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4.3.0 • Public • Published

generator-esri-appbuilder-js Build Status

Yeoman generator to help customize the ArcGIS Web AppBuilder.


This generator scaffolds out the boilerplate files that are needed when you are customizing the Web AppBuilder. This includes generators to set up your project and scaffold out the files needed to create custom widgets.


Getting Started


The first prerequisite is to have the grunt-cli installed. To install this, run:

npm install -g grunt-cli

Next you must install Yeoman:

$ npm install -g yo

Finally install generator-esri-appbuilder-js from npm:

$ npm install -g generator-esri-appbuilder-js

Running the Generators

The generators should be run in the root of a working folder for your project. This should be outside of the Web AppBuilder's folder structure (i.e. NOT in the stem app or an app that you've already created with the Web AppBuilder). The grunt tasks configured by the generators will handle copying the widget files to the appropriate folders under the Web AppBuilder's install directory. Because of this, the generator will ask you what app to use. If you select None or do not have any Web AppBuilder apps in your Web AppBuilder install directory, the grunt file will be created but will not be configured to copy your code to the appropriate app directory. If you create an app after running the Yeoman generator, you can either go to the Gruntfile and make manual edits (you'll see details in there), or you can re-run this generator and it will offer to overwrite your Gruntfile.

App (Default) Generator

The app generator installs and configures the grunt tasks and other project files and ensures that required subfolders (like widgets) exist.

  1. Navigate into the root folder of your project
  2. Run the generator with yo esri-appbuilder-js
  3. Answer the man's questions!
Prompt Description Default
Type of widget(s) to be generated Whether you want to build 2D or 3D widgets 2D
Web AppBuilder install root The root folder where you installed (unzipped) the Web AppBuilder Developer Edition [USER_HOME_FOLDER]/WebAppBuilderForArcGIS
Web AppBuilder application The name of the application you would like the grunt task to sync your code with None
Would you like to use SASS for CSS preprocessing? If you choose yes, you can utilize features from SASS like nesting, variables, etc. Yes
Which JavaScript syntax version would you like to develop in? Will widget and settings JavaScript files use ES5, ES2015, or TypeScript? ES5

Widget Generator

Scaffolds out the files needed to create a new custom widget.

  1. Navigate into the root folder of your project
  2. Run the generator with yo esri-appbuilder-js:widget
  3. Answer the man's questions!
Prompt Description Default
Widget Name Folder name for output files and widget identifier MyWidget
Widget Title Name users see in widget selector and panel title bar My Widget
Description What does this widget do? (optional) A custom Web AppBuilder widget
Base Class The widget's base class my-widget
Run inside a panel Will your widget run inside a panel? Yes
Locale (i18n) file Will your widget require a locale file? Yes
Style (CSS) file Will your widget require a style file? Yes
Config (JSON) file Will your widget require a configuration file? Yes
Template (HTML) file Will your widget require a template file? Yes
Would you like a settings page? Will your widget have a settings page? Yes
Settings template (HTML) file Will your settings page require a template file? Yes
Settings locale (i18n) file Will your settings page require a locale file? Yes
Settings style (CSS) file Will your settings page require a style file? Yes

Taking the default values for the prompts will generate the following output under the widgets folder (note: if you choose TypeScript style, there will be .ts files instead of JS):

│   config.json
│   manifest.json
│   Widget.html
│   Widget.js
│       style.css (or style.scss)
│       icon.png
│       strings.js
    |   Setting.js
    |   Setting.html
    |       strings.js

After you copy the widget files to the Web AppBuilder's stemapp, the next time you run the Web AppBuilder, you will see something like the following on the widgets panel:

Widget in the Builder

Copying Widget Files

In order for the widgets that you're working on to be available in the Web AppBuilder you will need to copy their files to the appropriate folder under the Web AppBuilder's install root.

Copying the Files Manually

For example, let's say you've installed the Web AppBuilder in c:\WebAppBuilderForArcGIS, then you'll need to copy widget files to the following folder under the stem app:


Also, you'll likely want to copy widget files to any applications that you've created that use them:


Unless you're using the grunt tasks, you'll need to re-copy the files each time you make changes to the files.

Running the Grunt Tasks

The easiest way to keep your widget files in sync with the Web AppBuilder is to run the grunt tasks. After running the generators, you can run the default grunt task following at the project root:


This will copy over any files that haven't already been copied over, and then start watching all files under the widgets folder for changes and re-copy the files to the Web AppBuilder's folders.


The generator enables Livereload by default in the Gruntfile that it creates. This means the Grunt watch task will run at the default livereload port so you can use a browser extension to have the page reload when you save your source widget files. See grunt-contrib-watch for advanced customization. Extensions are available in all major browsers (Example for Google Chrome)

Linting Your Code

The app generator does not scaffold out any linting files. We recommend that you use some form of linting, either jshint, semistandard, or eslint. An example of using semistandard is below:

  1. Install semistandard:
npm install -g semistandard
  1. Below is a sample configuration you can add to your package.json:
    "globals": [
    "ignore": [
  1. Validate your code:

See the semistandard docs for more information.

Building for Production

When you're ready to publish your application in a user facing environment, improve performance by running:

npm run build

The resulting package can be found in dist/buildOut/

This will repackage and compress your application with only the neccessary elements. We have found this to result in massive performance improvements.

NOTE: This feature is only available for 2D applications with a chosen Web AppBuilder application.


Find a bug or want to request a new feature? Please let us know by submitting an issue.


We welcome contributions from anyone and everyone. Please see Esri's guidelines for contributing.


This generator was inspired by @steveoh and @stdavis's generator-dojo-widget as well as @dbouwman's generator-bootmap.


Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

A copy of the license is available in the repository's license.txt file.


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