Building a Radar, Part 1 – A New Pattern

This is the first in a series meant to highlight my work to build a non-trivial application that can serve as a test platform and reference. When it comes to design, it is helpful to have an application with enough complexity to properly evaluate the features and functionality of proposed solutions.

Backend For Frontend

Lately, I have been somewhat obsessed with the Backend for Frontend pattern, or BFF. There are a number of benefits to the pattern, articulated well all across the internet, so I will avoid a recap. I wanted an application that took advantage of this pattern so that I could start to demonstrate the benefits.

I had previously done some work in putting a simple backend on the Zalando tech radar. It is a pretty simple Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete (CRUD) application, but complex enough that it would work in this case.

Configuring the BFF

At first, I started looking at converting the existing project, but quickly realized that this is a good time for a clean slate. I followed the MSDN tutorial to the letter to get a working sample application. From there, I moved my existing SPA to the working sample.

With that in place, I walked through Auth0’s tutorial on implementing Backend for Frontend authentication in ASP.NET Core. In this case, I substituted my Duende Identity Server for the OAuth/Okta instance used in the tutorial. This all worked great, with the notable exception that I had to ensure all my proxies were in order.

Show Your Work!

Now, admittedly, my blogging is well behind my actual work, so if you go browsing the repository, it is a little farther ahead than this post. Next in this series, I’ll discuss configuring the BFF to proxy calls to a backend service.

While the work is ahead of the post, the documentation is WAY behind, so please ignore the file for now. I’ll get proper documentation completed as soon as I can.