Express.js specifically and who was involved in making this happen?

First of all, we would like to thank TJ Holowaychuk the author of Express, the hardworking Express.js maintainers, like Doug Wilson, and committers who devote their time and expertise to Express.js.

When we started this project, we investigated several frameworks and we were attracted to the minimalistic and flexible design of Express.js. This characteristic has made this framework fairly ubiquitous in Node.js applications. Furthermore, we believe that Express.js and it’s growing ecosystem of Express.js middleware is the ideal foundation.

With the support of the developer community, we are devoted to making Express Gateway Open Source Project a reality and have committed engineering efforts and resources to the initial development. We are actively seeking maintainers and contributors who would like to join in our efforts.

What are your immediate next steps with this project?

One of our first steps, as a community driven open source initiative, will be to poll the developer and practitioner community on roadmap priorities.

We are currently looking for contributors and maintainers with a wide variety of use cases to be able to refine and enhance functionality, improve tooling in order to make the configuration steps even more intuitive through CLI and RESTful interfaces.

Based on initial practitioner feedback, we would also like to integrate more middleware as well as Integrate with commonly adopted standards like Swagger for API specifications.

What is the long term goal of this project? Any major technical achievements you want to achieve by the end of the year?

The long term goal of this project is to help open source projects such as the Express Gateway to become the de facto standard API gateway. Whether it’s across different use cases, technologies and platforms, we believe that this open source project will empower developers and practitioners to achieve a microservices architectural style faster so that they can focus on other aspects on the critical path for their business.

If folks want more information on getting involved, where should they go?

We are actively seeking maintainers and contributors for this project. Additionally, we welcome any feedback practitioners may have regarding potential or current uses cases for the Express Gateway Open Source Project. For more information or to get involved as a contributor or maintainer, please visit www.express-gateway.io