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Mastering Webpack Module Federation: How to Solve Singleton Issues with Code Snippets.

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Introduction

Webpack Module Federation is a feature introduced in Webpack 5 that allows multiple projects to share code dynamically at runtime. This means that you can break up your application into smaller microfrontends and load them on demand. It’s important to solve singleton issues because when multiple instances of the same module are loaded, it can cause unexpected behavior and errors.

In this article, we will explore how to solve singleton issues in Webpack Module Federation with code snippets. We will cover:

  • What is Webpack Module Federation?
  • Why is solving singleton issues important?
  • How to solve singleton issues with code snippets

The Problem: Singleton Issues in Webpack Module Federation

In a Webpack Module Federation setup, singleton issues can arise when there are multiple instances of a module that share the same state or dependencies across multiple microfrontends. This can lead to conflicts and inconsistent behavior, as each instance of the module might have its own version of the shared dependency or state. One common scenario where singleton issues arise is when using shared dependencies across multiple microfrontends. For example, if two microfrontends use the same React component library, but with different versions, this can lead to conflicts and errors. Another scenario is when using state management libraries like Redux or MobX across multiple microfrontends. If one microfrontend updates the state, but another microfrontend has an outdated version of the state, it can cause inconsistencies in the application. If these singleton issues are not properly solved, it can lead to conflicting versions of dependencies and inconsistent application states. For example, a microfrontend might expect a certain version of a shared dependency, but receive a different version from another microfrontend, leading to bugs and errors. Inconsistent application states can also lead to unexpected behavior, as different microfrontends might have different versions of the same state, leading to conflicts and incorrect data.

Mastering Webpack Module Federation: Solutions for Singleton Issues

In a complex application, where multiple teams work on separate parts of the codebase, it’s possible to encounter singleton issues when using Webpack’s Module Federation. These issues occur when two or more modules in different repositories share a common dependency with different versions, leading to conflicts and errors. To solve these problems, we have several solutions available.

Solution 1: Renaming Shared Dependencies

One way to avoid conflicts is by renaming shared dependencies to unique names. This ensures that each module uses its own version of the library instead of sharing it with other modules. Here’s how you can rename a shared dependency in Webpack:


// webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
    new ModuleFederationPlugin({
      shared: {
        lodash: {
          eager: true,
          singleton: true,
          requiredVersion: "^4.17.21",
          strictVersion: true,
          name: "my-unique-lodash-name",
        },
      },
    }),
  ],
};

In this example, `lodash` is renamed to `my-unique-lodash-name`.

Solution 2: Module Federation Plugin Options

The Module Federation Plugin offers several options to solve singleton issues. Some of them are: – `requiredVersion`: Ensures that modules use a specific version of a shared dependency. – `strictVersion`: Enforces the exact version of a shared dependency across all modules. – `versionRange`: Allows a range of versions for a shared dependency. – `eager`: Loads a shared dependency before any other code gets executed. – `singleton`: Ensures that only one instance of a shared dependency is used throughout the application. Let’s see some code snippets for using these options:


// webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
    new ModuleFederationPlugin({
      shared: {
        lodash: {
          eager: true,
          singleton: true,
          requiredVersion: "^4.17.21",
          strictVersion: true,
        },
      },
    }),
  ],
};

In this example, we’re using the `eager`, `singleton`, `requiredVersion`, and `strictVersion` options to ensure that all modules use the same version of `lodash`.


// webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
    new ModuleFederationPlugin({
      shared: {
        lodash: {
          eager: true,
          requiredVersion: ">=4.0.0 <5.0.0",
        },
      },
    }),
  ],
};

In this example, we’re using the `eager` and `requiredVersion` options to allow a range of versions for `lodash`.

Solution 3: Container Sharing

Container Sharing is another option to solve singleton issues. It allows the container module to share its dependencies with other modules. This ensures that all modules have access to the same dependencies and versions. Here’s an example of how to use Container Sharing in Webpack:


// webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
    new ModuleFederationPlugin({
      shared: {
        react: {
          eager: true,
          singleton: true,
        },
      },
      exposes: {
        "./MyComponent": "./src/MyComponent",
      },
      filename: "remoteEntry.js",
      name: "my-container-app",
    }),
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      template: "./public/index.html",
    }),
    new ContainerReferencePlugin({
      remote: {
        myRemoteComponent: {
          url: "http://localhost:3001/remoteEntry.js",
          name: "my-remote-app",
          shareScope: "default",
        },
      },
    }),
  ],
};

In this example, we’re exposing `MyComponent` from our container app and sharing the `react` library with other modules. We’re also using the `ContainerReferencePlugin` to reference a remote module with its own dependencies.

Solution 4: Using External Dependencies

Sometimes it’s appropriate to use external dependencies instead of shared ones. This can be useful when dealing with dependencies that are not related to the core functionality of the application. Here’s an example of how to use external dependencies in Webpack:


// webpack.config.js

module.exports = {
  // ...
  externals: {
    react: "React",
    "react-dom": "ReactDOM",
  },
  plugins: [
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      template: "./public/index.html",
    }),
  ],
};

In this example, we’re using external dependencies for `react` and `react-dom`. They will be loaded independently from the application bundle.

Conclusion

Webpack Module Federation is an incredibly powerful feature that enables developers to create microfrontends that can share code seamlessly between them. However, the use of singletons in such an environment can lead to issues such as multiple instances, which can cause bugs and performance problems.

In this article, we have explored how to solve these singleton issues by using various code snippets. We have looked at different techniques such as sharing instances through the window object, using webpack.ProvidePlugin, and configuring the shared module with a singleton flag.

We have also discussed the importance of mastering Webpack Module Federation to build scalable and maintainable microfrontends. By understanding how to manage singleton instances, developers can avoid common pitfalls and ensure their applications work flawlessly.

We encourage readers to experiment with the solutions provided in this article and incorporate them into their own Webpack Module Federation projects. With the right tools and knowledge, creating modular and highly functional microfrontends has never been easier.

About the author / 

Mohamed Rias

I'm a programmer, photographer, and proud parent. With a passion for coding and a love of capturing life's moments through my camera lens, I'm always on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities to grow. As a dedicated parent, I understand the importance of balancing work and family, and I strive to be the best version of myself in all aspects of my life.

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