7.0.7 • Public • Published

Archetype: Electrode React Isomorphic Universal App

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A Walmart Labs flavored React Universal App archetype.

Have a question? Check the FAQ


NOTE: Generally you don't need to install these modules directly. You should start your app by using our Yeoman generator-electrode or check our Electrode getting started guide.

However, if you are manually creating your app:

Install the two complementary modules
$ npm install --save electrode-archetype-react-app
$ npm install --save-dev electrode-archetype-react-app-dev
Add a xclap.js

The xclap.js should contain the following and be located in the root of your project



The primary interface to the archetype is a list of tasks you can invoke with clap to do your bidding.

To see the tasks, simply run:

$ clap

To invoke a task, for example, the dev task, run:

$ clap dev

Directory Structure

The archetype supports the src/lib directory structure. In this mode, you put your client and server code under the src directory and the build task will transpile them into the lib directory during build time.

If you are not currently using this directory structure, please read the src/lib section for migration instructions

Opt-in features

Run time support API

For the things that should be initialized at your Node server's startup, they are all combined into a single API in the archetype as support.load.

Here is how you can use it:

In your server/index.js:

const support = require("electrode-archetype-react-app/support");
const electrodeServer = require("electrode-server");
const electrodeConfippet = require("electrode-confippet");
  .then(() => {
    return electrodeServer(electrodeConfippet.config);
  .catch((e) => {
    console.log("Server start failed", e); // eslint-disable-line no-console

If you are using this API, then things like isomorphic support and React module optimization are handled for you.

It accepts a single options object, with the following supported fields:

  • babelRegister - Set to false to disable loading babel-register

  • cssModuleHook - Set to false to disable loading [css-module-hook]

    • If this is an object, then it's used as options for cssModuleHook
  • isomorphicExtendRequire - Set to false to disable loading isomorphic-loader support

src/lib Mode

In order to avoid requiring run time babel transpilation, this archetype supports a src/lib app mode. To use this, you need to put your client and server into a src directory. The archetype's build task will transpile those into the lib directory.

The archetype build task will only overwrite lib/client and lib/server. So you can put other normal code under lib if you want.

If you are migrating from the deprecated babel-register mode, then you should move your code to src directory. For the most part, there should be very little you need to change except if you have code that refers to those two directories explicitly from outside.

You will also need to use the Run time support API to initialize your server startup.

src or lib?

So where is your code being executed from? src or lib? Actually, it could be either, depending on NODE_ENV.

If you need to refer to your client or server code from outside, you can use APP_SRC_DIR environment variable to automatically refer to the directory where code is being executed from.

For UI code under src/client or test/client, webpack config sets src as a root so you can refer to code in src/client with "client/foo".

For example:

import Hello from "client/components/hello"

For code under src/server, you can refer to client with "../client/foo".


In dev mode, your code will be executed from the src directory. Your client code is transpiled and packed by webpack-dev-middleware on the fly. Your node server is executed by babel-node.


In prod mode, your client code is being loaded from the bundle packed by webpack. On server side, SSR will load client code from lib and your node server being executed from the lib/server directory. ie: NODE_ENV=production node lib/server/index.js


An independent .babelrc file will be automatically generated for you in both src/client and src/server. The one for client is setup for React and the one for server is setup for the NodeJS version you are using.


An env variable APP_SRC_DIR is always set by the Run time support API to indicate where your code is running from. If your app config needs to refer to some code there, you can use this.

NOTE: The dir path set in $APP_SRC_DIR will include the trailing / automatically. ie: src/ or lib/

For example, to pass your server side React app entry to react-webapp:

  "plugins": {
    "electrode-react-webapp": {
      "options": {
        "pageTitle": "Getting Started",
        "paths": {
          "/{args*}": {
            "view": "index",
            "content": {
              "module": "./{{env.APP_SRC_DIR}}/server/app"   // Note the use of APP_SRC_DIR here

NPM Prune for production

Starting with version 9.4.0, the archetypes now fully support your application running without the development archetype. Make sure you install electrode-archetype-react-app under your dependencies and electrode-archetype-react-app-dev under devDependencies and you can run npm prune --production on your app to clear devDependencies. If you are using the electrode-build script in your build job, you can set the build parameter PRUNE_DEV_DEPENDENCIES to true.

NOTE: if your app runs in production mode but rely on something else you've put under devDependencies then doing npm prune --production will still break your app.

Define client entry points

By default, the archetype uses client/app.js or client/app.jsx as a client entry point. Alternatively, you can define multiple entry points for your application, so the Webpack will create bundles for each app entry point. To do that, place entry.config.js module into your app's client directory:

Here is an example of entry.config.js:

module.exports = {
  "web": "./app-web.js",
  "ios": "./app-ios.js",
  "android": "./app-android.js"

NodeJS Server Required Runtime Support

If you don't use the support.load API to get the runtime support needed for some of the features in your NodeJS server, then you need to initialize them manually during your server startup.


If you are using the babel-register mode, then you need to load the babel-register module.

If you don't have a build step for your server code, then you must transpile on the fly using babel-register. For performance reasons, we recommend whitelisting the react module to be transpiled as well, so that the transform-node-env-inline plugin gets applied to the React codebase:

  ignore: /node_modules\/(?!react\/)/

cssModuleHook for isomorphic CSS modules

If you want to enable isomorphic css modules, the server needs to know how to import css files and generate unique class names. The archetype can handle this for you using the supports module. In your server entry point:

var supports = require("electrode-archetype-react-app/supports");

Extending Webpack Configuration

The webpack config for your app is being generated by the archetype. While composing the webpack config, the archetype looks for the archetype/config folder at the project root of your app.

In order to override or extend the webpack configuration you should create a file under archetype/config/webpack.

Your directory structure should look like this:

└── config
    └── webpack
        └── webpack.config.js

Where webpack.config.js is your extended or overriding webpack config, for example:

const BellOnBundlerErrorPlugin = require('bell-on-bundler-error-plugin');
const config = {
  plugins: [
    new BellOnBundlerErrorPlugin()
module.exports = config;

Built with ❤️ by Team Electrode @WalmartLabs.




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  • jchip
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