Web Components with Dojo

We previously saw how we can create a custom date picker with Dojo. If building custom widgets with Dojo wasn’t cool enough, one of the features that Dojo provides that set it apart is the ability to export your custom widgets to Web Components.

This is incredibly useful because you could create a encapsulated widget in Dojo, including all business logic and now reuse this component anywhere you want.

You can review the documentation on how to export widgets to web components here.

Firs thing you need to do is npm install @dojo/cli-build-widget in our DatePicker project. Once that is done, we just need to make some updates to the widget in our application to encapsulate some styles and other small bits.

First, let’s update src/widgets/styles/datepicker.m.css.

@import url("https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto");
@import url("https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/font-awesome/4.7.0/css/font-awesome.min.css");

.root {
    font-family: "Roboto", sans-serif;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 0.5em;
  color: #000;

input {
  font-size: 1.2em;

button {
  color: #fff;
  background: rgb(16, 184, 10);
  padding: 1em;

.hidden {
  display: none;

.calendarcontainer {
  background: #fff;

Now we have included all the styling for our widget, including the required fonts into the css for the widget.

Next, we need to add the customElement decorator to our widget to define the tags and any attribute and event information.

// src/widgets/DatePicker.ts

import { v, w } from '@dojo/framework/widget-core/d';
import { WidgetBase } from '@dojo/framework/widget-core/WidgetBase';
import Calendar from '@dojo/widgets/calendar';
import EnhancedTextInput from '@dojo/widgets/enhanced-text-input';
// Used to define web component element tag name
import customElement from '@dojo/framework/widget-core/decorators/customElement';

import * as css from './styles/datePicker.m.css';


  tag: 'date-picker' // custom element can be defined as <date-picker></date-picker>
export class DatePicker extends WidgetBase<DatePickerProperties> {

export default DatePicker;

Now the last thing we need to do is update the .dojorc with a "build-widget" section.

  "build-widget": {
    "elements": ["src/widgets/DatePicker"]

With all these changes in place, you should be able to now run dojo build widget --mode dist.

To test that our web component works correctly, we can create a new HTML file that uses it.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
  <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="./output/dist/date-picker/date-picker-1.0.0.css">
  <script src="./output/dist/date-picker/date-picker-1.0.0.js"></script>
  <title>Date Picker Demo</title>
  <!-- Custom Element -->

You should see a page with your date picker component now!

You can find the source code here.

And there you go, we just exported a Dojo widget that we previously built into a reusable web component. Try it out with your own components and feel confident that you can build awesome widgets that you can use anywhere!

Up and running with @dojo/cli

If you haven’t heard, dojo has gotten an upgrade! The latest version of dojo ha some pretty awesome features, not just to build widgets, but it also includes a robust i18n package for your internationalization needs, a nice selection of out-of-the-box widgets and a pretty nice way to theme your applications.

A key tool provided by dojo is the @dojo/cli.

To get started you will want to use npm to install it globally.

npm install -g @dojo/cli @dojo/cli-create-app

Once it’s installed, you can type dojo --help into your command line and you should get this spiffy help message.


You’re one step closer to world domination.

Now you want to actually create an application, which you do with the following.

dojo create app --name awesome-dojo-app

This will take about a minute or so to create your application directory and install all the dependencies for your scaffold application.

Once it’s done, you cd into your application directory and use the following command to run it.

dojo build --mode dev --watch --serve

Under the hood, the @dojo/cli is using webpack to build and bundle your application. What we’re doing here is:

  • build – command to build the application
  • --mode dev – use dev mode so that the builds are quicker and not production optimized
  • --watch – watch for any file changes and recompile
  • --serve – serve the application in a local server for us

You should be able to open your browser to http://localhost:9999/ and you would see the following


I’ll let you peruse the application provided, but let us take a look at the widget code real quick.

// src/widgets/HelloWorld.ts
import WidgetBase from '@dojo/framework/widget-core/WidgetBase';
import { v } from '@dojo/framework/widget-core/d';

import * as css from './styles/helloWorld.m.css';

const logo = require('./../img/logo.svg');

export class HelloWorld extends WidgetBase {
    protected render() {
        return v('div', { classes: css.root }, [
            v('img', { src: logo, classes: css.logo }),
            v('div', { classes: css.label }, ['Hello, Dojo 2 World!'])

export default HelloWorld;

You may not notice right away, but it’s all TypeScript. Notice, in this widget their are no types or interfaces defined, that’s because it’s all inferred by the TypeScript compiler to make sure it’s valid. The power of TypeScript!

Dojo has it’s own virtual dom engine for building widgets and uses hyperscript as the default for creating your apps. If you are familiar with React, hyperscript is what it’s like writing it without the JSX. But the v method is much shorter for dev purposes.

I really like writing my widgets this way, and I won’t go into too much detail on building a widget, I’ll cover that in another post and you can read more in the dojo tutorials.

But I do realize, some people really love their JSX, so no worries, you can still use JSX if you want.

Just change the .ts file extension to .tsx and convert the hyperscript to JSX like this.

// src/widgets/HelloWorld.tsx
import WidgetBase from '@dojo/framework/widget-core/WidgetBase';
// tslint:disable-next-line
import { tsx } from "@dojo/framework/widget-core/tsx";
import * as css from './styles/helloWorld.m.css';

const logo = require('./../img/logo.svg');

export class HelloWorld extends WidgetBase {
    protected render() {
        return (
            <div classes={css.root}>
                <img src={logo} classes={css.logo}></img>
                <div classes={css.label}>Hello Dojo!</div>

export default HelloWorld;

We need to import the tsx module so that the JSX can be compiled and the default tslint doesn’t like unused modules, so you’ll also need to add a comment for tslint to ignore that line.

But there you go, you still use JSX in your Dojo widgets!

Be sure to check out the dojo tutorials for more great lessons and also the docs if you really want to dig in! And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with our content!