JavaScript is going to the birds

Feathers 4: JavaScript and TypeScript framework creates real-time apps

Sarah Schlothauer
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The latest release for Feathers is here! Feathers is a web framework for real-time applications and REST APIs for JavaScript and TypeScript. It works with any backend and supports over 15 databases out of the box. Find out what this framework can do for you and what the new update includes, and how you can start creating a production-ready app or start a prototype.

Feathers is an open source web framework for real-time applications and REST APIs, built for JavaScript or TypeScript. It offers a large array of flexible plugins, and out of the box adapters for over 15 common databases. It works with React, VueJS, Angular, Android, iOS.

The latest update, Feathers 4 landed with a few improvements. See how this framework preens itself to a shine. But first, let’s introduce this framework and summarize some of its key offerings.

What is Feathers?

What can this framework do for you? According to the GitHub repo README:

Feathers is a framework for creating real-time applications and REST APIs using JavaScript or TypeScript with Node.JS, React Native and the browser.

It works with any backend supporting many databases out of the box and with any frontend technology like React, VueJS, Angular, Android or iOS.

With it, you can build production-ready applications or prototypes.

SEE ALSO: Ditch the old way and create better analytics in JavaScript with Cube.js

You can compare it to other similar software (Firebase, Meteor, Sails, LoopBack) and see what overlaps on the comparison page.

Version 4

Here are the highlights of what this new release introduces:

  • Built-in TypeScript definitions: This release comes with built-in core libraries and database adapters. Create an app in TypeScript with the CLI.
  • Authentication improvements: Feathers 4 adds a new, flexible authentication mechanism. The new authentication feature supports username/password, JSON web tokens (JWT), and oAuth authentication. It includes customizable authentication strategies, account linking for oAuth, usability improvements, and a service that can register strategies and create authentication tokens. (Read about why Feathers using JWT for sessions in the documentation.)
  • Database adapters update: New security and usability upgrades.
  • New documentation
  • New guides: Learn how to create your first REST API and real-time web app with the new guide. Or, for something a little more complex, learn how to create a chat application.
  • Various small improvements

Get started

The future for Feathers already looks sharp, as features and improvements are already lined up for the next release. In Feathers 5, you can expect to see a new Koa-style middleware/hook system, KoaJS framework integration, and a native-high performance HTTP and HTTP2 adapter.

Follow the quick start guide and find out how to spread your wings and get started creating an application with Feathers. The guide recommends you have some JavaScript knowledge before diving in.

Learn more about the different kinds of plugins available here. Plugins range in usage from authentication and authorization to caching, documentation, email and SMS, scaling, payments, and more.

Already have an older version of Feathers? Check out the migration guide for instructions on how to upgrade from an older version.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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