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Titouan B
Titouan B

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⏩ Local HTTPS for Express app (api) in Nx workspace

Hey, welcome back in this post series where we will see how to setup a full HTTPS development environment.

In this post, we will setup local HTTPS for Express app (api) in Nx workspace.

If you don't have generated your certificate with mkcert, I recommand you read the first post of this series. → link

What is Nx?


Nx is a set of extensible dev tools for monorepos, which helps you manage your projects at any scale. It provides great integration with major framework such as Angular, React, Nestframework, Express, ionic, ...

💡 Nx use the angular-cli under the hood!

Setting up the project workspace

Creating a new empty workspace

$ npx create-nx-workspace
npx : 179 installé(s) en 7.547s
? Workspace name (e.g., org name)     myorg
? What to create in the new workspace empty             [an empty workspace with a layout tha
t works best for building apps]
? CLI to power the Nx workspace       Nx           [Recommended for all applications (React, 
Node, etc..)]
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🗒️ If you already have an Nx workspace, you can skip these steps.

Then, we will install the Express schematics:

npm install -D @nrwl/express
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Now, we will generate a new Express application called express-api (change the name with your api name).

nx generate @nrwl/express:application --name=express-api
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Start serving your app with nx serve express-api 🎉


🗒️ Look at the Express Nx plugin documentation to see more options → here

Setting up HTTPS

From the first post of this series, I will assume that you have generated your certificate at location myorg/dev-stack/certs/local-cert.pem & myorg/dev-stack/certs/local-key.pem. Don't hesitate to go back to the first post to use mkcert and generate your certificate.

We will edit the express server to handle HTTPS requests.

Open and edit myorg/apps/express-api/src/main.ts

import * as express from 'express';
import * as https from 'https';
import * as fs from 'fs';
import * as path from 'path';

const app = express();

app.get('/api', (req, res) => {
  res.send({ message: 'Welcome to express-api!' });

const port = Number(process.env.PORT) || 3333;
const hostname = process.env.HOSTNAME || 'localhost';
const ssl = process.env.SSL === 'true' ? true : false;
let server = null;

if (ssl) {
  const keyPath = process.env.SSL_KEY_PATH || '';
  const certPath = process.env.SSL_CERT_PATH || '';
  const httpsOptions = {
    key: fs.readFileSync(path.join(__dirname, keyPath)),
    cert: fs.readFileSync(path.join(__dirname, certPath)),
  server = https.createServer(httpsOptions, app).listen(port, () => {
    console.log(`Listening at https://${hostname}:${port}/api`);
} else {
  server = app.listen(port, () => {
    console.log(`Listening at http://${hostname}:${port}/api`);

server.on('error', console.error);
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We will now add .local.env with the configuration.

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🗒️ Here is some magic tricks done by Nx which will inject automatically .local.env when we will run the serve command.

By default, Nx will load any environment variables you place in the following files:

  1. workspaceRoot/apps/my-app/.local.env
  2. workspaceRoot/apps/my-app/.env
  3. workspaceRoot/.local.env
  4. workspaceRoot/.env

You can see more on how Nx manage environment variables → here

⚠️ IMPORTANT: the relative path to the certificate is from the dist folder (i.e. dist/apps/express-api).

Now serve the app with the new configuration:

$ nx serve express-api
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You can open https://dev.local:3333/api which is secured with a valid certificate 🔐🎉



Feel free to change any configuration in environment variables, but don't forget to regenerate a new certificate with mkcert of you change the domain name ⚠️

See you in the next post!

Github repository

GitHub logo Nightbr / full-https-development-environment

A full development environment in HTTPS with a valid certificate for your local development domain with mkcert, Nx workspace, angular, reactjs, nestjs, express, docker, traefik.


This project was generated using Nx.

🔎 Nx is a set of Extensible Dev Tools for Monorepos.

Adding capabilities to your workspace

Nx supports many plugins which add capabilities for developing different types of applications and different tools.

These capabilities include generating applications, libraries, etc as well as the devtools to test, and build projects as well.

Below are our core plugins:

  • React
    • npm install --save-dev @nrwl/react
  • Web (no framework frontends)
    • npm install --save-dev @nrwl/web
  • Angular
    • npm install --save-dev @nrwl/angular
  • Nest
    • npm install --save-dev @nrwl/nest
  • Express
    • npm install --save-dev @nrwl/express
  • Node
    • npm install --save-dev @nrwl/node

There are also many community plugins you could add.

Generate an application

Run nx g @nrwl/react:app my-app to generate an application.

You can use any of the plugins above to generate applications as well.

When using Nx, you can create multiple applications and libraries in the same workspace.

Generate a library

Run nx

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