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External Dependencies

On this page

  • Overview
  • Upload External Dependencies
  • Procedure
  • Import External Dependencies
  • Usage
  • Import a Full Module
  • Import a Module Subfolder
  • Constraints

An external dependency is an external library that includes logic you'd rather not implement yourself, such as string parsing, convenience functions for array manipulations, and data structure or algorithm implementations.

You can upload external dependencies from the npm repository to App Services and then import those libraries into your functions using standard JavaScript module syntax. To get started with external dependencies, check out the following guides.


Create Your Own Modules

Though most npm modules are written by third parties, you can create and publish your own npm modules to house logic specific to your application. You can make your modules available to the Node.js community or reserve them for private use. To learn more, see npm's guide on Contributing packages to the registry.

You can upload npm modules into the App Services application that houses your triggers and functions. This allows functions in your application to depend upon external libraries.

To use external dependencies, upload an archive of an npm node_modules folder via the App Services UI. Once uploaded, any function can import and use any dependencies listed on the dependencies page of the App Services UI.


External Dependency Size Constraints

Uploaded zip files are subject to a 10MB size cap.


To upload external dependencies to Atlas App Services, you first need a local node_modules folder containing at least one Node.js package. You can use the following code snippet to locally install a dependency you would like to upload:

npm install <package name>

If the node_modules folder does not already exist, this command automatically creates it.


Alternative Methods of Installation

You can also configure a package.json and run the npm install command to install all packages (and their dependencies) listed in your package.json.

To learn more about npm and node_modules, consult the npm documentation .


Now that you've downloaded all of your npm modules, you need to package them up in an archive so you can upload them to App Services. Create an archive containing the node_modules folder:

tar -czf node_modules.tar.gz node_modules/


Supported Archive Formats

App Services supports .tar, .tar.gz, and .zip archive formats.


Once you've created an archive containing your dependencies, all that's left to do is upload them to App Services. You can upload your dependency archive using the App Services UI:

  1. Select App Services from the left-side navigation.

  2. Select the Triggers app.


    Triggers created between 09 June 2020 and 01 June 2022 use the name Triggers_RealmApp. Triggers created prior to 09 June 2020 use the name Triggers_StitchApp.

  3. Select Functions from the left-side navigation.

  4. Select the Dependencies tab.

  5. Click the Upload Folder button.

  6. In the file picker, select the node_modules.tar.gz archive you just created and click Open. App Services automatically uploads the archive file, which may take several minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection and the size of your dependency archive. Whether the operation succeeded or failed, App Services displays a banner indicating the success or failure of the operation. If successful, the Dependencies tab displays a list of the dependencies that you included in your dependency archive.

  7. If drafts are enabled, you will also need to click Review & Deploy in the banner to apply these changes. If drafts are disabled, the change will take effect within 5 to 60 seconds.

Now that your dependencies have been uploaded, try importing them into a Function.

Once uploaded to your application, you can import npm modules listed on the dependencies page of the App Services UI into your functions.


Pre-requisites for Import

You must upload dependencies before you can import them.

You can import dependencies into any function using the require keyword inside of the exports function. You cannot use ES Module import syntax. You should import dependencies in the style of a node_modules module import, since App Services does not support file or local module import. To learn more about require syntax, consult the Node.js documentation for the require keyword.


Where Do I Import Modules?

Node.js projects commonly place require statements in the global scope of each file, but App Services does not support this pattern. You must place function require statements within a function scope.

Below, you'll find a simple example of a function that uses the require keyword inside a function to import the ramda module and call ramda's map method:

exports = () => {
const R = require("ramda");
return => x*2, [1,2,3]);

The following example demonstrates how to use require to import a single submodule of an external dependency into a function:

exports = function(arg){
const cloneDeep = require("lodash/cloneDeep");
var original = { name: "Deep" };
var copy = cloneDeep(original); = "John";
console.log(`original: ${}`);
console.log(`copy: ${}`);
return (original != copy);

External dependencies are subject to the following limitations:

  • Require statements must appear inside a function declaration, not outside it. Atlas App Services does not currently support statements in the global scope.

  • Atlas App Services currently supports a subset of Node.js built-in modules. For a list of supported and unsupported modules, see function constraints.

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