A general-purpose backend framework for the cloud.

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Para is a simple and modular backend framework for object persistence and retrieval. It helps you build and prototype applications faster by taking care of backend operations. It can be a part of your JVM-based application or it can be deployed as standalone, multitenant API server with multiple applications and clients connecting to it.

The name "pára" means "steam" in Bulgarian. And just like steam is used to power stuff, you can use Para to power your mobile or web application backend.

See how Para compares to other open source backend frameworks.

This project is fully funded and supported by Erudika - an independent, bootstrapped company.



|                  ____  ___ _ ____ ___ _                  |
|                 / __ \/ __` / ___/ __` /                 |
|                / /_/ / /_/ / /  / /_/ /                  |
|               / .___/\__,_/_/   \__,_/     +-------------+
|              /_/                           | Persistence |
+-------------------+  +-----------------+   +-------------+
|      REST API     |  |     Search      |---|    Cache    |
          |                     |                   |
+---------+---------+  +--------+--------+   +------+------+
|  Signed Requests  |  |  Search Index   |   |  Data Store |
|  and JWT Tokens   |  |      (Any)      |   |    (Any)    |
+----+---------^----+  +-----------------+   +-------------+
     |         |
|  Clients : JavaScript, PHP, Java, C#, Android, iOS, etc. |


Read the Docs


Read more about Para on our blog


We offer hosting and premium support at paraio.com where you can try Para online with a free developer account. Browse and manage your users and objects, do backups and edit permissions with a few clicks in the web console. By upgrading to a premium account you will be able to scale you projects up and down in seconds and manage multiple apps.

Quick Start

Create a configuration file application.conf file in the same directory as the Para package. Here's an example default configuration:

# the name of the root app
para.app_name = "Para"
# or set it to 'production'
para.env = "embedded"
# if true, users can be created without verifying their emails
para.security.allow_unverified_emails = false
# if hosting multiple apps on Para, set this to false
para.clients_can_access_root_app = true
# if false caching is disabled
para.cache_enabled = true
# root app secret, used for token generation, should be a random string
para.app_secret_key = "b8db69a24a43f2ce134909f164a45263"
# enable API request signature verification
para.security.api_security = true
# the node number from 1 to 1024, used for distributed ID generation
para.worker_id = 1
  1. Download the latest executable JAR
  2. Execute it with java -jar -Dconfig.file=./application.conf para-*.jar
  3. Call curl localhost:8080/v1/_setup to get the access and secret keys for the root app (required)
  4. Install para-cli tool for easy access npm install -g para-cli (optional)
  5. Create a new "child" app for regular use (optional):
    # run setup and set endpoint to either 'http://localhost:8080' or 'https://paraio.com'
    $ para-cli setup
    $ para-cli new-app "myapp" --name "My App"
  6. Open Para Web Console or integrate with one of the API clients below.

The quickest way to interact with Para is through the command-line tool (CLI):

$ npm install -g para-cli
$ para-cli setup
$ para-cli ping
$ echo "{\"type\":\"todo\", \"name\": \"buy milk\"}" > todo.json
$ para-cli create todo.json --id todo1 --encodeId false
$ para-cli read --id todo1
$ para-cli search "type:todo"


Tagged Docker images for Para are located at erudikaltd/para on Docker Hub. First, create an application.conf file in a directory and run this command:

$ docker run -ti -p 8080:8080 --rm -v para-data:/para/data \
  -v $(pwd)/application.conf:/para/application.conf \
  -e JAVA_OPTS="-Dconfig.file=/para/application.conf -Dloader.path=lib" erudikaltd/para

Environment variables

JAVA_OPTS - Java system properties, e.g. -Dpara.port=8000 BOOT_SLEEP - Startup delay, in seconds


To use plugins, create a new Dockerfile-plugins which does a multi-stage build like so:

# change X.Y.Z to the version you want to use
FROM erudikaltd/para:vX.Y.Z-base

FROM erudikaltd/para-dao-mongodb:X.Y.Z

Then simply run $ docker build -f Dockerfile-plugins -t ParaMongo.

Building Para

Para can be compiled with JDK 8:

To compile it you'll need Maven. Once you have it, just clone and build:

$ git clone https://github.com/erudika/para.git && cd para
$ mvn install -DskipTests=true

To generate the executable "fat-jar" run $ mvn package and it will be in ./para-jar/target/para-x.y.z-SNAPSHOT.jar. Two JAR files will be generated in total - the fat one is a bit bigger in size.

To build the base package without plugins (excludes para-dao-sql and para-search-lucene), run:

$ cd para-jar && mvn -Pbase package

To run a local instance of Para for development, use:

$ mvn -Dconfig.file=./application.conf spring-boot:run

Standalone server

You can run Para as a standalone server by downloading the executable JAR and then:

$ java -jar para-X.Y.Z.jar

The you can browse your objects through the Para Web Console console.paraio.org. Simply change the API endpoint to be your local server and connect your access keys. The admin interface is client-side only and your secret key is never sent over the the network. Instead, a JWT access token is generated locally and sent to the server on each request.

Alternatively, you can build a WAR file and deploy it to your favorite servlet container:

$ cd para-war && mvn package

Download JAR

Maven dependency

You can also integrate Para with your project by adding it as a dependency. Para is hosted on Maven Central. Here's the Maven snippet to include in your pom.xml:


For building lightweight client-only applications connecting to Para, include only the client module:


Command-line tool

$ npm install -g para-cli

API clients

Use these client libraries to quickly integrate Para into your project:

Database integrations

Use these DAO implementations to connect to different databases:

Search engine integrations

The Search interface is implemented by:

Cache integrations

The Cache interface is implemented by:

Queue implementations

The Queue interface is implemented by:

Projects using Para

Wishlist / Roadmap

Getting help


  1. Fork this repository and clone the fork to your machine
  2. Create a branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Implement a new feature or fix a bug and add some tests
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added a new feature')
  5. Push the branch to your fork on GitHub (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request from your fork

Please try to respect the code style of this project. To check your code, run it through the style checker:

mvn validate

For more information see CONTRIBUTING.md


Apache 2.0