Eskimo for Node.js development. Snowshoes not required.



eskimo, a brand-new boilerplate framework for Node.js, was originally launched at NYC Node.js Meetup held at Microsoft on August 27, 2014, by its creator and Clevertech developer, Nick Baugh. This rapid prototyping tool assists web developers in building a rapid Minimum Viable Product (known as MVP).

Eskimo is used to build igloos. Igloos are libraries of components injected with electrolyte, which are used as building blocks for the app. According to Baugh, “If an Eskimo builds an Igloo, and an Igloo is a structure made up of individual building blocks, then is a command line interface (“CLI”) used for building an Igloo.”

Let’s take a closer look at MVP.

A minimal viable product, known as MVP, is one of the main pillars of the Lean software development methodology, a software product that has just the strictly needed core features that allow its deployment and release. By continuous iteration, the product gets more and more features and complexity, in accordance with the user’s needs. That’s why the customer’s opinion is always taken in consideration during each step of the development. The MVP development saves resources in terms of time and money, and enables the testing of the functionality from the beginning of the programming process. Considering that the product is continuously tested and enhanced, the risks of failure and moving in the wrong direction are very small.

So, why using Eskimo for your next project?

First, the speed and ease of development. Built with rapid product development in mind, Eskimo is able to carry out a fully functional product after only 30 days of development and testing. By using Mongoose for NoSQL, Jade for HTML, a LESS pre-processor and middleware routing, Eskimo is able to provide a simple structure that can be built into a rapid MVP prototype.

Though there was a big focus on enabling MVPs during Eskimo’s construction, it certainly is not the only option. Eskimo’s lightweight and flexible design allows developers to build ‘corporate’ apps as well as rapid MVPs. Besides the ease-of-use to build Rapid MVP‘s with Node.js that Eskimo provides, it now has out-of-the-box support for this entire walk-through process.

Eskimo’s compatibility with other products.

Eskimo is easily customizable, with a simple configuration file, which permits removal of the parts the user doesn’t want. The list of notorious soft products that can be mixed up with this prototyping tool contains: Express 4, Electrolyte, MongoDB, SQL, Less, Bower, jQuery, Bootstrap, Bootbox, Font Awesome, Modernizr, Gulp.JS, Jade, Winston, Async, Passport.js, MongoHQ, RedisToGo, Travis-Cl, Heroku, Amazon EC2, Stripe, Hipchat, Slack, IRC, vBox, Vagrant, Ubuntu, Git-extras, JSHint

Eskimo provides easy access to implementing processes like authentication with social accounts, launching soon pages, payment processing system integration, CDN-hosted assets, setup for a RESTful API, referral systems, webhook deployments, zero-downtime reloads, use of WebSockets and LiveReload can be quickly performed. Different examples of developed products are available in the /examples file of the Eskimo repository in Github.

Eskimo vs. other Node.js boilerplates.

Eskimo, as many other Node.js frameworks, is built with open source packages, and outranks many older frameworks and boilerplates considering the number of built-in back-end characteristics it has, as well as front-end features.

The bottom line is that Eskimo lacks the clutter and strict policies present in other Node.js boilerplates. It makes suggestions that are sane. And, just like with a real-life igloo, anyone can see how it’s built. There’s no ‘magic’ happening in the back-end. Each piece is useful, and it all makes sense.

The following are a few examples of products built with Eskimo: is a virtual farmer’s market that comes with an amazing interface. The user easily can choose their high-quality, organic items, and the nearest pick-up location. is an app intended to analyze financial big data and market signals on social media, offering information on real time market sentiment and buzz, and easily filtering the social noise from valuable insights for the investment community. is a web community intended to create partnerships between investors and startups across all platforms. It outlines details of the startup alongside investor profiles, so it’s simple for users to browse and select the best matches for them.

In the Github repository, interested developers will get all the information necessary to start developing their own rapid MVP: installment files, examples, templates, contributors, the ‘file an issue’ feature and license type. is ready to help you implement your ideas! Snowshoes not required.

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