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Setup Monorepo via Yarn workspace for Serverless Framework and Expo with Typescript

I created a universal app with Expo for native mobile and web. It works wonderfully. I think a monorepo for local code sharing should efficient than publishing to a private package to Github registry (It works like a charm though).

I thought it’s just a 5 min setup. But I was wrong… Still very easy though. In this blog, we will use monorepo to share code between the backend(Serverless framework) and frontend(Expo).

I always try my best to introduce less overhead and less dependencies to solve a problem.

Our goals

  • Yarn only without lerna: Less overhead. And We do not need lerna
  • Yarn version: v1.22.4
  • Typescript support for all three modules
  • I just want to focus on coding without worrying about building pipeline
  • No no no, no Babel, that’ll introduce loads of dev-dependencies, I want a clean tree.
  • I will show you how to use as well

1. Big picture

The project contains 3 parts:

  1. Frontend:
    • Typescript
    • React native
    • PWA for Web
    • framework: Expo
    • building: Expo
  2. Backend:
  3. Code sharing:
    • Typescript
    • building: tsdx

tsdx is a zero config CLI for Typescript written via the author of formik, Jared Palmer.

This is the final folder structure.

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--monorepo
--serverless --> build via tsc
--universal --> build via expo
--shared --> build via tsdx

There is no packages as you see, because we are not using lerna, and I am really want less nesting.

2. Setup

  1. Creating the monorepo folder
  2. Put the following package.json file into the folder:
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{
"private": true,
"workspaces": ["shared", "universal", "serverless"]
}

3. Manage the shared modules

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## from ./monorepo
npx tsdx create shared

Choose template: basic

Open the ./monorepo/shared/package.json, update the following properties

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{
"name": "@monorepo/shared",
"version": "0.0.1"
}

4. Manage the serverless part

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# from ./monorepo
mkdir serverless
cd serverless
npm init -y
serverless create --template aws-nodejs

In the ./monorepo/serverless/package.json

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{
"name": "@monorepo/serverless",
"script": {
"build": "rm -rf ./dist > ./rm-err.txt && tsc"
},
"devDependencies": {
"serverless": "^1.67.0",
"serverless-plugin-monorepo": "^0.8.0",
"typescript": "^3.8.3"
}
}

There is a problem with this monorepo approach, is the some packages will be hoisted to the ./monorepo level node_modules, which will cause Serverless framework not included them in the final .zip file. serverless-plugin-monorepo is for solving this problem without disabling the hoisting feature from Yarn workspace.

Add this to your serverless.yml

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plugins:
- serverless-plugin-monorepo

Also in serverless.yml, update this:

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functions:
hello:
handler: handler.hello

to

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functions:
hello:
handler: dist/handler.hello

We will point to the final transpiled code directly.

Let’s add the ./monorepo/serverless/tsconfig.json

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{
"compilerOptions": {
"preserveConstEnums": true,
"strictNullChecks": true,
"inlineSources": true,
"inlineSourceMap": true,
"sourceRoot": "./src",
"lib": ["ES2019"],
"module": "commonjs",
"target": "ES2019",
"outDir": "dist",
"moduleResolution": "node",
"esModuleInterop": true,
"rootDir": "./src",
"resolveJsonModule": true,
"skipLibCheck": true,
"strict": true
},
"include": ["./src"],
"exclude": ["node_modules", "src/**/*.spec.ts"]
}

I am using Node 12, so I compile to ES2019 which has very less overheads. Change it if you are using a different node version. You can find this information from the official Typescript repo.

5. Manage the Expo part

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## from ./monorepo
expo init

Select the [Managed] Blank Typescript template,
give it a name universal

Update ./monorepo/universal/package.json:

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{
"name": "@monorepo/universal",
"version": "1.0.0",
"main": "__generated__/AppEntry.js",
"scripts": {
"postinstall": "expo-yarn-workspaces postinstall"
},
"devDependencies": {
"expo-yarn-workspaces": "^1.2.1"
}
}

Update the ./monorepo/universal/app.json:

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"packagerOpts": {
"config": "metro.config.js"
}

Create a file named metro.config.js under ./monorepo/universal/

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const { createMetroConfiguration } = require("expo-yarn-workspaces");

module.exports = createMetroConfiguration(__dirname);

6. Tidy up

Removing all node_modules in the 3 sub-folders if has.

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## from ./monorepo
yarn

Not everything has been setup.

You are good to go!

7. How to use

How to consume the code in shared module

  1. Import code like this import {sum} from '@monorepo/shared'
  2. Any updates to @monorepo/shared, run the command yarn build under that ./monorepo/shared or yarn workspace @monorepo/shared build

How to add dependencies to one of the modules

yarn workspace @monorepo/universal add BLAH

8. End.

I had a problem with one of the dependencies not get the updated version even after I running with clearing the cache expo start -c, the solution is expo update, but that takes too long. So I want to setup a monorepo. It turns out works pretty well.

One thing I’d like to have but do not have time to figure it out is: in @monorepo/shared/package.json, change main to ./src/index.ts, then in Expo, you can instantly get any code changes without building, which means, we are referring to the source code. But I do not know how to get it working with @monorepo/serverless, the import {A} from '@monorepo/shared' will be transpiled to const A = require('@monorepo/shared'). And of course, @monorepo/shared is not been brought and transpiled. If you know how to solve it, please let me know.

That’s all, hope it helps!

Follow me (albertgao) on twitter, if you want to hear more about my interesting ideas.