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Last Modified
30-Jul-2021
Added to KB
30-Jul-2021
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Doc Type
Guidelines, Concepts & Cookbooks
Product
Intershop Progressive Web App

Concept - Intershop Progressive Web App - Deploy URL

Deploy URL

This document describes how to provide the Intershop PWA with a dynamic deploy URL to set up client-side retrieval of static assets and JavaScript chunks from a (possibly) different source than the URL from which the pre-rendering is delivered.

Built-in Angular CLI Support

By default, Angular CLI supports setting the deploy URL of the application with the build command parameter --deploy-url.
As this is only supplied as a build-time setting, the required flexibility for the Intershop PWA cannot be achieved.

For example, if the Intershop PWA Docker image is deployed in multiple environments in an Intershop CaaS context, every environment would have to build a new PWA.

Therefore this functionality is not used out of the box.
However, it is possible to dynamically configure the deploy URL as a runtime setting for the SSR container.

Setting Deploy URL Dynamically

Problem

To solve this problem, individual problems had to be solved:

  1. The Angular CLI build process inserts references to the initial bundles (main, common, polyfills and runtime) into the index.html relatively when called without --deploy-url, but uses a static deploy URL if requested.

  2. The runtime bundle loads lazy loaded chunks relatively if no --deploy-url is passed, and via deploy URL if built with the --deploy-url parameter.

  3. The CSS bundles contain absolute and relative references to resources in the assets folder.

  4. The PWA code itself contains relative and absolute references to the assets folder (i.e. images).

Solution

The solution can be schemed as follows:

  • The ng build process has to be triggered with a placeholder for the deploy URL.
  • The placeholder can then be dynamically replaced in the SSR process as a post-processing for any output:
    • Placeholders are replaced with absolute deployment URLs.
    • References to the assets folder are transformed into absolute URLs pointing to the deployment URLs.

This way, setting the deployment URL becomes a runtime setting and can be changed without rebuilding the Intershop PWA.

Building with Dynamic Deploy URL

The PWA client-side application has to be built using ng build ... --deploy-url=DEPLOY_URL_PLACEHOLDER, which introduces a placeholder for all deployment-dependent functionality.

This placeholder is then dynamically replaced by the SSR process using the environment variable DEPLOY_URL (i.e. by setting it at the SSR container).
If no DEPLOY_URL is supplied, the fallback / is applied.

This placeholder can also be replaced statically when no SSR process is used in the deployment by running the script npx ts-node scripts/set-deploy-url <deploy-url>.
If no <deploy-url> is supplied, the fallback / is applied.

For consistency reasons the build process must always follow this pattern, so that all references to the assets folder are made absolute and all JavaScript bundles are loaded from the root of the deployment (see related issue).
This build process is also provided in the Docker images as default solution.

Scenarios

With this new feature, some complex deployment scenarios can be solved with the Intershop PWA out of the box.

CDN Support

If you want to deploy all static resources of the Intershop PWA to a Content Delivery Network, you can use the above build steps to set the deploy URL via script in the build output.
Delivering resources via a CDN significantly reduces the load on the PWA if certain pages can also be stored pre-rendered or if the experimental Service Worker support is used.

Embed PWA with Proxy on Website

Consider the following deployment scenario:

You want to use the Intershop PWA as part of a bigger portal to provide a shopping experience.
However, not all of the product pages are to be handled by the PWA, as you want to use a different integration from the portal that is already available.
Most likely, all product pages have a similar URL pattern and should be available from the same domain for SEO reasons.

This scenario would mean that the portal and the Intershop PWA would share routes similar to the Hybrid Approach.
To set this up manually, a lot of rewriting for static PWA assets would have to be set up in the portal's reverse proxy, so that Intershop PWA client applications can boot up correctly.

By setting a deployment URL, only the incoming routing for server-side rendering would be targeted at the portal's reverse proxy.
After parsing the response, the client-side application pulls all necessary static assets and JavaScript chunks directly from the deployment URL.

Further References

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Knowledge Base may not be applicable to all systems and situations. Intershop Communications will not be liable to any party for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of the Customer Support section of the Intershop Corporate Web site, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data on your information handling system.

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