Setting up a React Environment for ASP.NET MVC

Sung M. Kim on October 13, 2018

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash I had a chance to update a legacy ASP.NET MVC website using AngularJS (yes, the first version) to use Webpack &am... [Read Full]
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Hi, I tried out your process using VS2019, step by step and got the following error. Was hoping you might nudge me in the right direction :). [I am a relative newbie with npm]

ERROR in ./Scripts/Home/react/index.js
Module build failed (from ./node_modules/babel-loader/lib/index.js):
SyntaxError: d:\Docs\Scratch\ReactTest\Web\Scripts\Home\react\index.js: Unexpected token (5:4)

  3 |
  4 | const App = () => (
> 5 |     <>
    |     ^
  6 |         <h1>React in ASP.NET MVC!</h1>
  7 |         <div>Hello React World</div>
  8 |     </>
    at Parser.raise (d:\Docs\Scratch\ReactTest\Web\node_modules\@babel\parser\lib\index.js:6400:17)

Hi Bill.

I am sorry it's because the code snippet is out of sync from the instruction. You might want to use React.Fragment instead of <>...</> because it's a syntatic sugar (you'd need to set up plugin-transform-react-jsx for that syntax to work, which is not set up in this article.)

As a workaround, you can use React.Fragment directly as shown below (I've also updated the gist to reflect the change).

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';

const App = () => (
        <h1>React in ASP.NET MVC!</h1>
        <div>Hello React World</div>

render(<App />, document.getElementById('app'));

Thanks so much for the quick reply.
That didn't change the outcome. Same error unexpected token.

I did note that the first line in the index.js file

import React from 'react';

was reporting an Intellisense error: "(js) cannot use imports, exports, or module augmentations when '--module' is 'none'"
Could this be a contributing factor.


I start dev script in the task runner and it works very good, but only once. When I edit index.js and save it, it doens't recompile the file and I need to run dev again every time. Do you think I'am doing some thing worng?


Justo solved by adding the following lines in the webpack.config.js file:

watchOptions: {
poll: 1000 // Check for changes every second


Thanks for the update & the fix, Daniel~

I honestly moved away from using React within ASP.NET MVC, so wasn't aware of how to deal with it :)


Generally I prefer a watching build and manual refresh to browser sync. The number of times I want to lose track of an active debug state on the client as I type in an IDE are few. I've also experienced issues with synchronization and blocked calls regularly, as well as build issues that I catch much sooner if I can see the build output.

The last point is why I generally don't even bother with ide integration and just have a terminal session open persistently to run/monitor the updating build.


I've also experienced issues with synchronization and blocked calls regularly, as well as build issues that I catch much sooner if I can see the build output.


I generally don't even bother with ide integration

I can empathize with your experience because
I've also been bitten badly trying to figure out why a page wasn't working properly as I assumed the site was rendered correctly without any build issues.

That's why I have a separate build script that'd just run webpack without watching the file change so I can fire up an one off build when I am paranoid πŸ˜€πŸ˜„


any idea how to create production verion (without node_modules folder) using the environment you created (mvc project)


When you generate a bundled JavaScript, you do not need to deploy the node_modules folder or add to the source control.

You could just deploy the bundled JavaScript in your production.

Or do you not want to have node_modules folder in the first place? If so you would need to use CDN scripts.


if i remove the "node_modules" from the environment , the project fall and i get error like Module build failed: Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory, open

Ah, I see what you mean.

I am sorry I made a mistake in the post so updated step 5. Install NPM packages to install react & react-dom as a dependency not as a dev dependency, which is not included in the final bundle.

So react & react-dom should be under dependencies as shown in package.json below.

    "version": "1.0.0",
    "name": "",
    "private": true,
    "scripts": {
        "dev": "webpack --mode development --watch",
        "build": "webpack"
    "dependencies": {
        "react": "^16.5.2",
        "react-dom": "^16.5.2"
    "devDependencies": {
        "@babel/cli": "^7.1.2",
        "@babel/core": "^7.1.2",
        "@babel/plugin-proposal-class-properties": "^7.1.0",
        "@babel/preset-env": "^7.1.0",
        "@babel/preset-react": "^7.0.0",
        "babel-loader": "^8.0.4",
        "browser-sync": "^2.26.3",
        "browser-sync-webpack-plugin": "^2.2.2",
        "webpack": "^4.20.2",
        "webpack-cli": "^3.1.2",
        "webpack-notifier": "^1.7.0"

dont have any pack in devdependency

here is package.json

"name": "webbuildingoverhaul",
"version": "1.0.0",
"description": "",
"main": "webpack.config.js",
"dependencies": {
"@progress/kendo-data-query": "1.5.0",
"@progress/kendo-date-math": "1.3.2",
"@progress/kendo-drawing": "1.5.7",
"@progress/kendo-react-common": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-react-dateinputs": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-react-dropdowns": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-react-excel-export": "2.6.1",
"@progress/kendo-react-grid": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-react-inputs": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-react-intl": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-react-pdf": "2.4.0",
"@progress/kendo-theme-default": "2.56.0",
"babel-core": "6.26.3",
"babel-loader": "7.1.5",
"babel-preset-es2015": "6.24.1",
"babel-preset-react": "6.24.1",
"bootstrap": "4.1.3",
"css-loader": "0.28.11",
"kendo-ui-core": "2018.3.911",
"moment": "2.22.2",
"prop-types": "15.6.2",
"react": "16.5.0",
"react-alert": "4.0.4",
"react-alert-template-basic": "1.0.0",
"react-datetime": "2.16.3",
"react-dom": "16.5.0",
"react-redux": "5.0.7",
"react-router": "4.3.1",
"react-router-dom": "4.3.1",
"react-router-native": "4.3.0",
"react-transition-group": "2.4.0",
"redux": "3.7.2",
"redux-thunk": "2.3.0",
"restore": "0.3.0",
"style-loader": "0.19.1",
"webpack": "3.12.0",
"webpack-cli": "2.1.5",
"html-webpack-plugin": "3.1.0",
"webpack-dev-server": "3.1.8"
"devDependencies": {},
"scripts": {
"watch-test": "mocha --watch --reporter spec test",
"build-js": " reactify app.jsx | uglifyjs -mc > bundle.js",
"build": " webpack"
"author": "",
"license": "ISC"


I tried to create about.js for about.cshtml and followed the same steps for index.js and index.cshtml, but it did not work. So I am not thinking if there are additional steps that I need to do? Thanks in advanced!


Hi @jiaqizuo

What's error and do you have code snippets handy?


So basically I just did the same things what you taught to about.js and about.cshtml, but it seems there is no thing to show up on the About Page


First off, thank you for the great article : it's helping me a lot to configure ReactJS.NET within our ASP.NET MVC 4 website.
In step 4, you wrote :
Webpack outputs a bundle as ./Scripts/dist/Home/react/index.js
when I think you meant :
Webpack outputs a bundle as ./Scripts/dist/Home/react/bundle.js


Thank you, JΓ©rΓ΄me πŸ™ enjoying the post and spotting the error.

I've updated the post πŸ™‚πŸ€œ


Thank you so much for this article! I was looking to start with React in .Net.


You're welcome Nicolas.

But also consider creating React & Back-end in separate projects as discussed in this reddit post, Reaact and backend different or in same solution.


You're welcome and thank you for the props, Riadul~


Great write up! That's a lot more to that than just running "create-react-app" so I appreciate your time figuring this out and writing it up (with screenshots!) so concisely!


Thanks Joe πŸ˜€.

Your comment just made my day 🀜.


Thank you very much for the article.
Should I include in the project all the node_modules folder?


You're welcome, Daniel.

You shouldn't include node_modules/ normally. But do include package-lock.json (or yarn-lock.json, if you are using yarn) as a lock file provide a way for others to create the same package structure.


That was a nice article but can you add some rules before moving to production with this setup.


did not work lmao, vs2019 here. It wont show me the content of react in the web app, but shows the other content


Hi I am new To ReactJs, Can You let Me Know How To Do It On Microsoft ASP MVC, What Are All Thing Required. I Want To Do DataBase Project using SQL SERVER. If You Let Me Know As Soon As Possible, Will Be Appreciated.


Hi, @maheshytech .
This post shows how to set up React environment on ASP.NET MVC.
I am not sure where the database project fits with it as the database project on visual studio lets you create TSQL scripts.

If you want to know how to provide database data from sql server, then you'd want to expose the data via ASP.NET WEB Api and access it via fetch or axios from React. That's outside the scope of this post, and you'd want to search for how to set up ASP.NET Web API (not sure if you are dealing with .NET core or framework)

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