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Creating UI components library with Angular

Feeling a need to create re-usable UI components for all of your projects or for all the projects across your organization? Here’s a quick guide to creating such a library with angular and for angular apps and finally publish it to npm.

Development Setup

  1. Identify the common components which can be a part of your library.
  2. Create an angular workspace using ng new <project-name> --createApplication=false.
  3. --createApplication=false flag will provide an angular workspace without any app inside it.
  4. cd <project-name>
  5. Create a library inside your angular workspace.
  6. ng g library <lib-name>
  7. This will be the lib where all your lib components will go.
  8. Now, we need an application to test our lib and for local development of lib components.
  9. So, create an app using ng g application <app-name>
  10. That’s all the dev setup needed for a basic hello world component.

Deployment Guidelines

These are the steps to build and publish to npm manually. Based on your CI-CD tool you may automate them.

  1. cd into your lib cd projects/<lib-name>/
  2. Bump up the semver version using npm version patch or npm version minor or npm version major.
  3. Good to have a npm script for the first 2 steps.
  4. cd back into workspace root and build the library using ng build <lib-name>.
  5. This will create a dist folder with packaged lib.
  6. cd into cd dist/<lib-name> and run npm publish. (offcourse, first you need to be logged in to npm).
  7. That’s all folks! Your lib is now published on npm.

Bonus Material

Including global styles

  1. Using encapsulation: ViewEncapsulation.None as suggested here is one of the common way to include global styles.

  2. I had a theme folder with around 15 different SCSS files, so I have used parcel bundler to create a single minified bundle and then use cpx to copy that style to dist as part of build step.

  3. Since the theme.min.css is now a part of lib so the user can simple import this file from their node_modules folder. It’s preferred to add this file in angular.json’s styles: []

  4. Similarly you can export global js and import it from node_modules into angular.json’s scripts: []

Serving static assets

This is a bit tricky and need to follow specific guidelines. I prefer copying them using cpx and then in the app copy them again from node_modules folder to assets/* or any folder having similar path as it is there in lib code.

Feel free to add your suggestions and feedback in the comments below.

- Ayush 🙂