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Creating a Local npm Package for Protobuf Files

sdcaulley
I am a U.S. Army veteran turned full-stack JavaScript developer.
・1 min read

Making a local npm package is relatively easy - you create a new Node.js project.

npm init
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In my case, the sole purpose of this package is to deliver generated protobuf files to various gRPC servers and clients.

I made my entry point main.js and used it to export references to the protobuf files. Since protoc creates two files - one for the messages and one for the services - I created a created a variable for each with the naming pattern of <service>Messages and <service>Services.

const <service>Messages = require(`<name of service>_pb.js`);
const <service>Services = require(`<name of service>_grpc_pb.js);

module.exports = {
  <service>Messages,
  <service>Services
};
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This pattern makes it very easy to import the code I need into my servers and clients. Also, any of my co-workers needing to consume the packages will not need to guess as to what the name of the exports are.

I can now install these packages as part of the service, and they will update themselves as the package updates.

npm install --save <path to module>
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And the package.json will have:

"<name of package>": "file:<path to package>"
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