Sunday, August 25, 2013

Automation of Grunt builds in WebStorm/PHPStorm

It's very handy to use Yeoman and Grunt to build AngularJS (and not only) applications. And I'll write here how make it even more comfortable in JetBrains IDE.

Default installation of Yeoman is very good for development on localhost. But it's not always possible - some databases and services just can't be on localhost, even their mocks. For example: ActiveDirectory - I don't even want to imagine, how many time I'll spend to make small copy of AD on my localhost.

For deployment I use beanstalk - all I need to deploy on development server is press "git commit and push" button in IDE (I use PHPStorm because in my current projects backend is in PHP).
But before that, I have to run "grunt build" to put all results to the "dist" folder.

There is 2 ways to automate grunt builds in PHPStorm/WebStorm:

1) File Watchers - can be used, when repository contains only 1 application (because of "working directory" argument in the File Watcher settings);
2) Rebuild manually by running external tool from context menu or executing "grunt build" in console;

To run grunt build in Windows console:

1) add path to nodejs folder and %APPDATA%\Roaming\npm\ in your system PATH variable
2) open console in IDE (shift+ctrl+x)
3) if necessary, set working directory by "cd dir_name"
4) write "grunt.cmd build"

To create context menu "Grunt build" in Mac OS:

Settings -> External Tools -> +
Name: build
Group: Grunt
Program: grunt
Parameters: build
Working directory: $FileDir$

To create context menu "Grunt build" in Windows:

Settings -> External Tools -> +
Name: build
Group: Grunt
Program: grunt.cmd
Parameters: build
Working directory: $FileDir$

Now Grunt will rebuild our project, but it's not yet enough - names of some files will be changed and we'll
need to add these files to git (run "git add .").

To do this, I use grunt-exec. Run in apps folder:
npm install grunt-exec
then add to Gruntfile.js (before last '}' for instance):
then create 'exec' task in grunt.initConfig:
exec: {
    command: 'git add .',
    cwd: '<%= yeoman.dist %>'
now, to run this task in each build, add this line in list of
section. It will look something like that:
  grunt.registerTask('build', [
That's all! :)


  1. Thanks. This one works for me on Node64, Win8 Pro64 & WebStorm 7.0.3. Nice work. I needed to create a grunt.initConfig to add the exec function, and the 'build' registration had to ne before the default in grunttfile.js -- grunt.registerTask('build', 'default', ['jshint', 'requirejs', 'hashres']); then it worked like a dream.

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