Using npm workspaces with ReactJS(Typescript) and .NET

This article explains how to leverage the existing .NET SPA template to work with npm workspaces. explanation on what npm workspaces are is not addressed in this article. for any one who is new to npm workspaces its recommended to check npm official documentation. npm workspaces is a nice way of organizing code but at the time being in order to use workspaces in .NET some customization are required, which will be explained in the following sections of this article.

Content

Creating .NET project

.NET project with react can be created by running the following command

dotnet new react -n SampleApp

Setting up SPA

Once the SampleApp project is created by default it will contain ClientApp directory, which is where the SPA(in this case React App) resides. as the default SPA template doesn't fit the required scenario delete everything inside ClientApp directory.

To setup workspaces open terminal inside the ClientApp directory first run the following command

npm init -y

Running this command will generate package.json file which will contain the workspace information. for this example I want to create four workspaces named

  • @clientapp/table : contains React app that displays information in tabular format
  • @clientapp/card : contains React app that displays information in card
  • @clientapp/config : contains shared configurations(eg. tsconfig)
  • @clientapp/core : contains shared components and functionalities

The ClientApp will now look like the following

{
  "name": "@clientapp/root",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "private": true,
  "scripts": {
    "start:table": "npm run start -w @clientapp/table",
    "start:card": "npm run start -w @clientapp/card",
    "build:table": "npm run build -w @clientapp/table",
    "build:card": "npm run build -w @clientapp/card"
  },
  "workspaces": [
    "workspaces/*/**"
  ]
}

To create the two applications inside ClientApp\workspaces\apps directory run the following commands consecutively

  1. @clientapp/table
npx create-react-app table --template typescript

updated name field inside ClientApp\workspaces\apps\table\package.json to

"name": "@clientapp/table"
  1. @clientapp/card
npx create-react-app card --template typescript

updated name field inside ClientApp\workspaces\apps\card\package.json to

"name": "@clientapp/card"

changes for both apps

By default in both @clientapp/table & @clientapp/card we will not be able to use the typescript libraries from other workspaces. in order to support typescript I will use craco instead of react-scripts. the changes in this section must be applied in both @clientapp/table & @clientapp/card.

Install craco as dev dependency

npm install craco --save-dev

Create file name craco.config.js

const path = require("path");
const { getLoader, loaderByName } = require("craco");

const packages = [];
/**
 * add the typescript workspaces this project is dependent up on
 */
packages.push(path.join(__dirname, "../../libs/core"));

module.exports = {
  webpack: {
    configure: (webpackConfig,  { env, paths }) => {
      /**
       * Overriding the output directory of build to fit with default configuration of .NET wrapper
       */
      paths.appBuild = webpackConfig.output.path = path.resolve('../../../build');
      const { isFound, match } = getLoader(webpackConfig, loaderByName("babel-loader"));
      if (isFound) {
        const include = Array.isArray(match.loader.include)
          ? match.loader.include
          : [match.loader.include];

        match.loader.include = include.concat(packages);
      }
      return webpackConfig;
    },
  },
};

Update the scrpts section inside package.json of both @clientapp/table & @clientapp/card as shown below:

{
  ...
  "scripts": {
    "start": "craco start",
    "build": "craco build",
    "test": "craco test",
    "eject": "craco eject"
  },
  ...
}
  1. @clientapp/core

From ClientApp\workspaces\libs open terminal and run the following command

npx create-react-app core --template typescript

updated name field inside ClientApp\workspaces\apps\card\package.json to

"name": "@clientapp/core"

Since @clientapp/core is not dependent on another workspace there is no need to configure craco.

From all application delete node_modules directory

To install the @clientapp/core workspace into @clientapp/table & @clientapp/card run the following commands from ClientApp directory

npm install @clientapp/core -w @clientapp/table
npm install @clientapp/core -w @clientapp/card

To install the dependency packages run npm install from ClientApp directory.

At this point the SPA workspace configuration is completed & can be tested by running either of the following commands

npm run start:table

or

npm run start:card

Modifying .NET Project

For development update Configure method inside Startup.cs by replacing

spa.UseReactDevelopmentServer(npmScript: "start");

By

spa.UseReactDevelopmentServer(npmScript: "run start:table");

To start @clientapp/table. & replace it by

spa.UseReactDevelopmentServer(npmScript: "run start:card");

To start @clientapp/card

For publish update SampleApp.csproj by replacing

<Target Name="PublishRunWebpack" AfterTargets="ComputeFilesToPublish">
    <!-- As part of publishing, ensure the JS resources are freshly built in production mode -->
    <Exec WorkingDirectory="$(SpaRoot)" Command="npm install" />
    <Exec WorkingDirectory="$(SpaRoot)" Command="npm run build" />

    <!-- Include the newly-built files in the publish output -->
    <ItemGroup>
      <DistFiles Include="$(SpaRoot)build\**" />
      <ResolvedFileToPublish Include="@(DistFiles->'%(FullPath)')" Exclude="@(ResolvedFileToPublish)">
        <RelativePath>%(DistFiles.Identity)</RelativePath>
        <CopyToPublishDirectory>PreserveNewest</CopyToPublishDirectory>
        <ExcludeFromSingleFile>true</ExcludeFromSingleFile>
      </ResolvedFileToPublish>
    </ItemGroup>
  </Target>

By

<Target Name="PublishRunWebpack" AfterTargets="ComputeFilesToPublish">
    <Error Condition="'$(SpaBuildScript)' == ''" Text="Spa build script is not specified." />
    <!-- As part of publishing, ensure the JS resources are freshly built in production mode -->
    <Exec WorkingDirectory="$(SpaRoot)" Command="npm install" />
    <Exec WorkingDirectory="$(SpaRoot)" Command="$(SpaBuildScript)" />

    <!-- Include the newly-built files in the publish output -->
    <ItemGroup>
      <DistFiles Include="$(SpaRoot)build\**" />
      <ResolvedFileToPublish Include="@(DistFiles->'%(FullPath)')" Exclude="@(ResolvedFileToPublish)">
        <RelativePath>%(DistFiles.Identity)</RelativePath>
        <CopyToPublishDirectory>PreserveNewest</CopyToPublishDirectory>
        <ExcludeFromSingleFile>true</ExcludeFromSingleFile>
      </ResolvedFileToPublish>
    </ItemGroup>
  </Target>

Add Two publish profiles one for @clientapp/card & one for @clientapp/table

CardAppProfile.pubxml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!--
https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=208121. 
-->
<Project ToolsVersion="4.0" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/developer/msbuild/2003">
  <PropertyGroup>
    <DeleteExistingFiles>False</DeleteExistingFiles>
    <ExcludeApp_Data>False</ExcludeApp_Data>
    <LaunchSiteAfterPublish>True</LaunchSiteAfterPublish>
    <LastUsedBuildConfiguration>Release</LastUsedBuildConfiguration>
    <LastUsedPlatform>Any CPU</LastUsedPlatform>
    <PublishProvider>FileSystem</PublishProvider>
    <PublishUrl>bin\Release\net5.0\publish\</PublishUrl>
    <WebPublishMethod>FileSystem</WebPublishMethod>
    <SpaBuildScript>npm run build:card</SpaBuildScript>
  </PropertyGroup>
</Project>
TableAppProfile.pubxml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!--
https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=208121. 
-->
<Project ToolsVersion="4.0" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/developer/msbuild/2003">
  <PropertyGroup>
    <DeleteExistingFiles>False</DeleteExistingFiles>
    <ExcludeApp_Data>False</ExcludeApp_Data>
    <LaunchSiteAfterPublish>True</LaunchSiteAfterPublish>
    <LastUsedBuildConfiguration>Release</LastUsedBuildConfiguration>
    <LastUsedPlatform>Any CPU</LastUsedPlatform>
    <PublishProvider>FileSystem</PublishProvider>
    <PublishUrl>bin\Release\net5.0\publish\</PublishUrl>
    <WebPublishMethod>FileSystem</WebPublishMethod>
    <SpaBuildScript>npm run build:table</SpaBuildScript>
  </PropertyGroup>
</Project>

After adding these publish profiles, @cilentapp/table can be published by running the following command for

dotnet pubilsh /p:PublishProfile="Properties\PublishProfiles\TableAppProfile.pubxml"

And for @cilentapp/card

dotnet pubilsh /p:PublishProfile="Properties\PublishProfiles\CardAppProfile.pubxml"

That is one way of using npm workspaces with .NET, full source code can be found on GitHub.

Thanks for reading, Happy coding!

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