How To Setup Node.js Project With TypeScrpt

Setting up Node.js with TypeScript is a straightforward process. TypeScript allows you to write JavaScript with optional static typing, which can make your code more robust and easier to maintain, especially in larger projects.

Step-by-step guide to setting up Node.js with TypeScript

Steps #
  1. Initialize your project
  2. Initialize npm package
  3. Install TypeScript and nodemon globally
  4. Create a TypeScript configuration file
  5. Configure tsconfig.json
  6. Install Dev Dependencies
  7. Create ./src & ./build directory at root
  8. Write your TypeScript code
  9. Automate the building and server restart
  10. Run your first node + typescript app

1. Initialize your project

Create a new directory for your project and navigate into it using your terminal or command prompt.

mkdir my-nodets-project
cd my-nodets-project

2. Initialize npm package

Run npm init -y to initialize a new npm package with default settings. This creates a package.json file in your project directory.

3. Install TypeScript and nodemon globally

npm i -g typescript nodemon

4. Create a TypeScript configuration file

Create a tsconfig.json file in the root of your project. This file is used to configure the TypeScript compiler. You can create one manually or run tsc --init to generate a default configuration.

tsc --init

After running above command on your terminal you will see a tsconfig.json file has been created at the root of your node js project folder.

5. Configure tsconfig.json

Open tsconfig.json and uncomment or modify at least the following options:

{
    "compilerOptions": {
        "target": "ES2020",
        "module": "NodeNext",
        "rootDir": "./src",
        "outDir": "./build",
        "noEmitOnError": true,
        "esModuleInterop": true,
        "forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,
        "strict": true,
        "noImplicitAny": true,
        "skipLibCheck": true
    }
}
{
  "compilerOptions": {
    /* Visit https://aka.ms/tsconfig to read more about this file */

    /* Projects */
    // "incremental": true,                              /* Save .tsbuildinfo files to allow for incremental compilation of projects. */
    // "composite": true,                                /* Enable constraints that allow a TypeScript project to be used with project references. */
    // "tsBuildInfoFile": "./.tsbuildinfo",              /* Specify the path to .tsbuildinfo incremental compilation file. */
    // "disableSourceOfProjectReferenceRedirect": true,  /* Disable preferring source files instead of declaration files when referencing composite projects. */
    // "disableSolutionSearching": true,                 /* Opt a project out of multi-project reference checking when editing. */
    // "disableReferencedProjectLoad": true,             /* Reduce the number of projects loaded automatically by TypeScript. */

    /* Language and Environment */
    "target": "ES2020",                                  /* Set the JavaScript language version for emitted JavaScript and include compatible library declarations. */
    // "lib": [],                                        /* Specify a set of bundled library declaration files that describe the target runtime environment. */
    // "jsx": "preserve",                                /* Specify what JSX code is generated. */
    // "experimentalDecorators": true,                   /* Enable experimental support for legacy experimental decorators. */
    // "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,                    /* Emit design-type metadata for decorated declarations in source files. */
    // "jsxFactory": "",                                 /* Specify the JSX factory function used when targeting React JSX emit, e.g. 'React.createElement' or 'h'. */
    // "jsxFragmentFactory": "",                         /* Specify the JSX Fragment reference used for fragments when targeting React JSX emit e.g. 'React.Fragment' or 'Fragment'. */
    // "jsxImportSource": "",                            /* Specify module specifier used to import the JSX factory functions when using 'jsx: react-jsx*'. */
    // "reactNamespace": "",                             /* Specify the object invoked for 'createElement'. This only applies when targeting 'react' JSX emit. */
    // "noLib": true,                                    /* Disable including any library files, including the default lib.d.ts. */
    // "useDefineForClassFields": true,                  /* Emit ECMAScript-standard-compliant class fields. */
    // "moduleDetection": "auto",                        /* Control what method is used to detect module-format JS files. */

    /* Modules */
    "module": "NodeNext",                                /* Specify what module code is generated. */
    "rootDir": "./src",                                  /* Specify the root folder within your source files. */
    // "moduleResolution": "node10",                     /* Specify how TypeScript looks up a file from a given module specifier. */
    // "baseUrl": "./",                                  /* Specify the base directory to resolve non-relative module names. */
    // "paths": {},                                      /* Specify a set of entries that re-map imports to additional lookup locations. */
    // "rootDirs": [],                                   /* Allow multiple folders to be treated as one when resolving modules. */
    // "typeRoots": [],                                  /* Specify multiple folders that act like './node_modules/@types'. */
    // "types": [],                                      /* Specify type package names to be included without being referenced in a source file. */
    // "allowUmdGlobalAccess": true,                     /* Allow accessing UMD globals from modules. */
    // "moduleSuffixes": [],                             /* List of file name suffixes to search when resolving a module. */
    // "allowImportingTsExtensions": true,               /* Allow imports to include TypeScript file extensions. Requires '--moduleResolution bundler' and either '--noEmit' or '--emitDeclarationOnly' to be set. */
    // "resolvePackageJsonExports": true,                /* Use the package.json 'exports' field when resolving package imports. */
    // "resolvePackageJsonImports": true,                /* Use the package.json 'imports' field when resolving imports. */
    // "customConditions": [],                           /* Conditions to set in addition to the resolver-specific defaults when resolving imports. */
    // "resolveJsonModule": true,                        /* Enable importing .json files. */
    // "allowArbitraryExtensions": true,                 /* Enable importing files with any extension, provided a declaration file is present. */
    // "noResolve": true,                                /* Disallow 'import's, 'require's or '<reference>'s from expanding the number of files TypeScript should add to a project. */

    /* JavaScript Support */
    // "allowJs": true,                                  /* Allow JavaScript files to be a part of your program. Use the 'checkJS' option to get errors from these files. */
    // "checkJs": true,                                  /* Enable error reporting in type-checked JavaScript files. */
    // "maxNodeModuleJsDepth": 1,                        /* Specify the maximum folder depth used for checking JavaScript files from 'node_modules'. Only applicable with 'allowJs'. */

    /* Emit */
    // "declaration": true,                              /* Generate .d.ts files from TypeScript and JavaScript files in your project. */
    // "declarationMap": true,                           /* Create sourcemaps for d.ts files. */
    // "emitDeclarationOnly": true,                      /* Only output d.ts files and not JavaScript files. */
    // "sourceMap": true,                                /* Create source map files for emitted JavaScript files. */
    // "inlineSourceMap": true,                          /* Include sourcemap files inside the emitted JavaScript. */
    // "outFile": "./",                                  /* Specify a file that bundles all outputs into one JavaScript file. If 'declaration' is true, also designates a file that bundles all .d.ts output. */
    "outDir": "./build",                                   /* Specify an output folder for all emitted files. */
    // "removeComments": true,                           /* Disable emitting comments. */
    // "noEmit": true,                                   /* Disable emitting files from a compilation. */
    // "importHelpers": true,                            /* Allow importing helper functions from tslib once per project, instead of including them per-file. */
    // "importsNotUsedAsValues": "remove",               /* Specify emit/checking behavior for imports that are only used for types. */
    // "downlevelIteration": true,                       /* Emit more compliant, but verbose and less performant JavaScript for iteration. */
    // "sourceRoot": "",                                 /* Specify the root path for debuggers to find the reference source code. */
    // "mapRoot": "",                                    /* Specify the location where debugger should locate map files instead of generated locations. */
    // "inlineSources": true,                            /* Include source code in the sourcemaps inside the emitted JavaScript. */
    // "emitBOM": true,                                  /* Emit a UTF-8 Byte Order Mark (BOM) in the beginning of output files. */
    // "newLine": "crlf",                                /* Set the newline character for emitting files. */
    // "stripInternal": true,                            /* Disable emitting declarations that have '@internal' in their JSDoc comments. */
    // "noEmitHelpers": true,                            /* Disable generating custom helper functions like '__extends' in compiled output. */
    "noEmitOnError": true,                            /* Disable emitting files if any type checking errors are reported. */
    // "preserveConstEnums": true,                       /* Disable erasing 'const enum' declarations in generated code. */
    // "declarationDir": "./",                           /* Specify the output directory for generated declaration files. */
    // "preserveValueImports": true,                     /* Preserve unused imported values in the JavaScript output that would otherwise be removed. */

    /* Interop Constraints */
    // "isolatedModules": true,                          /* Ensure that each file can be safely transpiled without relying on other imports. */
    // "verbatimModuleSyntax": true,                     /* Do not transform or elide any imports or exports not marked as type-only, ensuring they are written in the output file's format based on the 'module' setting. */
    // "allowSyntheticDefaultImports": true,             /* Allow 'import x from y' when a module doesn't have a default export. */
    "esModuleInterop": true,                             /* Emit additional JavaScript to ease support for importing CommonJS modules. This enables 'allowSyntheticDefaultImports' for type compatibility. */
    // "preserveSymlinks": true,                         /* Disable resolving symlinks to their realpath. This correlates to the same flag in node. */
    "forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,            /* Ensure that casing is correct in imports. */

    /* Type Checking */
    "strict": true,                                      /* Enable all strict type-checking options. */
    "noImplicitAny": true,                            /* Enable error reporting for expressions and declarations with an implied 'any' type. */
    // "strictNullChecks": true,                         /* When type checking, take into account 'null' and 'undefined'. */
    // "strictFunctionTypes": true,                      /* When assigning functions, check to ensure parameters and the return values are subtype-compatible. */
    // "strictBindCallApply": true,                      /* Check that the arguments for 'bind', 'call', and 'apply' methods match the original function. */
    // "strictPropertyInitialization": true,             /* Check for class properties that are declared but not set in the constructor. */
    // "noImplicitThis": true,                           /* Enable error reporting when 'this' is given the type 'any'. */
    // "useUnknownInCatchVariables": true,               /* Default catch clause variables as 'unknown' instead of 'any'. */
    // "alwaysStrict": true,                             /* Ensure 'use strict' is always emitted. */
    // "noUnusedLocals": true,                           /* Enable error reporting when local variables aren't read. */
    // "noUnusedParameters": true,                       /* Raise an error when a function parameter isn't read. */
    // "exactOptionalPropertyTypes": true,               /* Interpret optional property types as written, rather than adding 'undefined'. */
    // "noImplicitReturns": true,                        /* Enable error reporting for codepaths that do not explicitly return in a function. */
    // "noFallthroughCasesInSwitch": true,               /* Enable error reporting for fallthrough cases in switch statements. */
    // "noUncheckedIndexedAccess": true,                 /* Add 'undefined' to a type when accessed using an index. */
    // "noImplicitOverride": true,                       /* Ensure overriding members in derived classes are marked with an override modifier. */
    // "noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature": true,       /* Enforces using indexed accessors for keys declared using an indexed type. */
    // "allowUnusedLabels": true,                        /* Disable error reporting for unused labels. */
    // "allowUnreachableCode": true,                     /* Disable error reporting for unreachable code. */

    /* Completeness */
    // "skipDefaultLibCheck": true,                      /* Skip type checking .d.ts files that are included with TypeScript. */
    "skipLibCheck": true                                 /* Skip type checking all .d.ts files. */
  }
}

6. Install Dev Dependencies

  • @types/node contains type definitions for node
  • @types/express contains type definitions for express. Find more @types.
  • typescript& nodemon however, we have installed these globally but other developers may not have installed and therefore these are.
npm i -D @types/node @types/express typescript nodemon

7. Create ./src & ./build directory at root

  • src This is where your TypeScript source files will reside.
  • build The build project will be here.
Node Typescript Folder Strucuter

8. Write your TypeScript code

Create a new TypeScript file (e.g., index.ts) in the src directory. Write your TypeScript code in this file.

import express, { Request, Response } from "express";

const app = express();

app.get('/', (req: Request, res: Response) => {
    res.send("Hello World!")
})

app.listen(3000, () => console.log('Server is running on port 3000'))

9. Automate the building and server restart

To automate the building and server restart we will use nodemon with few configuration. Now to configure nodemon create a file called nodemon.json at the root of the project folder. Put the following code into the nodemon.json:

{
    "watch": ["src"],
    "ext": ".ts,.js",
    "ignore": [],
    "exec": "tsc && node build/index.js"
}
nodemon configuration for typescript

10. Run your first node + typescript app

Open your package.json file and add the following script:

"scripts": {
    "dev": "nodemon"
}
add nodemon script to the package json file

Now execute the following command on your terminal to start your first node + typescript app:

npm run dev
starting node typescript app on terminal