Angular 2 AoT Compilation with webpack

@ngtools/webpack package provides a very easy way to switch compilations of an Angular application from JiT to AoT. It’s used in Angular-CLI. The tool allows us enable AoT compilation without any changes of the application code. Let’s use new great stuff!

Make base app

At first, make a very simple application.

├── index.html
├── package.json
├── src
│   ├── app
│   │   ├── app.component.css
│   │   ├── app.component.html
│   │   ├── app.component.ts
│   │   ├── app.module.ts
│   │   └── home
│   │       ├── home.component.html
│   │       └── home.component.ts
│   └── main.ts
├── tsconfig.json
└── webpack.config.js

This is current webpack configuration.

module.exports = {
entry: {
main: './src/main.ts'
},
output: {
path: './dist',
filename: '[name].bundle.js',
},
resolve: {
extensions: ['.ts', '.js', '.html'],
},
module: {
rules: [
{ test: /\.html$/, loader: 'raw' },
{ test: /\.css$/, loader: 'raw' },
{ test: /\.ts/, loaders: ['awesome-typescript-loader', 'angular2-template-loader'] }
]
},
devtool: '#source-map',
};

Current Project: https://github.com/laco0416/ngtools-webpack-example/tree/base-app

Switching dev/prod mode with CLI option

I want to have two build mode. dev mode is fast and no optimization. In other hand, prod mode is fully optimized build.

We can pass env options via webpack CLI if the configuration is a function. New webpack.config.js is below:

const webpack = require('webpack');
module.exports = (envOptions) => {
envOptions = envOptions || {};
const config = {
entry: {
main: './src/main.ts'
},
output: {
path: './dist',
filename: '[name].bundle.js',
},
resolve: {
extensions: ['.ts', '.js', '.html'],
},
module: {
rules: [
{ test: /\.html$/, loader: 'raw' },
{ test: /\.css$/, loader: 'raw' },
{ test: /\.ts/, loaders: ['awesome-typescript-loader', 'angular2-template-loader'] }
]
},
devtool: '#source-map',
};
if (envOptions.MODE === 'prod') {
config.plugins = [
new webpack.optimize.UglifyJsPlugin({
beautify: false,
mangle: {
screw_ie8: true,
keep_fnames: true
},
compress: {
warnings: false,
screw_ie8: true
},
comments: false
}),
];
}

return config;
};

And new npm-scripts are below.

"scripts": {
"build": "webpack --config webpack.config.js",
"build:prod": "webpack --config webpack.config.js --env.MODE=prod"
},

Current Project: https://github.com/laco0416/ngtools-webpack-example/tree/build-mode

Use NgcLoader and AotPlugin in prod mode

AoT compilation is a large effective optimization. It should be used in prod mode.

To build with AoT compilation, let’s install `@ngtools/webpack` package and its dependencies.

npm install -D @angular/compiler-cli @ngtools/webpack

And update webpack.config.js to enable AotPlugin. Separate .ts file resolution, use `@ngtools/webpack` loader (NgcLoader) and add AotPlugin.

const webpack = require('webpack');
const AotPlugin = require('@ngtools/webpack').AotPlugin;
module.exports = (envOptions) => {
envOptions = envOptions || {};
const config = {
entry: {
main: './src/main.ts'
},
output: {
path: './dist',
filename: '[name].bundle.js',
},
resolve: {
extensions: ['.ts', '.js', '.html'],
},
module: {
rules: [
{ test: /\.html$/, loader: 'raw' },
{ test: /\.css$/, loader: 'raw' },
]
},
devtool: '#source-map',
};
if (envOptions.MODE === 'prod') {
config.module.rules.push(
{ test: /\.ts$/, loaders: ['
@ngtools/webpack'] }
);

config.plugins = [
new AotPlugin({
tsConfigPath: './tsconfig.json',
entryModule: 'src/app/app.module#AppModule'
}),

new webpack.optimize.UglifyJsPlugin({
beautify: false,
mangle: {
screw_ie8: true,
keep_fnames: true
},
compress: {
warnings: false,
screw_ie8: true
},
comments: false
}),
];
} else {
config.module.rules.push(
{ test: /\.ts$/, loaders: ['awesome-typescript-loader', 'angular2-template-loader'] }
);

}
return config;
};

AotPlugin takes two parameters at least. tsConfigPath identifies the path of tsconfig.json, and entryModule identifies the path and module class used for bootstrapping.

Now, `npm run build:prod` command executes AoT compilation. Congrats!

Final Project: https://github.com/laco0416/ngtools-webpack-example/tree/aot-plugin

Conclusion

  • Switch build mode with webpack’s environment options: --env.MODE
  • Install @ngtools/webpack
  • Use NgcLoader and add AotPlugin in prod mode