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Integrating Rollup With Other Tools

With NPM Packages

At some point, it's likely that your project will depend on packages installed from NPM into your node_modules folder. Unlike other bundlers such as Webpack and Browserify, Rollup doesn't know "out of the box" how to handle these dependencies - we need to add some configuration.

Let's add a simple dependency called the-answer, which exports the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything:

shell
npm install the-answer
# or `npm i the-answer`

If we update our src/main.js file…

js
// src/main.js
import answer from 'the-answer';

export default function () {
	console.log('the answer is ' + answer);
}

…and run Rollup…

shell
npm run build

…we'll see a warning like this:

(!) Unresolved dependencies
https://github.com/rollup/rollup/wiki/Troubleshooting#treating-module-as-external-dependency
the-answer (imported by main.js)

The resulting bundle.js will still work in Node.js, because the import declaration gets turned into a CommonJS require statement, but the-answer does not get included in the bundle. For that, we need a plugin.

@rollup/plugin-node-resolve

The @rollup/plugin-node-resolve plugin teaches Rollup how to find external modules. Install it…

shell
npm install --save-dev @rollup/plugin-node-resolve

…and add it to your config file:

js
// rollup.config.js
import resolve from '@rollup/plugin-node-resolve';

export default {
	input: 'src/main.js',
	output: {
		file: 'bundle.js',
		format: 'cjs'
	},
	plugins: [resolve()]
};

This time, when you npm run build, no warning is emitted — the bundle contains the imported module.

@rollup/plugin-commonjs

Some libraries expose ES modules that you can import as-is — the-answer is one such module. But at the moment, the majority of packages on NPM are exposed as CommonJS modules instead. Until that changes, we need to convert CommonJS to ES2015 before Rollup can process them.

The @rollup/plugin-commonjs plugin does exactly that.

Note that most of the time @rollup/plugin-commonjs should go before other plugins that transform your modules — this is to prevent other plugins from making changes that break the CommonJS detection. An exception for this rule is the Babel plugin, if you're using it then place it before the commonjs one.

Peer dependencies

Let's say that you're building a library that has a peer dependency, such as React or Lodash. If you set up externals as described above, your rollup will bundle all imports:

js
import answer from 'the-answer';
import _ from 'lodash';

You can finely tune which imports are bundled and which are treated as external. For this example, we'll treat lodash as external, but not the-answer.

Here is the config file:

js
// rollup.config.js
import resolve from '@rollup/plugin-node-resolve';

export default {
	input: 'src/main.js',
	output: {
		file: 'bundle.js',
		format: 'cjs'
	},
	plugins: [
		resolve({
			// pass custom options to the resolve plugin
			moduleDirectories: ['node_modules']
		})
	],
	// indicate which modules should be treated as external
	external: ['lodash']
};

Voilà, lodash will now be treated as external, and not be bundled with your library.

The external key accepts either an array of module names, or a function which takes the module name and returns true if it should be treated as external. For example:

js
export default {
	// ...
	external: id => /lodash/.test(id)
};

You might use this form if you're using babel-plugin-lodash to cherry-pick lodash modules. In this case, Babel will convert your import statements to look like this:

js
import _merge from 'lodash/merge';

The array form of external does not handle wildcards, so this import will only be treated as external in the functional form.

Babel

Many developers use Babel in their projects in order to use the latest JavaScript features that aren't yet supported by browsers and Node.js.

The easiest way to use both Babel and Rollup is with @rollup/plugin-babel. First, install the plugin:

shell
npm i -D @rollup/plugin-babel @rollup/plugin-node-resolve

Add it to rollup.config.js:

js
// rollup.config.js
import resolve from '@rollup/plugin-node-resolve';
import babel from '@rollup/plugin-babel';

export default {
	input: 'src/main.js',
	output: {
		file: 'bundle.js',
		format: 'cjs'
	},
	plugins: [resolve(), babel({ babelHelpers: 'bundled' })]
};

Before Babel will actually compile your code, it needs to be configured. Create a new file, src/.babelrc.json:

json
{
	"presets": ["@babel/env"]
}

We're putting our .babelrc.json file in src, rather than the project root. This allows us to have a different .babelrc.json for things like tests, if we need that later – See the Babel documentation for more information on both project wide and file relative configuration.

Now, before we run rollup, we need to install babel-core and the env preset:

shell
npm i -D @babel/core @babel/preset-env

Running Rollup now will create a bundle - except we're not actually using any ES2015 features. Let's change that by editing src/main.js:

js
// src/main.js
import answer from 'the-answer';

export default () => {
	console.log(`the answer is ${answer}`);
};

Run Rollup with npm run build, and check the bundle:

js
'use strict';

var index = 42;

var main = function () {
	console.log('the answer is ' + index);
};

module.exports = main;

Gulp

Rollup returns Promises which are understood by gulp so integration is relatively painless.

The syntax is very similar to the configuration file, but the properties are split across two different operations corresponding to the JavaScript API:

js
const gulp = require('gulp');
const rollup = require('rollup');
const rollupTypescript = require('@rollup/plugin-typescript');

gulp.task('build', () => {
	return rollup
		.rollup({
			input: './src/main.ts',
			plugins: [rollupTypescript()]
		})
		.then(bundle => {
			return bundle.write({
				file: './dist/library.js',
				format: 'umd',
				name: 'library',
				sourcemap: true
			});
		});
});

You may also use the async/await syntax:

js
const gulp = require('gulp');
const rollup = require('rollup');
const rollupTypescript = require('@rollup/plugin-typescript');

gulp.task('build', async function () {
	const bundle = await rollup.rollup({
		input: './src/main.ts',
		plugins: [rollupTypescript()]
	});

	await bundle.write({
		file: './dist/library.js',
		format: 'umd',
		name: 'library',
		sourcemap: true
	});
});

Deno

If you like to run Rollup in Deno you can use esm.sh like so:

js
import {rollup} from "https://esm.sh/[email protected]";

const bundle = await rollup({ //...

Alternatively you can install rollup from npm and use the node compatibility layer:

js
import {createRequire} from "https://deno.land/[email protected]/node/module.ts";
const require = createRequire(import.meta.url);
const {rollup} = require("rollup");

const bundle = await rollup({ //...

Be sure to run deno with the --unstable flag. And don't forget --allow-read and --allow-write if you plan on using bundle.write().

Released under the MIT License.