Before you start writing a single line of code, it’s a good idea to get an overview of how Forest Admin works. The magic lies in its architecture.
Forest Admin provides you with:
An API hosted on your server to retrieve your data. We call it the Admin Backend
if you chose a database as a datasource (PostgreSQLL, MySQL, MSSQL, MongoDB), your Admin Backend will be generated as a standalone folder.
if you chose an existing app as a datasource (Rails, Django, Express/Sequelize, Express/Mongoose), your Admin Backend will be generated within your app.
A user interface to access and manage your data from your browser. This Forest Admin User Interface is built and managed through ressources hosted on Forest Admin's servers.
The Admin Backend is a Node.JS REST API hosted on your servers
The Admin Backend is a Rails Engine mounted on your application
For a more in-depth explanation of Forest Admin's architecture (the Node.JS agent version), please read the following article.
The Admin Backend
The Admin Backend is generated upon install and hosted on your end.
It includes an API allowing to translate calls made from the Forest Admin UI into queries to your database (covering actions such as CRUD, search & filters, pagination, sorting, etc.).
It also provides the Forest Admin servers with the information needed to build the User Interface (the Forest Admin Schema). This information includes table names, column names and types, and relationships. It is sent when you run your Admin Backend within a file called forestadmin-schema.json.