Deployment

Documental can be deployed either as (i) a Node.js application or (ii) a static website.

Deploy as a Node.js application

Create a production build

The first step is to create a production build of your application. Run the following command. Note that if you are currently running the application in development mode you will need to stop it (Ctrl/Cmd + C) before following this step.

npm run build

This produces an optimised version of your application that is ready for production deployment. The application code is output to the __sapper__/build directory. Run node __sapper__/build from the project root to test the production build on your machine.

Deploy to server

You will then need to place the application on a server, either by FTP, RDP, automated script or whatever your preferred method is.

The following directories need to be deployed to the website root on your server environment:

- __sapper__/build
- docs
- node_modules
- static

We created the build output folder in the previous step. The docs directory contains your Markdown documentation files. The node_modules folder is the same as that in your project root, not the folder at src/node_modules. The static directory contains your static assets.

As regards subsequent deployments:

  • If only the documentation has been updated (i.e. no application code has changed) you only need to deploy the docs folder.
  • If you install or update any Node.js modules, you will need to redeploy the node_modules directory.
  • Because Sapper uses a robust internal versioning system for application code, it is safe to merge subsequent deployments into the __sapper__/build folder as opposed to overwriting the folder. This also prevents users who are currently connected to the website from experiencing errors.

Deploying to IIS with iisnode

On Windows Server environments it is possible to serve Node.js applications using IIS as a reverse proxy. This is facilitated by iisnode which you need to install first. A few extra steps need to be followed in this case:

  1. Create a new file in the website root directory called app.js. The file will contain just a single line that calls Documental's server-side code:

    require('./__sapper__/build/index.js');
  2. Create a new Web.config file in the website root directory. The Documental repository contains a sample Web.config file with annotations. The most important sections of the config file are as follows:

    <configuration>
     <system.webServer>
       <handlers>
         <add name="iisnode" path="app.js" verb="*" modules="iisnode" />
       </handlers>
       <rewrite>
         <rules>
           <rule name="App">
             <match url="/*" />
             <action type="Rewrite" url="app.js" />
           </rule>
         </rules>
       </rewrite>
     </system.webServer>
    </configuration>

    These serve to (i) load the iisnode hander and (ii) and redirect all requests to the app.js file where they are handed off to the Documental application code.

Deploy using static site generation

A static site is a collection of pregenerated HTML, JavaScript and CSS files. This is opposed to a server-generated website where content may be rendered and served to the user on the fly by an application. Static sites can be comparatively low-maintenance and require little-to-no server-side configuration.

Run the following command to output a static site from Documental:

npm run export

The static files will be output to the __sapper__/export directory. Subsequent export commands will automatically overwrite the contents of this directory.

Run npx serve __sapper__/export to test your static site.

When ready, deploy the contents of the __sapper__/export directory to the website root in your server environment.

See the Sapper docs for further information.

Gaois

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