# Integrating Fractal into build tools

Fractal can happily be integrated into any JavaScript-based build tool by making use of its API, and can reduce or replace the need to use Fractal's own CLI tool for running tasks such as starting the dev server.

# Gulp

The following is an example gulpfile.js that defines two tasks, one to start the dev server and one to run a static export of the web UI.

Once added, these can be run as gulp fractal:start and gulp fractal:build. However you can of course change them to be called whatever you like!

'use strict';

const gulp = require('gulp');

 * Configure a Fractal instance.
 * This configuration could also be done in a separate file, provided that this file
 * then imported the configured fractal instance from it to work with in your Gulp tasks.
 * i.e. const fractal = require('./my-fractal-config-file');

const fractal = require('@frctl/fractal').create();

fractal.set('project.title', 'FooCorp Component Library'); // title for the project
fractal.web.set('builder.dest', 'build'); // destination for the static export
fractal.docs.set('path', `${__dirname}/docs`); // location of the documentation directory.
fractal.components.set('path', `${__dirname}/components`); // location of the component directory.

// any other configuration or customisation here

const logger = fractal.cli.console; // keep a reference to the fractal CLI console utility

 * Start the Fractal server
 * In this example we are passing the option 'sync: true' which means that it will
 * use BrowserSync to watch for changes to the filesystem and refresh the browser automatically.
 * Obviously this is completely optional!
 * This task will also log any errors to the console.

gulp.task('fractal:start', function(){
    const server = fractal.web.server({
        sync: true
    server.on('error', err => logger.error(err.message));
    return server.start().then(() => {
        logger.success(`Fractal server is now running at ${server.url}`);

 * Run a static export of the project web UI.
 * This task will report on progress using the 'progress' event emitted by the
 * builder instance, and log any errors to the terminal.
 * The build destination will be the directory specified in the 'builder.dest'
 * configuration option set above.

gulp.task('fractal:build', function(){
    const builder = fractal.web.builder();
    builder.on('progress', (completed, total) => logger.update(`Exported ${completed} of ${total} items`, 'info'));
    builder.on('error', err => logger.error(err.message));
    return builder.build().then(() => {
        logger.success('Fractal build completed!');

# NPM Scripts

Because the locally-installed Fractal module also includes the CLI tool binary, you can use it in your NPM scripts to provide a convenient way to run CLI tasks without having to have the Fractal CLI tool installed globally.

An example package.json file may therefore look like this:

  "name": "foocorp-component-library",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "FooCorp Component Library.",
  "devDependencies": {
    "@frctl/fractal": "…",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "fractal start --sync",
    "build": "fractal build"

One thing to note here is that because you can't directly configure your Fractal instance within your package.json file, you will still need to have a fractal.config.js file in your project root to contain all your project setup information.