Build tasks and tools for RightScale front-end projects
Last updated 2 years ago by rightscaleci .
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RightScale Frontend build tools

Node module that dynamically generates a set of Gulp tasks based on a given configuration object in order to build a front-end project (library or application).

The tasks target a TypeScript project and SCSS style sheets. Optionally supporting Angular 1.x templates.


The build tools rely on conventions over configuration as much as possible. This way, all projects should be organized in a similar manner and be easier for team members to navigate.

The basic unit is a bundle. A bundle here is a set of assets such as code, styles and images that are transformed together. A project should have at least one bundle but may have more.

A bundle can depend on other bundles and they will be built in order.

The build tools will automatically generate a set of Gulp tasks for each bundle and set their dependencies according to the bundles dependency tree.


Bundles are organized in a standard manner, the presence of their various components is automatically detected and the corresponding Gulp tasks are created.

  • bundle root folder
    • index.ts: code entry point
    • index.scss: styles entry point
    • spec.ts: unit tests entry point
    • **/*.svg: images to pre-cache in Angular
    • **/*.html: Angular templates to pre-cache


Install the build tools and Gulp in your project:

npm i --save-dev gulp @rightscale/ui-build-tools

However, you should use the RightScale project templates to generate a project as they will set up everything for you:

Configuring your project

Create gulpfile.js at the root of your project to configure the build tools. A simple configuration would look like this:

var build = require('@rightscale/ui-build-tools');

  bundles: [{
    name: 'app',
    root: 'src'


Here's the schema of the options, in TypeScript style:

  minify: boolean;          // default: true, whether to minify JavaScript code
  beforeClean: string[];    // tasks that should be run before the clean task
  bundles: {
    name: string;
    dependencies: string[]; // names of other bundles
    root: string;           // folder name containing the bundle
    angular: boolean;       // default: true, determines if HTML and SVG files should be bundle in Angular pre-cached files
    library: boolean;       // set to true if your bundle is a library
    minify: boolean;        // override global minification setting at the bundle level
    beforeBuild: string[];  // tasks that should be run before the bundle is built
    assetFolders: string[]; // name of folders to be copied directly
    run: {                  // configure the bundle to run as a web app
      port: number;         // default: 3000
      host: string;         // default: localhost
      https: boolean;       // default: undefined
      routes: {[route:string]: string}; // maps a route to a local folder
      environments: {       // defines environments to proxy API calls to
        [name: string]: {   // environment name
          [path: string]: string  // relative path to url proxy definitions 
      customHeaders: {      // optional headers to pass to the endpoints
        [name: string]: string

Running tasks after build

If you need to run some post-build tasks, you need to override the build task for your bundle. For example:

gulp.task('app:build', ['app:build-tasks'], () => {
  // do things here...

Make sure to make it depend on the build-tasks task for the bundle otherwise your build won't do much.

The generated tasks

The tasks generated depend on the configuration and the files found in the bundle. For example, without spec.ts no test tasks will be created.

Most tasks are prefixed with the bundle name. In the examples below, we'll assume that name is app.

You can run gulp --tasks to view the tasks generated for your project.


Building an app involves the following:

  • Compiling TypeScript code and bundling it into a single JavaScript file, using Rollup.
  • Compiling SCSS styles into a single CSS file.
  • Pre-caching Angular templates into a JavaScript file (to be imported by the TypeScript code).
  • Pre-caching SVG images into a JavaScript file (to be imported by the TypeScript code).
  • copying non .ts and non .scss files from the root of the bundle.

All generated files are placed in a subfolder of the dist folder named after the bundle.

You can build your bundle using:

gulp app:build


A number of tasks are created to test your code using Karma with different browsers. For quick tests and CI systems, you can use PhantomJS:

gulp app:spec

But you can also specify a browser:

gulp app:spec:chrome

Or run the tests in all browsers supported on your platform:

gulp app:spec:windows
gulp app:spec:linux

You can also debug your specs in the browser, for example:

gulp app:spec:firefox:debug


You may want to run your app using a local server. This is made possible using BrowserSync. By default, your bundle's name is used as task name to run it:

gulp app:run

But if you specify environments in your configuration, then the environments names will be used instead insteads of run.

Your code files will be monitored and any change will trigger a rebuild. BrowserSync will auto reload the page on changes.


You can remove the generated files by running:

gulp clean



MIT (c) RightScale

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